After passing the examination, I still had a lot of work to do before I could get my license. The main thing was building the housing facilities for the bird, or mews, and getting all the various equipment I would need. I also needed my sponsor to fill out a paper that evaluated my suitability for being a falconer and I needed to get a New York State small game hunting license, which meant taking a hunter’s education course. It was late May; I couldn’t do much before I finished school in mid-June and I had filled my summer with other things I wanted to do; except for a few days here and there, from June 18th until August 7th I would be away. While I was away, I did plenty of reading about falconry and what other people have done for their mews setups. My plan was to take my shed, which held all of our chairs, umbrellas, and other beach things, as well as bikes and some landscaping supplies and equipment, and clean it out to use for the indoor facilities. Luckily, my sponsor had a 12’x12′ chain-link enclosure, like a dog kennel, that he hadn’t used in years that he gave me to use for a weathering station. If you want details about how I built my mews and what it looks like, there are photos and more information on the Mews page.
It was early August; I wanted to have my mews approved and send out my licensing application by August 31st, in order to, hopefully, leave plenty of time to look for a bird, catch it, and train it by the start of the hunting season on November 1st. I still had not taken Hunter’s Ed and had not started working on the mews. In about three weeks, I built the weathering station, ordered the supplies I needed, and renovated my shed, as well as commuting three hours round-trip to Hunter’s Ed a couple times.
I called the DEC inspector a few days in advance of when I wanted him to come and we set up an appointment. I passed the inspection, my sponsor filled out the evaluation, I passed Hunter’s Ed and got the small game license, and I sent off my application by the beginning of September.