An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
ATTN: Revisions to 301 KAR 2:195 Falconry, raptor take, and propagation, went into effect June 30, 2020. The revised regulation can be
Falconry, Photo by Mike Matthews
The Falconry Permit pertains to the securing and use of birds of prey for hunting.
If you are interested in becoming a falconer and would like more information, please call 1-800-858-1549 to have an information packet sent to you.
Holders of Kentucky falconry permits must possess a valid annual Kentucky hunting license before taking any raptor from the wild.
Wildlife may be taken within state hunting seasons and bag limits with any legal hunting raptor provided the falconer has in possession a valid falconry permit and a valid hunting license. Note: falconry hunting is closed during the opening weekend of modern firearms for deer (see season dates).
Falconry permits are valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue. Permits are issued year round.
Three classes of falconry permits are available: apprentice, general, and master. Below is a list of some general differences between the classes.
Red-tailed Hawk, Photo by Mike Matthews
To obtain any class of permit, an applicant MUST submit the following materials:
New apprentice applicants must also:
New general class applicants must also:
New master class applicants must also:
A migratory bird acquisition and disposition report (Form 3-186A) must be submitted when any raptor is transferred, released, acquired, captured, or re-banded for falconry. The forms may be submitted online or a hardcopy may be sent to KDFWR (Attn. Falconry), #1 Sportsman's Lane, Frankfort , KY 40601. USFWS Falconry Database Instructions for Falconers.
If a nonresident takes a raptor from KY for falconry, or if a KY resident takes a sharp-shinned hawk eyass for falconry, a Falconry Take Location Report form must be submitted to the Department within 5 days of possession.
Eligible Falconers must apply to be entered into the drawing by July 31st of the current year. To be eligible for the passage tundrius peregrine falcon take opportunity drawing, falconers shall:
The department will notify the drawn falconer, by their preferred method of contact as indicated on the application, no later than August 15.
For more information, and instructions on how to apply, please see the passage tundrius peregrine falcon take guidelines here.
Sharp-shinned Hawk Nestlings, Photo by Tony Englert
Taking sharp-shinned hawk nestlings for use in falconry shall follow the below guidelines:
A master class falconer may possess a golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, or Stellar’s sea eagle with prior approval from the Department. See more info on the guidelines for possessing eagles for falconry.
Nonresidents transporting raptors for falconry purposes:
A nonresident falconer is not required to obtain a wildlife transportation permit to transport raptor(s) into, through, or out of Kentucky as long as he/she holds a valid state or federal falconry permit.
Nonresidents taking raptors from Kentucky for falconry purposes:
A nonresident of Kentucky can take and export raptors from the wild for falconry purposes by submitting, for approval, a Nonresident Raptor Take Form to the Department at least 15 days prior to the take.
The following must be submitted to KDFWR: (1) a completed and signed Nonresident Raptor Take Form, and (2) a legible copy of the nonresident’s federal and/or state falconry permit(s).
A nonresident may take only one wild raptor from Kentucky per calendar year.
Nonresidents may be given approval to take birds from KY for falconry only if their state allows the same for KY residents.
Prior to the take, a nonresident falconer must purchase and have in his/her possession a Kentucky nonresident hunting license.
A copy of the Migratory Bird Acquisition and Disposition Report (Form 3-186A) (http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-186A.pdf) and a Kentucky Falconry Take Location Report must be submitted within five (5) days of the activity.
In order to propagate native raptors, one must hold a state captive wildlife permit and a federal raptor propagation permit.
A falconry bird can be transferred to a propagation permit if the bird has been used in falconry for at least 2 years (1 year for sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper’s hawks, merlins, and American kestrels). If a falconry bird is being used for propagation fewer than 8 months in a year, the bird does not need to be transferred to a propagation permit. The falconer must still possess the necessary state captive wildlife and federal propagation permits. See our Live Wildlife Possession page for additional information.
See 301 KAR 2:081 and Section 8 of 301 KAR 2:195 for regulations pertaining to the holding of captive wildlife and raptor propagation.