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August President's Message

Monday, August 01, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheldon Nicolle
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Board and Officers







President's Message




August, 2016


Dear Member, 


A little over a week ago, your board of directors met via teleconference for what proved to be a pretty productive and positive meeting.  I was most pleased to see a proposal to provide free online associate memberships to all apprentice class falconers. This is something that has been discussed in various iterations on numerous occasions, but this time, Directors Chavez and Thomas presented it to their fellow board members in a way that just made great sense, and the proposal passed unanimously. NAFA staff is in the process of finalizing some of the procedural details concerning how these memberships will be initiated and recorded, and we will soon distribute information to affiliated clubs so that you can make this offer known to all of your incoming and existing apprentices. I'm thrilled that we are in a position to be able to make this available to so many individuals who stand to benefit greatly from inclusion in NAFA. The benefits of being connected and heavily networked in a community like ours are many.  If you’ll be attending a summer gathering of your state club in the near future, feel free to spread this news.


We are approaching the close of our voting period for this year. Votes for Regional Directors must be cast by midnight on August 29th.  If you haven't voted yet, please click here:


*Please note you will need to sign in to view biographies and cast your online vote..

I'd be remiss if I neglected to thank everyone who is running for election to the very important position of Director. It's nice to see numerous names on the ballots this year. At a time when national politics is looking especially flawed, it's nice to indulge  in a moment or two of being myopic about our falconry community, and knowing that every single name on the ballot is that of someone who genuinely cares deeply for the art and passion and hunting pursuit that we all share. I'm proud to be a member of the NAFA family.

(**We've had a few reports of problems with the Safari internet browser and the NAFA member's portal. If you are using Safari and are having issues logging in or voting, please try using the Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser.)



Another really positive piece of news is that the August Hawk Chalk is already receiving absolutely rave reviews from an impressive number of members. Everyone involved in the team that oversees our publications is really appreciative of all the positive messages that have been coming in, and it makes us feel great to be a part of the process. We are also really proud to note that it is only August first, and the issue is already in your hands, and has been available digitally, on our website for over a week.  You can look forward to more NAFA magazines of this quality in the coming months. Editor, Dan Milner already has a jump start on the December issue, as well as the 2016 Journal.



When I applied for NAFA membership in 1976, I could not have envisioned the powerful impact it would have on my life.  I have made new acquaintances and lifelong friends from across America and around the world.  I have rolled up my sleeves and served in the trenches alongside many of the great servant-leaders in our ranks, some of them gone now and sorely missed.


In 1983, I was a founding member, editor, interim treasurer and President of the Virginia Falconers’ Association, a NAFA affiliate organization.  I was privileged to serve as Southeastern Director for one term (1988-9), have had the honor of designing several Field Meet logos and painted the official Field Meet print for the 1987 Meet in Cedar City, UT.  I also worked with the late Ed Freienmuth to update and re-publish our Constitution and By-Laws… as well as the creation of the NAFA Policy Manual for leadership.  I led the initiative to make Honorary Membership truly honorary.  I have also been Graphics Associate of the Archives of Falconry since its inception in 1986, assisting wherever needed, particularly with the publication of the Archives Heritage Series of books.


I may have been off the radar screen for a while.  Frankly, I got burned out by trying to do so much that it was affecting my practice of the Art.  And I took a 10-year hiatus from the membership rolls to focus on personal matters.  My wife of 34+ years, Randi, was taken away from us by cancer in 2014.  In 2015, I married a wonderful woman named Julie who has reawakened my passions for life, for falconry, art, and so on.  Those of you who know me know all too well that I feel deeply about NAFA and serving others.  If more were willing to serve, things would only get better, and we’d hear less of, “Why doesn’t NAFA… ?”.  NAFA is you, and me – each of us.  Our common thread is our passion for the Art and the birds we fly.  Our common denominator is people… and that’s what it’s all about.  Call up your Director or your President and ask what you can do to help.  Or just say “thank you.”


I’m back, and ready to roll.  NAFA has and will continue to be a huge part of my life.  The friendships forged are lifelong ones and withstand the test of time.  I strongly and wholeheartedly encourage your membership in and support of NAFA.  You will be glad.



The molt is well under way and it’s the time of year to be making plans to attend the 2016 NAFA Field Meet! This year’s meet will be hosted in Elk City, Oklahoma. On the western side of the Sooner State, Elk City is conveniently located between Oklahoma City and Amarillo on I40 and the historic Route 66. Briefly named Busch, Oklahoma, in a failed attempt to attract a beer brewery, Elk City has been a cattle hub since 1901. Visitors can "get their kicks" at a variety of museums including the National Route 66 Museum, Old Town Complex, and the one-of-a-kind Transportation Museum.

For ALL the latest news and meet particulars go to:

Western Oklahoma is well known for providing hunters with a variety of game, and Elk City is one of Oklahoma’s true western communities. A day in the field could provide you with the chance to fly cottontails, jack rabbits, quail, and ducks in wide open skies.

Things are rolling for this year’s meet and Oklahomans are excited to host falconers from across the country and around the world this November. Remember, registration is NOW OPEN via the NAFA website.

Go to the field meet Facebook page,, and "Like" us to receive all the latest updates about the 2016 meet, and please share/invite all your falconry friends. 




Mark your calendars, the 2017 AHA/NAFA Regional Field Meet is scheduled for Feburary 23-26, 2017. The Alabama Hawking Association has graciously offered to host NAFA members in the heart of the Alabama Black Belt of Camden, Alabama this coming winter. Stay tuned for more information from Meet Chair Michael Moore on the meet and make sure to check the NAFA Facebook page for a link to the 2017 Regional Meet Facebook page at:





We've had a lot of requests for a printable Membership Directory to compliment the current Online Membership Search tool.  For those of you who prefer a hard copy membership directory simply log into the members only section and under the 'Publications' menu, select 'Membership Directory'. Or, click the link below:



Finally, please remember that NAFA is always here to protect and perpetuate falconry as an intangible cultural heritage.  If you become aware of anything in your state or province that could potentially impact the way that we are able to practice our art and culture, please do not hesitate to contact members of NAFA leadership.  Do not assume that we have already been made aware of the issue. We would rather hear about something several dozen times than risk not noticing it at all.

Thank you all for your support, and for helping us adhere to the initiatives outlined in our mission statement and bylaws. 





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