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News & Press: General News

October President's Message

Saturday, October 01, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheldon Nicolle
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October 1, 2016



Dear @@first_name@@,

This message is of the “ask what YOU can do for NAFA” variety.  Think of it like a Public Radio fundraising effort, except that I’m not here to ask for a donation of your old vehicle, or your hard earned money.



NAFA members are just awesome.  We’ve received some really great raffle donations for the upcoming field meet.  Thank you all for your donations.  Nightly raffles at the annual meet are a major source of revenue, providing funding for all sorts of excellent causes, and it’s a win-win for everyone involved; folks get to take home really great falconry-related gear, and NAFA gets to support the community at large through innumerable projects and initiatives.  Keep those donations coming.  Contact Robert Huber at to arrange a donation to the raffles.  Thank you so much for doing so.



Rather roll up your sleeves and make a donation of your time and/or expertise?  There are quite a few opportunities to involve yourself with committee work that will benefit your brothers and sisters in falconry, including those of future generations.  For example, our Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee is still in the early stages of development and will be seeking specific professional assistance in the near future.  The NAFA board of Directors has established an Abatement Committee that has not yet been fully staffed.  There are opportunities to assist the Meet Committee and Elk City Meet Chairman, Ryan VanZant with projects like acquisition of hunting lands, etc..  You could contribute photos, art, or articles to our top shelf quality Hawk Chalks and Journals by emailing  The list goes on and on.  If you’re brave enough to raise your hand, and step into the fray, contact a Director, and we will pull you into service.

One final comment on this subject that I think is worth a mention: If you’ve got an interest in giving back to the community, but are hesitant to do so because you don’t feel like you’ve been a falconer or a NAFA member for long enough to contribute in a meaningful way, cast that thought aside.  When I became a falconer, as a teenager, and joined NAFA, I knew that I wanted to lend a hand in some way.  I convinced myself that I needed to put a couple of decades experience behind me before my efforts or voice would be of use.  I was wrong.  The opportunities for contributing to the association that has protected and advanced our passion for the last 55 years are multitudinous and do not require a lifetime of practical experience in the field.  It’s never too early to get involved.



A reminder that the December Hawk Chalk deadline for ads, club reports, and feature submissions is October 31st. (Deadline for the Journal is October 1st) Mr. Milner and the members of our Editorial Advisory Committee are always eager to receive quality submissions.


NAFA Proudly Supports the IAF 



Your Board of Directors met via teleconference on September 22nd. Contact your Regional Director or one of the Directors-at-Large for more information on what transpired during the agenda.



The Elk City field meet is a little over a month from now.  Have you considered attending?  If you've never been to a NAFA meet, do yourself a favor and come see why so many of us look forward to attending each year.  I guarantee that you'll have a great time.  For detailed information on how to register, please see the appropriate section below.  I hope to see you there.

Visit the Archives of Falconry and get caught up on all the news.


Want to remember a falconer by making a donation to the Wall of Remembrance?

(Click to learn more....)





The NAFA Board of Directors approved distribution of complimentary associate memberships for Apprentice-class falconers. If you are sponsoring an apprentice who would benefit from this offer, have them contact a NAFA Director with proof of their permit in hand.



The US Department of Agriculture recently reported the presence of H5N2 avian influenza in a mallard duck caught as part of a banding project near Fairbanks, Alaska. This constitutes hard evidence that the virus is circulating in Alaska waterfowl, but surveillance to date can't determine how widespread it is. USDA will continue surveillance and additional field operations are under way in other Alaska locations, so we may be better able to assess risk as time goes on. Implications, if any, for falconers hunting waterfowl or who wish to transport raptors between states and/or provinces are not yet clear.

NAFA’s medical advisor, Dr. Pat Redig, says falconers should be alert to this recent heightened risk of avian influenza. Of course, the only way to not incur risk is to not hunt ducks, but there are several practical things falconers can do to minimize the potential danger to their raptors.


  1. If a falconry raptor does capture a duck, get it off the kill as quickly as possible and onto known clean food. Don't feed wild-taken waterfowl to any falconry birds. Freezing a duck carcass does nothing to reduce the infectivity of the virus.
  2. Good sanitation reduces the possibility of transmission, so practice a high level of cleanliness and orderliness with equipment and facilities. Keep good records of specific and overall biosecurity measures. This not only reduces risk of infection, but demonstrates to state and federal health authorities you have done and documented everything possible, thereby decreasing the risk of depopulation of your facilities. Never forget – health officials have the authority to order the destruction of diseased or possibly diseased birds and animals.
  3. Poultry are highly susceptible to avian influenza. Their presence would be problematic if a raptor nearby contracted the disease. Avoid housing chickens, ducks, or quail, etc. on any premises where raptors are kept. Pigeons are not a problem with regard to flu; for whatever reason, they just don't contract it.
  4. Watching for symptoms doesn’t really help. The disease progresses quickly – often a matter of only a few days from infection to death – so by the time symptoms are noticeable, it's too late. There is no and there will be no vaccine for this virus.


Click here for NAFA Merchandise



Meet agenda items are getting lined out, meet program is in the final draft, swag is starting to arrive and the meet planning team is working hard to pull everything together for a great meet. Land owners dinner was a great success and we are happy to report at this time the land acquisition team has access to over 15,000 acres. The real good news is that for the past two years that part of Oklahoma has received above normal rainfall. Translation, ponds have water and ground quarry continues to increase in numbers. Several of the land owners that we talked with report good number of jack rabbits on their properties.

If you are vendor and are planning to attend the meet please be sure to give Mario a call at 817-751-5775 or send him a text. We need to be able to make sure we have space reserved for you. Also, a set number of rooms are on hold specifically for vendors, so please let us know and get you name on the list.

Earlier this year, request for raffle donations was sent out by email and letter. I have received several donations and been told of many others that will be brought to the meet. NAFA greatly appreciates the support of the nightly raffle. If you have questions, please contact Robert Huber at 405-334-9534,

We look forward to seeing you at Elk City 2016.

Ryan VanZant and Robert Huber, Co-chair

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:  



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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