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September President's Message

Friday, September 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheldon Nicolle
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September 1, 2017



Dear Member,




Vice President Nicolle and THA Secretary/Treasurer Corey Roelke have been doing a good job of monitoring our fellow falconers in Texas to ensure that there isn’t anyone in our community in need of help or in a dire situation.  At this time, we don’t believe any falconers or their immediate families or animals have been harmed or displaced by the severe situation caused by Hurricane Harvey.  To the best of our knowledge all southeast Texas falconers are safe and still in their homes.  My personal friend, Bill Satterfield was down there and is currently stuck in a hotel in Houston, but is safe.  If we do hear any news of folks needing help we will certainly do whatever we can do to offer assistance.  Natural disasters like this one are reminders of how tightly knit our community can be.  As an example, I’ll never forget the kindness extended to Tom and Jennifer Coulson by Falconry Fund President Matt Mullenix and his family when Hurricane Katrina devastated southern Louisiana in 2005.  Luckily, it seems that none of the falconers in TX are currently in need of the kind of help that the Coulson’s needed back then.


NAFA Proudly Supports the Falconry Fund



Our Eagle Committee Chairman Carter Wilford and Vice President Sheldon Nicolle traveled to Washington D.C. for a meeting with the new Acting Director Greg Sheehan, Assistant Director Jerome Ford, and others with the Service’s Migratory Bird Division. Most good relationships are built on respect and this meeting exemplifies the respect NAFA has for the Service and the Service has for NAFA.

The majority of the meeting was focused on eagle take and increasing opportunities and access to Golden Eagles for falconry. There is exciting news coming that we await formal clarification from the Service on as it relates to the interpretation of current regulations and how to facilitate the take of Golden Eagles going forward.

Access to peregrines was briefly discussed as well. At the time of the meeting, the expansion of passage take was in bureaucratic limbo awaiting placement in the Federal Register.  Many states that allow peregrine take for falconers were prepared to increase numbers at the drop of a hat for the migration this year and are still waiting for confirmation to do so.  Others have determined that they will not be able to distribute additional permits until 2018. We began a conversation on normalization of peregrine take for falconry and will continue to work toward that goal but it’s something that is going to take some time to work through. 


NAFA Proudly Supports the IAF 



The 2017 NAFA Eagle Falconry Meet and Workshop is six weeks away. 62 folks, including speakers, are registered and there’s room for 18 more to attend the workshop. Registration fees increase from $35 to $45 in mid-September. Procrastination will not only cost more, you might not get a seat at the Workshop. For $35 you get a nice banquet meal, a presentation by Lauren McGough on her eagle falconry experiences on four Continents, a Meet T-Shirt, the opportunity to hear four experts talk about Golden Eagle management, a free lunch, a pizza party, the chance to hear a panel discussion by key individuals on the future for eagle falconry in the U.S., the opportunity to hear a noted raptor veterinarian speak about her decades of experience with Golden Eagles, and most importantly, you will be able to get directly involved in hunting white tailed jackrabbits with some highly experienced falconers and their eagles. If this grabs your interest, then this is the year to attend. You can find everything you need at:

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....)





We’ve lost another member of our NAFA family.   Richard Smolin passed away on August 14th.  Adam Chavez, who serves NAFA in a Director-at-Large position is also the newly elected President of the California Hawking Club, and shared the following message with his membership on the 15th; “It is with a heavy heart that today I am informing the membership of the loss of long time CHC member Richard Smolin. Rick attended the first organized meeting of the California Hawking Club. He also represented our club for many years as our legal counsel. Rick and Tim Browne were close friends and I personally had the good fortune of travelling with these two gentlemen to several field meets, and spent hours hawking with them. One of my fondest memories was watching Rick release his Peregrine Falcon and on this occasion it caught a duck at which point Rick realized he forgot to turn on his telemetry and he left his glove in the car. If you followed behind Rick for a season you would have obtained a complete new set of falconry gear. He left a trail of equipment in the field all over California, so next time you find a piece of equipment in the field I want you all to think of Rick. There was never a dull moment in the field with Rick. Tim and I always left the field in good spirits due to Rick’s presence. 


Rick is survived by his wife Sandy, son Jamie, and daughter Jennifer. Life is short.  Never miss an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate time in the field together, pursuing the art and cultural heritage that we all love so much. “ - Adam Chavez.






Last year your 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.





And now, a quick word from our wonderful raffle pixie;

My name is Michelle Bierma and I am a Minnesota falconer. I am writing to you in regards
 to the 2017 Annual Field Meet. This year’s meet theme is “Respect the Game” and will be held in Kearney, Nebraska November 19-24th. Each year 150-400 falconers and hunting enthusiasts from around the country and the world come together to celebrate what is now considered a “Worldwide Intangible Cultural Heritage”. 

As the Raffle Coordinator, I am inviting you to participate in this great opportunity to introduce and promote yourself and your products, or to simply make a thoughtful, no-strings-attached donation.

NAFA is a volunteer run organization that relies on the generosity of its members and others to raise money during the annual raffles. This income allows us to secure funding for finances and activities, including monies granted to research and conservation projects. Your generosity will help to build a stronger NAFA. 

Thank you so much for considering contributing to the 2017 NAFA Field Meet. 
A gift of any size or dollar amount is greatly appreciated. Your donation can be in the form of a raffle item, a gift certificate or monetary donation. 

It’s amazing what a donation to this organization can help accomplish.

Thank you! 

Michelle Bierma Anderson,

200 109th Lane NW,

Coon Rapids, MN 55448 


Click here for NAFA Merchandise


NAFA returns to the middle of the nation for the 8th time in 2017. We will gather again in Kearney, Nebraska. Game populations are good to excellent compared to years past. 

Dates: 11/19/2017 -> 11/24/2017
Location: Kearney Holiday Inn
Cost: $89.95 per night
Must call: Direct to Hotel: (308) 237-5971

**Identify yourself as NAFA Meet participant. Third party, or reservations to any other Holiday Inn number will NOT receive the group rate.

Overflow: LaQuinta Inn: Again call Direct to hotel: (308) 237-4400 : LaQuinta is on the same property as Holiday Inn, same ownership.
**Identify yourself as NAFA Meet participant to get group rate.

Hotel is Open for Reservations!

Vendor Block of rooms held until September.

Information on meet registration through website, or on paper in August Hawk Chalk.

Meet Registration is OPEN -

For immediate questions phone Ralph Rogers, Meet Chair: @ 406 350 5487



Finally, please remember that NAFA is always here to protect and perpetuate falconry as an intangible cultural heritage. If you believe in what we are doing, and are committed to the cause, maintain your membership with us, make a financial donation to the Falconry Fund (, and see what you can do in your local community to educate the public about falconry and contribute to the conservation of wild places and wild animals.

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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