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September President's Message

Saturday, September 1, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheldon Nicolle
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 September 1, 2018



Time flies when you're having fun and this summer is flying by. For many of us in the U.S., today marks the start to a long holiday weekend as we celebrate Labor Day on Monday. Hopefully you all get a chance to spend some time with your loved ones before you disappear for another falconry season.

Personally speaking, Labor Day has always signified the beginning of the hawking season for me. 'Back in the old days', when we could only trap September 15 - December 31, this was the time to get everything ready for the trapping and hunting. It was time to get out and spot those big resident birds you really wanted. For some strange reason I was always very eager to be one of the first people out there hunting their freshly trapped hawks, even though the trees were still covered in leaves and it was 100 degrees outside. Trapping still ranks way up there on my list of things to do, and if social media is a barometer, it's the same for a lot of you reading this too. Trapping season has started - in earnest. Thankfully it's beginning to look and smell a lot like fall out there. Come on cooler weather, would you hurry up already!

This President's Message is again packed with a lot of important information put together by a lot of different folks. These folks are NAFA members who volunteer to perpetuate falconry for all of us. Their dedication, time, and energy inspires me to do what I do, and to be frankly honest no body could do all this without them. Please remember, at the end of the day, it's just a whole bunch of volunteers doing what they can to give back to the sport we all cherish by by doing their part. Sometimes it's helping to answer emails, or organize events, share stories and pictures on social media, or in some other way to help make falconry fun for all of us. 
I harp on the energy of our volunteers because it is the fuel that moves this organization. NAFA has a large and diverse group of volunteers helping to direct and steer this organization. That includes the Directors who represent you in guiding and directing NAFA today and into the future. Whenever you have the opportunity, please join me in thanking NAFA's volunteers, the folks who are willing to step up to the challenge and serve, the fuel of our club.



NAFA Elections


With our recent Mountain Directorate election now completed I would like to thank Jenni Buckley, Michelle Losee, and Roger Tucker for their willingness to help lead NAFA. Almost 35% of the 290 qualified members of the Mountain Directorate took the time to vote. Thanks to each of you  for taking the time to let your voice be heard. It was a close election and I'm pleased to announce that Roger Tucker, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was elected to represent the Mountain Directorate. Director Tucker brings a wealth of experience and energy to the Mountain Directorate and I'm eager to start working with him on future NAFA projects.


Joining Director-Elect Tucker as one of NAFA's new leaders starting January 1, 2019 are South Pacific Director-Elect Jana Barkley of Brownsville, California and Canadian Director-Elect Guy Rondeau of Québec, Québec. Welcome to the party!


Outgoing directors Gary Boberg (South Pacific Director), Jenni Buckley (Mountain Director), and Martin Geleynse (Canadian Director) deserve a huge thank you for their service to NAFA. None of whom are going to be allowed to wonder off too far. Thanks guys for all your hard work and time!



Québec Wild Take


Falconers in Québec received some very good news recently. For several years the provincial government had been reviewing potential changes to the wildlife in captivity regulations. The falconers of Québec, supported by NAFA (see here), the IAF and other falconry organizations, had been pushing their government for a wild take.


On August 7, 2018, these efforts were rewarded when the new regulations were published allowing Québec falconers to take wild birds for the first time! The regulations take effect September 6. This represents a huge win for Québec falconers who had to work hard for many years just to get falconry legalized with captive-bred birds. The new regulations aren’t perfect, but they are a great start and signal a new era in cooperation between falconers and the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. With this success, 8 of 10 Canadian provinces have legal falconry including wild take. Congratulations to the AFQ and AQFA members who have promoted falconry for many years, as well as everyone who wrote letters in support of this initiative.



Saskatchewan Falconry Association Field Meet


I'm pleased to report that preregistration has been extended for 2 more days days. The 'early bird' discounted price will not be available after tomorrow so join me in registering to attend SFA's 60th Anniversary Field Meet today. I hear Canucks know how to throw a party! 


It's online until 9/16/2018!!! Time is running out to registering for the 60th Anniversary Saskatchewan Falconry Association Field Meet scheduled for October 1 thru October 7, 2018 in the beautiful prairie town of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Ever need an excuse to take a bird north of the board to go hunt ducks? Here's your chance!! Start making plans today to attend today!!

NAFA, VP Geleynse, reports that a handful of American's are attending with their birds and NAFA members from far and wide have also registered. This is going to be a great international meet that I'm really looking forward to. Cites permits are currently being processed.

Folks, this is your chance to experience some unparalleled duck and upland hawking with your bird or as a spectator. Don't let this opportunity slip away. 





2018 NAFA Eagle Meet


This year's Eagle Falconry Meet is only five weeks away.  The Meet Committee has lined up some great speakers for each evening. Several Falconers with their eagles are expected to attend. Some beautiful hoods and other falconry related items are being auctioned, along with a Marshall GPS system, to raise funds for three falconry and raptor conservation efforts. Reports from the field indicate the hunting could be very good this year.  There will be door prizes each evening, and a limited number of game bags and t-shirts will be given to the folks who register early.  Be sure and register now to get yours.  This year's Eagle Meet will not disappoint. 





2018 NAFA Field Meet


We are just a little over three months away from this year’s NAFA field meet in Lubbock, December 2nd-7th. Remember that you have just over a month to register to get the early bird registration prices.

This year’s raffle coordinator is Krys Langevin. If you would like to donate to the raffle this year, please get in touch with Krys at 817-528-9743 or NAFA depends on the generosity of members and vendors to have a good raffle that helps fund all of our other operations through the year, so any donation is welcome.

Our vendor coordinator is Mario Nickerson. If you would like to sell items in the vendor space, please contact Mario at 817-751-5775 or

As some of you saw on our official public facebook page, Chris Comeaux has graciously offered to do the shrimp boil again this year; hopefully you can make it to what us always a fun event.

Brandi has been working hard on procuring meet shirts, pins, swag and all the little details leading up to the meet. I’ve been doing some land acquisition and am proud to report that we have already secured about 2500 acres of land to hunt. I’ll be making several land acquisition trips to the area in the next three months so look for updates as we get closer and into hawking season.

As always, if you have any questions about the meet please feel free to contact either Brandi (940-507-0333) or me at 817-575-7256 or As always, let’s hope for rain.




Conservation Committee Items


Conservation Through Participation! Two very important action items! Please consider helping by participating in NAFA's conservation efforts. Below are two short messages from Conservation Committee Chairman Nate Bickford.


Citizen Scientist Volunteers Wanted

Dear Falconer, I would like to ask you to be a volunteer for raptor research in your area. I am a creating a database of people that would be interested in helping raptor researchers in your area. Falconers have knowledge about raptors in the area that could be invaluable. I cannot promise that you will be contacted but those that are contacted will not only be invaluable to researchers but also ambassadors of the falconry community to research. The database will not be shared openly. Researchers will be made aware of its existence and then they will have to get in touch with Chair of Conservation Committee or President of NAFA. Please send your preferred contact method to Nate Bickford at bickfordna@unk.eduThanks, Nate


Survey - Folks, this is important. Please take a few minutes over the holiday weekend to complete Conservation Committee Survey - As promised the Conservation Committee has put together a short survey to help guide NAFA's future efforts . 


Dear NAFA Member,

Hi! My name is Nate Bickford, I am the Chair of the Conservation Committee and a faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Nebraska Kearney (Nebraska, USA). Conservation is an important topic for any hunting group. This survey has been prepared to gauge the general memberships’ interest in various parts of conservation and how it best relates to you.

As part of this research I would like to conduct a survey (by completing the survey via the emailed link below). The survey should take 15 Minutes. Participants must be over 18 years old. Participating in the study is voluntary.


Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Nate

Nate Bickford
University of Nebraska at Kearney


Conservation Through Participation! Please participate and help be a part of NAFA's important conservation efforts. The survey will help us focus our future efforts.



Eagle Rehab Falconers Needed


As we all know, falconry based raptor rehabilitation is very effective method of assessing and preparing injured raptors for a successful release.


Currently there are several eagles that are needing to be placed with  If you are interested in assisting please reach out to Joe Atkinson at for more information.



The Falconry Fund - I'm pleased to share an important message from Falconry Fund President, Allen Ayers. Please join me in making a donation to the fund.


The Falconry Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2016 that provides falconers an opportunity to insure the continuance of the sport as well as to promote the sport through various programs established in its’ organizational documents approved by the IRS. It was organized by volunteers to advocate tangible and intangible aspects of the art and practice of falconry locally, nationally and globally. NAFA has partnered with the Falconry Fund this month in conjunction with one of NAFA’s many missions to create and further an environment to sustain and promote the art of falconry.

The Board of Trustees includes myself and eight other dedicated board members. Carter Wilford, who many of you know from his efforts in promoting the use of Eagles for falconry purposes is the Executive Director. We are passionate about the purpose and mission of NAFA and the Falconry Fund and are excited to insure the sport progresses forward in a positive direction. My opinion is that this is a golden age for the practice of falconry and we are working hard to continue to improve and insure the future of falconry.

A private donor has graciously agreed to match Falconry Fund donations up to $10,000. We are a more than half way there including one generous single donation of $5,000 dollars. We are striving to get this matched by the end of August. This money is vital in our efforts to support and sustain falconry for current and future generations, so please donate if you can. Remember that all donation made to the falconry fund are tax deductible. You can contribute using paypal by clicking THIS LINK, or by sending a check to, The Falconry Fund, Inc., c/o Vince Amalfitano, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. 101 Lindenwood Drive, Suite 225 Malvern, PA 19355.

Please be generous in giving to our way of life.

Thanks and Good Hawking!
Allen K. Ayers, CPA
President-Falconry Fund
Cell phone: 410-310-2733



West Nile Virus


We've been hearing numerous reports of West Nile Virus (WNV) affecting falconry birds around the country. Recently it seems to be really bad in the midwest, specifically Wisconsin. I'm reminded of the recent article, Ivermectin as a Possible Treatment for West Nile Virus in Raptors, by Dr. Meg Robinson D.V.M in the April 2018 Hawk Chalk. I know this process has saved numerous birds recently. If by chance your treat your bird using this protocol, Dr. Robinson would love to hear from you.


Online Weathering Yard


As an organization, communication and sharing of timely information is important.  To better facilitate membership engagement NAFA is rolling out a new members online community that we are fondly calling the 'Online Weathering Yard'. To access this new community simply login in using your member ID and password and you'll be presented with the new NAFA Weathering Yard community pages. In time it's our hope that members will use this new and exciting tool to reach out to other falconers either in their own back yard or around the world. 


We are pleased to announce that the new NAFA Weathering Yard Online member community is now available on your desktop or via a downloadable app called SocialLink. You will be reading more about thi this new community and app in the coming days and weeks. You can expect a brand new way to easily connect with fellow members, share information across the NAFA online network, register for meets, pay your membership dues, and manage your membership preferences. Finding member information and updates has never been easier thanks to this exciting


new enhancement!


To download the app on your mobile phone or other device:

Direct links: Google play store | Apple store


OR search “SocialLink” in the app store on your mobile phone or other device and download.
To login to the app, you use the same membership login from the NAFA website.
Once logged in it will ask you to confirm some of your personal preferences for the app – you can always go back and adjust these later.

We encourage you to stay logged in to the app for easy access, however, if you do choose to sign out the app will remain on your mobile phone or other device. If you have issues logging back in, clear the cache on your phone.

This is a membership directory on your phone! Make friends, manage groups, post pictures, ask questions, this is a true membership engagement tool that I hope you will all take the time to learn about and enjoy.

*This community and app is available to current NAFA members only and requires a member login to access. To become a member, click here.


More to come!!! Stay Tuned!!!



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Finally, in closing......... Always remember...... "Our differences as falconers make us stronger, but falconry is what unites us! Falconry makes us family!"


Be safe this holiday weekend and remember to cherish every moment you have with the people that you love!

Thank you all for your continued support!




(214) 288-0670

NAFA Hawk Chalk is now Online....


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the Complimentary Associate

Membership for Apprentices...


Call you State Representative and ask them to support the Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA). RAWA would indeed mean transformative change for people and wildlife, the kind of breakthrough that comes once in a generation. But it won’t happen unless people who care get informed, get involved and work together. CLICK HERE to learn more

The Falconry Fund



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  North American Falconers Association Mission and Purpose is...
  • to improve, aid, and encourage competency in the art and practice of falconry among interested persons; 
  • to provide communication among and to disseminate information to interested Members; 
  • to promote scientific study of the raptorial species, their care, welfare and training; 
  • to promote conservation of the birds of prey and an appreciation of their value in nature and in wildlife conservation programs; 
  • to urge recognition of falconry as a legal field sport; 
  • and, to establish traditions which will aid, perpetuate, and further the welfare of falconry and the raptors it employs.


Brian McDonald,

"Brian McDonald, age 90, passed away this morning (Sat, Aug. 25) in Houston from the effects of a stroke. He had not been an active falconer or NAFA member for many years, but his early falconry resume was notable. He began hawking in his early teens with cousin Steve Gatti. Together they walked the beach at Assateague to catch their first peregrines in 1944. He developed the pigeon harness for trapping there and was one of the best beach trappers of that era. He was also a craftsman of fine hoods and other falconry equipment and traveled far from his Virginia home to hawk with peregrines and goshawks at early NAFA meets.

If anyone would like to remember Brian and his wife Joanne, who passed in 2001 and was also a falconer. My intent is that we raise at least $2K for the Archives and dedicate plaques to both next April. I know that would have pleased Brian immensely." - Mike Yates

Stephen Boyd

This morning (September 1) the Texas falconry family unexpectedly lost a truly great person. Steve Boyd was a great friend and inspiration to many of us. A genuinely nice guy that when you met him it was as if you had been friends for life. The first time I ever saw a falcon take a duck was by Guapo, Steve’s high flying and iconic falcon at my very first THA meet in Abilene. I'll never forget that. It was always a telemetry flight with Steve and Guapo, that little falcon would go so high you never knew when he was overhead. Hawking with Steve was always a blast, the man knew how to have a good time. Steve was a passionate and dedicated falconer and a great frien to all.

Rest in peace my friend, you are already missed by so many! Plans are underway to remember Steve Boyd next April at the Archives of Falconry.



What can I state that hasn’t already been mentioned with becoming a NAFA member.My first NAFA meet was extremely exciting, met so many awesome and gracious falconers and their families, got my first game pin, and won many items at the nightly raffles and not to mention the great time everyone has when finally gathering to get outhawking or at the end of the days hunt to relive their day in the field. NAFA is a huge part of my life. In the beginning I watched and listened to the NAFA board and officers, behind the scene committees, and others that help get you started on your way to becoming a member, they are tirelessly keeping falconry legal and acceptable not only to us falconers but to the world and I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work, not to mention this is all done through volunteerism. Now this is where I felt I could give back to NAFA! Bob and I were weathering yard wardens for 3 years, I chaired the 2001 NAFA meet in Lamar, Colorado and in 2010 I became the NAFA sales representative and still work that position. Even to this day I feel I haven’t given enough to NAFA for what they have given to me. Since joining NAFA in 1992 we have made new friends, lost some dear friends and continue to enjoy all the friendships falconry and NAFA have to offer.If you haven’t joined NAFA or been to a NAFA meet, please do so, you won’t be disappointed with the dedication of all these fine folks.

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