It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news that NAFA’s founding member and first president Hal Webster passed away yesterday, May 31, at the age of 99.
A dear friend to many of us, Hal’s contributions to falconry were immense and lasting. In 1961 Hal brought falconers together from across the United States and from Canada to form the North American Falconers Association at his new home in Denver. He became NAFA’s first president and without his visionary early leadership NAFA, as we know it today would not exist.
Hal also founded the Colorado Hawking Club. He co-authored North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks. First published in 1964 and now in its 9th edition, this is the “bible” of falconry for so many of us.
Hal was an ardent supporter of falconry for 78 years and has been a ceaseless campaigner for less governmental interference of licensed falconers. He was instrumental in establishing the falcon mascot project concept at the U.S. Air Force Academy and acted as advisor to them for many years. His efforts led to the legalization of falconry and the protection of raptors in Colorado prior to their inclusion in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Graduated from University of Arizona at Tucson, B.S. in Political Science, 1942; Received J.D. from University of Denver, 1952, and was a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy, actively serving during World War II from 1942 to 1945.
Words cannot adequately convey our sorrow at the loss the falconry family is experiencing with Hal’s passing. Hal’s life touched us all and we know his legacy will continue to impact and benefit falconry for generations to come.
Join us as the falconry community remembers and celebrates Hal’s life at the Archives of Falconry Rendezvous on April 20 next year.