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November President's Message

Wednesday, November 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheldon Nicolle
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November 1, 2017



Dear Member,



On behalf of the NAFA Eagle Committee, Mike Barker would like to thank all of the individuals and organizations that 
financially supported the 2017 NAFA Eagle Falconry Meet and Workshop. The Meet/Workshop would not have been nearly as successful without all of the support. There were 96 people registered, and several thousand dollars for The Falconry Fund was raised. Folks got to participate in some great eagle falconry, listen to some great speakers, and enjoy the company of many folks who love being outdoors. The Meet/Workshop must have gone smoothly because the Outlaw Inn already invited us back. I think it is safe to say a great time was had by all, except for several white-tailed jackrabbits.


NAFA Proudly Supports the Falconry Fund



Vice President, Sheldon Nicolle and Eagle Committee Chairman Carter Wilford recently put their suit jackets and neck ties back on again for more grass-roots advocacy on our behalf in Washington. I can’t confirm this, but as far as I’m concerned, they were both sporting their Superman T-shirts underneath. The efforts that these two men, and others have been making to turn the tide on our issue of accessing golden eagles for falconry has been nothing short of heroic. Because of the relationships that we’ve been building, NAFA was invited to a meeting in Ryan Zinke’s office, which we accepted, and we took the opportunity during the same trip, to schedule additional face-to-face time with members of the Fish and Wildlife Service. We’ve built an outstanding amount of momentum and support on Capitol Hill, and I fully expect that NAFA will be announcing good news on the eagle front before long.


NAFA Proudly Supports the IAF 



The wildfires that covered well over a million acres of land in northern California impacted our NAFA family in a number of ways. I heard some wonderful stories of falconers reaching out to take care of those who had evacuated their homes and/or needed help caring for or relocating their birds. The most heart-wrenching story though, was of the loss of NAFA member and friend to many, Monte Kirven. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Monte this past March, while visiting NAFA member and acclaimed winemaker, John Hawley at his vineyard. Monte possessed an absolutely infectious joie de vivre, and carried himself like a man many years his junior. He was found in his home after it was consumed by a fire that had unexpectedly changed direction overnight during extremely high winds. Monte was an excellent example of the kind falconer-biologist who helped to paint our community in a most favorable light, through biological field research and educational outreach to the public. Among his many friends was past NAFA Director and biologist/author Bruce Haak. You can expect to learn more about Monte in a piece of writing that Bruce is in the process of drafting. He will be missed.

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....)



This sad news from our friends at the British Falconers' Club was shared by Kent Carnie; "It is with great regret that I pass to you the information that Roger Upton, a long-time major force in British Falconry and former president of the BFC passed away yesterday afternoon. Roger had been an early maker/supplier of falconry furniture in Britain shortly after WWII; developed a great, and participating, interest in Arab falconry becoming a recognized authority on that aspect of the sport; his fascination with the history of British falconry not only documented that history in several books but helped arouse interests in falconry history elsewhere (his example was a significant factor in the establishment of the Archives of American Falconry in 1986) — his home near Salisbury Plain was a veritable archives of British falconry; but perhaps most significantly was his place in the trio (with Geoffrey Pollard and Steven Frank) that spurred renewed grouse hawking in Scotland among the British falconry community following WWII. He was severely ravaged by the effects of Parkinson’s Disease in recent years; hopefully he has now found peace. Kent"


If you’ve attended one of our annual field meets, you know that we have a ceremony to honor our brothers and sisters who have passed away in the year since we last met. Fortunately, the list this year is significantly shorter than the list of folks we honored last November. For the benefit of those of you who will not be with us in Kearney, I’ll share that list here. If you know of anyone that I’ve missed, please contact me prior to Thanksgiving and let me know. Tom Maechtle, George Bristol, Pete Watzke, Jim Enderson, Robert Wayne Nelson, Bob McCullum, Ken Mesch, Richard Fyfe, Rick Smolin, Monte Kirven, Roger Upton.






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.




It’s amazing what a donation to this organization can help accomplish. If you’re willing to make a donation to our raffles for the upcoming field meet in Nebraska, please contact the most wonderful raffle-organizer that you’ll ever have a chance to meet;

Michelle Bierma Anderson,
200 109th Lane NW,
Coon Rapids, MN 55448 


Click here for NAFA Merchandise



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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