Falconry License


A Falconry License allows an individual who wishes to take raptors in this state or to practice falconry. However, before receiving your license, you must pass a falconry examination with at least an 80%. More details are under the License Restrictions/Conditions section below.

The North American Falconers Association will be hosting an Introduction to Falconry Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Historic Rural Hill Farm located at 4431 Neck Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078.

The workshop is open to anyone 12 and older; however, children 12-17 years old must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. The registration fee is $50 and includes lunch. Register at www.n-a-f-a.com/event/2023ITFW

Note: This page is for the Falconry License and its requirements. If you are interested in learning more about the art of practicing falconry, you can also visit N.C. Falconers Guild.

License Restrictions, Rules and Conditions


A supervised examination administered by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) will contain questions relevant to the basic biology, care, and handling of raptors, literature, laws, and regulations. The examination is not required if the applicant holds a current valid permit or license from another state, tribe, or territory meeting the federal standards and has been certified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Prior to a resident of North Carolina receiving a Falconry License, the applicant’s raptor housing facilities and falconry equipment must meet the minimum standards of 15A NCAC 10H .0808. (Falconry Sponsor Inspection Report for Apprentice's Facility)

Individuals who have relocated to North Carolina have 60 days to apply for a North Carolina Falconry License. Until the license is granted, the applicant may keep any lawfully obtained raptors in facilities described in 15A NCAC 10H .0808 and may practice falconry provided the applicant has a permit or license from a state, tribe, or territory that has been certified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Non-residents may substitute a valid falconry permit or license from their state in replacement of the examination and a letter if required as described in 15A NCAC 10H .0807.

Falconry Licenses are issued at three levels based on age and experience:

  • Apprentice level applicants must provide a letter from a sponsor and are subject to the conditions, requirements, and limitations set forth in 50 CFR 21.82(c)(2)(i). In addition, the following restrictions apply: The apprentice’s sponsor must live within 200 miles of the apprentice. A sponsor may not have more than three apprentices at any one time. A sponsor must provide written notification to the NCWRC when she/he decides to stop sponsoring an apprentice. The NCWRC will notify the apprentice, who must then obtain another sponsor within 90 days. If the apprentice fails to obtain a sponsor or notify the NCWRC of a new sponsor in that time period, the apprentice’s raptor will be seized by the NCWRC and the license revoked. If the applicant fails to obtain another sponsor or notify the NCWRC of a new sponsor after 180 days, the apprentice shall reapply and be reexamined prior to the reissuance of his/her license. Note: You must be at least 12 years of age and have a letter from a Master Falconer or a General Falconer who is at least 18 years old and has at least two years’ experience at the General Falconer level.

  • General level applicants must include a letter from a General or Master and are subject to conditions, requirements, and limitations as described in 50 CFR 21.82(c)(2)(ii). Note: You must at least be at least 16 years of age and submit a document from a General Falconer or Master Falconer stating that you have practiced falconry with raptor(s) at the Apprentice level or equivalent for at least 2 years, including maintaining, training, flying, and hunting the raptor(s) for at least 4 months in each year.

  • Master level applicants are subject to the conditions, requirements, and limitations as described in 50 CFR 21.82(c)(2)(iii). Note: You must have practiced falconry with your own raptor(s) at the General level for at least 5 years.


A falconer with an expired license may apply for a new license at their previous level provided the falconer can show proof he has previously met the requirements for that falconry level. A falconer who has not had an active license within the past five years may apply for a new license but must pass a facilities inspection in addition to showing proof she/he has previously met the requirements for that falconry level.


Any applicant less than 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian co-sign the application. The parent or legal guardian is legally responsible for the underage falconer’s activities.

Unless otherwise indicated on the license form, Falconry Licenses are valid from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

Download the current Falconry License Rules from the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings and Federal Falconry Regulations:


How to Obtain a License


Complete an online application at Go Outdoors North Carolina. Once your online application has been submitted, the appropriate staff will review the application. If your application is approved, you will receive an approval email with a link to purchase the license. You must purchase the approved license within 30 days of approval. This license has a $11 license fee plus a $5.00 transaction fee payable by a Visa or MasterCard. All license fees are non-refundable.

At the time of submission, the sponsor must be available to accept an apprentice.



License Forms

Falconry Sponsor Inspection Report for Apprentice's Facility (PDF)
Apprentice Upgrade Form (PDF)    

USFWS 3-186A Website 

3-186A Quick Start Guide

Contact Information


Address:   North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 
Customer Service Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
 Phone: 833-950-0575
 Fax: 919-707-0292