General Info - Statewide Permit
A permit, issued by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, to possess birds of prey (hawks, falcons, owls) for hunting game species by means of a trained raptor.
Falconry is the sport of taking wildlife by means of a trained raptor. There are three classes of permits for which you may apply: Apprentice Class, General Class, or Master Class.
Obtaining the Permit
Ready to get your permit? - Steps, Requirements, and Documents
Apprentice Class - Applicants must be at least 14 years old and must have a sponsor who holds a General or Master Falconry Permit.
Apprentice Class - A Falconry Apprentice Permittee must have a sponsor for a minimum of two years.
Apprentice Class - An Apprentice may not possess more than one raptor (and may only possess the American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, or Red-shouldered Hawk) and may not obtain more than one raptor for replacement during any 12-month period.
Apprentice Class - An apprentice falconer must pass a test and have their raptor facilities inspected prior to obtaining a permit.
Apprentice Class - An apprentice falconry permit may not be issued until the applicant has answered correctly at least 80 percent of the questions given on a supervised examination administered regionally by the department's Wildlife and Heritage Service.
Apprentice Class - After successful completion of the test, a site inspection of your completed raptor facility, known as a mew, will occur. When you pass the mews’ inspection your State of Maryland permit will be issued.
General Class - Applicants must be at least 16 years old and have at least two years of experience in the practice of falconry at the Apprentice Class level, or its equivalent.
General Class - A General Class Falconer may not possess more than three raptors and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement during any 12-month period.
General Class - A General Permittee may not take, transport, or possess any species listed as threatened or endangered in federal regulations published pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Master Class - Applicants must have at least five years of experience in the practice of falconry at the General Class level, or its equivalent.
Master Class - Also, a Master Class Falconer may not possess more than five raptors from the wild and may not obtain more than two raptors for replacement during any 12-month period.
Master Class - A Master Class Falconer may possess any number of captively-produced raptors.
Master Class - A Master Permittee may not take, transport or possess any species listed as threatened or endangered in federal regulations pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 unless authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Apply for the Permit
Ready to apply?
Download the application .PDF file
Maintaining Your Permit
Renewal and maintenance -
Maintaining your Permit (aka Related forms/requirements to maintain Permit/stay in good standing)
An annual report is required to renew this permit.
Permit Issuer - Information
Tel: (410) 260-8540
What laws and regulations give Department of Natural Resources the legal authority to issue this approval?