Nongame Wildlife Program

Falconry Permit Application Requirements

This section Contains information on:

How to apply for your permit

All falconers are required to obtain a state permit through the MN DNR to practice falconry in Minnesota. To obtain a falconry permit you must:

  1. Download or request the MN DNR falconry packet
  2. Study State and Federal regulations and recommended reading materials
  3. Contact Heidi Cyr, Falconry Coordinator, to take the written exam and submit the Falconry Exam Application
  4. Pass the the falconry exam with a score of at least an 80%
  5. Find a sponsor
  6. Construct your facilities (both mews and weathering area) and pass the Facility and Equipment Inspection.
  7. Return the completed permit application form This link leads to an external site. This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. to Heidi Cyr.

New permittee exams, inspections, and permits are generally not conducted between December 1 and May 1st due to workloads associated with other permits (however, exceptions can be made as time permits).  The falconry permitting process often takes many months. It may be completed in 2-3 months, but it could take the entire first season.  Timing is dependent upon the speed in which the permittee completes the steps (particularly step #6) and the month the permittee starts the process (June and July are best).  Scheduling a time to take the exam or facilities inspection often takes 2-3 weeks.  An additional 4-6 weeks is often required from complete permit application submission to receipt of a fully signed permit and band. 



1. Minnesota Falconry Packet

2. Regulations

3. Falconry Coordinator Contact Information

Heidi Cyr, Falconry Coordinator 
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155-4025



Fax: 651-296-1811


4. About the written exam

Examination questions emphasize the practical aspects and obligations of being a falconer. Knowledge of scientific names and obscure publications is not required. The examination has 100 multiple choice questions, and requires at least 80 correct answers to pass.  Topics covered and number of questions in each section are as follows:

An applicant who fails the examination must wait at least two weeks before retaking the exam.  More information on the falconry exam is located in the Exam Factsheet (part of the Minnesota Falconry Packet above).


5. Sponsorship program

All Junior Apprentice and Apprentice class permit holders are required to have a General or Master class falconer permittee as a sponsor. General class sponsors must have at least 24 months' experience with their own birds at General class.  The mentoring between the sponsor and the Apprentice is considered to be essential to insure proper development of the Apprentice's falconry skills.  An Apprentice's training will include capturing, caring for, training, flying, hunting, and releasing raptors.  Your sponsor must confirm that they will act as your sponsor by signing the "Sponsor's Certification" in the application form or downloading a Sponsor Certification Form. More information on the roles and responsibilities of sponsors and Apprentices is located in the Minnesota Falconry Packet.


6. Facility and equipment inspection

Before a falconry permit is issued, the raptor housing facilities and falconry equipment must be inspected and approved by a Conservation Officer, Nongame specialist, or Falconry Coordinator. All permitted falconers must have and maintain both a mews (indoor housing) and weathering area (outdoor housing) that will accommodate all raptors they possess. Do not start construction on your facilities until you have completed steps 1-5.

For more information on facilities and equipment requirements please see "Falconry Care, Facilities, and Inspections"


How to Renew your Permit

Falconry Permits are valid for 3 years, and expire on September 30 of the 3rd year.  To renew your Falconry Permit you must:

  1. Pass a facilities and equipment inspection performed by a Conservation Officer, Nongame Specialist, or Falconry Coordinator.
  2. Return the completed Falconry Permit Application Form This link leads to an external site. This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. to heidi.cyr@state.mn.us when replying via email to the Annual Falconry Information Email.
  3. Renewal requests must be submitted 30 days before the permit expires.