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Use of Captive-reared Birds for the Training of Raptors in the Sport of Falconry

Photo of a Bald Eagle landing.

Bald Eagle landing

Possession of captive-reared upland game birds for training raptors is unlawful unless the individual has authorization from the department. That authorization is obtained by applying for and acquiring a free permit issued through each of the FWP regional offices. The applicant must state the location (township, range, and section) where the training will take place and must have permission to use that area if it is not owned by the applicant. If the birds are to be held for more than 1 day, the applicant must also describe the type of enclosure in which they will be held. The species and number of birds that are to be used for raptor training must also be indicated. A maximum of 20 birds per season (August 1 through December 31) is allowed. This permit does not authorize the selling, breeding, or propagation of captive reared upland game birds. Raptor training permits expire March 31 at the end of falconry season and a new permit must be obtained to begin training the next year on August 1.

The application is reviewed by the regional office and a permit number affixed to the approved application. The permit number on the completed permit allows the holder of the permit to lawfully purchase captive-reared upland game birds from a licensed game bird farm in Montana or to have the birds shipped to the permit holder from out of state. If birds are shipped into Montana from out of state, the shipper must obtain a health certificate and an import permit for the shipment of birds from the Montana Department of Livestock (406-444-2976). In addition, all birds shipped into Montana must be from National Poultry Improvement Program approved sources.

Falconry training may not occur within 1 mile of any designated game preserve, bird nesting or management area. The applicant must attempt to flush all wild birds from the training area each day training occurs and all captive birds used must be marked with a streamer of fluorescent surveyor tape conspicuously attached prior to release at the training site. Finally, birds may only be killed on the day they are released. All birds not killed become the property of the state.



There are no fees associated with this application.

Game Bird Use Application


Application for Permit to Use Captive-Reared Upland Game Birds for the Training of Raptors in the Sport of Falconry 35 KB 87 KB