Exam Dates Set for Wildlife Rehab, Tracking-Dog Licenses

The state Department of Environmental Conservation Thursday announced exam dates for residents seeking a license to practice falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals.

The exams are scheduled for Friday, April 3, from 10 a.m. until noon at most regional DEC offices. Registration deadline is March 13. 

The exams will run from 10 a.m. to noon at most DEC Regional Offices across the state. The deadline for registering to take any of these free exams is Friday, March 13. Exam registration forms are available on DEC’s website.

Apprentice Falconry License

Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk. A falconry study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. The cost of a five-year falconry license is $40.

To qualify for the Apprentice Falconry license, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam
  • be at least 14 years of age
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license
  • maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors.

Wildlife Rehabiltator License

Wildlife rehabilitators provide for the care of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals for the purpose of returning rehabilitated animals to the wild. Prospective applicants are encouraged to gain experience by serving as an assistant to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A wildlife rehabilitator study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. There is no cost for the license, which is good for five years.

To qualify for the Wildlife Rehabilitator License, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  • be at least 16 years of age; and
  • be interviewed by DEC Regional wildlife staff.

Leashed Tracking Dog Handler License

Leashed tracking dog handlers use their dogs to track and recover dead, wounded, or injured big game. Leashed tracking dog handlers aid hunters in locating wounded big game that otherwise may go unrecovered. A leashed tracking dog study guide is available at no cost from DEC. There is a $50 license fee for the five-year license and a $25 non-refundable application fee.

To qualify for a Leashed Tracking Dog Handler License, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam; and
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license.

To apply for any of these exams, visit the NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit website and complete an exam registration form. Applicants can mail, fax, or email the completed form to: NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; fax: 518-402-8925; email: [email protected]. For phone inquiries, contact 518-402-8985

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