Yes, falconry is legal but only if you have a falconry license and adhere to the regulations. In order to get a license you must take and pass a written test, find a sponsor falconer to train you in an apprenticeship (usually a year or two in length), and prove to the California Game and Fish Department that you have the proper facility to house a raptor. Upon completing this process you will be legally allowed to own and use a bird of prey for hunting purposes. While these laws seem very strict and can certainly be a hassle, they are purely set in place in order to protect the birds from abuse. Joining a club is a great way to share this experience with fellow falconers who all share a love for keeping falconry as an art form. Actually, California is home to the United States largest and most renown falconry clubs, the California Hawking Club.
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