Tucker Taylor from Galena is a general falconer, licensed and skilled in the sport of falconry.

Early in the spring semester of 2010, he brought his red tail hawk, Isis, to the CCC-Columbus Technical Campus to show the students his hawk.

Taylor uses his hawk to hunt for rabbits and squirrels. He participates in field meets with others who practice the sport of falconry. Falconry is a sport which involves the use of trained raptors (birds of prey) to hunt or pursue game for humans. There are two traditional terms used to describe a person involved in falconry: a falconer flies a falcon; an austringer flies a hawk or an eagle. In modern falconry the Red Tailed Hawk and the Harris hawk are often used. The words “hawking” and “hawker” have become used so much to mean petty traveling traders, that the terms “falconer” and “falconry” now apply to all use of trained birds of prey to catch game.

Taylor began practicing falconry at the age of 16. He trapped his hawk three years ago and trained her to hunt. For the first two years of training, Taylor had to have a general falconer sponsor and train him in the sport. When just getting started, only the red tail hawk or American Kestrel can be used and must be trapped, not raised from a baby. Upon receiving a general permit, a falconer is allowed to take any bird of prey except eagles and most owls to use in the sport of falconry.

Isis recently participated in a hunt in Dodge City and caught a jackrabbit which is one of the highest red tail hawking achievements. Taylor’s next bird of prey will be a great horned owl. Taylor will bring Isis back to the CCC-Columbus campus and do a demonstration flight for the students when the weather is better.