Training & Hunting Techniques

Like with most animals, the trick to training is to teach the animal that you are their source of food and comfort. This bond will also build trust, and in our case increase the chances that your falcon will return to you after you have released it to fly. Living in the wild can be tough for a falcon, so ensuring it knows that you mean to look after it, feed it, provide it with water will set you are on your way to having a trained falcon. There must be a balance between allowing the falcon to do what comes naturally and using its basic instinct of hunting and not overindulge them like you would, feeding a cat or dog whenever they’re hungry.

Training and hunting is a traditional art that has been practiced for centuries and many techniques have remained the same and makes Arab falconry a real passionate sport. New falcons are selected based on a series of selection processes, including body condition, weight, size and age etc. The importance of each is dependent on the falconer – and I am sure they will have their reasons. All new falcons are appraised, measured and discussed before being selected for training and prepared for hunting season.

Early training includes manning a new bird to hand feeding techniques and familiarizing the falcon to being hooded and un-hooded. A well fed, good conditioned falcon is taken for real training in the field to enable them to be prepared for the coming hunting season. Naming a falcon and continuously calling them is also a technique to keep the falcon tame. Early training is given to falcons to teach them to fly to the falconer’s fist from the perch; slowly they are taken to the lure for field training. Some falcons are also trained with live pigeons first and later changed to lure. Traditional lure are made of few houbara wings tied up with a garnish of meat.