Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Student brings his hunting hawk to college "When Andrew Fleming packed for college, he needed two cars: One for his clothes, computer and mini refrigerator, and the other for his red-tailed hawk Belle and all her gear.

Hawks don´t always travel light. In Belle´s case, she needed her perch, food freezer and water tub, among other things.

Fleming is not only a student at Unity College, but he´s also a student of falconry, the hunting of wild quarry using birds of prey. So when the freshman showed up at the central Maine campus, Belle was in tow.

........Falconers must have federal as well as state licenses. Maine has 20 licensed falconers, said Mark Stadley of the state Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department. Maine also requires a hunting license is the bird hunts, Stadley said.

Novice falconers, who must be at least 16 in Maine, must pass an exam, have a mentor and maintain their apprentice´s status for two years. The next stage, general falconer, covers a minimum of five years. After seven years, a falconer can become a master.

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