A Falconry Manual
by Frank L. Beebe
While scouring the internet for more information on falconry, I noticed Frank Beebe's name quite often. He seems to be regarded as one of falconry's modern masters. So I logged on to the Hennepin County library system and found this book was the only book they had by him.
First, a couple of things:
The book was written in the early 80's and while I am no expert, I assume the rules and regulations regarding falconry have changed somewhat since then.
Also, Mr. Beebe writes often of his unhappiness with regulations and the organizations responsible for making many of those regulations possible. I don't doubt that some mistakes have probably been made my groups like the Peregrine Fund and others but everything I have read up until now, including books by bird/raptor enthusiasts who are falconers, usually praise the overall efforts of these groups. I am assuming that it was much more difficult to acquire a raptor (especially a peregrine) in the early 80's and that lead to much of Mr. Beebe's distrust.
With that in mind, I found the book to be very informative although lacking in enough detail to make it a "bible" of falconry. The illustrations are not detailed enough to walk you through the construction of a hood or jess. This might be intentional on the author's part. Before you can become a falconer you should spend a lot of time as an apprentice to a falconer (I believe it is even required in Minnesota).
The book is a great primer to those interested in a "behind the scenes" look at falconry as opposed to other books, like my previous review, which focus mainly on the hunting itself. I look forward to reading many more books like this one, including others by Mr. Beebe. I just wish my library had them.