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7828 Hood Street
Fort Worth, Texas,76135
Falconry & Hawking Books
Welsh Hawking Club
Honorary Life Member
Montana Hawking Club
British Falconers Club
North American Falconers Association
Editor of Quarterly Publication
Colorado Hawking Club
East Denver High School
Juris Doctorate degree
University of Denver Law School
Honored Members and Falconers - North American Falconers Association
This Fellowship formally recognizes Frank L. Beebe and Harold M. Webster as the two people responsible for the founding of the North American Falconers Association.
Harold M. Webster President: Harold M. Webster Director-At-Large: Harold M. Webster Hal Webster
Falconry Links from Horsez by Hawk
North American Falconry - Hal Webster's website
California Hawking Club OnlineFalconry.com - falconer's resource site
Hal Webster, a Navy man, was the man responsible for giving the Air Force Academy its Falcons mascot, live and otherwise.
He was co-creator of the association of falconers and grouse hawkers in North America, and he co-authored the consummate book on the sport on this continent 53 years and nine editions ago. Webster turns 95 next month, and he's not done yet. "I'm writing a new book on gyrfalcons," Webster said recently in his second-floor apartment at the Sunrise Bluff Estates. "We've already got the title copyrighted, and I'm not going to give it to you." Webster started on his book-to-be-named-later two years ago and figures he has three-fourths of it in the can. He knows what you're thinking, but don't worry. "I'll get through it," he assured. One room and a corner of another in Webster's apartment overflow with 10,000 fish hooks and the streamers he ties on them. Fly-tying and fishing is a distraction from writing, for sure. "I've already got my application in for this year with Joe Sowerby on the Smith River," he said. There's not enough room in this newspaper or any other to cover half the Hal Webster stories - the years he spent well into his 90s living in a remote ranch house on a Hutterite colony north of here, the fish he's caught, the sport he built, the cigar he smokes and fine whiskey he sips to watch the Denver Broncos play. "I used to be quite a dapper bastard," Webster said with a smile. You choose your quotes carefully when you write about him. He didn't put it in these words, but said his family is (upset) at him because he just bought a shiny new Ford four-wheel-drive truck. "It's so high I can't get into the (shiny new Ford four-wheel-drive truck)," Webster said. "So I'll worry about it in the spring." Sowerby, a Missoula guide, is one of Webster's favorite people. He calls Webster "one of a kind. Webster calls him "just one sweet guy." They met at a fly-fishing show in Denver 11 or 12 years ago, and Webster has floated the Smith with Sowerby's Montana Flyfishing Connection at least once a year since. He's broken both hips, the second one when he stumbled last July and broke the ball off the top of his femur. It was the first night in camp on the Smith. True to character, Webster refused a helicopter rescue. "He sat up at the dinner table and told stories to the other anglers all night," Sowerby said. By morning, the pain and swelling had Webster in their grip. Webster was 87 when he asked Sowerby to teach him the powerful two-handed spey cast he needed to fish for steelhead and salmon. It's what drew Webster here from his native Denver in 1996. "I had friends who lived in Montana, and one particular fellow that lives in Havre said he had heard that the Fort Benton area had more grouse than any area in Montana," Webster said. "I take him out every day I go," Gregston said of Webster. For Webster, the writing thing isn't just a nonagenarian fling. In 1962, he and the late Frank Beebe, a prominent falconer, writer and wildlife illustrator from Canada published "North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks." Dubbed a "masterpiece" by one critic of the genre, and widely recognized as the bible of falconry in North America, the beautifully illustrated book has expanded to 840 pages and two volumes. Webster and Beebe put out the first edition a year after they co-founded the North American Falcon Association, with Webster as its inaugural president. Not a single state recognized falconry as a field sport in 1961, he said. Now all but Hawaii do, and NAFA is the umbrella organization over them all. Webster was 15 in 1935 when he landed a cleaning job at a Denver elementary school for 25 cents an hour. One day a merlin flew into the school. He captured and kept it. "I soon had it on my fist and was training it," he said. So began his education in the ways of falcons, despite a dearth of information available in this country at the time. Through active naval service in the South Pacific in World War II and then Korea, he kept the hawking fires burning. When the new Air Force Academy, based temporarily at Lowry Field in Denver, went looking for a mascot in 1955, Webster was in the right place (Denver) at the right time, near the start of a 30-year stint with what was then Mountain Bell Telephone. The falcon was a candidate, but a picture Webster saw accompanying an article in the newspaper was that of a goshawk. "Now the goshawk is a raptor that has short-tipped wings and a long tail," Webster said. "It can fly right through a pine tree by just moving that tail." But it's not a falcon, a point he made to an Air Force public information officer when he called. Five minutes later, he got a call back from the head man of the academy himself, Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon. A day later, Harmon had Webster on the parade field at Lowry. "I saluted him because I had a bird on my fist. And he had the first class all lined up," he said. The first class at the Academy numbered 306, and they were all present and in formation that September day, Webster recalled. "I said, 'Sir, if you have no objections, I'll fly the bird right here on the parade ground.' He said go ahead." Webster checked the wind and threw the falcon off. "I had a pigeon in my pocket bag, and when the bird got up to three or four hundred feet I took the pigeon and threw it down," he said. Falcons have been clocked at more than 230 mph in flight. "That hawk came down and … just cut it down." Webster said the cadets and Harmon watched the demonstration in awe. "They voted the next day," he said.
Mike Dupuy Falconry
The North American Falconer's Association was founded by Frank L. Beebe and Harold Webster.
Upcoming Events- Texas Hawking Association
Hal Webster and David Frank:
We are pleased to announce that Hal Webster, the co-author/editor of North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks and David Frank, who owns Western Sporting, are planning to attend our meet together. David Frank has also mentioned the possibility of a discussion forum on the current state of falconry in the U.S. with Hal Webster and THA members Friday evening after the scheduled presentations. However as everyone knows, Hal is getting along in years so we will have to wait and see if he is up to participating. 8:30PM - 11:00PM: Possible round table forum with Hal Webster on the State or Falconry in the U.S. (This is contingent on how Mr. Webster is feeling- we probably won't know until it happens.)