Central Ohio residents do not have to travel far to learn the basics about one of the oldest sports in the world.
The Ohio School of Falconry, founded in 2014, offers introductory classes for bird handlers as young as 9 years old. The school offers programs around Ohio, but its home base is at Camp Mary Orton, 7925 N. High St., Columbus, where classes are held every weekend.
"A lot of people kind of romanticize it as just being something where you walk around with a bird," said Joseph Dorrian, executive director of school "The sport of falconry is actually a hunting sport."
The Ohio School of Falconry was the seventh stop on ThisWeek Community News’ “Hidden Gems around central Ohio” video series. Previous stops included the cemetery for the former state psychiatric hospital, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, the American Whistle Corp., a Central Ohio Symphony performance, the Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. and the Akiba Arcade.
People may sign up for two introduction courses to learn more about the birds used in falconry. Classes typically are booked three weeks in advance, Dorrian said. Prices start at $75.
During our Facebook Live video, Dorrian introduced Henson, an Eurasian eagle-owl, and Sedosa, a Harris' hawk.
Hawks, falcons and owls can be used to draw out other animals, such as squirrels, rabbits, ducks and pheasants, Dorrian said.
"The mainstay is rabbits and squirrels," he said.
Falconry dates back to Asian countries thousands of years ago, Dorrian said.
"There's varying thoughts about how old it is," he said. "Some people say it's as young as 4,000 (years old); some people say (it's) as old as 10,000 years old."
To learn more about the Ohio School of Falconry, go to ohioschooloffalconry.com.