The sport of falconry (the use of raptors to obtain game animals) began in the 7th century and at times was restricted to the noblest of cultures. Historically, the effect of taking raptors from the wild has little impact to species abundance. Raptor populations were presumed to be at carrying capacity and falconers harvested only the number of birds that would be lost naturally before reaching breeding age. But as human populations and human induced population declines of raptors species increased (i.e. the use of DDT), most countries around the world began to regulate falconry.
All North American raptors are protected by federal and state laws including: the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Lacey Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Airborne Hunting Act, and various state statutes. Some of these federal laws allow the states to regulate the capture, possession, and use of raptors in Sport Falconry. Falconry in Arizona is defined as "the sport of hunting or taking quarry with a trained raptor." The Arizona Game and Fish Department regulates the use of North American Raptors in Sport Falconry through state statutes, Arizona Game and Fish Commission Rules and Orders. These include:
- Arizona Revised Statutes 17-101, 17-236, 17-301, 17-303, 17-304, 17-321, 17-371
- Arizona Game and Fish Commission Rules R12-4-102, 104, 106, 304, 318, 401, 402, 403, 405, 406, 407, 409, 412, 422, 428, 801, 802, 803
- Arizona Game and Fish Commission Orders