Peter Devers, Alicia Pickett-Hale and the New York State Falconers
Association and New York Falconers: Nancy Murtlow, Christina
Zumwalt, Walter and Roseanne Mills, Leah Valerio, Ronald Hanson,
Jim Webber, Edward Stephenson, Steven Wines, Andrew Schmalfuss
Jr., Hank Minor, Joe Shoemaker, Matthew Vercant, Sean O’Mahoney,
Scott McNeff, Connecticut Falconers Association, Maine Falconry
and Raptor Conservancy
by Mark and Cynthia Fanning
The Maine Falconry and Raptor Conservancy had a friend
and proponent in Ed Hepp. Ed was a master falconer for
more than 30 years who was admired for his passionate
support and mastery of falconry and its history. Ed trapped
passage peregrines on Assateague during the 60s. Ed hunted
with passage gos and falcons throughout his life. Ed is one of
the few eastern falconers who campaigned western grouse
successfully with his hybrid and Briany spaniel.
Ed’s skills in animal husbandry led him to successfully breed
both goshawks and falcons. Ed worked hand in hand with
his lifelong friend Vic Hardaswick to breed several different
subspecies of goshawks.
Ed mastered the art of making Dutch hoods. He perfected
two lines of these hoods for falcons and goshawks. He also
made and marketed both English and Arab style blocks.
His artistic talents were not restricted to falconry. An
accomplished woodcarver, he started the Cambridge Rocking
Horse Company. Among his many creations is a carousel
hare that is a part of the Adirondack Carousel in Saranac,
NY. Orvis Company employed Ed as a fly tier and sold “Hepp
Flys” for years.
Ed was a
falconer for
more than
30 years.
He was an
made Dutch
hoods and was
loved by many.
By the New State Falconry Association
Edward Paul Hepp, 81, passed away Monday, June 24, 2019 at the Saratoga
Hospital. Born October 9, 1937 in Paterson, NJ. Ed was the son of the late
Theodore and Jean (Epper) Hepp. He was also predeceased by a sister, Kathy
(Hepp) Gravenkemper.
Ed graduated from Hawthorne High School in 1955, attended Paul Smiths
College for Forestry, and served as a Paratrooper in the Airborne division with the
U.S. Army. Starting in tree surgery, he was a professional land surveyor for most
of his working career. He was Master Falconer for more 30 years, one of the first
NYSFA Presidents, a long-standing member of the North American Falconers
Association, the first falconry sponsor in the N.Y.S., and taught a number of
apprentices over the years. Ed was also an accomplished wood carver starting the
Cambridge Rocking Horse Company for many of his creations, including the
hare that is part of the Adirondack Carousel in Saranac Lake, NY. He was one of
featured artists in the Washington County Open Studios Tour.
Ed is survived by his wife of 53 years, Patricia M. (Cochrane) Hepp, and his
children, Louis J.R. Quillio of Castro Valley, CA, Susan G. Quillio of Greenwich,
NY, Heather Hepp of Tuscaloosa, AL, and Pamela J.A. Schmuhl of Hampton,
NH. In additional, he is also survived by his niece and nephew Janet Larkin
of Fredericksburg, VA and Theodore Gravenkemper of Louisville, KY; and
grandchildren Olivia Quillio, Madeleine Quillio, Josephine Schmuhl, Q. “Gus”
Wright, B. Simone Schmuhl, and Arthur Wright.
Ed was a founding member of the New York State Falconry Association, was one
of its first presidents and was well known throughout the country. He had the
honor to be the first falconer in New York state to sponsor an apprentice after
working diligently to legalize falconry for all.
A falconer since age 11, he flew birds his entire life, including while in the Army in
1957. An amazing artist, his hoods and block perches were of outstanding quality
and durability. He was always willing to lend a hand to those who wished to learn
and listen. Many NY falconers have Ed to thank for their falconry knowledge.
In recent years despite his failing health, he generously offered his land at
the site for the associations annual picnic and fall field meet. He often gave
demonstrations on trapping and hoodmaking.
His passing left a very large hole in many hearts.
A Lifelong Falconer
Paul Bevan & Ed Hepp at the 1982 meet in Millbrook NY.