what are rt's capable of. at times there seems no end. i have seen rt's take pigeon in the same stooping fashion as a peregrine and I have seen the results of rt's hitting a goose on the ground while it was grasing. Ducks to are most often hit on the ground while grasing. rt's will do what they believe they can do. even with one eye my rt has taken training pigeons in the air.(ambushed from a higher vantage point in a near tree ) The pigeon was not a strong flier but just the same if she didn't think she could catch it she wouldn't try. A freind had an rt that would hunt grouse. mine tried but the grouse made way to thick cover before she had a sporting chance. don't under estimate your birds. slop soaring can prodcue exciting results. I'm doing some training now to encourage her to hit geese by the head at speed. OH don't forget you when hunting geesae they have a mob mentality so go after the ones that are alone and make in as soon as you can to help with the kill. chris
Does anyone have experience with or scientific evidence as to whether the male or female Red Tail in the wild is more likely to take birds. Is the male really faster or just appear that way because he is smaller?
I got to talk about this very topic with a couple of master falconers this past Sunday. They contend that any one who thinks they are going to consistently take ducks, pheasant, quail, etc with an RT is in for some dissapointing days afield. They also opine that the tiercel is faster, but not nearly as stong as a hen. One of the men went so far as to say that he requires his apprentices to fly a female RT the first year. They'll get more gratification that way. They can fly a kestrel or a tiercel the next year if they want. It seems to me that the consensus among falconers in Missouri is that RTs aren't good for hunting any kind of bird.
that is a common thought by most falconers and as far as consistancy goes they are most likely wright but if you catch enough so that your bird will keep trying isn't that enough what a blast just to watch your bird try. Chris Foster
I know what you mean Chris. I have seen RTs fly at quail and duck in the wild. I've never seen a hit, but the chase was nice... all two seconds of it. One man i met tells me (as the truth) that he hunts quail with his teircel RT. He said that he trapped it in an area with lots of quail, and he suspects that the bird was set on them right out of the nest. Naturally the austingers tell me that he is either fibbing or delussional. Who knows. He invited me to hunt with him next season. That should tell who is right and who is wrong. I do know of a couple of guys in the Mo F A who hunt quail with teircel HHs. They say it's lots of fun. But there is no comparison in speed between RTs and HHs. I suppose that if i were in a place where an opportune slip snuck up on me, i would try to fly my hawk (assuming i ever get one ) at it. It would depend on the risks involved i.e., how much water, what kind of ground cover etc.