How often/long does it take for training to really take effect if you're picking up a brand new bird like this guy?
How did you "acquire" him if I might ask?
Big birds like that are amazing to watch, especially in action. There are some gopro type videos of goshawks flying that are just "woah" and I bet this bird is amazing to see in action. Does the bird follow you from above, then dive on what you flush?
Apprentices are required to trap their birds from the wild and, in most states, are only allowed to have red tails, kestrels, or red shouldered hawks. Once you become a general or master falconer, you're allowed the option of more species and you're allowed to purchase captive bred raptors.
A red tail is usually ready to take hunting 3-4 weeks after trapping. There are still a lot of details that they get better and better at as time passes, but they can be out hunting in that time.
The first week of training is mostly "manning" which is basically just getting him used to people. So, you spend as much time as possible each day just holding him on the glove. During this time you also start trying to get them to eat from the glove. Most of them are kind of reluctant to do this and it may take a few days. Once they do that, you move on to jumping and flying to the glove for the food. This starts inside on a short leash and progresses outdoors once he's flying longer distances. The outside part usually happens in the 2nd week.
Once he's responding quickly and flying long distances, you introduce him to the lure. The lure is basically a safety net used to call the hawk back. You teach them they get a full meal any time the lure is out and they learn to respond to it immediately. So, if the hawk won't come to the glove for whatever reason, or they're in some dangerous situation, you can get it out and quickly get the bird down. Most people also use the lure as a reward for hunting well at the end of a hunt where no game was caught.
As far as following from above, that's really more of a falcon thing. Red tails are usually hunted from a perch in a tree. You walk and they fly from one tree to the next with you, watching for game. They will occasionally catch game while soaring above you and some people, especially out west where there are less trees, do hunt them this way. They can also be hunted from tall perches carried by the hunter in fields where there are no trees. This method is common with harris hawks, but it can work with red tails as well.
This post was edited on 12/14 at 8:24 am