Photo Journal: Hunting with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia
Learning to hunt with golden eagles from Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia is a once in a lifetime experience that words don't do justice. Photos come close, though.
Deep within Mongolia's Altai Mountains the centuries old tradition of hunting with golden eagles still remains. The practice is passed down from generation to generation and outsiders often aren't welcomed in the way we were.
Because our invite included a three-day apprenticeship where we were given the chance to bond with a hunter's golden eagle, eventually earning our teacher's trust so that we could take our new companions out on a fast-action hunt, heading even deeper into the Altai Mountains than imaginable.
These are the photos from that breathtaking experience.
The bond between these hunters and their eagles was unlike anything I've ever witnessed.
Meeting the Eagle Hunters.
Meeting our hunters and getting aquainted with our eagles.
Eagle in front of our host family's ger.
By the afternoon we were ready to watch our eagles in action. The hunt was on.
After a full day of working with our hunters and their eagles, the next day would start a little different to give the eagles (and our sore arms) a rest. Today, we'd learn traditional Kazakh nomad games.
After many, many laughs and turns learning how to play each of the games from our host families, it was back to our training.
And as our training came to an end, we couldn't let the moment pass without a few photographs to solidify our new friendships.