Golden Eagle Festival Tours

Golden Eagle Festival Tours

Khazahk nation’s Golden eagle hunting is one of the oldest ways of food hunting. Our ancestors in Eurasian steppes mastered eagle hunting several thousand years ago, in the Andronov age. A proof of this fact is Bronze Age petroglyphs. Hunting with birds and hounds has always been considered an art. The actual course of hunting, graceful movements of animals, emotions and passions of the hunters made it a festival. A steppe hunter derived great pleasure from the tandem of a dog and a hunting bird.

Eagle hunting was mainly practiced only in the western regions of Mongolia. Each bird was intended to hunt a particular type of animals. Apart from foxes, golden eagles usually catch corsacs and hares. Strong, rapacious, well-trained eagles proved good for hunting hoofed animals and even wolves. Hawks are used for geese and bustards. Sparrow-hawks are as a rule used for hunting hares while goshawks are used for quails. Falcons and marlins proved to be excellent for hunting smaller birds. In the past, hunting birds were extremely expensive: a good golden eagle could cost 5-6 camels and a falcon cost 1-2 camels.

Eagle hunting season starts with first night frosts and continues from November through February. This schedule was set in olden days because furry animals have the best fur in winter. Falcon and Merlin hunting starts in late September when birds are preparing for migration and lasts until the first snow falls.

As a result of several centuries of selection, people of the region developed a special breed of hounds. Its distinguishing features are an outstanding ability to chase a prey, sharp-sightedness, and speed. Mostly, tazy are used to hunt hares, badgers, marmots, foxes and wolves without guns. Tazy are beautiful, graceful and elegant dogs with a sense of dignity. Tazy can be translated as “clean". Kazakhs of the past maintained a special treatment for these dogs: tazy was designated a special place in a yurt covered with a warm soft cloth and a special felt sack was taken for each hunting to keep the dog warm during hunting. As a legend talks, an excellent tazy was accepted as bride-money estimated at 47 horses.

Hunting with Golden Eagle is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh life. The hunter is named kusbegi or berkutchi. The experience of wild birds training was gained by Kazakh kusbegi by centuries, the secrets were impacted from the father to the son and kept deep secret. At the present time we can meet few people with such name. These masters have innate gift of wild birds training. For hunting they tame falcons, golden eagles and eagles. Names of birds are given depending on their appearance and battle characteristics. The hunting with Golden Eagle are during ten centuries.

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