Kazakh Eagle Hunters of Mongolia - 2017
In the desolate yet beautiful mountainous terrain of western Mongolia live 60 or so remaining traditional eagle hunters. These tough, proud Kazakh nomads, living in harsh sub zero temperatures use golden eagles to hunt on horseback. This ancient tradition of training golden eagles to hunt for foxes and sometimes wolves is still part of daily life for these eagle hunter families who use the prey for both food and warm clothing. The hunter takes the young female wild eaglet from its nest and trains it over the next 1-2 years; whereby the eagle becomes part of the family and takes pride of place in the home - ‘ger' tent. A special bond develops between hunter and eagle - a trusting relationship between man and this enormous bird of prey. After about 8-9 years the hunter releases the eagle back into the wild - an emotional moment for both hunter and eagle. Despite some of the harshest conditions I've experienced in my years of travelling, staying with the eagle hunter families were one of my most rewarding and genuine travel experiences.