16 Apr 2014

13-Year-Old Girl Hunts With an Eagle

, ,

GirlwithEagle
13 Year-Old Ashol-Pan with friend

The BBC did a recent feature of a 13-Year-Old Kazakh girl who is carrying on an unusual form of traditional hunting.

Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill – and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.

“To see her with the eagle was amazing,” he recalls. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it.”

The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress.

They hunt in winter, when the temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F). A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback through snow to a mountain or ridge giving an excellent view of prey for miles around. Hunters generally work in teams. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open, and an eagle is released. If the eagle fails to make a kill, another is released.

The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal – and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?”

StumbleUpon.com
2 Feedbacks on "13-Year-Old Girl Hunts With an Eagle"

Steve Bodio

I’ll be blogging an update on Lauren McGough, the 26 year old PhD candidate who we sent to Olgii when she was 16, to hunt with the eaglers, and who spent a Fulbright year there later, learning to be a berkutchi. She continues to go back, and also flies eagles in Oklahoma and Scotland. Will link here too!



Eagle Dreamers – Stephen Bodio

[…] have gotten over 100 emails, and they are still coming in. The one most saw was a BBC article (see David Zincavage’s blog), but I like the photographer’s, and his background info. It seems that the wild men of […]



Comments

Please Leave a Comment!




Please note: Comments may be moderated. It may take a while for them to show on the page.













Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark