Golden Eagle Festival – Live Tradition

In every year, just as the winter hinting season is getting underway, golden eagle hunters gather from all over Bayan-Ulgii province (western Mongolia) to celebrate the fascinating tradition and to pit their Golden Eagles against all comers it is live tradition- Golden Eagle Festival.

Eagle hunting has been practiced in Central Asia for a thousands of years. Like traditional practices elsewhere in the world, hunting with eagle is on the verge of extinction, but Kazakh culture, in Mongolia the tradition is alive and well kept.

GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL 2018

6-7 Oct 2018

The competition tests not just the bird’s mettle and the hunter’s skill, but also the bond between hunter and bird. You will be attending the spectacular Golden Eagle Festival, with up to 80 Kazakh participants and their magnificent golden eagles.

Dressed in full eagle hunting regalia and mounted on groomed decorated horses, the entrants compete for the awards of best turned out eagle and owner; best eagle at hunting prey and best eagle at locating its owner from a distance.

agnes-western-mongolia-trip-map1

Experiencing the sight of Kazakhs on horseback, dressed in their traditional dark coats and scarlet hats, with Golden Eagles hovering on their arms. Enjoy the rare opportunity to view Golden Eagles close up and allow one to perch upon your arm.

Group-Riders-of-Golden-Eagle

You will have 3.5 hour flight from Ulaanbaatar city to Ulgii town, where the Golden Eagle Festival takes place in western Mongolia.  There are more Kazakh people than Khalkh Mongolians in this town and they have their unique culture. Ulgii town has about 30 thousands inhabitants and also capital of province Bayan-Ulgii.  

Bank ATM-s, supermarkets, restaurants, bazaar (open trading market) local museum, shops- you could buy handmade artificial are available. The Ulgii town is located bit higher altitude which is 1710 m above sea level (Ulaanbaatar city is located 1530 m above sea level).

Old Eagle HunterGolden Eagle Festival takes 2 full days including competitions of:

* Golden Eagle Competition – with bait

* Golden Eagle  Competition  – landing on master’s arm while he is galloping horse

* Horse race

* Camel race

* Archery

* Tenge Ilu – equestrian competition of snatching coin from ground

* Kiz- Kuar- another equestrian competition of girl catches a man on the horse and whip the      man, embarrassed by being kissed

* Kuk- Bar- whole goat skin competition. Another equestrian competition, that each teams try to snatch goat skin and has to deliver it to designated area.

  

 

Tour starts from 1980 USD for group of 6-8 people.

Brief Itinerary of Tour to Golden Eagle Festival:

Day1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Day2. Fly to Ulgii

Day3. Golden eagle Festival

Day4. Golden Eagle Festival

Day5. Visit to local Golden Eagle Hunter family

Day6. Ulaanbaatar city

Day7.  Terelj National Park

Day8. Departure

Book your Golden Eagle Festival Tour with Tulga, tour leader

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Bayangol District, 6r khoroo, Aminii Oron suuts 11 7B
Ulaanbaatar 44 P.O. Box 793 Mongolia
Mobile: +976 9904 0894

info@nomadictrails.com

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Art of hunting with Golden Eagle

In central Asia, the area around the lake of Issyk Kul is known for its hunters with falcons and golden eagles.  The Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Mongol traditions dates back 900 years to the time of the Mongol invasion in the area.  Hunting with one of nature’s most formidable bird’s of prey – the golden eagle.

The primal culture of hunting is practised the world round, while hunting with birds of prey is not only more challenging but it also offers a glimpse to another time.

This style of hunting is a difficult sport, as it takes three to four years to teach a bird to hunt.

Golen-Eagle-Posing

The bird must always be taught by the same man, and that man should be with the bird at all times, in order to get the bird used to the voice of the “berkuchi” – its master, its friend and teacher.

Both falcon and golden eagle attack and kill their prey instantly, breaking its neck or spine and leaving only barely visible marks on the fur of the prey, so the fur and skin are left practically intact.

The hunter has to keep his bird on a stretched arm.

The prey of falcons could be small rodents, rabbits, and foxes, but for such a powerful bird as the golden eagle it could be bobcats, roe deer, and even young wolves stranded in deep snow in winter.

Hunting season usually starts at the end of October or beginning of November and lasts for four months.

Golden-Eagle-landing222
The Golden Eagle

A superb hunter the golden eagle possesses lethal talons that can carry animals as large as foxes effortlessly into the air. Examples of their still larger prey include deer, lambs and young goats but these are usually not slain by the eagle but eaten as carrion.
Domestic animals such as dogs are not excluded from the skilled hunter’s talons.

They possess incredibly keen eyesight and are easily able to scan far enough to spot a rabbit, lizard or a mouse two kilometers away. Their hearing is also excellent because they need to be able to hear the cries of their young when they are flying some distance away from the chicks.

Golden-eagle-refuses3

The golden eagle has over 2,000 feathers, from small, downy ones for keeping the bird warm when it’s riding the often freezing thermals to large broad flight feathers. They take immaculate care of them, preening meticulously. Considering that they have a wing span of up to two meters this is not a task to underestimate.

 

Famous-picture-of-Golden-Eagle

Their mating habits are amazing because they dance in the air, enticing each other by soaring, swooping, chasing and diving until eventually they lock talons and spiral down to earth.

It is not difficult to understand why numbers are dwindling when it is considered that each pair of golden eagles requires 3,000 acres of land for their hunting territory. As man demands more land for himself terrain is spoiled for hunters like the eagle.

In a nearby woodland area I sometimes see an eagle, wings spread out, gliding on the fresh breezes. As its piercing cries conjure up bygone times when our ancestors were forest dwellers peaceably co-existing with these wondrous feathered creatures my heart is wrenched with sorrow that in the future we might cause their extinction.

Yet they are not considered to be under threat of it currently and the golden eagle has soared back from near extinction in certain parts of the world. There is still time for us all to respect the environment that we share with them so that we all may survive for many years to come.

Book your Golden Eagle Festival Tour with Tulga, tour leader

1456647_789417941084694_1724694501_n

Bayangol District, 6r khoroo, Aminii Oron suuts 11 7B
Ulaanbaatar 44 P.O. Box 793 Mongolia
Mobile: +976 9904 0894

info@nomadictrails.com

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