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Ancient tradition of eagle hunting competition

December 15, 2011
Hunters in Kazakhstan are continuing an ancient tradition. According to the BBC, the Kazakhstan government has been encouraging these eagle hunting competitions as a way to help the falcon population, which was facing extinction. The audience the golden eagles attract helps fund a falcon conservation center.

A Golden Eagle will weigh up to 15 pounds, grow up to 3 feet tall and have a wingspan of up to 7 feet.The growing bird is rendered sightless under a hood until the bird is completely dependent on its master.

The golden eagle hunters, arrive from all over the country for an annual Sayat competition in Karkaralinsk, central Kazakhstan.

Sayat, or Golden Eagle hunting, is Kazakhstan’s national sport

A hunter releases his tamed golden eagle
A traditional saying is maintained in Kazakhstan. It states that as a man trains his eagle, so too does the eagle train his man

A hunter releases her tame golden eagle

A hunter looks at his tame golden eagle

A tame golden eagle lands on a hunter

The hunting contests end with a ceremony to honour the winning trainer

Golden eagles on hunting

Kazakh proverb, all real men should own a killing Golden Eagle
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