Hunting with a golden eagle or falcon
Hunting with a golden eagle or a falcon is also a traditional national sport. In order to train these wild birds of prey to serve humans, the trainer needs to know the nature and habits of the birds, the abilities that these birds of prey have.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the last islands where golden eagles and falcons are still using for real hunting. There are still golden eagles and falconers, who used to let their assistants go after wolves and swift ash eagles. The legends of the famous golden eagles, who took snow leopards, are still alive. Having put this mighty bird on your arm, feeling its weight, the strength of its paws, seeing the power of its beak and claws, you involuntarily feel respect for this bird, with its proud posture and piercing gaze. Hawks are also beautiful, resembling wolves by their habits. Its large, beautiful body and hot yellow eyes speak of its courage, boldness, and agility. These are the most prey-like agile birds. The peregrine falcon is the most beautiful of falcons, distinguished by its honed attack, clear flight and purposefulness. You can see these qualities of birds in a demonstration hunt, which arranges on the open lawn. Hunters use traditional age-old hunting equipment and rabbit, pigeons and fox skins as game.
The process of dogging is exemplified by the golden eagle. A golden eagle is from a nest and fed, or an adult, preferably captures a young eagle. In the first case, it is somewhat easier. A golden eagle chick grows up in the arms.
The golden eagle is first trained on a vabilo, usually a tail or a piece of fox or hare pelt – tolaii on a long cord. They pull the vabilo on the ground and let the golden eagle on it. After having caught the vabil, the hunter without any sharp movements brings his hand in a special glove with meat and releases the vabilo by shifting the claws of the bird on the glove. Then without lifting the golden eagle slightly feeds it with meat and removes the vabilo from the field of vision, for himself.
Then the live game is trained. The hunter rises to an elevation above the bush, where the game is supposed to be hidden, usually it’s a tolai hare, and lets the Taigan (Kyrgyz greyhound) go looking for it. Taigan drives the animal out and at this moment launches the golden eagle.
Upon a successful hunt, the dogging considers finish. After hare-tolay dogging, one must gradually pass to other games in the order of difficulty: fox, wolf, etc.
Training of Falcons and hawks in approximately the same way.
The objects of joint hunting of the Taigan and a golden eagle are the tolai hare, fox, wolf, jackal, sometimes roe deer. With a goshawk, they hunt tolai hare, and with a good Taigan, pheasant and partridge. With saker falcons and gyrfalcons take tolai hare, pheasant, rarely a duck.