A skilled pair of hunters can typically catch 50 or 60 foxes a dozen badgers, a couple of lynx and 4 or 5 wolves in a normal 4 month season, which starts in the late autumn. Eagles rarely fail to catch their prey, which it quickly kills, usually by breaking the neck in its powerful claws.
The capture, training and keeping of eagles is a highly ritualized activity. Training eagles takes a lot of time, (3-4 years), must be done by one person, and requires constant daily attention.
When the eagle is almost an adult, the trainer shows it the hides and furs of the animals it must hunt so that it becomes used to the smell and characteristics of the prey. All of this is done with special commands. Training continues by dragging a fox fur behind a galloping horse.
Not all eagles can be so trained, but those that do show intense loyalty. Although never tethered they always return after killing their prey.
The season for hunting with eagles is from October to February. The larger eagles malt during the summer months and do not fly. So during the tourist season demonstrations of the art are limited to showing the magnificent birds and flying smaller falcons. Demonstrations can be arranged in Issyk-Kul, in the Naryn region and near to Bishkek.
Welcome to Kyrgyzstan!