When we talk about the hunting of animals, most often think of dogs. But along with them, our ancestors used, birds of prey. The tradition of hunting with tame bird of prey appeared very long ago, but now it is preserved only in some countries. One such country is Kazakhstan. We have people with the gift of taming and training birds of prey, called kusbegi. Their is not much, only about hundred. But gradually they revived this ancient tradition.
In the hole “Ilantau” near the village of Nura, IV national tournament for hunting was held with birds of prey. It was organized by the Federation of hunting, “Kyran”. The weather was beautiful, calm and sunny day, these days called “Sonar” by berkutchi . After the urban smog it was a pleasure to breathe the fresh crisp air. Have a look of Amazing pictures….
1. Competitions were held in several disciplines, starting with an assessment of the appearance and quality of equipment of the hunters, check out how well the bird is trained and listen its owner, and finally the main action begins – the hunting of live rabbits and foxes. later the winners are decided, In accordance with the manner of the attack in hunting birds , prey birds are divided into “high-flying” – these are the falcons, birds and a “low flying” – golden eagles and others.
2. In Central Asia, the hunters are of the same group. Birds of prey called “Kara-Snatch” (black-eyed, in fact, “black birds”) and “Sary-Snatch” (yellow-eyed, actually “yellow bird”). The first owners of the Golden Eagles competed. Hunters and spectators climbed on top of the cliff, offering excellent views of the flat area where the hunt occurred. In the center of the sand on the snow, the terms handed down a live rabbit. Berkutchi removed the bird’s head tomagu( a special cap) which closes his eyes. weight of the golden eagle is average 8 – 9 kg and a wingspan up to two meters. At this point, the other birds begin to worry, they flap their wings and feel the beginning of the hunt.
3. It is difficult to convey the feelings that cover you when you stand in the corner and this mighty bird flaps its wings over your head before throwing the prey. Sharp eye eagle snatches a gray point but the white snow. He dives on prey, releasing forward the sharp claws and knocks her down. Hunter and his team down the cliff to snatch prey from the claws of birds and they give a well-deserved award of portion of meat. Golden Eagles reamin hungry before the competition by their owners to sharpened thier hunting instincts. After graduating the stage of hunting they go to chase the foxes. There is no every bird is capable to cope with the fast and tricky animals. More than half of the foxes managed to escape from the eagle. To be honest, it was an impressive, fascinating but, like all hunting it is quite cruel spectacle, not good for the faint heart.
6. Makpal Abdrazakov – the only woman berkutchi in the tournament. By profession she is a lawyer, she has more than 10 years of experience of hunting and it believes that it is perfectly acceptable hobby for a woman.
11. These birds have taken from the nest and eventually taught the art of hunting. First they have to get used to humans. Then they need to learn how to sit on a special glove worn on the hand of the hunter. The bird should sit quietly while riding on a golden eagle feeding time loshadi.Pervoe pickled meat, golden eagle and then they offered a small amount of bloody meat svezheubitoy poultry or lamb. Golden Eagle eagerly rushes to him. Little by little eagle gets used to take the meat out of the hands of the owner. . Then begin to learn to take the fox. To do this, they need to prepare eagle for very hungry stinct,and then they tie a piece of bloody meat to the head of a stuffed fox. Assistant trainer fast runs and drags on a long thin strap stuffed. The owner of a golden eagle plucks cap that covers the golden eagle eye. The bird, seeing that it goes to lunch, take off, catching up the stuffed and sits on it. And like this they teach their hunting birds. I spoke with several experienced berkuchi and one of them told me: “The main thing in training of birds of prey is, she began to trust you and accept you as a friend and comrade. You have to be in love with her soul and need to learn the feeling of each other’s desires.
15. I was able to talk with the executive director of public fund “Kyran Federation.” She told me that for the majority of hunters and the content of training birds of prey is a hobby rather than a means of income. The content of this bird is quite expensive (On the day, eagle eats one-third of its weight, which is about 2-3 pounds of raw meat). According to director of the federation in this country there is no income-only skill of taming and falconry. State practice does not support the members of this unique tradition, which is in my opinion is the property of our country. Money is allocated only to hold tournaments. Just for the preservation and transmission of this tradition for future generations. In 2005, federation of hunters with birds of prey, “Kyran” was established. She bought the land around the village of Nura for tournaments. Together with a center “Zhalairi Shore” they organized it only in Kazakhstan. So far their is only sponsor is a company with the support of GSM Kazakhstan which organize the tournaments and assist in teaching children for berkutchi the National Academy of Tourism and Sports. In my opinion, By seriously investing more in the infrastructure of the area around the village of Nura, we can extract more profit from the tourist potential of this place.
16. The village of Nura is now composed of three houses. It has been almost completely destroyed after an earthquake in 2008. The last event in the program was hunting with falcons and hawks for small birds.