EAGLE HUNTING

Your Western Mongolian Adventure Travel Specialist.

Despite our social conditioning, deep down, every man is a hunter. It’s in our DNA. Now you have a unique opportunity to hunt the way warriors have for thousands of years, on horseback with a raptor.

In this instance, the biggest hunting bird ever used – the Golden Eagle of the Altai mountains. Very few people are offered this opportunity – there are only around 200 eagle Hunters in Western Mongolia, and even less in Kazakhstan.

Although they love to show off their birds and enter into contests with them, it can take a long time for a bird to get used to another master – in this case you

Only a few hunters have the extra expertise to teach their birds to come to another hunter, in a short time

magine riding into the remote mountains in the dead of winter, the bird on your arm, waiting for game to show. Suddenly, a fox!

You launch the bird, and it strikes. YOUR bird has made a kill! The prize is yours… Anyone can use a rifle over a long distance. This is your chance to enjoy hunting the way we were meant to do it – men and beasts working together.

Book now – limited opportunities.

Golden Eagle Festival

Every October Kazakh eagle-hunters from all over Bayan-Ulgii gather in the heart of the Altai for a competition to test the speed, agility, accuracy, and training of their magnificent eagles. It is a rare opportunity for visitors to get up-close and personal with such a wonderful Kazakh tradition.

DAY 1: Ulgii

  • Catch an early flight to Ulgii from Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the local outdoor market (bazaar) and museum
  • Sample local restaurants for lunch and dinner
  • Stay in a nearby ger camp

DAY 2: Visit an Eagle-Hunter

  • Catch an early flight to Ulgii from Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the local outdoor market (bazaar) and museum
  • Sample local restaurants for lunch and dinner
  • Stay in a nearby ger camp

DAY 3: More Time with Eagle-Hunters

  • Catch an early flight to Ulgii from Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the local outdoor market (bazaar) and museum
  • Sample local restaurants for lunch and dinner
  • Stay in a nearby ger camp

DAY 4 & 5: Go to Festival with Eagle-Hunters on Horseback

  • Catch an early flight to Ulgii from Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the local outdoor market (bazaar) and museum
  • Sample local restaurants for lunch and dinner
  • Stay in a nearby ger camp

DAY 6 & 7: Altai Golden Eagle Festival

  • Catch an early flight to Ulgii from Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the local outdoor market (bazaar) and museum
  • Sample local restaurants for lunch and dinner
  • Stay in a nearby ger camp

Eagle Hunting

Authentic eagle-hunting is only done during the winter months when the snow covers helps the birds spot fleeing prey – it is when the prey animals have thick winter coats which are used to make warm clothing. After the first snow, the hunters ride out in search of game, wandering around in the rugged landscape with their eagles on their arms. They often take young boys with them to help flush out the game.

As soon as an escaping fox or marmot is seen, the hunter sends his eagle into the air in pursuit. The bird then makes sure the target is not going to overpower it before swooping down in one long swift strike, falling onto the spine of the escaping animal. The bird catches the prey and waits for the hunter to finish the animal off. Sometimes the prey animal fights for its life, and the eagle becomes the prey …

While such hunting results in beautiful thick furs to make warm clothing, the hunt is not done for financial gain. Hunters take great pride in owning clever, quick, and brave eagles.

During this traveling adventure, you will get to experience the thrill of the hunt with these Kazakh nomads and their magnificent golden eagles. This hunt will lead you far into the mountainous regions of Bayan-Ulgii where you will witness firsthand a unique tradition which has survived for centuries in this remote corner of Central Asia, all whilst experiencing the unique brand of Kazakh hospitality.

DAY 1: Ulgii

  • Catch an early flight to Ulgii from Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the local outdoor market (bazaar) and museum
  • Sample local restaurants for lunch and dinner
  • Stay in a Bear Valley camp or hotel

DAY 2: Hunting

  • Drive to the village of Altantsogts to stay with an eagle-hunter and his family
  • Go hunting everyday, riding horseback along with the hunter as he explores the mountains in every direction in search of prey
  • Visit with Iris, one of the most famous and experience eagle-hunters in the region
  • Iris has been hunting for more than 35 years and now he focuses on passing the craft onto the next generation of hunters

DAY 3: Back to Ulgii

  • Drive back to Ulgii through the Khovd River Valley, making stops to investigate ancient deer stones and Turkic stone men (balbals)
  • Stay in Bear Valley ger camp outside of Ulgii and enjoy a traditional Kazakh concert and “beshbarmak,” the Kazakh national dish.

Why Bear Valley Adventures?

Real Adventure

A "tour" with Bear Valley Adventures is a true adventure. You never quite know what is going to happen.
Sometimes, our horse trekkers will have sunshine for most of their trip - at other times, you might have to battle the elements and find out exactly why the locals wear lots of thick furs and heavy felt clothing. (If you have a look at the "About Us" page, you'll see a picture of Rick modelling just how to wear fox fur...)
The local wildlife is another unpredictable factor - you might get the chance to see a wild eagle soaring above the steppes or hear wolves in the distan... or have a fox attempt to raid your food supplies in the middle of the night when you're on a trek!
It's human and horse against the elements, rough, raw and ready - just the way an adventure ought to be.
However, we take safety seriously, and we always do our best to make sure that we have a trained first aid specialist with every tour (and hot showers and real coffee for when you come back to base).

Sustainable Tourism

Bear Valley Adventures is sensitive in the forms of transport we use to get around the steppes.
The last thing we want to do is to destroy the wilderness we love by damaging it through excessive use of technology. Where appropriate, we'll use 4x4 vehicles, keeping to established trails to minimise damage to the local steppe environment.
At other times, we'll use the same sort of sustainable transport that the locals use: the tough little Mongolian horses and camels.

We also work in partnership with the local people, and a lot of the profit made by the tours goes into improving the local community, especially in the areas of health and education, while still preserving and encouraging their traditional nomadic lifestyle and values.

Watch Some of Our Best Adventure Videos

Want to see what you're in store for if you sign up for any of Bear Valley Adventures' great trips? Our videos will give you a brief glimpse of the expanse of the Mongolian steppes that our horse treks cross (although a mere video doesn't do them justice and you really have to go there to experience the full impact of this vast wilderness). Want to see just how big a golden eagle is compared to a human and how these huge birds of prey hunt alongside people? Want to get an idea of just how big the fish are in this part of the world? Don't believe that a city slicker from Australia can master some of the impressive feats of riding that the locals have perfected? We hope that our videos will whet your appetite for the sort of adventure that only Bear Valley Adventure can offer.

And if you've enjoyed a trip with Bear Valley Adventures and took a good video showing some of the highlights, let us know so we can share it with the world.