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Eagle Hunting

Hunting bunnies with eagles is not for everyone because generally speaking, things turn out pretty poorly for the bunnies.

Steph and I met the eagle hunter pictured opposite in Mongolia. The deal we struck was that we would provide a cute, little rabbit, and he would provide a killing bird of prey. 

We found that the key to enjoying a good eagle hunt is not to make friends with the rabbit. Once you have bought it, just pop it in a sack and forget about it. The moment you start getting it out, playing with it and feeding it carrots you’re not going to be thrilled about seeing it ripped apart by some guy’s eagle. 

Of course the eagle has to feed and if they don’t eat live food they lose their killer instinct. You can’t be much of an eagle hunter if your eagle is a pacifist.

Our rabbit initially made a great dash for freedom but judged the situation poorly when it decided to ‘freeze’ on the spot. It probably didn’t realise that hurtling arrow-like towards it was a hungry ball of feathers and claws. When the eagle hit you could literally see the fur fly. 

The rabbit did a couple of somersaults in the air then took off as fast as it could – which wasn’t fast enough. The eagle doubled back and this time she landed right on our rabbit, pinning it to the ground, with its talons around its neck. The eagle was fairly excited and it was explained to us that we would have to wait a bit for her to calm down before she would finish off our bunny and start to feed.

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Olgii, Mongolia
Top Tip
The Eagle Festival in Olgii is held every year in September
Written by Dean
Photography by Dean