I have had about twenty people send me this so thought I should just post it myself. Below is a typical response from me:
It is a trained golden taking a roe deer at the annual meet at Opocno in the Czech Republic. They take them as easily as a Goshawk takes a hare. The young woman in the photo below (after a day there-- notice roe as well as hares) is a friend of ours and a real adventurer-- we "sent" her for a month's winter hunting in Mongolia with Canat and the eaglers when she was just 17! She is now flying an eagle in Scotland. She has Opocno film as does a friend in Albuquerque who has also been.
My friend then then asked if it was a bagged quarry:
Wow! What an incredible photo. All those birds seem to be in fine mettle. I
assume the roe deer was released at the opportune moment - and not
Not at all ! Those mustard and rapeseed fields are full of roe and hares and they just walk in a line to flush, at which point the designated eagler (or eaglers-- some actually fly casts) let their birds go. I have seen a dozen such films-- now must somehow get to go there! ( I have seen films where TWO flush).
Eastern European falconers have a highly developed sense of sport and tradition and would never use bagged quarry, unlike the pragmatic Kazakhs who will to demonstrate prowess at a meet.
That eagle easily handled that roe. Much more easily than did the golden taking
a fox in that Spanish film you sent a link to a while back. That fox repeatedly
bit the eagle. I am assuming it was a young eagle, as it appeared to grab the
fox in the hindquarters (big mistake).
Agreed. Inexperienced eagle and probably falconer. Bagged quarry is unknown in western Europe but probably wise for eyasses, and they aren't allowed passagers. Every USA eagler I know flies passage birds caught at a couple of years old and they know to catch the head first!
How did the Mongolian eaglers handle a woman falconer? My hat's off to her!
Kazakhs are very barely Muslims-- more animist with a Muslim veneer, and not only drink tons of vodka but celebrate legendary warrior queens and take strong females in stride. They kicked Saudis out when, after the Russians left, they came as missionaries and wanted them to stop drinking and veil their women.
Two quick tales: Canat, who is a self- described "man of science", wanted us to visit a shamaness for a consultation. Teasing, I asked what the young (Kazakh) imam with the falcon would say. Deadpan (and knowing quite well it was funny) he said "He drinks with her at the Red Door Bar".
When young Lauren came here to visit she was still under age for the bar, but as we have wine at the table (and I drink vodka) I asked whether she had wine with dinner. She replied "I don't know-- all I have ever drunk was vodka with the Kazakhs". She stuck with vodka.
A month, in midwinter, traveling alone with Canat (as a very protective father figure, granted) on horseback, from hunting camp to hunting camp in the Mongolian back country six hundred miles west of Ulaan Bataar, up near the Siberian (Tuvan) border. Still some good kids out there for sure.
Lauren, second from right...