Ancient Games Revived By Eagle Hunter-Enthusiasts Coming to Compete to Kazakhstan From All Over the World

ASTANA  – The international championship among berkutchi or eagle hunters gathered approximately 100 participants from Mongolia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye, and Kazakhstan in the Urdzhar district of the Abai Region on Nov. 2-6, reported the region’s akimat (city administration).

Participants of the tournament with their birds. Photo credit: region’s akimat. Click to see the map in full size

During the competition, the jury evaluated the agility of the berkutchi and their interaction with the three species of bird: golden eagle, falcon and hawk. The bird was tasked with sitting on its master’s hand, demonstration of its free flight, and catching its prey. The Tazy, the country’s national dog breed, also participated in the competition and run 500 meters in a race.

Serikbolsyn Zhalgasuly from the Zhambyl Region won first place in the competition with a golden eagle, and Seytzhan Beksultan from the Almaty Region came first in the hawk competition. Tanat Osankulov from the Karagandy Region came first with his falcon, while Amanbek Dukenov from the Abai Region won with his Tazy.

Closing ceremony of the event. Photo credit: region’s akimat.

According to Bagdat Muptekkyzy, an executive director of the Kyran federation, the championship’s goal is to revive the heritage of Kazakhstan’s ancestors.

“The golden eagles are now prevalent. However, we previously used a wolf as prey in the finals, but hunting them has been prohibited for the last three years as part of animal protection, therefore we use a fox carcass many times, and release the hares in the final,” said Muptekkyzy.

“I have participated in such competitions many times. However, this tournament is really the best. We see how ancient traditions have survived in Kazakhstan and how strong the rivals are. This is a great experience for us. The championship is organized at the highest level,” said a participant from Mongolia Nurgaiyp Yrysuly. 

Participant from Turkey Murat Nalbat with bronze winner in the competition with hawk Aishuak Taimanov. Photo credit:

Another participant from Turkey Murat Nalbat noted the hospitality of Kazakh citizens.

“I came to Kazakhstan for the first time. I was greeted very warmly. I have been hunting with a bird for the ninth year, this is my hobby. I enjoy teaching my friend different tasks,” said Nalbat.

A fragment from story published on Khabar TV channel.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!