Hunting With Eagles: Joining in a Kazakh Tradition

Tonight on Survive the Tribe, Hazen Audel travels to Mongolia to take on the Altai Mountains with the Kazakh eagle hunters. Even though these mountains stretch a thousand miles across four countries in East Central Asia, the sprawling land is barren of life in the winter with temperatures plummeting to -40F at night and buffeting blizzards that can kill anything in their way. The Kazakh have managed to survive in these dangerous conditions by creating a hunting partnership with golden eagles. Audel joins the Kazakh eagle hunters on one of the most extreme journeys he’s ever undergone: the hunt for fur.

The Eagle Assassins do not live an easy life, and they are not about to let Audel skate through the week. Upon his arrival, he needs to lasso his own horse. The Kazakhs depend on semi-wild horses that graze and roam in the hills; the horses make transportation, herding, and hunting possible in the rough mountains. Audel, however, soon finds that lassoing one is a lot more difficult than he would have thought. These herds stick together, and cornering a single one is just as difficult as actually catching it.

Once he manages to lasso a horse, he has to ride it. There is little to no downtime for him to learn, so he has to hit the ground galloping to keep up with the Kazakhs. He has to keep control of a semi-wild horse while scaling steep mountain ridges and rounding up mountain livestock. Ascending and descending some of the steepest slopes in the mountain is just a test to determine whether he is fit to join the eagle hunters. The Kazakhs must determine whether he can ride with them, with one hand on the reigns and the other arm acting as a perch for a 15lb predator eagle.

Even the most fundamental necessities of life are a challenge. The only source of water around is a frozen river twenty miles away from the tribe. Hazen must prove himself yet again leading a caravan of camels across the treacherous and frozen plateau, cutting and collecting huge chunks of ice from the river, and getting back before nightfall. Slippery ice and temperamental animals do not make for an easy journey, especially while time is ticking away and temperatures are dropping rapidly.

The ice and horse are not even the most difficult tasks Hazen must complete. The golden eagles that the Kazakhs hunt with are wild. They are the world’s fastest and most powerful bird, and Hazen has to win one over in just a few days if he wants to go on the hunt.

Tune in tonight, Thursday August 7th, at 10PM to witness Hazen’s close encounters with axes, eight foot wingspans, piercing talons, and lone wolves in one of the harshest environments on earth on Survive the Tribe: Eagle Assassins!


  1. Hirozu
    Ulaanbaatar, mongolia
    February 12, 2016, 9:40 am

    Wow! I wonder why I haven’t tried this before having been so close to them once….Hazen, you are great, man!