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  • Every time I take my eagle out, I get butterflies in my stomach.

  • It's this dichotomy between a heavy bird on your fist that just instantly becomes lighter than air.

  • You get to cultivate a really unique relationship.

  • There are very few people flying eagles in the United States and of that, only a handful of women.

  • But my very good friend Jamaica is beginning her journey into eagle falconry.

  • The ability to be mentored by a woman, I thought that that was something unique, that I shouldn't pass up that opportunity.

  • Falconry is the ancient art and tradition of using a trained bird of prey to hunt its natural quarry in the wild.

  • I spent a lot of time in Mongolia apprenticing under Kazakh eagle hunters.

  • When I started, I felt pretty out of place.

  • Because I didn't have that hunting experience, and I was a girl, it made me really fortify my passion and persevere.

  • Because it was hard in the beginning.

  • I've admired her from the very beginning.

  • Her journey into falconry was different than most.

  • The gumption she had as a teenager to go to Mongolia and learn about eagle falconry, that's a rare thing.

  • Here boy, atta boy.

  • A little over a year ago, I got a call from a friend who had found an eagle standing in the road about a mile from my house.

  • It was close to death.

  • So I took it to the vet that afternoon and participated in rescuing that eagle.

  • Falconry is pretty much the only way at this point that we know for sure allows that eagle a reasonable chance at survival.

  • By helping them through that period where they're learning how to catch things.

  • I made it my life's mission to get an eagle permit and acquire an eagle through an established rehab program that works with falconers.

  • There's a lot of knowledge involved in falconry.

  • There's also a lot of ways to do it wrong.

  • It's really not necessarily instinctive.

  • I would not want to get into eagle falconry without a good mentor to contact.

  • Knowing that Lauren was available to be a mentor to me was a huge part of being willing to make that decision.

  • To get inside the mind of an eagle, the first time is a... it can be a difficult experience.

  • You just have to find your bearings and understand where an eagle's coming from, in order to create a good, fit, confident hunting eagle.

  • So essentially that's what I'm helping Jamaica do.

  • When you find someone that has that passion and is willing to share it with you, it's really a special thing.

  • The bond that you develop with someone who gives of you their time the way that Lauren is giving to me, it will be something I'll treasure forever.

  • And hopefully, someday, I'll pass that on to somebody else.

Every time I take my eagle out, I get butterflies in my stomach.

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B1 US GreatBigStory eagle jamaica lauren mongolia mentor

The Female Falconers Rewriting Tradition

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/06/14
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