|Soltankhan was my host when I visited South Western Mongolia in December 2002. The area where he lived was known as Ahunt and was nestled in the foothills of the Altai mountains on the border with China.
December was the latest month I had hunted in Mongolia and by now the winter had really started to grip. Although I visited the country as a tourist this was my third visit to hunt with the Mongolian Kazakh's and I was really starting to get the hang of it.
I had always requested from my guide and host that we would go out and really hunt and not a gentle trot around the camp to fly the eagle from hill to arm that they might take some other western adventure tourists.
After all I can fly an eagle from a rock to my arm, and more any day of the week at home. So I had no desire to travel half way round the world for an eagle demonstration.
I was never served the soft routine and this trip we were often nine hours a day in the saddle in as low as minus thirty degrees centigrade. The mountain air was thin, the views spectacular the hunting exciting and the company as usual, hospitable warm and welcoming.