My Toughest Shot: Philipp Engelhorn

A wild eagle hunter in Xinjiang, China     Photo: Philipp Engelhorn

Winters in northern Xinjiang, China, rival those in Siberia: Forty below zero is normal. We'd gone in the fall to find an eagle hunter and make a handshake deal to follow him. But when we actually showed up two months later, he told us he never expected us to return and had no time for us. So we did the worst thing ever and set out by horse-drawn sleigh across the frozen countryside to find an eagle hunter. After four weeks in the blistering cold of that open sleigh, we finally found this guy. His name was Chalek. He was the best bird handler of all the hunters we met.

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