Lauren McGough has been a licensed and practicing falconer since age 14, and has been particularly enamored with golden eagles as hunting partners - a unique branch of falconry that has only a handful of practitioners in the United States. After spending nearly two years as an exchange student in the United Kingdom and learning the strong European tradition of eagle falconry, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with dual degrees in Zoology and International Studies.
In 2009, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Mongolia, where she apprenticed herself to local eagle masters and trained eagles for hunting foxes off of horseback. She loved Kazakh eagle culture so much, that she earned a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland on the subject.
Most of all, Lauren has enjoyed bringing the eagle training techniques she’s learned abroad back to her home country, where she teaches golden eagles in need of rehabilitation how to hunt on the great plains. The last two years she has also been using this technique to rehabilitate eagles in South Africa. Loving flight in all its forms, Lauren is an avid skydiver and is currently pursuing her private pilot’s certificate.
Photo (top) courtesy of Jenna Close