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Pictures | Tue Apr 16, 2019 | 1:45am BST

Bird hunters of Afghanistan

Jan Agha, 49, an Afghan hunter, gives water to his cranes at a field in Bagram, Parwan province, Afghanistan April 10, 2019. As the early morning light breaks over the plain north of Kabul, bird hunter Jan Agha checks his snares as he has done for the past 30 years, hoping to catch a crane, using a tethered bird to lure others down to the nets.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha, 49, an Afghan hunter, gives water to his cranes at a field in Bagram, Parwan province, Afghanistan April 10, 2019. As the early morning light breaks over the plain north of Kabul, bird hunter Jan Agha checks his snares as he has done for...more

Jan Agha, 49, an Afghan hunter, gives water to his cranes at a field in Bagram, Parwan province, Afghanistan April 10, 2019. As the early morning light breaks over the plain north of Kabul, bird hunter Jan Agha checks his snares as he has done for the past 30 years, hoping to catch a crane, using a tethered bird to lure others down to the nets. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha tries to catch his crane at a field in Bagram. Bird hunting is an ancient sport in Afghanistan, where local and migrating species have flocked for thousands of years and where even amid the chaos of the past 40 years of conflict, the tradition persists.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha tries to catch his crane at a field in Bagram. Bird hunting is an ancient sport in Afghanistan, where local and migrating species have flocked for thousands of years and where even amid the chaos of the past 40 years of conflict, the...more

Jan Agha tries to catch his crane at a field in Bagram. Bird hunting is an ancient sport in Afghanistan, where local and migrating species have flocked for thousands of years and where even amid the chaos of the past 40 years of conflict, the tradition persists. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha has breakfast at his hunting field in Bagram. "I have learned different types of hunting from my ancestors because they were hunters too," said 49-year-old Agha, a farmer in Parwan province. "Some of my sons have learned hunting from me and I hope to see at least two of my sons become hunters so my name is remembered and people know my sons after my death."

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha has breakfast at his hunting field in Bagram. "I have learned different types of hunting from my ancestors because they were hunters too," said 49-year-old Agha, a farmer in Parwan province. "Some of my sons have learned hunting from me and...more

Jan Agha has breakfast at his hunting field in Bagram. "I have learned different types of hunting from my ancestors because they were hunters too," said 49-year-old Agha, a farmer in Parwan province. "Some of my sons have learned hunting from me and I hope to see at least two of my sons become hunters so my name is remembered and people know my sons after my death." REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha carries artificial cranes at a field in Bagram. The war has left much of the environment near Kabul devastated with uncleared mines, pollution, uncontrolled building and general neglect. Only in the last few years has there been an effort to restore areas like the former royal hunting grounds at Kol-e-Hashmat Khan in the city's southwest.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha carries artificial cranes at a field in Bagram. The war has left much of the environment near Kabul devastated with uncleared mines, pollution, uncontrolled building and general neglect. Only in the last few years has there been an effort to...more

Jan Agha carries artificial cranes at a field in Bagram. The war has left much of the environment near Kabul devastated with uncleared mines, pollution, uncontrolled building and general neglect. Only in the last few years has there been an effort to restore areas like the former royal hunting grounds at Kol-e-Hashmat Khan in the city's southwest. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha aims his gun at birds in Bagram. Spring is the season of cranes, which the hunters try to catch alive in snares, using a specially trained tethered bird whose cries attract passing flocks. "I like this crane because it won't be silent when the other big groups of cranes come, and it always forces them to come down. I like it because he is really a hunter bird."

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha aims his gun at birds in Bagram. Spring is the season of cranes, which the hunters try to catch alive in snares, using a specially trained tethered bird whose cries attract passing flocks. "I like this crane because it won't be silent when...more

Jan Agha aims his gun at birds in Bagram. Spring is the season of cranes, which the hunters try to catch alive in snares, using a specially trained tethered bird whose cries attract passing flocks. "I like this crane because it won't be silent when the other big groups of cranes come, and it always forces them to come down. I like it because he is really a hunter bird." REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha feeds his cranes at a field in Bagram. With environmental controls virtually non-existent, there is little check on how many birds are caught or shot. Agha, who started hunting when he was around 12 or 13, reckons he has taken more than 1,000 cranes and an uncountable number of quails, ducks hawks and sparrows.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha feeds his cranes at a field in Bagram. With environmental controls virtually non-existent, there is little check on how many birds are caught or shot. Agha, who started hunting when he was around 12 or 13, reckons he has taken more than...more

Jan Agha feeds his cranes at a field in Bagram. With environmental controls virtually non-existent, there is little check on how many birds are caught or shot. Agha, who started hunting when he was around 12 or 13, reckons he has taken more than 1,000 cranes and an uncountable number of quails, ducks hawks and sparrows. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Cranes are seen at a hunting field in Bagram. The birds are usually taken to shops near the town of Bagram or to Kabul itself, where there is a popular bird market in the center of the old city.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Cranes are seen at a hunting field in Bagram. The birds are usually taken to shops near the town of Bagram or to Kabul itself, where there is a popular bird market in the center of the old city. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Cranes are seen at a hunting field in Bagram. The birds are usually taken to shops near the town of Bagram or to Kabul itself, where there is a popular bird market in the center of the old city. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha carries a crane in a cage at a field in Bagram. For Agha, hunting is a relief, taking him out of the daily round and into the harshly beautiful countryside, where groups of hunters set out in the night, picnicking at night in the desert before testing their skills at dawn.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha carries a crane in a cage at a field in Bagram. For Agha, hunting is a relief, taking him out of the daily round and into the harshly beautiful countryside, where groups of hunters set out in the night, picnicking at night in the desert...more

Jan Agha carries a crane in a cage at a field in Bagram. For Agha, hunting is a relief, taking him out of the daily round and into the harshly beautiful countryside, where groups of hunters set out in the night, picnicking at night in the desert before testing their skills at dawn. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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An Afghan hunter watches birds in the sky at a hunting field in Bagram. "The pleasure of hunting is to be in open space. I like the mountain, desert, shotgun and being awake during the night to hunt," he said. "The pleasure of hunting is to be a success in it. A hunter's hope is hunting. Being a success in every job in the world has a special pleasure."

REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

An Afghan hunter watches birds in the sky at a hunting field in Bagram. "The pleasure of hunting is to be in open space. I like the mountain, desert, shotgun and being awake during the night to hunt," he said. "The pleasure of hunting is to be a...more

An Afghan hunter watches birds in the sky at a hunting field in Bagram. "The pleasure of hunting is to be in open space. I like the mountain, desert, shotgun and being awake during the night to hunt," he said. "The pleasure of hunting is to be a success in it. A hunter's hope is hunting. Being a success in every job in the world has a special pleasure." REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha inspects a crane in a field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha inspects a crane in a field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha inspects a crane in a field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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An Afghan hunter walks in a hunting field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

An Afghan hunter walks in a hunting field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

An Afghan hunter walks in a hunting field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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Jan Agha carries an artificial crane at his hunting field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha carries an artificial crane at his hunting field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Jan Agha carries an artificial crane at his hunting field in Bagram. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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