EAGLE HUNTER, the Cherokee is the name of the leading character in my historical novel, The Cherokee and the Slave. When I came up with that fictitious name I didn’t know that professional hunters in Western Mongolia practice a form of falconry using trained golden eagles! In the Bayan-Olgii Province there are an estimated 250 Kazakhs who hunt with eagles today. Eagle hunters hunt red foxes and hares during the annual Golden Eagle Festival of Mongolia, held during the cold winter months when it is easier to see the gold colored foxes against the snow.
Each eagle hunter starts training his eagle when it is young to develop trust and dependency. The eagle hunters and their trained birds hunt from horseback.
Archaeologists trace falconry in Central Asia back as far as the first or second millennium BC.
The Eagle Hunter of my historical novel is one of the Cherokee farmers and plantation-owners who bought black slaves to work on their properties in Georgia and Tennessee. In 1838, when the armed militia routed the 13,000 Cherokee men, women and children from their homes and forced them to move to the Oklahoma Territory, some of the Cherokee farmers took their slaves...
eagle hunters of western mongolia
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