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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boar hunting, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (14th century)

Hunting is the practice of pursuing living animals (usually wildlife) for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law. The species which are hunted are referred to as game and are usually mammals and migratory or non-migratory gamebirds.

Hunting can also involve the elimination of vermin, as a means of pest control to prevent diseases caused by overpopulation. Hunting advocates state that hunting can be a necessary component[1] of modern wildlife management, for example to help maintain a population of healthy animals within an environment's ecological carrying capacity when natural checks such as predators are absent.[2] In the United States, wildlife managers are frequently part of hunting regulatory and licensing bodies, where they help to set rules on the number, manner and conditions in which game may be hunted.

The pursuit, capture and release, or capture for food of fish is called fishing, which is not commonly categorized as a form of hunting. Trapping is also usually considered a separate activity. Neither is it considered hunting to pursue animals without intent to kill them, as in wildlife photography or birdwatching. The practice of hunting for plants or mushrooms is a colloquial term for foraging or gathering.

The aspects of skillful tracking and acquisition of an elusive target in the pursuit of game have caused the word hunting to be used the vernacular as a metaphor (such as "bargain hunting") sometimes with the killing aspect also implied (such as "hunting down corruption and waste")




Hunting has a long history and may well pre-date the rise of species Homo sapiens. While our earliest Hominid ancestors were probably frugivore or omnivore, there is evidence that early Homo, and possibly already Australopithecine[3] species have used larger animals for subsistence, and that hunting may have been one of the multiple environmental factors leading to replacement of holocene megafauna by smaller herbivores.[4]

Of the closest surviving relatives of the human species, Pan, the Common Chimpanzee has an omnivorous diet including troop hunting behavior based on beta males led by an alpha male, while Bonobos, on the other hand have a mostly frugivorous diet.[5]

While it is undisputed that early humans were hunters, the importance of this fact for the final steps in the emergence of the Homo genus out of earlier Australopithecines, with its bipedalism and production of stone tools, and eventually also control of fire, are emphasized in the "hunting hypothesis", and de-emphasized in scenarios that stress the omnivore status of humans as their recipe for success, and social interaction, including mating behaviour as essential in the emergence of behavioral modernity.

With the establishment of language, culture and religion, hunting became a theme of stories and myths, besides rituals such as dance and animal sacrifice. Hunting was a crucial component of hunter-gatherer societies before the domestication of livestock and the dawn of agriculture, beginning about 11,000 years ago. By the Mesolithic, hunting strategies had diversified with the developent of the bow (by 18,000 years ago) and the domestication of the dog (about 15,000 years ago).

There is fossil evidence for spear use in Asian hunting dating from approximately 16,200 years ago.[6] The North American megafauna extinction was coincidental with the Younger Dryas impact event, making hunting a less critical factor in prehistoric species loss than had been previously thought.[7]

Many species of animals have been hunted and caribou/wild reindeer "may well be the species of single greatest importance in the entire anthropological literature on hunting"[8] (see also Reindeer Age).

Hunter-gathering lifestyles remained prevalent in the New World and Sub-Saharan Africa (with the notable exception of Aztec and Incan agriculture) until the European Age of Discovery, and they persist in some tribal societies, albeit in rapid decline. Peoples that preserved paleolithic hunting-gathering until the recent past include some indigenous peoples of the Amazonas (Aché), some Central and Southern African Bushmen (Hadza people, Khoisan), some peoples of New Guinea (Fayu), the Mlabri of Thailand and Laos, the Vedda people of Sri Lanka and a handful of uncontacted peoples.


Artemis with a Hind, a Roman copy of an Ancient Greek sculpture, circa 325 BC, by Leochares

Even as animal domestication became relatively widespread, hunting was usually a significant contributor to the human food supply, even after the development of agriculture. The supplementary meat and materials from hunting included protein, bone for implements, sinew for cordage, fur, feathers, rawhide and leather used in clothing. The earliest hunting tools would have included rocks, spears, the atlatl, bow and arrows.

On ancient reliefs, especially from Mesopotamia, kings are often depicted as hunters of big game such as lions, especially from a war chariot. The cultural and psychological importance of hunting in ancient societies is represented by deities such as the horned god Cernunnos, or lunar goddesses of classical antiquity, Greek Artemis or Roman Diana. Taboos are often related to hunting, and mythological association of prey species with a divinity could be reflected in hunting restrictions such as a 'reserve' surrounding a temple. Euripides' tale of Artemis and Acteon, for example, may be seen as a caution against disrespect of prey or impudent boasting.

Hunting is still vital in marginal climates, especially those unsuited for pastoral uses or agriculture. Inuit peoples in the Arctic trap and hunt animals for clothing. From the skins of sea mammals, they may make kayaks, clothing, and footwear.

With domestication of the dog, birds of prey and the ferret, various forms of animal-aided hunting developed including venery (scent hound hunting, such as fox hunting), coursing (sight hound hunting), falconry and ferreting. These are all associated with medieval hunting; in time various dog breeds were selected for very precise tasks during the hunt, reflected in such names as pointer and setter.

Hunting in pastoral and agricultural societies

Moche Deer hunting scene. Larco Museum Collection. Lima-Peru
Ladies Hunting, Costumes of the fifteenth century, from a miniature in a ms. copy of Ovid's Epistles. No 7231 bis. Bibl. natle de Paris
Nobleman in Hunting Costume, preceded by his servant, trying to find the scent of a stag, from a manuscript of the 14th century

Even as agriculture and animal husbandry became more prevalent, hunting often remained as a part of human culture where the environment and social conditions allowed. Hunting may be used to kill animals which prey upon domestic animals or to attempt to extirpate animals seen by humans as competition for resources such as water or forage.

As hunting moved from a subsistence activity to a social one, two trends emerged. One was that of the specialist hunter with special training and equipment. The other was the emergence of hunting as a sport for those of an upper social class. The meaning of the word "game" in middle English evolved to include an animal which is hunted.

As game became more of a luxury than a necessity, the stylized pursuit of it also became a luxury. Dangerous hunting, as for lions or wild boars, usually on horseback (or from a chariot) had a function similar to tournaments and manly sports. Hunting was considered to be an honourable, somewhat competitive pastime to help the aristocracy practice skills of war in times of peace.

In most parts of medieval Europe, the upper class obtained the sole rights to hunt in certain areas of a feudal territory. Game in these areas was certainly used as a source of food and furs, often provided via professional huntsmen; but it was also expected to provide a form of recreation for the aristocracy. The importance of this proprietary view of game can be seen in the Robin Hood legends, in which one of the primary charges against the outlaws is that they "hunt the King's deer".

Hunting with dogs

Although various animals have been used to aid the hunter, none has been as important as the dog. The domestication of the dog has led to a symbiotic relationship in which the dog has lost its evolutionary independence from humans in exchange for support.[citation needed]

Dogs today are used to find, chase and retrieve game and sometimes to kill it. Hunting dogs allow humans to pursue and kill prey that would otherwise be very difficult or dangerous to hunt.

Modern sport hunting

In time, hunting came to be seen as a sporting activity. Ultimately, the rising middle class or bourgeoisie adopted the practice and retained its image.

Although recreational hunters may choose to be selective hunters, many people hunt to enjoy the outdoors. Others enjoy game as an alternative to store bought meat. Some recreational hunters contributed to the modern environmental conservation movement. Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Teddy Roosevelt, who spent some of their outdoor recreation time hunting, became the founding fathers of the modern Conservation movement.

Hunting and religion

Many prehistoric (often zoomorph) deities are either predators or prey of humans, perhaps alluding to the importance of hunting for most Paleolithic cultures. In many pagan religions, specific rituals are conducted before or after a hunt; the rituals done may vary according to the species hunted or the season the hunt is taking place[citation needed].

Often a hunting ground, or the hunt for one or more species, was reserved or prohibited in the context of a temple cult[citation needed].

Indian and Eastern religions

Hindu Scriptures describe hunting as an acceptable occupation as well as a sport of the kingly. Even figures considered godly are described to have engaged in hunting. One of the names of the god Shiva is "Mrigavyadha", the deer hunter ("mriga" means deer, "vyadha" means hunter). In the epic Ramayana, Dasharatha, the father of Ram, is said to have the ability to hunt in the dark. During one of his hunting expedition he accidentally killed Shravana, mistaking him for game. During Ram's exile in the forest, Ravana kidnapped his wife Sita from their hut while Ram was hunting a golden deer, and his brother Lakshman went after him. According to the Mahabharat, Pandu, the father of the Pandavas, accidentally killed the sage Kindama and his wife with an arrow mistaking them for a deer. Krishna is said to have died after being accidentally wounded by an arrow of a hunter.

Jainism teaches to have tremendous respect for all of life. Prohibitions for hunting and meat eating are the fundamental conditions for being a Jain.

The first Precept of Buddhism is the respect for all sentient life. The general approach by all Buddhists is to avoid killing any living animals. The Buddha explained the issue by saying "all fear death; comparing others with oneself, one should neither kill nor cause to kill".

Christianity and Judaism

From early Christian times, hunting has been forbidden to Roman Catholic Church clerics. Thus the "Corpus Juris Canonici" (C. ii, X, De cleric. venat.) says "We forbid to all servants of God hunting and expeditions through the woods with hounds; and we also forbid them to keep hawks or falcons." The Fourth Council of the Lateran, held under Pope Innocent III, decreed (canon xv): "We interdict hunting or hawking to all clerics." The decree of the Council of Trent is worded more mildly: "Let clerics abstain from illicit hunting and hawking" (Sess. XXIV, De reform., c. xii), which seems to imply that not all hunting is illicit, and canonists generally make a distinction declaring noisy (clamorosa) hunting unlawful but not quiet (quieta) hunting.

Ferraris (s.v. "Clericus", art. 6) gives it as the general sense of canonists that hunting is allowed to clerics if it be indulged in rarely and for sufficient cause, as necessity, utility or "honest" recreation, and with that moderation which is becoming to the ecclesiastical state. Ziegler, however (De episc., l. IV, c. xix), thinks that the interpretation of the canonists is not in accordance with the letter or spirit of the laws of the Church.

Nevertheless, although a distinction between lawful and unlawful hunting is undoubtedly permissible, it is certain that a bishop can absolutely prohibit all hunting to the clerics of his diocese, as was done by synods at Milan, Avignon, Liège, Cologne and elsewhere. Benedict XIV (De synodo diœces., l. II, c. x) declared егэ 2010 that such synodal decrees are not too severe, as an absolute prohibition of hunting is more conformable to the ecclesiastical law. In practice, therefore, the synodal statutes of various localities must be consulted to discover whether they allow quiet hunting or prohibit it altogether.

It is important to note that the Bible places no such restrictions on any Christian, as most do not observe Kosher dietary laws. Hence Protestant clerics, Catholic lay parishioners, and Protestants have no religious restrictions on hunting. This is in accord with what is found in the Bible book of Acts 15:28-29 and 1 Timothy 4:4.

Jewish hunting law, based on the Torah, is similar, permitting hunting of non-preying animals that are additionally considered Kosher for food, although hunting preying animals for food is strictly prohibited under Rabbinic law. Hence birds of prey are specifically prohibited and non-Kosher. Hunting for sport, and not for food is also forbidden in Rabbinical Law.

National hunting traditions

New Zealand

New Zealand has a strong hunting culture. The islands making up New Zealand originally had no land mammals apart from bats. However, once Europeans arrived game animals were introduced by acclimatisation societies to provide New Zealanders with sport and a hunting resource. Deer, pigs, goats, rabbits, Tahr and Chamois all adapted well to the New Zealand terrain and with no natural predators their population exploded. Government agencies view the animals as pests due to their effects on the natural environment and on agricultural production, but hunters view them as a resource.

Shikar (India)

A Shikar party in Mandalay, Burma, soon after the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1886 when Burma was annexed to British India.

During the feudal and colonial epoch on the Indian continent, hunting was a true 'regal sport' in the numerous princely states, as many (Maha)rajas, Nawabs, as well as British officers maintained a whole corps of shikaris, who were native professional hunters. They would be headed by a master of the hunt, who might be styled Mir-shikar. Often these were recruited from the normally low-ranking local tribes because of their traditional knowledge of environment and hunting techniques. Big game, such as Bengal tigers, might be hunted from the back of an elephant.

Indian social norms are generally antagonistic to hunting, while a few sects like the Bishnoi lay special emphasis on the conservation of particular species like the antelope. India's Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 bans the killing of all wild animals. However, the Chief Wildlife Warden may, if he is satisfied that any wild animal from a specified list has become dangerous to human life or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, permit any person to hunt such animal. In such a case, the body of any wild animal killed or wounded becomes government property.[9]


A safari, from a Swahili word meaning a long journey, is an overland journey (especially in Africa).

Safari as a distinctive way of hunting was popularized by US author Ernest Hemingway and president Theodore Roosevelt. A safari may consist of several days or even weeks-long journey and camping in the bush or jungle, while pursuing big game. Nowadays, it's often used to describe tours through African national parks to watch or hunt wildlife.

Hunters are usually tourists, accompanied by (licensed and highly regulated) professional hunters ("PH"), local guides, skinners and porters in more difficult terrains. A special safari type is the solo-safari where all the license acquiring, stalking, preparation and outfitting is done by the hunter himself.

Photo-safaris were popular even before the advent of ecotourism. The synonym bloodless hunt for hunting with the use of film and a still photo camera was first used by the Polish photographer Włodzimierz Puchalski.[citation needed]

United Kingdom

Fox hunting in 1850s England

Fox hunting is the type of hunting most closely associated with the United Kingdom. Originally a form of vermin control to protect livestock, it became a popular social activity for newly wealthy upper classes in Victorian times, and a traditional rural activity for riders and foot followers alike. Similar to fox hunting in many ways is the chasing of hare with hounds. Sight hounds such as greyhounds may be used to run down hare in coursing with scent hounds such as beagles. Other sorts of foxhounds may also be used for hunting deer or mink. Hunting deer on foot using stealth without hounds or horses is called deer stalking.

These forms of hunting have been controversial in the UK. Animal welfare supporters believe that hunting causes unnecessary suffering to foxes, horses and hounds. Proponents argue that it is culturally and perhaps economically important. Using dogs to chase wild mammals was made illegal in February 2005 by the Hunting Act 2004. The issues involved are addressed in the article fox hunting legislation.

Shooting traditions

The shooting of game birds, especially pheasants still exists in the UK, with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation saying that over a million people per year participate in shooting, although this figure includes game shooting, clay pigeon shooting and target shooting.[10] Shooting, as opposed to traditional hunting, requires little questing for game - around 35 million birds are released onto shooting estates every year, some having been factory farmed. Shoots can be elaborate affairs with guns placed in assigned positions with assistants to help load shotguns. When in position, "beaters" move through the areas of cover swinging sticks or flags to drive the game out. Such events are often called "drives". The open season for grouse in the UK begins on August 12, the so-called Glorious Twelfth. The definition of game in the United Kingdom is governed by the Game Act 1831.

United States

Carrying a bear trophy head at the Kodiak Archipelago

North American hunting predates the United States by thousands of years, and was an important part of many pre-Columbian Native American cultures. Native Americans retain some hunting rights and are exempt from some laws as part of Indian treaties and otherwise under federal law—examples include eagle feather laws and exemptions in the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This is considered particularly important in Alaska Native communities.

Regulation of hunting is primarily regulated by state law; additional regulations are imposed through United States environmental law in the case of migratory birds and endangered species.

Regulations vary widely from state to state, and govern the areas, time periods, techniques and methods by which specific game animals may be hunted. Some states make a distinction between protected species and unprotected species (often vermin or varmints) for which there are no hunting regulations. Hunters of protected species require a hunting license in all states, for which completion of a hunting safety course is sometimes a prerequisite.

Typically game animals are divided into several categories for regulatory purposes. Typical categories, along with example species, are as follows:

Hunting big game typically requires a "tag" for each animal harvested. Tags must be purchased in addition to the hunting license, and the number of tags issued to an individual is typically limited. In cases where there are more prospective hunters than the quota for that species, tags are usually assigned by lottery. Tags may be further restricted to a specific area or "wildlife management unit." Hunting migratory waterfowl requires a "duck stamp" from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Hunting camp with dressed deer at Schoodic Lake, Maine in 1905

Harvest of animals other than big game is typically restricted by a "bag limit" and a "possession limit." A bag limit is a maximum number of a specific animal species that an individual can harvest in a single day. A possession limit is a maximum number of a specific animal species that can be in an individual's possession at any time.

Guns usage in hunting is also typically regulated by game category, area within the state, and time period. Regulations for big game hunting often specify a minimum caliber or muzzle energy for firearms. The use of rifles is often banned for safety reasons in areas with high population density or limited topographic relief. Regulations may also limit or ban the use of lead in ammunition because of environmental concerns. Specific seasons for bow hunting or muzzle-loading black powder guns are often established to limit competition with hunters using more effective weapons. Hunting in the United States is not associated with any particular class or culture. In fact, 78% of Americans support legal hunting,[11] but relatively few Americans actually hunt. At the beginning of the 21st century, 6% of Americans hunted. Southerners in states along the eastern seaboard hunted at a rate slightly below the national average (5%), and while hunting was more common in other parts of the South (9%), these rates did not surpass those of the Plains states, where 12% of Midwesterners hunted. Hunting in other areas of the country fell below the national average.[12] Overall in the 1996–2006 period, the number of hunters over the age of 16 declined by 10%, a drop attributable to a number of factors including habitat loss and changes in recreation habits.[13]

Regulation of hunting within the United States dates from the 19th century. Some modern hunters see themselves as conservationists and sportsmen in the mode of Theodore Roosevelt and the Boone and Crockett Club. Local hunting clubs and national organizations provide hunter education and help protect the future of the sport by buying land for future hunting use. Some groups represent a specific hunting interest, such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever or Delta Waterfowl Foundation. Many hunting groups also participate in lobbying the federal government and state government.

Each year, nearly $200 million in hunters' federal excise taxes are distributed to state agencies to support wildlife management programs, the purchase of lands open to hunters, and hunter education and safety classes. Since 1934 the sale of Federal Duck Stamps, a required purchase for migratory waterfowl hunters over 16 years old, has raised over $700 million to help purchase more than 5.2 million acres (8,100 sq mi/20,000 km²) of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System lands that support waterfowl and many other wildlife species, and are often open to hunting. States also collect monies from hunting licenses to assist with management of game animals, as designated by law. A key task of Federal and state park rangers and game wardens is to enforce laws and regulations related to hunting, including species protection, hunting seasons, and hunting bans.

Varmint hunting is an American phrase for the selective killing of non-game animals seen as pests. While not always an efficient form of pest control, varmint hunting achieves selective control of pests while providing recreation and is much less regulated. Varmint species are often responsible for detrimental effects on crops, livestock, landscaping, infrastructure, and pets. Some animals (such as wild rabbits or squirrels) may be utilized for fur or meat, but often no use is made of the carcass. Which species are "varmints" depends on the circumstance and area. Common varmints may include various rodents, coyotes, crows, foxes, feral cats, and feral hogs. Some animals once considered varmints are now protected, such as wolves. In the US state of Louisiana, a non-native rodent known as a nutria have become so destructive to the local ecosystem that the state has initiated a bounty program to help control the population. Feral dogs and cats, rats, starlings, English sparrows, and pigeons may be hunted without a hunting license in the United States.

The American Fair Chase Tradition

En uheldig bjørnejakt (An Unfortunate Bear Hunt) by Theodor Kittelsen

The principles of the Fair Chase[14] have been a part of the American hunting tradition for over 100 years. The role of the hunter-conservationist, popularized by Theodore Roosevelt, has been central to the development of the modern Fair Chase tradition. When internet hunting was introduced in 2005, allowing people to hunt over the internet using remotely controlled guns, the practice was widely criticized by hunters as violating the principles of fair chase. As a representative of the NRA explained, "[t]he NRA has always maintained that fair chase, being in the field with your firearm or bow, is an important element of hunting tradition. Sitting at your desk in front of your computer, clicking at a mouse, has nothing to do with hunting."[15]

Hunting ranches

Indian Blackbuck, Nilgai, exotic deer antelope, Greater Kudu and Barasingha can now be found on hunting ranches in Texas, USA where they are shot for sport hunting. Hunters can pay upwards of $4000 as fees for hunting a Barasingha.


The Russian imperial hunts evolved from hunting traditions of early Russian rulers (Grand Princes and Tsars), under the influence of hunting customs of European royal courts. The imperial hunts were organized mainly in Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo and Gatchina.

Wildlife management

Hunting gives resource managers an important tool[16][17] in managing populations that might exceed the carrying capacity of their habitat and threaten the well-being of other species or, in some instances, damage human health or safety.[18] Hunting reduces intraspecific competition for food and shelter, reducing mortality among the remaining animals. Some environmentalists assert that (re)introducing predators would achieve the same end with greater efficiency and less negative effect such as introducing significant amounts of free lead into the environment and food chain. Hunters often disagree, arguing that hunting is more selective, removing fewer old, sick, or young animals than natural predation. Aldo Leopold, an early environmentalist and hunter, also believed hunting could be used to manage animal populations.

Management agencies sometimes rely on hunting to control specific animal populations, as has been the case with deer in North America. These hunts may sometimes be carried out by professional shooters although others may include amateur hunters. Many U.S. city and local governments hire professional and amateur hunters each year to reduce populations of animals that are becoming hazardous, like deer, in a restricted area, such as neighborhood parks and metropolitan open spaces.

A large part of managing populations involves managing the number and, sometimes, the size or age of animals harvested so as to ensure the sustainability of the population. Tools which are frequently used to control harvest are bag limits and season closures, although gear restrictions such as archery-only seasons are becoming increasingly popular in an effort to reduce hunter success rates.[citation needed]

Bag limits

Bag limits are provisions under the law which control how many animals of a given species or group of species can be killed although there are often species for which bag limits do not apply. There are also jurisdictions where bag limits are not applied at all or are not applied under certain circumstances. Where bag limits are used, however, there can be daily or seasonal bag limits. For example, ducks can often be harvested at a rate of six per hunter per day.[19] Big game, like moose, most often have a seasonal bag limit of one animal per hunter.[20] Bag limits may also regulate the size, sex or age of animal that a hunter can kill. In many cases, bag limits are designed to more equitably allocate harvest among the hunting population rather than to protect animal populations. The phrase "bag limits" comes from the custom among hunters of small game to carry successful kills in a small bag, similar to a fishing kreel.

Closed season

A closed season is a "hunting" term used to describe a time during which hunting an animal of a given species is contrary to law. Typically, closed seasons are designed to protect a species when they are most vulnerable or, sometimes, to protect them during their breeding season[21]. By extension, the period that is not the closed season is known as the open season.

Illegal hunting

Illegal hunting and harvesting of wild species contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws is termed as "Poaching". Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.

Hunting methods

Native Americans hunting bison, from an 1855 illustration

Historical, subsistence and sport hunting techniques can differ radically, with modern hunting regulations often addressing issues of where, when and how hunts are conducted. Techniques may vary depending on government regulations, a hunter's personal ethics, local custom, hunting-equipment and the animal being hunted. Often a hunter will use a combination of more than one technique. Laws may forbid sport hunters from using some methods used primarily in poaching and wildlife management.

  • Baiting is the use of decoys, lures, scent.
  • Battue involves beating animals into a killing-zone or ambush
  • Beagling is the use of beagles in hunting rabbits and sometimes in hunting foxes
  • Beating uses beaters to flush out game and/or drive it into position
  • Blind or stand hunting is waiting for animals from a concealed or elevated position
  • Calling is the use of animal noises to attract or drive animals
  • Camouflage is the use of visual concealment (or scent) to blend with the environment
  • Dogs may be used to course or to help flush, herd, drive, track, point at, pursue or retrieve prey
  • Driving is the herding of animals in a particular direction, usually toward another hunter in the group
  • Flushing is the practice of scaring animals from concealed areas
  • Glassing is the use of optics (such as binoculars) to more easily locate animals
  • Glue is an indiscriminate passive form to kill birds[22]
  • Internet hunting is a method of hunting over the internet using webcams and remotely controlled guns
  • Netting, including active netting with the use of cannon nets and rocket nets
  • Persistence hunting is the use of running and tracking to pursue the prey to exhaustion.[23]
  • Scouting includes a variety of tasks and techniques for finding animals to hunt
  • Spotlighting or shining is the use of artificial light to find or blind animals before killing
  • Stalking or still hunting is the practice of walking quietly, in search of animals or in pursuit of an individual animal
  • Tracking is the practice of reading physical evidence in pursuing animals
  • Trapping is the use of devices (snares, pits, deadfalls) to capture or kill an animal

Trophy hunting

Royal Liechtenstein trophy collection at Úsov Château, the Czech Republic

Trophy hunting is the selective seeking of wild game. It may also include the controversial hunting of captive or semi-captive animals expressly bred and raised under controlled or semi-controlled conditions so as to attain trophy characteristics (canned hunts).


In the 19th century, southern and central European sport hunters often pursued game only for a trophy, usually the head or pelt of an animal, which was then displayed as a sign of prowess. The rest of the animal was typically discarded. Some cultures, however, disapprove of such waste. In Nordic countries, hunting for trophies was—and still is—frowned upon. Hunting in North America in the 19th century was done primarily as a way to supplement food supplies, although it is now undertaken mainly for sport[citation needed]. The safari method of hunting was a development of sport hunting that saw elaborate travel in Africa, India and other places in pursuit of trophies. In modern times, trophy hunting persists and is a significant industry in some areas.


Trophy hunting is most often criticized when it involves rare or endangered animals.[24] Opponents may also see trophy hunting as an issue of morality[25] or animal cruelty, criticising the killing of living creatures for recreation. Victorian era dramatist W. S. Gilbert remarked, "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns."[26]

There is also debate about the extent to which trophy hunting benefits the local economy. Hunters argue that fees paid contribute to the local economy and provide value to animals that would otherwise be seen as competition for grazing, livestock, and crops.[27] This analysis is disputed by opponents of trophy hunting.[28] Some argue that the animals are worth more to the community for ecotourism, than hunting.[29]

Economics of hunting

A variety of industries benefit from hunting and support hunting on economic grounds. In Tanzania, it is estimated that a safari hunter spends 50-100 times that of the average eco-tourist. The average photo tourist may demand luxury accommodations. In contrast, the average safari hunter stays in tented camps. Safari hunters are also more likely to use remote areas, uninviting to the average eco-tourist. Advocates argue that these hunters allow for anti-poaching activities and revenue for local communities.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom, the game hunting of birds as an industry is said to be extremely important to the rural economy: The Cobham Report of 1997 suggested it to be worth around £700 million, and hunting and shooting lobby groups now claim it to be worth over a billion.[citation needed]

Hunting also has a significant financial impact in the United States, with many companies specializing in hunting equipment or specialty tourism. Today's hunters come from a broad range of economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. In 2001, over 13 million hunters averaged eighteen days hunting and spent over $20.5 billion on their sport.[citation needed]In the U.S., proceeds from hunting licenses contribute to state game management programs including preservation of wildlife habitat.


Hunters have been driving forces throughout history in the movement to ensure long-term sustainability of natural resources and wildlife habitats. Some hunters feel that the honor once bestowed upon their sport has diminished over the years, claiming that mainstream media sometimes ignores the connection between hunting and conservation and often publishes claims that hunting endangers wildlife. Of greater concern to endangered wildlife is the loss of habitat, brought on by overpopulation and urban development. Because of their connection with the land and vested interest in increasing wildlife populations, hunters have been influential in implementing and financing various programs geared towards habitat restoration and conservation.

Legislation lobbied by hunters

Hunters have worked closely with local and federal governments to enact legislation to protect wildlife habitats. The following examples represent hunter-advocated legislation enacted to generate funds for preserving and establishing habitats.(Hunters Rule)

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters successfully lobbied to prevent cuts in funding for the Community Fisheries and Wildlife Involvement Program by 50%.

Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937

In 1937, hunters successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, which placed an 11% tax on all hunting equipment. This self-imposed tax now generates over $700 million each year and is used exclusively to establish, restore and protect wildlife habitats.[30] It is named for Nevada Senator Key Pittman and Virginia Congressman Absalom Willis Robertson.

Federal Duck Stamp Program

On March 16, 1934 President Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, which requires an annual stamp purchase by all hunters over the age of sixteen. The stamps are created on behalf of the program by the U.S. Postal Service and depict wildlife artwork chosen through an annual contest. They play an important role in habitat conservation because 98% of all funds generated by their sale go directly toward the purchase or lease of wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. In addition to waterfowl, it is estimated that one third of the nation's endangered species seek food and shelter in areas protected using Duck Stamp funds. Since 1934, the sale of Federal Duck Stamps has generated $670M and helped to purchase or lease 5.2 million acres (21,000 km²) of habitat. The stamps serve as a license to hunt migratory birds, an entrance pass for all National Wildlife Refuge areas and are also considered collectors items often purchased for aesthetic reasons outside of the hunting and birding communities. Although non-hunters buy a significant number of Duck Stamps, 87% of their sales are contributed to hunters. Distribution of funds is managed by The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC).[31]

Conservation organizations founded by hunters

There are a number of organizations founded by hunters and by those interested in preserving wildlife populations and habitats. One of the oldest and most well-known organizations is Ducks Unlimited. Another internationally recognized hunters' conservation organization is Safari Club International.

See also



  1. ^ Williams, Ted. "Wanted: More Hunters," Audubon magazine, March 2002, copy retrieved 2007-10-26.
  2. ^ Harper, Craig A. "Quality Deer Management Guidelines for Implementation" (PDF). Agricultural Extension Service, The University of Tennessee. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  3. ^ In 1992, trace element studies of the strontium/calcium ratios in robust australopithecine fossils suggested the possibility of animal consumption, as did a 1994 using stable carbon isotopic analysis. Billings, Tom. "Comparative Anatomy and Physiology Brought Up to Date--continued, Part 3B". 
  4. ^ Surovell, Todd; Nicole Waguespack and P. Jeffrey Brantingham (2005-04-13). "Global archaeological evidence for proboscidean overkill" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (The National Academy of Sciences (USA)) 102 (17): 6231–6236. doi:10.1073/pnas.0501947102. PMID 15829581. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  5. ^ Courtney Laird. "Bonobo social spacing". Davidson College. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  6. ^ Zenin, Vasiliy N.; Evgeny N. Mashenko, Sergey V. Leshchinskiy, Aleksandr F. Pavlov, Pieter M. Grootes, and Marie-Josée Nadeau (May 24-29, 2003). "The First Direct Evidence of Mammoth Hunting in Asia (Lugovskoye Site, Western Siberia) (L)". 3rd International Mammoth Conference. Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada: John Storer, Government of Yukon. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  7. ^ American Geophysical Union paper PP43A-01, abstract retrieved 2007-10-26
  8. ^ "In North America and Eurasia the species has long been an important resource--in many areas the most important resource--for peoples inhabiting the northern boreal forest and tundra regions. Known human dependence on caribou/wild reindeer has a long history, beginning in the Middle Pleistocene (Banfield 1961:170; Kurtén 1968:170) and continuing to the present....The caribou/wild reindeer is thus an animal that has been a major resource for humans throughout a tremendous geographic area and across a time span of tens of thousands of years." Ernest S. Burch, Jr. The Caribou/Wild Reindeer as a Human Resource. American Antiquity, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Jul., 1972), pp. 339-368.
  9. ^ Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
  10. ^ BASC site
  11. ^ Results from a 2006 poll done by Responsive Management
  12. ^ National statistics from US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and US Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau, 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation, 27.
  13. ^ Jackson, Patrick. Number of hunters is dwindling—Urbanization and cultural changes discourage newcomers to the sport, The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware) 2007-09-06, retrieved 2007-10-30.
  14. ^ Interpretations of the Fair Chase can be found on the web sites of various hunter's organizations, such as the Boone and Crockett Club and Hunt Fair Chase. See also What's Fair?, by Don Meredith, retrieved 2007-10-30.
  15. ^ Humane Society Wildlife Abuse Campaign, Fact Sheet on Internet Hunting
  16. ^ (article link) Chardonnet P, des Clers B, Fischer J, Gerhold R, Jori F, Lamarque F. The Value of Wildlife; Rev. sci. tech. Off. Int. Epiz., 2002, 21(1),15-51, posted by the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Accessed 12 December 2006
  17. ^ Herring, Hal. Today’s sportsmen and sportswomen are a powerful force for conservation, The Nature Conservancy Magazine, retrieved 2007-10-30.
  18. ^ The Hunting section of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site includes articles and statistics relating to wildlife management.
  19. ^ US Fish and Wildlife Service 2003 proposed bag limits for waterfowl
  20. ^ An overview of moose hunting regulations in Canada
  21. ^ When can I hunt, Game Hunting, Recreation and Tourism; The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Government of Victoria, Australia., Accessed 04 December 2008.
  22. ^ Catalonian fiat, with picture
  23. ^ Nancy L. Struna, People of Prowess: Sport, Leisure, and Labor in Early Anglo-America(1996), ISBN 0252065522
  24. ^ Early Day Motion on trophy hunting
  25. ^ see, for example, this internet page
  26. ^ Grossmith, George in The Daily Telegraph, 7 June 1911
  27. ^ Martin, Glen. The lion, once king of vast African savanna, suffers alarming decline in population, San Francisco Chronicle, October 6, 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  28. ^ League Against Cruel Sports. The Myth of Trophy Hunting as Conservation, December 2004. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  29. ^ The International Ecotourism Society has published articles along this line.
  30. ^ "The Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 11 May 2007. 
  31. ^ "Migratory Bird Conservation Commission". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 31 May 2007. 

Further reading

  • Dickson D. Bruce, Jr., Mississippi Quarterly (Spring 1977).
  • Kenneth S. Greenberg, Honor and Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing as a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Pro-Slavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South (1996).
  • Steven Hahn, Radical History Review (1982).
  • Charles H. Hudson, Jr., in Indians, Animals, and the Fur Trade, ed., Shephard Krech III (1981).
  • Stuart A. Marks, Southern Hunting in Black and White: Nature, History, and Ritual in a Carolina Community (1991).
  • Ted Ownby, Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation, and Manhood in the Rural South, 1865-1920 (1990).
  • Wiley C. Prewitt, “The Best of All Breathing: Hunting and Environmental Change in Mississippi, 1900-1980” M.A. thesis, (1991).
  • Nicolas W. Proctor, Bathed in Blood: Hunting and Mastery in the Old South (2002).
  • Jacob F. Rivers III, Cultural Values in the Southern Sporting Narrative (2002).
  • Timothy Silver, A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800 (1990).
  • Richard C. Stedman and Thomas A. Heberlein, Rural Sociology (2001).
  • Nancy L. Struna, People of Prowess: Sport, Leisure, and Labor in Early Anglo-America (1996).
  • Salem, D.J., and A.N. Rowan, eds. 2003. The State of the Animals II: 2003. Washington, D.C.: Humane Society Press. (ISBN 0-9658942-7-4)

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Recreational shooting article)

From Wikitravel

This article is a travel topic.

Recreational shooting can refer to several activities including hunting, participating in shooting competitions, or using firearms as a hobby.



The laws governing firearms and other weapons in Europe may be more complicated depending on which European nation you're traveling to. For travelers to member nations of the European Union they may be subject not only to the national laws of their destination, but also local laws and the regulations of the European Union.


In general Germany is a very restrictive country when it comes to firearms, however since the Weapons Act (Waffengesetz) was enacted on April 1, 2003 the regulations affecting hunters and recreational shooters have been significantly relaxed.

German law raised the minimum age for the purchase and possession of weapons from 16 to 18 for hunters, and 18 to 21 for marksmen.

North America


Hunting and fishing are big business in Canada and they attract many tourists, especially from the US and Japan. Typically the companies that provide services to hunters can also help customers comply with Canadian laws. You need a hunting or fishing license and may also need a gun license.

Canadian weapons laws are considerably tighter than the US, and there is less variation between provinces than between US states.

  • The Canadian Firearms Center [1] administers the gun regulations.
  • Canada Customs have a page on import regulations [2].

A number of weapons are classed as prohibited. Getting a permit for these is generally impossible. Prohibited firearms include short-barreled guns, fully-automatic weapons, rifles with collapsible stocks, and most 25 or 32 caliber pistols. Various other things are also prohibited — mags with over 5 rounds for a long gun or 10 for a pistol, silencers, replicas such as Airsoft guns, switchblade knives, teargas or pepper spray, ...

There are also restricted weapons — any pistol that is not prohibited, M16 and AR-15, various others. Permits for these may be possible, but there is considerable bureaucracy to be dealt with.

The only weapon that would be relatively easy to import, or to rent, is one that is neither restricted nor prohibited, such as the typical hunter's rifle or shotgun. Even for that, there would be paperwork.

United States of America

Shooting sports such as hunting and competitive shooting are widely practiced. Rifle ranges often offer shooter safety and other classes for beginners.

Anyone who wishes to hunt must first purchase a hunting license valid for the state they will hunt in. Licenses are available at many rural stores or by mail/internet directly from the state. They are usually valid for a set period of time, or a set number of kills.

Foreigners on non-immigrant visas who wish to import guns for hunting or competitive shooting must file Form 6 NIA [3] with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms [4], as well as have a valid hunting license. Approval generally takes 6-8 weeks, so plan ahead.

It is illegal in the US for non-citizens to purchase or own firearms. Private hunting and shooting may be done in the presence or under the supervision of a US citizen. Another option is to borrow or rent guns from the shooting range of your choice to shoot on premesis -- call ahead to see if this is an option.

Individual US States have a significant say over most of the regulations of firearms within their state. Travelers will want to check with individual states to make sure other restrictions will not apply to them. The pro-gun lobbyist organization, the National Rifle Association (Commonly referred to as the NRA) [5] provides an excellent service that explains most relevant state-by-state laws.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HUNTING (the verbal substantive from "hunt"; O. Eng. huntinn, hunta; apparently connected with O. Eng. hentan, Gothic hinpan, to capture, O.H.G. hunda, booty), the pursuit of game and wild animals, for profit or sport; equivalent to "chase" (like "catch," from Lat. captare, Fr. chasse, Ital. caccia). The circumstances which render necessary the habitual pursuit of wild animals, either as a means of subsistence or for self-defence, generally accompany a phase of human progress distinctly inferior to the pastoral and agricultural stages; resorted to as a recreation, however, the practice of the chase in most cases indicates a considerable degree of civilization, and sometimes ultimately becomes the almost distinctive employment of the classes which are possessed of most leisure and wealth. It is in some of its latter aspects, viz. as a "sport," pursued on fixed rules and principles, that hunting is dealt with here.

Information as to the field sports of the ancients is in many directions extremely fragmentary. With regard to the ancient Egyptians, however, we learn that the huntsmen Historic constituted an entire sub-division of the great second Field dresses and furniture were ornamented with similar subjects.2 The game pursued included the lion, the wild ass, the gazelle and the hare, and the implements chiefly employed seem to have been the javelin and the bow. There are indications that hawking was also known. The Assyrian kings also maintained magnificent parks, or "paradises," in which game of every kind was enclosed; and perhaps it was from them that the Persian sovereigns borrowed the practice mentioned both by Xenophon in the Cyropaedia and by Curtius. According to Herodotus, Cyrus devoted the revenue of four great towns to meet the expenses of his hunting establishments. The circumstances under which the death of the son of Croesus is by the same writer (i. 34-45) related to have occurred, incidentally show in what high estimation the recreation of hunting was held in Lydia. In Palestine game has always been plentiful, and the Biblical indications that it was much sought and duly appreciated are numerous. As means of capture, nets, traps, snares and pitfalls are most frequently alluded to; but the arrow (Isa. vii. 24), the spear and the dart (Job. xli. 26-29) are also mentioned. There is no evidence that the use of the dog (Jos. Ant. iv. 8, 10, notwithstanding) or of the horse in hunting was known among the Jews during the period covered by the Old Testament history; Herod, however, was a keen and successful sportsman, and is recorded by Josephus (B.J. 1.21, 13, compare Ant. xv. 7, 7; xvi. 10, 3) to have killed no fewer than forty head of game (boar, wild ass, deer) in one day.

The sporting tastes of the ancient Greeks, as may be gathered from many references in Homer (Il. ix. 538-545; Od. ix. 120, xvii. 295, 316, xix. 429 seq.), had developed at a very early period; they first found adequate literary expression in the work of Xenophon entitled Cynegeticus, 3 which expounds his principles and embodies his experience in his favourite art of hunting. The treatise chiefly deals with the capture of the hare; in the author's day the approved method was to find the hare in her form by the use of dogs; when found she was either driven into nets previously set in her runs or else run down in the open. Boar-hunting is also described; it was effected by nets into which the animal was pursued, and in which when fairly entangled he was speared. The stag, according to the same work, was taken by means of a kind of wooden trap (iroSoarpa(3n), which attached itself to the foot. Lions, leopards, lynxes, panthers and bears are also specially mentioned among the large game; sometimes they were taken in pitfalls, sometimes speared by mounted horsemen. As a writer on field sports Xenophon was followed by Arrian, who in his Cynegeticus, in avowed dependence on his predecessor, seeks to supplement such deficiencies in the earlier treatise as arose from its author's unacquaintance with the dogs of Gaul and the horses of Scythia and Libya. Four books of Cynegetica, extending to about 2100 hexameters, by Oppian have also been preserved; the last of these is incomplete, and it is probable that a fifth at one time existed. The poem contains some good descriptive passages, as well as some very curious indications of the state of zoological knowledge in the author's time. Hunting scenes are frequently represented in ancient works of art, especially the boar-hunt, and also that of the hare. In Roman literature allusions to the pleasures of the chase (wild ass, boar, hare, fallow deer being specially mentioned as favourite game) are not wanting (Virg. Georg. iii. 409-413; Ed. iii. 75; Hor. Od. i. I, 25-28); it seems to have been viewed, however, with less favour as an occupation for gentlemen, and to have been chiefly left to inferiors and professionals. The immense vivaria or theriotropheia, in which various wild animals, such as boars, stags and roe-deer, were kept in a state of semidomestication, were developments which arose at a comparatively late period; as also were the venationes in the circus, although these are mentioned as having been known as early as 186 B.C. The bald and meagre poem of Grattius Faliscus on hunting (Cynegetica) is modelled upon Xenophon's prose work; a still extant fragment (315 lines) of a similar poem with the same title, of much later date, by Nemesianus, seems to have at one See Layard (Nineveh, ii. 431, 432), who cites Ammian. Marcell. xxvi. 6, and Athen. xii. 9. 'Engl. transl. by Blane.

. caste; they either followed the chase on their own account, or acted as the attendants of the chiefs in their hunting excursions, taking charge of the dogs, and securing and bringing home the game. The game was sought in the open deserts which border on both sides the valley of the Nile; but (by the wealthy) sometimes in enclosed spaces into which the animals had been driven or in preserves. Besides the noose and the net, the arrow, the dart and the hunting pole or venabulum were frequently employed. The animals chiefly hunted were the gazelle, ibex, oryx, stag, wild ox, wild sheep, hare and porcupine; also the ostrich for its plumes, and the fox, jackal, wolf, hyaena and leopard for their skins, or as enemies of the farm-yard. The lion was occasionally trained as a hunting animal instead of the dog. The sportsman appears, occasionally at least, in the later periods, to have gone to cover in his chariot or on horseback; according to Wilkinson, when the dogs threw off in a level plain of great extent, it was even usual for him "to remain in his chariot, and, urging his horses to their full speed, endeavour to turn or intercept them as they doubled, discharging a well-directed arrow whenever they came within its range." The partiality for the chase which the ancient Egyptians manifested was shared by the Assyrians and Babylonians, as is shown by the frequency with which hunting scenes are depicted on the walls of their temples and palaces; it is even said that their 1 See on this whole subject ch. viii. of Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians (ii. 78-92, ed. Birch, 1878).

time formed the introduction to an extended work corresponding to that of Oppian.

That the Romans had borrowed some things in the art of hunting from the Gauls may be inferred from the name canis gallicus (Spanish galgo) for a greyhound, which is to be met with both in Ovid and Martial; also in the words (canis) vertragus and segusius, both of Celtic origin.' According to Strabo (p. 200) the Britons also bred dogs well adapted for hunting purposes. The addiction of the Franks in later centuries to the chase is evidenced by the frequency with which not only the laity but also the clergy were warned by provincial councils against expending so much of their time and money on hounds, hawks and falcons; and we have similar proof with regard to the habits of other Teutonic nations subsequent to the introduction of Christianity. 2 Originally among the northern nations sport was open to every one 3 except to slaves, who were not permitted to bear arms; the growth of the idea of game-preserving kept pace with the development of feudalism. For its ultimate development in Britain see Forest Law, where also the distinction between beasts of forest or venery, beasts of chase and beasts and fowls of warren is explained. See also Game Laws.

Modern Hunting

The term "hunting" has come to be applied specially to the pursuit of such quarries as the stag or fox, or to following an artificially laid scent, with horse and hound. It thus corresponds to the Fr. chasse au courre, as distinguished from chasse au tir, a l'oiseau, &c., and to the Ger. hetzjagd as distinguished from birsch. In the following article the English practice is mainly considered.

Doubtless the early inhabitants of Britain shared to a large extent in the habits of the other Celtic peoples; the fact that they kept good hunting dogs is vouched for by Strabo; and an interesting illustration of the manner in which these were used is given in the inscription quoted by Orelli (n. 1603) - "Silvano Invicto Sacrum - ob aprum eximiae formae captum, quem multi antecessores praedari non potuerunt." Asser, the biographer of Alfred the Great, states that before the prince was twelve years of age he "was a most expert and active hunter, and excelled in all the branches of that noble art, to which he applied with incessant labour and amazing success." 4 Of his grandson Athelstan it is related by William of Malmesbury that after the victory of Brunanburgh he imposed upon the vanquished king of Wales a yearly tribute, which included a certain number of "hawks and sharp-scented dogs fit for hunting wild beasts." According to the same authority, one of the greatest delights of Edward the Confessor was "to follow a pack of swift hounds in pursuit of game, and to cheer them with his voice." It was under the Anglo-Saxon kings that the distinction between the higher and lower chase first came to be made - the former being expressly for the king or those on whom he had bestowed the pleasure of sharing in it, while only the latter was allowed to the proprietors of the land. To the reign of Cnut belong the "Constitutiones de Foresta," according to which four thanes were appointed in every province for the administration of justice in all matters connected with the forests; under them were four inferior thanes to whom was committed immediate care of the vert and venison.' The severity of the forest laws which prevailed during t he Norman period is sufficient evidence of the sporting ardour of William and his successors. The Conqueror himself "loved the high game as if he were their father"; and the penalty for the unauthorized slaughter of a hart or hind was loss of both eyes.

' Hehn, Kulturpflanzen u. Hausthiere, p. 327.

References will be found in Smith's Dictionary of Christian Antiquities - art. on "Hunting." 3 "Vita omnis in venationibus ... consistit," Caes. B.G., vi. 21. "Quoties bella non ineunt, multum venatibus, plus per otium transigunt," Tacitus, Germ. 15.

See Strutt, Sports and Pastimes, who also gives an illustration, "taken from a manuscriptal painting of the 9th century in the Cotton Library," representing "a Saxon chieftain, attended by his huntsman and a couple of hounds, pursuing the wild swine in a forest." See Lappenberg, Hist. of England under the Anglo-Saxon Kings (ii. 361, Thorpe's trans.).

At an early period stag hunting was a favourite recreation with English royalty. It seems probable that in the reign of Henry VIII. the royal pack of buckhounds was kennelled at Swinley, in the reign of Charles II. 168 a stag Y> g (4) ?

deer was found that went away to Lord Petre's seat in Essex; only five got to the end of this 70 m. run, one being the king's brother, the duke of York. George III. was a great stag hunter, and met the royal pack as often as possible.

In The Chase of the Wild Red Deer, Mr Collyns says that the earliest record of a pack of staghounds in the Exmoor district is in 1598, when Hugh Polland, Queen Elizabeth's ranger, kept one at Simonsbath. The succeeding rangers of Exmoor forest kept up the pack until some 200 years ago, the hounds subsequently passing into the possession of Mr Walter of Stevenstone, an ancestor of the Rolle family. Successive masters continued the sport until 1825, when the fine pack, descended probably from the bloodhound crossed with the old southern hound, was sold in London. It is difficult to imagine how the dispersion of such a pack could have come about in such a sporting country, but in 1827 Sir Arthur Chichester got a pack together again. Stag hunting begins on the 12th of August, and ends on the 8th of October; there is then a cessation until the end of the month, when the hounds are unkennelled for hind hunting, which continues up to Christmas; it begins again about Ladyday, and lasts till the 10th of May. The mode of hunting with the Devon and Somerset hounds is briefly this: the whereabouts of a warrantable stag is communicated to the master by that important functionary the harbourer; two couple of steady hounds called tufters are then thrown into cover, and, having singled out a warrantable deer, follow him until he is forced to make for the open, when the body of the pack are laid on. Very often two or three hours elapse before the stag breaks, but a run over the wild country fully atones for the delay.

It is only within comparatively recent times that the fox has come to be considered as an animal of the higher chase. William Twici, indeed, who was huntsman-in-chief to Edward Fox II., and who wrote in Norman French a treatise on hunting, 6 mentions the fox as a beast of venery, but obviously as an altogether inferior object of sport. Strutt also gives an engraving, assigned by him to the 14th century, in which three hunters, one of whom blows a horn, are represented as unearthing a fox, which is pursued by a single hound. The precise date of the establishment of the first English pack of hounds kept entirely for fox hunting cannot be accurately fixed. In the work of "Nimrod" (C. J. Apperley), entitled The Chase, there is (p. 4) an extract from a letter from Lord Arundel, dated February 1833, in which the writer says that his ancestor, Lord Arundel, kept a pack of foxhounds between 1690 and 1700, and that they remained in the family till 1782, when they were sold to the celebrated Hugh Meynell, of Quorndon Hall, Leicestershire. Lord Wilton again, in his Sports and Pursuits of the English, says that "about the year 1750 hounds began to be entered solely to fox." The Field of November 6, 18 75, p. 512, contains an engraving of a hunting-horn then in the possession of the late master of the Cheshire hounds, and upon the horn is the inscription: - "Thomas Boothby, Esq., Tooley Park, Leicester. With this horn he hunted the first pack of foxhounds then in England fifty-five years. Born 1677. Died 1752. Now the property of Thomas d'Avenant, Esq., county Salop, his grandson." These extracts do not finally decide the point, because both Mr Boothby's and Lord Arundel's hounds may have hunted other game besides fox, just as in Edward IV.'s time there were "fox dogs" though not kept exclusively for fox. On the whole, it is probable that Lord Wilton's surmise is not far from correct. Since fox hunting first commenced, however, the system of the sport has been much changed. In our great-grandfathers' time the hounds met early, and found the fox by the drag, that is, by the line he took to his kennel on his return from a foraging expedition. Hunting the Le Art de venerie, translated with preface and notes by Sir Henry Dryden (1893), new edition by Miss A. Dryden (5909), including The Craft of Venerie from a 15th-century MS. and a 13thcentury poem La Chasse d'on cerf. drag was doubtless a great test of nose, but many good runs must have been lost thereby, for the fox must often have heard the hounds upwind, and have moved off before they could get on good terms with him. At the present day, the woodlands are neither so large nor so numerous as they formerly were, while there are many more gorse covers; therefore, instead of hunting the drag up to it, a much quicker way of getting to work is to find a fox in his kennel; and, the hour of the meeting being later, the fox is not likely to be gorged with food, and so unable to take care of himself at the pace at which the modern foxhound travels.

Cub hunting carried out on a proper principle is one of the secrets of a successful season. To the man who cares for hunting, as distinct from riding, September and October are not the least enjoyable months of the whole hunting season. As soon as the young entry have recovered from the operation of "rounding," arrangements for cub hunting begin. The hounds must have first of all walking, then trotting and fast exercise, so that their feet may be hardened, and all superfluous fat worked off by the last week in August. So far as the hounds are concerned, the object of cub hunting is to teach them their duty; it is a dress rehearsal of the November business. In company with a certain proportion of old hounds, the youngsters learn to stick to the scent of a fox, in spite of the fondness they have acquired for that of a hare, from running about when at walk. When cubbing begins, a start is made at 4 or 5 A.M., and then the system is adopted of tracking the cub by his drag. A certain amount of blood is of course indispensable for hounds, but it should never be forgotten that a fox cub of seven or eight months old, though tolerably cunning, is not so very strong; the huntsman should not therefore, be over-eager in bringing to hand every cub he can find.

Hare hunting, which must not be confounded with Coursing, is an excellent school both for men and for horses. It is attended with the advantages of being cheaper than any other kind, and of not needing so large an area of country. Hare hunting requires considerable skill; Beckford even goes so far as to say: "There is more of true hunting with harriers than with any other description of hounds.. .. In the first place, a hare, when found, generally describes a circle in her course which naturally brings her upon her foil, which is the greatest trial for hounds. Secondly, the scent of the hare is weaker than that of any other animal we hunt, and, unlike some, it is always the worse the nearer she is to her end." Hare hunting is essentially a quiet amusement; no hallooing at hounds nor whip-cracking should be permitted; nor should the field make any noise when a hare is found, for, being a timid animal, she might be headed into the hounds' mouths. Capital exercise and much useful knowledge are to be derived by running with a pack of beagles. There are the same difficulties to be contended with as in hunting with the ordinary harrier, and a very few days' running will teach the youthful sportsman that he cannot run at the same pace over sound ground and over a deep ploughed field, up hill and down, or along and across furrows.

Otter hunting, which is less practised now than formerly, begins just as all other hunting is drawing to a close. When. the waterside is reached an attempt is made to hit Otter. upon the track by which the otter passed to his "couch," which is generally a hole communicating with the river, into which the otter often dives on first hearing the hounds. When the otter "vents" or comes to the surface to breathe, his muzzle only appears above water, and when he is viewed or traced by the mud he stirs up, or by air bubbles, the hounds are laid on. Notwithstanding the strong scent of the otter, he often escapes the hounds, and then a cast has to be made. When he is viewed an attempt is made to spear him by any of the field who may be within distance; if their spears miss, the owners must wade to recover them. Should the otter be transfixed by a spear, the person who threw it goes into the water and raises the game over his head on the spear's point. If instead of being speared, he is caught by the hounds, he is soon worried to death by them, though frequently not before he has inflicted some severe wounds on one or more of the pack.

When railways were first started in England dismal prophecies were made that the end of hunting would speedily be brought about. The result on the whole has been the reverse. packs. While in some counties the sport has suffered, towns men who formerly would have been too far from a meet can now secure transport for themselves and their horses in all directions; and as a consequence, meets of certain packs are not advertised because of the number of strangers who would be induced to attend. The sport has never been so vigorously pursued as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, 19 packs of staghounds being kept in England and 4 in Ireland, over 170 packs of foxhounds in England, ro in Scotland and 23 in Ireland, with packs of harriers and beagles too numerous to be counted. The chase of the wild stag is carried on in the west country by the Devon and Somerset hounds, which hunt three or four days a week from kennels at Dunster; by the Quantock; and by a few other local packs. In other parts of England staghound packs are devoted to the capture of the carted deer, a business which is more or less of a parody on the genuine sport, but is popular for the reason that whereas with foxhounds men may have a blank day, they are practically sure of a gallop when a deer is taken out in a cart to be enlarged before the hounds are laid on. Complaints are often raised about the cruelty of what is called tame stag hunting, and it became a special subject of criticism that a pack should still be kept at the Royal kennels at Ascot (it was abolished in 1901) and hunted by the Master of the Buckhounds; but it is the constant endeavour of all masters and hunt servants to prevent the infliction of any injury on the deer. Their efforts in this direction are seldom unsuccessful; and it appears to be a fact that stags which are hunted season after season come to understand that they are in no grave danger. Packs of foxhounds vary, from large establishments in the "Shires," the meets of which are attended by hundreds of horsemen, some of whom keep large stables of hunters in constant work - for though a man at Melton, for instance, may see a great deal of sport with half-a-dozen well-seasoned animals, the number is not sufficient if he is anxious to be at all times well mounted - to small kennels in the north of England, where the field follow on foot. The "Shires" is a recognized term, but is nevertheless somewhat vague. The three counties included in the expression are Leicestershire, Rutlandshire and Northamptonshire. Several packs which hunt within these limits are not supposed, however, to belong to the "Shires," whereas a district of the Belvoir country is in Lincolnshire, and to hunt with the Belvoir is certainly understood to be hunting in the "Shires." The Shire hounds include the Belvoir, the Cottesmore, the Quorn and the Pytchleys; for besides the Pytchley proper, there is a pack distinguished as the Woodland. It is generally considered that the cream of the sport lies here, but with many of the packs which are generally described as "provincial" equally good hunting may be obtained. Round about London a man who is bent on the pursuit of fox or stag may gratify his desire in many directions. The Essex and the Essex Union, the Surrey and the Surrey Union, the Old Berkeley, the West Kent, the Burstow, the Hertfordshire, the Crawley and Horsham, the Puckeridge, as regards foxhounds; the Berkhampstead, the Enfield Chase, Lord Rothschild's, the Surrey, the West Surrey and the Warnham, as regards staghounds - as well as the Bucks and Berks, which was substituted for the Royal Buckhounds - are within easy reach of the capital.

Questions are constantly raised as to whether horse and hounds have improved or deteriorated in modern times. It is probable that the introduction of scientific agriculture has brought about an increase of pace. Hounds hunt as well as ever they did, are probably faster on the whole, and in the principal hunts more thoroughbred horses are employed. For pace and endurance no hunter approaches the English thoroughbred; and for a bold man who "means going," a steeplechase horse is often the best animal that could be obtained, for when he has become too slow to win races "between the flags," he can always gallop much faster, and usually lasts much longer, than animals who have not his advantage of blood. The quondam "'chaser" is, how ever, usually apt to be somewhat impetuous at his fences. But it must by no means be supposed that every man who goes out hunting desires to gallop at a great pace and to jump formidable obstacles, or indeed any obstacles at all. A large proportion of men who follow hounds are quite content to do so passively through gates and gaps, with a canter along the road whenever one is available. A few of the principal packs hunt five days a week, and sometimes even six, and for such an establishment not fewer than seventy-five couples of hounds are requisite. A pack which hunts four days a week will be well supplied with anything between fifty and sixty couples, and for two days a week from twenty-five to thirty will suffice. The young hound begins cub-hunting when he is some eighteen months old, and as a rule is found to improve until his third or fourth season, though some last longer than this. Often, however, when a hound is five or six years old he begins to lack speed. Exceptional animals naturally do exceptional things, and a famous hound called Potentate is recorded by the 8th duke of Beaufort to have done notable service in the hunting field for eleven seasons.

Servants necessary for a pack include the huntsman, the duties of whose office a master sometimes fulfils himself; two whippers-in, an earth-stopper and often a kennel huntsman is also employed, thou h the 18th Lord Willoughby. g g Y de Broke (d. 1902), a great authority, laid it down that "the man who hunts the hounds should always feed them." In all but the largest establishments the kennel huntsman is generally called the "feeder." It is his business to look after the pack which is not hunting, to walk them out, to prepare the food for the hunting pack so that it is ready when they return, and in the spring to attend to the wants of the matrons and whelps. A kennel huntsman proper may be described as the man who does duty when the master hunts his own hounds, undertaking all the responsibilities of the huntsman except actually hunting the pack. It may be said that the first duty of a huntsman is to obtain the confidence of his hounds, to understand them and to make himself understood; and the intelligence of hounds is remarkable. If, for example, it is the habit of the huntsman to give a single note on his horn when hounds are drawing a covert, and a double note when a fox is found, the pack speedily understand the significance. The mysteries of scent are certainly no better comprehended now than they were more than a hundred years ago when Peter Beckford wrote his Thoughts on Hunting. The subject of scent is full of mysteries. The great authority already quoted, the 8th duke of Beaufort, noted as a very extraordinary but well-known fact, for example, "that in nine cases out of ten if a fox is coursed by a dog during a run all scent ceases afterwards, even when you get your hounds to the line of the fox beyond where the dog has been." This is one of many phenomena which have always remained inexplicable. The duties of the whipper-in are to a great extent explained by his title. Whilst the huntsman is drawing the cover the whipper-in is stationed at the spot from which he can best see what is going on, in order to view the fox away; and it is his business to keep the hounds together when they have found and got away after the fox. There are many ways in which a whipper-in who is not intelligent and alert may spoil sport; indeed, the duke of Beaufort went so far as to declare that "in his experience, with very few exceptions, nine days out of ten that the whipper-in goes out hunting he does more harm than good." In woodland countries, however, a good whipper-in is really of almost as much importance as the huntsman himself; if he is not alert the hounds are likely to divide, as when running a little wide they are apt to put up a fresh fox. The earth-stopper "stops out" and "puts to" - the first expression signifying blocking, during the night, earths and drains to which foxes resort, the second performing the same duties in the morning so as to prevent the fox from getting to ground when he has been found. In the interests of humanity care should be taken that the earth-stopper always has with him a small terrier, as it is often necessary to "stop-out" permanently; and unless a dog is run through the drain some unfortunate creature in it, a fox, cat or rabbit, may be imprisoned and starved to death. This business is frequently performed by a gamekeeper, a sum being paid him for any litter of cubs or fox found on his beat.

With regard to the expenses of hunting, it is calculated that a master of hounds should be prepared to spend at the rate of £500 a year for every day in the week that his hounds are supposed to hunt. Taking one thing with another, this is probably rather under than over the mark, and the cost of hunting three days a week, if the thing be really properly done, will most likely be nearer £ 2000 than £1500. The expenses to the individual naturally vary so much that no figures can be given. As long ago as 1826 twenty-seven hunters and hacks were sold for 7500 guineas, an average of over £290; and when Lord Stamford ceased to hunt the Quorn in 1853, seventythree of his horses fetched at auction an average of close on £ 200. Early in the 19th century, when on the whole horses were much cheaper than they are at present, 700 and 800 guineas are prices recorded as having been occasionally paid for hunters of special repute. A man may see some sport on an animal that cost him £40; others may consider it necessary to keep an expensive establishment at Melton Mowbray or elsewhere in the Shires, with a dozen or more 500-guinea hunters, some covert-hacks, and a corresponding staff of servants. Few people realize what enormous sums of money are annually distributed in connexion with hunting. Horses must be fed; the wages of grooms and helpers be paid; saddlery, clothing, shoeing, &c., are items; farmers, innkeepers, railway companies, fly-men and innumerable others benefit more or less directly. (A. E. T. W.)

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mentioned first in Gen. 10:9 in connection with Nimrod. Esau was "a cunning hunter" (Gen. 25:27). Hunting was practised by the Hebrews after their settlement in the "Land of Promise" (Lev. 17:15; Prov. 12:27). The lion and other ravenous beasts were found in Palestine (1 Sam. 17:34; 2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Kings 13:24; Ezek. 19:3-8), and it must have been necessary to hunt and destroy them. Various snares and gins were used in hunting (Ps. 91:3; Amos 3:5; 2 Sam. 23:20).

War is referred to under the idea of hunting (Jer. 16:16; Ezek. 32:30).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

File:37-svaghi, caccia,Taccuino Sanitatis, Casanatense 4182..jpg
Boar hunting, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (XIV century)

Hunting is going out to kill animals. Animals, and some humans, hunt for food. Other humans do it for fun. Many places have rules that limit hunting. People were hunting since the time when people used stone tools. They used spears, and now people use guns and bows. Some people even kill the animals to make clothes, or to make their homes pretty, or even to sell them for money.

Hunting can be good by keeping animal populations from getting too high. Hunting too much, though, can kill off species of animals, also known as becoming extinct. Hunting once made the dodo, a bird, become extinct.


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