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Hunting

HUNTING

HUNTING. Early modern Europe was a settled agricultural and commercial society. As such, hunting played a secondary or negligible role in supplying the nutritional needs of all but a handful of Europeans. Yet hunting had a symbolic importance in European society out of proportion to its economic importance because it was closely linked to the culture of monarchy. In most of Europe, hunting was a privilege restricted to the nobility. In general, the noble monopoly of hunting derived from seignorial control over the forests in which hunting took place. In some lands, such as England, the king exercised exclusive seignorial jurisdiction over all forests; in other lands, such as France, seignorial jurisdiction over forests came with jurisdiction over the neighboring villages and so could be "owned" by anyone. Such control enabled kings and aristocrats to restrict hunting to a very narrow social stratum. Even some nobles were prevented from participating in the hunt.

Most of the social history of hunting revolves around the justifications for and enforcement of noble monopoly. Non-nobles sometimes chafed at being prevented from hunting for sport, but they were more frequently troubled by the fact that the noble monopoly on hunting for sport prohibited commoners from hunting for food or stopping wild animals from damaging their crops. Conflicts over hunting were, therefore, part of a larger negotiation over relations of power between nobles and peasants. The three main types of huntinghunting vermin, hunting for food, and hunting for sporttouched on different aspects of those relations.

ERADICATING VERMIN

Hunting vermin, animals that posed a threat to crops or livestock, was the least contested area of hunting in the early modern era. Common people were allowed, even encouraged, to destroy vermin and they were eager to do so. The main kinds of vermin hunted in early modern Europe were stoats, otters, foxes, and wolves.

The treatment of wolves is most emblematic of early modern European attitudes toward vermin. Throughout Europe, rulers or their officials offered bounties for wolf hides or other evidence of the destruction of wolves. Criminals were sometimes permitted to pay off fines or debts by supplying wolf pelts. Wolves were to be killed whenever and by whatever means. They were feared not just for the threat they posed to livestock, but also (though with how much justification remains an open question) as a threat to humans. The policy of wolf eradication was very successful in some parts of Europe. Already by 1560, wolves were extinct in England. The last confirmed killing of a wolf in Scotland took place in 1691. Wolves were extinct in Ireland by 1770. On the other hand, wolves continued to survive on the Continent throughout the early modern era.

Initially, foxes were treated in the same manner as wolves. But in the eighteenth century, hunting foxes began to take on the character of sport hunting rather than vermin hunting. Until that time, the prime small game animal for "coursing" had been the hare. Aristocrats discovered that foxes made a very good target for coursing hounds. So, they began to foster the stability of fox populations by building fox shelters and even importing foxes from other regions; thus there was a continuing source of sporting pleasure. It was not until the nineteenth century that foxhunting lost its significance as a means of controlling vermin and became the main sporting pastime of the English aristocracy.

HUNTING FOR FOOD

Game animals played a larger and more diverse role in the diet in the early modern era than they would in later centuries. Wild boar and venison, sometimes killed by the king himself, were a regular feature of royal feasts. Since the royal table could be amply supplied with meats by domesticated animals, these dishes were more important symbolically than nutritionally. For example, Francis I (ruled 15151547) of France sent venison pasties (a type of meat pie) from a deer he had personally hunted as a gesture of good will to Henry VIII (ruled 15091547) of England. For commoners, there were few restrictions on catching marginally edible fare such as badgers or starlings, but they were usually barred from hunting prime edible game animals such as wild boar and deer. Some resorted to poaching to provide meat for their diet or to sell at market.

Poaching was illegal in early modern Europe, but it was not uncommon. Forest account books show numerous fines for illegal capture or killing of game. In rare cases, poaching was a capital offense, but in most of Europe, the most widespread punishment was a stiff fine. Some cases of poaching were clearly as much symbolic protest acts as efforts to get something to eat. In seventeenth-century England, it was not at all rare for gentry to poach on the lands of their neighbors. Most historians assume that forest officials were often bribed to look the other way. Perhaps the best-known effort to suppress poaching was the Black Act in England in 1724, which, among other things, made deer-stalking in royal forests a capital crime. The numbers of animals taken in the areas affected by the Black Act were small. It is impossible to say how frequently poachers were caught in early modern Europe and, by extension, how important game was for the livelihoods of villagers in the vicinity of forests.

HUNTING FOR SPORT

Hunting explicitly for sport had been a noble, and especially a royal, prerogative since ancient times. It was considered an important test of bravery and skill with arms that would carry over into battle. The early modern era continued practices that had been prevalent in the Middle Ages. Hunting adapted readily to gunpowder weapons, though crossbows and longbows, and even swords or knives, remained common weapons even into the seventeenth century. Though early modern royalty continued to keep falcons as they had in the Middle Ages, the most prominent form of sport hunting in the early modern era was coursing with hounds. The dog became the prized adjunct to the hunt. Hunting literature, such as George Gascoigne's The Noble Art of Venery and Hunting (1575), proliferated in the early modern era. Much of it was written for or dedicated to notable royal hunters. Tales of kings or noblemen finishing off an enraged animal that charged the hunters, endangering their lives, became a trope of royal propaganda.

The early modern era was suffused with a casual cruelty toward animals. Hunting for sport partook of some of that same casual cruelty. It was common to round up wild animals, sometimes in large numbers, and herd them to a place where the hunters could easily slaughter them. Contemporary depictions of the hunt often show the hunters standing behind a blind or shooting stand while drivers chased dozens of animals in front of their waiting guns.

Certain creatures were especially prized for their ability to create an exciting chase. The three animals most frequently prized for their coursing were red deer, fallow deer, and hares. For the latter, the sport was primarily to watch the chasing hounds in action. Hares were fast and nimble and so made for an exciting spectacle. The hunter did not shoot the animal, but instead allowed the dogs to tear the animal to pieces once it had been caught. Deer, on the other hand, could be flushed out using hounds, but the object was for the hunter to shoot them. Red deer stags were the most prized target because they combined a noble bearing with an exciting chase. Wild boar were less prized for the chase, but remained a fit target because they were dangerous when cornered.

The royal or noble hunt was, in part, a performancea demonstration of mastery over nature as a justification for monarchical authority. Sometimes, the hunt would be a small affair, with the king or nobleman and a few intimates; other times it would be a large public occasion with hundreds of participants and spectators. The hunt encouraged ritual gestures that reinforced the sense that it was an expression of royal majesty. For example, when James I of England (ruled 16031625) successfully shot a red deer in an aristocratic hunting party, he would personally slit the throat of the dying animal to begin dressing it; he then would insist that all of the members of the shooting party smear the blood of the animal on their faces. Since the king shed the animal's blood, this gesture brought royal favor to the participants. Though hunting was primarily a masculine activity, women also participated as spectators and hunters. Elizabeth I of England (ruled 15581603), for example, hunted avidly. On one occasion her hunt consisted of repeatedly firing a crossbow into a paddock filled with deer, killing three or four of them. The slaughter was accompanied by tunes played by the queen's musicians and a singing nymph who placed the crossbow into her hands.

A literature of forest management arose alongside the literature on the aristocratic virtues of hunting. Royal gamekeepers made sure that royal forests were continuously stocked, just as demesne officials made sure that royal demesnes were planted and harvested. Indeed, sometimes deer had to be imported to maintain population levels. One hundred head were sent from Haughton Forest to Windsor Forest in 1711, for example. In densely populated parts of Europe, game reserves were walled or fenced off to keep game in and poachers out. Palaces served as hunting lodges for the king.

The burdens that fell on peasants who lived in or near forests were connected to forest management. Peasants were usually prohibited from owning hunting dogs of their own. Instead, some were required to board the king's or a nobleman's dogs and make them available whenever the owner wanted to hunt, with only part of the costs defrayed by the owner. Peasants might also be called on to perform corvée ('unpaid labor') during the hunt as beaters or carters of slaughtered animals. It was often galling for peasants forced to perform such services to watch as the hunters ran their horses through the fields, destroying the peasants' own crops. There are innumerable supplications seeking to modify the obligations to perform such duties and protect the crops during the hunt. The frequency of such supplications underscores how little they changed hunters' behavior.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, there was a small groundswell of antihunting sentiment, primarily amongst religious thinkers. Hunting for sport was considered wasteful, an indulgence in luxury. These criticisms did not merge with the criticisms by peasants of the damage caused to their own crops by the hunt, so there was never any sustained effort to change hunting practice during the era, just a small decline in the numbers of aristocrats who enjoyed the sport. Nevertheless, hunting retained its aristocratic character at the end of the eighteenth century and would only be opened to commoners with the French Revolution.

See also Aristocracy and Gentry ; Class, Status, and Order ; Enclosure ; Food and Drink ; Forests and Woodlands ; Games and Play ; Sports .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Berry, Edward. Shakespeare and the Hunt: A Cultural and Social Study. Cambridge, U.K., 2001.

Eckardt, Hans Wilhelm. Herrschaftliche Jagd, bäuerliche Not und bürgerliche Kritik. Göttingen, 1976.

Manning, Roger B. Hunters and Poachers: A Social and Cultural History of Unlawful Hunting in England, 14851640. Oxford and New York, 1993.

Salvadori, Philippe. La chasse sous l'ancien régime. Paris, 1996.

Schindler, Norbert. Wilderer im Zeitalter der französischen Revolution: Ein Kapitel alpiner Sozialgeschichte. Munich, 2001.

Thompson, E. P. Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act. New York, 1975.

John Theibault

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Hunting

Hunting

Hunting is the intentional act of tracking and killing wild animals for consumption or trophy. These animals are referred to as "game," quarry, or prey. Fishing is a type of hunting restricted to catching fish. As omnivores, humans require proteins and vitamins that are most easily provided by consuming meat. This is why hunting was a necessity for our human ancestors and preceded agriculture as a means of food procurement. Through the use of tools, Paleolithic humans hunted to ensure an adequate food supply and to obtain skins for use as clothing. Although agriculture became widely developed in the Neolithic period, game hunting remained prevalent and may have acquired cultural as well as biological significance.

Archaeological evidence for hunting is investigated today by examining patterns in the location of animal carcasses; the degree to which the skeleton is disassociated; cut or teeth marks on the bones; and the type, location, and wear of discarded hunting tools. These clues reveal aspects of the societal structure of prehistoric humans, such as gender roles, migratory habits, and nutrition. In ancient Greece, the sequence and style of killing and preparing the meat of an animal were highly ritualized under the laws and customs of polytheistic religion. Similar rituals were preserved through the Middle Ages, when boar and stag hunting became popular throughout Europe.

Game hunting today is still a strong pastime and a necessity of life for indigenous peoples living in remote areas. The decrease and disappearance of many large predators because of habitat loss and inbreeding has made hunting a necessity for controlling the population size of certain prolific species, such as deer and geese. However, overhunting and poaching , the illegal slaughter and sale of rare animals, can lead to further extinctions.

Humans rely on trained animals and specialized tools and weapons to hunt. Hunting with trained dogs is called coursing. Sporting breeds of dog have been bred for size, temperament, and intelligence, to aid the human hunter. For example, the harrier is always used in rabbit hunting, the fox hound in fox hunting, the pointer and retriever in wild foul hunting, and the Rhodesian ridgeback in lion hunting. In some cases, such as with the terrier, the dog is expected to seek out and attack the prey, whereas in others, such as the fox hound, the dog's task is to startle, or flush, the prey from its hiding spot. Retrievers, pointers, and setters may be called upon to retrieve the fallen carcass of a killed game bird without damaging it. Horses, likewise, may be highly trained in the maneuvers and tactics a hunter uses when in pursuit of prey, and are conditioned to withstand the noise and ruckus of the hunt. Falconry is a term describing the use of falcons, hawks, or eagles as trained hunters. Falconry originated several thousand years ago in China and has since been adopted by other cultures. Wild raptors are caught as chicks and trained to fly on command after being released from the falconer's wrist. They will attack and kill prey, and then abandon the corpse to the falconer. Although an uncommon practice, southern Asians have been training cheetahs for thousands of years to kill antelope, deer, and other fast-moving prey for humans.

Aside from animal-assisted hunting, there are many accessories and tools unique to the time of year, environment, and type of game that will be hunted. Camouflage clothing is necessary for concealment, and some hunters use species-typical calls or decoys to lure the game into their immediate vicinity. Firearms, crossbows, and the sling are often used on sport hunting excursions, whereas poisoned darts, arrows, and spears are common in hunting by African and South American natives. Traps are designed to ensnare, hobble, or injure prey. They can be made of a pair of metal jaws that snap shut when an animal's footstep depresses a switch or when bait is removed from a switch, a cage with a door that swings shut when the animal enters, or a pit that is thinly covered with debris so that animals fall through the debris to the bottom. Trapping is effective when covering large territories and for nocturnal prey. Unlike the use of weapons that leave holes in the coat, trapping preserves the integrity of the animal's hide because it affects primarily the lower limb. For this reason, the practice is popular with fur traders, who refer to it as fur harvesting. Whale hunting, or whaling, for blubber, meat, sperm, and bones and teeth, is an ancient practice common to many seaside civilizations. Harpoons are long barbed spears attached to ropes that are flung or shot at whales to injure and kill them. Australian aborigines rely on a unique hunting tool called the boomerang, which is thrown at game but returns to the hunter if it does not hit its mark.

Hunting is also characterized by the type of game being sought. Big game hunting includes large animals such as moose, caribou, bear, reindeer, wolf, tiger, leopard, elephant, and wild goat. It can be very dangerous because the hunted animal is capable of counterattacking the hunter, and because these excursions take hunting parties to remote wilderness where immediate medical attention is unavailable. However, big game are the preferred sport for trophy hunting. Small-game hunting, known as shooting in Great Britain, focuses on smaller animals such as wild fowl, hare, rabbit, woodchuck, raccoon, and squirrel. These animals are more often destined for food than for trophy.

Animal carcasses and skins, both mammals and birds, may be taken to a taxidermist, where they are formed into a three-dimensional, lifelike representation of the animal for permanent display. The skin of the animal is fitted around a hard framework, such as polyurethane, the eyes are replaced with large glass beads, and the ears and hairless regions are sculpted in clay, epoxy, or wax. Taxidermy originated in the 1800s, when hunters began bringing their skins to upholsterers, who would stitch them up with rags and cotton. This is why taxidermized animals are sometimes referred to as stuffed.

Because of the dangers of overhunting and thereby unwittingly bringing about the extinction of the quarry, all fifty of the United States and many other countries enforce laws restricting sport hunting to certain periods of the year. These hunting seasons cover different periods for different game, different hunting techniques, and different locales. They are determined based on the natural breeding and migration periods of the game, and on its relative abundance , a measure of the species' well-being based on population size. Hunters must register their firearms and report the number and kind of game they have killed. Hunting licenses must be purchased annually, to document and limit the number of lawful hunters, and the income from their sale is often allocated to animal conservation organizations. Further benefits from hunting include the prevention of diseases that can be spread from wild animals to humans or livestock, for example, the spread of rabies through raccoon populations and tuberculosis through wild bison. Several programs currently exist to increase hunting of overpopulated wild game, such as white-tailed deer, that are becoming a nuisance near cities. The surplus of meat resulting from the kills is inspected, packed, and donated to homeless shelter food pantries.

Hunting does have some benefits, but the risk of hunting to extinction is well-documented in human history. Beginning with the likely prehistoric slaughter of all mammoths, overexploitation has also eliminated large birds such as the moa and the dodo, smaller birds like the passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet, large marsupials such as giant wombats and giant kangaroos, and marine mammals such as Steller's sea cow. Many animals are becoming locally extinct and universally endangered owing to a lack of regulations in certain areas of the world. Many others, such as the gray whale and the Indian elephant, are currently at a high rate of decline.

Even with the presence of adequate hunting regulations, poaching undermines the conservation effort. Poaching is the unlawful hunting of protected game either outside the allotted hunting season or against a hunting ban. It is strictly opposed by all sport hunting associations and should not be confused with lawful hunting. Unfortunately, because of the law of supply and demand, poaching becomes increasingly profitable as the number of game animals declines. This increases the risk of extinction at a time when animals most need to be protected. Tiger pelts, elephant and rhinoceros ivory, and sea turtle eggs are examples of luxury items that unnecessarily cause the endangerment of a species. Poaching is most easily counteracted by refusing to buy animal products without first researching the legality of the sale. The effects of hunting and poaching are becoming stronger with the decrease in animals' natural environments and the increased human demand for food and luxury products. Destitute peoples in developing countries may depend on poaching for money or on hunting protected animals for food. A global effort is needed to end extinctions caused by the overexploitation of game animals.

see also Extinction; Farming; Hunter-Gatherers.

Rebecca M. Steinberg

Bibliography

Dorsey, Chris, and Matthew B. Connolly. Wildfowler's Season: Modern Methods for a Classic Sport. New York: Lyons and Burford, 1995.

Isenberg, Andrew C. The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

MacKenzie, John M. The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation, and British Imperialism. Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997.

Swan, James A., The Sacred Art of Hunting: Myths, Legends, and the Modern Mythos. Minocqua, WI: Willow Creek Press, 1999.

Walker, Adrian. The Encylopedia of Falconry. Lanham, MD: Derrydale Press, 1999.

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Hunting

Hunting

Social scientists report that humans have employed hunting as a subsistence strategy for at least 90 percent of Homo sapiens' history. The anthropologists Richard Lee and Richard Daly conceptualize hunting, the pursuit and killing of other animals, as one component of "foraging," a broader complex of subsistence activities that also includes the "gathering of wild plant foods, and fishing" (Lee and Daly 1999, p. 3). Hunting entails searching for and killing (or, on occasion, capturing and confining) a wild, unconfined animal. While humans hunt and kill animals primarily as a source of food, they also hunt in order to neutralize a threat (i.e., a tiger or leopard that preys on people), to remove a pest (i.e., rodents or birds that consume agricultural products), or to eliminate a competitor (i.e., predators that kill game animals).

As a human activity, hunting is magnified in its significance by a deceptively simple feature: the evasiveness or resistance exhibited routinely by prey. Because of the behavioral challenges that it presents, hunting has had far-reaching consequences for key aspects of human social, psychological, and cultural life. Since the mid-1960s, for example, anthropologists have argued that hunting may have been a powerful and fundamental force shaping the very nature of cooperation and sharing among early humans.

One such claim involves what the behavioral ecologist Bruce Winterhalder calls the "risk reduction hypothesis." The failure rate of hunters is notoriously high. Even among experienced, highly skilled subsistence hunters who pursue big game animals, any one hunt is much more likely to result in failure than in success. Studying the Hadza of Tanzania in 1993, the anthropologist Kristen Hawkes reported that when hunting big game, Hadza men failed to make a kill 97 of every 100 days that they hunted. When a large game animal is killed, it often represents a "windfall" in excess of what any one hunter and his or her immediate family can consume. These circumstances promote reciprocity and sharing among hunters. By sharing the meat provided by a successful kill, a hunter effectively "buys insurance" against failure in future hunts. When, in the future, he or she fails to kill prey, other successful hunters with whom meat has been shared previously will reciprocate and provide meat to the unsuccessful hunter. The science writer Matt Ridley argues that the cooperation and reciprocity associated with hunting may help constitute the basis of systems of moral and ethical culture. In short, hunting is an activity that promotes cooperation and sharing because it entails the pursuit of a highly valued resource, access to which is unpredictable and risky.

Anthropologists report that while both men and women hunt, in the vast majority of human societies this activity is predominantly male. Yet, it is not self-evident why males are more likely to hunt than females. Scholarly interpretations of the 1990s link hunting to sexual activity and rewards. While the matter is debated among social scientists, some researchers argue that males are motivated to hunt not only because of the food they acquire but because of the social esteem and increased sexual opportunities enjoyed by successful hunters.

The extrinsic rewards of a successful hunt may provide clues about why hunting is intrinsically exciting and satisfying to many people, especially males. To the extent that a behavior confers significant survival and reproductive advantages, evolutionary psychologists like Leda Cosmides and John Tooby suggest that humans are likely to evolve specialized psychological mechanisms that promote such behavior. Accordingly, if hunting yields highly valued protein in the form of meat, promotes stable patterns of cooperation and exchange, and provides males with a currency that they can exchange for sex, it is reasonable to surmise that human males may have evolved psychological attributes that make hunting highly intrinsically satisfying and rewarding to them, whatever the accompanying risks. While this line of reasoning appears promising and compelling to evolutionary minded social and behavioral scientists, it may be too early to conclude that humans are psychologically equipped with specialized mental mechanisms that are the product of humans' Pleistocene history as hunters.

Despite the demise of the hunter-gatherer era about 12,000 years ago, hunting has maintained great significance in many human cultures. In A View To a Death in the Morning (1993), Matt Cartmill traces the symbolism and imagery of the hunt from the hunting-gathering era, through the agrarian era, and into modern, industrial times. Cartmill sees the symbolism of the hunt as rich with information about how human beings understand and assess their place in nature. In the Greco-Roman world, hunting was elevated to cosmological significance in the form of deities such as Apollo and Artemis/Diana. In later European art, literature, and philosophy, hunting themes became freighted with complex meanings about class relations and social justice. In contemporary industrial societies such as the United States, media products such as the animated film Bambi are said to express a view of nature in general and animals in particular as good, and humanity as evil, or at least "dubious." Thus, writers like Cartmill see the human significance of hunting in the posthunter-gatherer era as primarily semiotic, as pertaining to the symbolization of humanity and its relation to nature, and to itself.

In contemporary Western societies like the United States and Great Britain, it is conflict over the moral meanings attending hunting that has made it the focal point of intense and protracted political debate. Members of animal rights organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Friends of Animals vilify hunting. They also denounce hunters whom they see as arrogant and insensitive for engaging in an activity that is described as "recreational" or "sporting," and necessitates the death of a "sentient," nonhuman animal. Yet many hunters themselves impose entirely different meanings on the hunt, and some, such as the naturalist Paul Shepard, even assign it spiritual significance, construing it as an activity that expresses a deep and profound reverence toward nature and living things. It is unlikely that these divergent views will be reconciled in the near future. If humans are, in fact, possessed of an evolved psychology that derives from a hunting-gathering past, it has yet to be determined if this evolved psychology and the contours of modernity are somehow reconcilable or, rather, are fundamentally incommensurable.

Finally, hunters and recreational shooters in modern societies like the United States have played a significant role in wildlife conservation. As members of various hunting and shooting organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the National Rifle Association, hunting enthusiasts have generated billions of dollars that have supported various types of game management programs, habitat protection and restoration, and conservation education. Some of this money takes the form of direct contributions to such programs, and other monies are generated indirectly by taxes on hunting equipment purchases and various license, tag, permit, and stamp fees. One of the oldest and most important among such hunting-based revenue sources is the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), and it has distributed more than $3.8 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies since it became law. Thus, somewhat ironically, modern hunters contribute significantly to the survival of the very species whose individual members they hunt and kill.

See also: Death System

Bibliography

Cartmill, Matt. A View To a Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Cosmides, Leda, and John Tooby. "The Psychological Foundations of Culture." In Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby eds., The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Endicott, Karen L. "Gender Relations in Hunter-Gatherer Societies." In Richard B. Lee and Richard Daly eds., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Hawkes, Kristen. "Why Hunter-Gatherers Work: An Ancient Version of the Problem of Public Goods." Current Anthropology 34 (1993):341351.

Hawkes, Kristen. "Why Do Men Hunt? Benefits for Risky Choices." In Elizabeth Cashdan ed., Risk and Uncertainty in Tribal and Peasant Economies. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990.

Hill, Kim, and Hillard Kaplan. "On Why Male Foragers Hunt and Share Food." Current Anthropology 34 (1993):701706.

Lee, Richard B., and Richard Daly, eds. "Foragers and Others." In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Ridley, Matt. The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Viking, 1996.

Shepard, Paul. The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973.

Winterhalder, Bruce. "Diet Choice, Risk, and Food Sharing in a Stochastic Environment." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 5 (1986):369392.

RICHARD S. MACHALEK

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Hunting

HUNTING

The regulation of hunting is a matter reserved to the states as part of their police power under the tenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Totemoff v. Alaska, 905 P.2d 954 [Alaska 1995]). Congress maintains statutes that regulate hunting on federal land. States may further regulate the federal lands located within their boundaries so long as their laws do not conflict with federal laws.

South Dakota and Georgia illustrate the sort of hunting laws typically maintained by a state. In South Dakota hunting is regulated by Title 41 of the South Dakota Codified Laws Annotated, Section 41-1-1 et seq. Under Title 41 hunters must obtain from the game, fish, and parks commission a license for the privilege of hunting in South Dakota. Other states maintain similar commissions or boards to implement licensing procedures and policies.

Licensing parameters vary from state to state. Most states have minimum age requirements. In South Dakota, for example, no person under the age of 12 may obtain a license, but an 11-year-old may obtain a license to hunt between September 1 and December 31 if he or she will turn 12 in that period. A child under the age of 16 may obtain a basic game and fish license without cost, but only if he or she has completed a firearms safety course. A parent of the child must apply for the license, and the child may hunt only with a parent, guardian, or responsible adult (§ 41-6-13).

In Georgia any person over the age of 12 may hunt on his or her own land. If a person between the ages of 12 and 15 seeks to hunt, he or she must complete a hunter education course, and then may hunt only with a parent or guardian. This is true even for children between the ages of 12 and 15 who are hunting on the land of their parents or guardians. A person between the ages of 16 and 25 must also complete a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license.

States may make licensing exceptions for certain persons. In Georgia, for example, persons over the age of 65 may receive a hunting license without paying a fee. Furthermore, persons who are permanently and totally disabled may obtain a hunting or fishing license for free (Ga. Code Ann. § 27-2-4 [1996]).

In some states an additional license must be obtained to hunt certain animals whose populations are of concern to the state. In South Dakota these animals are small game, big game, fur-bearing animals, and migratory waterfowl. An additional license is required for these animals so that the commission can keep track of the number of persons hunting them and conserve their populations.

To control animal populations, state licensing commissions also allow the hunting of certain animals only at certain times of the year. These time periods are called open seasons, and they are set each year by the state regulatory commission. Open seasons limitations sometimes come with special exceptions. In South Dakota, for example, residents do not need a license to hunt game birds on their own land during an open season.

Most states place separate restrictions on resident versus nonresident licensing and hunting for certain animals. In South Dakota, for example, nonresidents may hunt only if they have obtained a special nonresident license. A nonresident may hunt small and big game, waterfowl, and wild turkey. A nonresident must obtain a nonresident predator license to hunt predators, but if the nonresident has a nonresi-dent small-game, big-game, waterfowl, or wild turkey license, the nonresident may hunt predators in the animal group authorized by that license without a separate nonresident predator license (S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 41-6-30). Predators include jackrabbits, prairie dogs, gophers, ground squirrels, coyotes, red foxes, gray foxes, skunks, crows, and porcupines.

States may place additional restrictions on the hunting of certain animals. In Georgia, for example, feral hogs may be hunted only in certain situations. For instance, a hunter may not shoot a feral hog during deer season unless the hunter and all persons accompanying the hunter are each wearing a total of at least five hundred square inches of daylight florescent orange material as an outer garment above the waistline. In

South Dakota fur-bearing animals are completely off-limits to nonresidents. No person may apply for a license to take protected fur-bearing animals unless he or she has lived in the state for 90 days prior to the application date (§ 41-6-24).

State hunting statutes also specify standards for firearm power. In South Dakota, for example, no one may hunt big game with a muzzle loading rifle that discharges a projectile less than forty-four hundredths of an inch in diameter. No one may hunt big game with buckshot, or with a single ball or rifled slug weighing less than one-half ounce. No self-loading or autoloading firearm that holds more than six cartridges may be used to hunt big game, and no fully automatic weapons may be used to hunt big or small game (§ 41-8-10, -13).

States may enact a variety of other restrictions on hunting. In Georgia, at night, no person may hunt any game bird or game animal except for raccoon, opossums, foxes, and bobcats. Those animals may be hunted at night, but only with a lantern or a light that does not exceed six volts (Ga. Code Ann. § 27-3-24). In South Dakota no dogs may be used in the hunting of big game, no person may use salt to entice big game, and no person may use artificial light in hunting (S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 41-8-15, -16). However, an animal damage control officer may use an artificial light to take a nuisance animal from land, with the landowner's written permission (§ 41-8-17[3]).

Most states consider hunting a right of residents and a valuable promotional tool for tourism. Many states even have hunter harassment statutes, which punish persons for intentionally distracting hunters. Under such statutes a person may be arrested and prosecuted for attempting to discourage hunters or drive away game.

further readings

Cottriel, Darren K. 1996. "The Right to Hunt in the Twenty-First Century: Can the Public Trust Doctrine Save an American Tradition?" Pacific Law Journal 27 (spring): 1235–87.

"Fargo Face Off: Governors Battle over Hunting." September 3, 2003. ESPN.com: Outdoors. Available online at <espn.go.com/outdoors/conservation/news/2003/0903/1608662.html> (accessed September 25, 2003).

"Ruling Sought on Indian Hunting, Fishing Rules." September 17, 2003. CNN.com: U.S. News. Available online at <www.cnn.com/2003/US/Midwest/09/17/tribes.hunting> (accessed September 25, 2003).

Ugalde, Aileen M. 1991. "The Right to Arm Bears: Activists' Protests against Hunting." University of Miami Law Review 45.

cross-references

Fish and Fishing.

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Hunting

Hunting

Sources

Europe. On the surface hunting might seem to have been a natural sport for almost everybody in pre-industrial Europe, but such was not the case. City dwellers did not have much opportunity for hunting. In England the woods were progressively reserved for the nobility and the gentry. Ordinary people were prohibited from taking the birds, deer, and rabbits from these reserves, and while some poached, others never even tried their hands. Guns were also much less accurate and much more difficult and time-consuming to operate. The rifled bore, which gives the rifle its name, was used in the eighteenth century, but even by 1800 there were still smoothbore muskets sitting on peoples mantles. John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, loved bird hunting as a young man but eventually gave it up for a series of reasons which suggest why ordinary Englishmen were not hunters: it was against the law as well as too expensive, strenuous, dangerous, and just plain difficult. Winthrop noted, I have ever binne crossed in usinge it, for when I have gone about it not without some woundes of conscience, and have taken much paynes and hazarded my healthe, I have gotten sometimes a verye little but most commonly nothinge at all towards my cost and laboure. Africans and Native Americans probably did better. Hunting was an integral part of male work in their cultures, and they were trained to use spears or bows and arrows from a young age.

New World. Even as game was denied to most of those living in Europe, promotional literature for the colonies noted the immense herds and flocks of animals suitable for hunting. Initially colonists bought wild game from the Native Americans rather than kill it themselves. In time, however, some colonists became good marksmen. Various colonies offered bounties on vermincrows, foxes, squirrels, and wolvesanimals which destroyed crops or killed domesticated animals. New England farmers hunted with one or two other men. In the South hunting parties were organized which sometimes utilized Native Americans. Men hunted on foot and on horseback, with dogs or without. In South Carolina men hunted alligators from boats. By the eighteenth century there was leisure time for hunting, but except perhaps on the frontier most colonists never relied upon their own skill to put meat on their tables. On the other hand, while settlement pushed out larger animals such as deer, birds and especially pigeons were plentiful, even in the cities. As late as 1720 Philadelphia passed laws against shooting pigeons, doves, partridges, or other birds in the streets and orchards within the city limits. Ducks and other fowl were still available in the marshes close to all port cities.

TRUE TO THE MARK

Caesar Rodeney of Delaware kept a diary in which he recorded his everyday activities. Among these were recreational marksmanship:

1727. December 23. We went to Shooting for 7 yds of Drugt. [Drugget, a kind of cloth] which I had Set up to be Shot for it wass woun by John Willson.

1728. January 13. after brakt [breakfast] Met Nowell at the Gum trees In order to Shote for five Pounds Which he wan[.] My Parte wass 20 Shilling [one pound.]

January 20.1 Set up a hat to be Shot for Bro Danil Woun it[.] We Shot In ye Woods.

February 3.1 went to John Willsons to a Shooting Match for a fidel: John Hart & I Woun it between us[.] I gave him my Part for Paying my Shot

February 9. Shot 2 or 3 Guns at Marks[.]

Source: Fare Weather and Good Helth: The Journal of Caesar Rodeney. 17271729, edited by Harold B. Hancock, Delaware History,10 (1962): 3370.

Sources

Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop (Boston: Little, Brown, 1958);

Nancy L. Struna, People of Prowess: Sport, Leisure, and Labor in Early Anglo-America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996);

John F. Watson, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, in the Olden Time, volume 1 (Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1845).

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hunting

hunting, act of seeking, following, and killing wild animals for consumption or display. It differs from fishing in that it involves only land animals. Hunting was a necessary activity of early humans. Through the Paleolithic period it was their chief means of obtaining food and clothing. In the Neolithic period, when agriculture developed, killing game was still important. Hunting was popular among the ancients and became a sport in medieval Europe, where it was reserved, as far as possible, for the privileged classes by game laws. Falconry and foxhunting became increasingly popular in England in the Middle Ages, and the use of hunting dogs—hounds, setters, pointers, spaniels, and the like—became widespread in this period. Hunting can be divided into three branches, each of which is defined by the type of instrument used by the hunter. Hunting with weapons (now primarily firearms, formerly bow and arrow, boomerang, spear, or sling) is probably the most popular, especially in the United States. Trapping and snaring with deceptive implements is popular in northern areas. In coursing (with dogs) and falconry (with hawks) hunters enlist the aid of trained animals. Coursing is especially popular in Britain and Western Europe. Types of hunting are also distinguished by the size of the animal being sought. Big-game hunting is the most glamorous and often the most dangerous. It became a popular sport among Western colonialists in Africa and India during the 19th cent., and even today the big-game safari survives. Big-game animals include, or have included, the moose, caribou, bear, and elk of North America; the reindeer, elk, and wolf of Europe; the tiger, leopard, elephant, and wild goat of Asia; and the antelope, gazelle, zebra, leopard, lion, giraffe, rhinoceros, and elephant of Africa. Small-game hunting, known as "shooting" in Great Britain, focuses on birds such as the quail, partridge, grouse, pheasant, and goose, as well as on such animals as the hare, rabbit, woodchuck, raccoon, and squirrel. Extensive hunting, both commercial and recreational, has made many species of game animals extinct (the passenger pigeon) or nearly extinct (the American bison). Game laws and wildlife refuges in the United States have been designed to save game animals and birds from extinction. Many African nations have also instituted such measures, but illegal poaching for furs, skins, ivory, internal organs, and the like remains a problem both there and in other areas of the world.

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Hunting

343. Hunting

  1. Agraeus epithet of Apollo, meaning hunter. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 26]
  2. Agrotera epithet of Artemis, meaning huntress. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 32]
  3. Artemis (Rom. Diana ) moon goddess; virgin huntress. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 36]
  4. Atalanta famous huntress; slew the Centaurs. [Gk. Myth.: Leach, 87]
  5. Britomartis Cretan nymph; goddess of hunters and fishermen. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 43]
  6. Calydonian boar hunt famed hunt of Greek legend. [Class. Myth: Metamorphoses ]
  7. Green Hills of Africa portrays big game-hunting coupled with literary digressions. [Am. Lit.: Green Hills of Africa ]
  8. Hubert, St. patron saint; encountered stag with cross in horns. [Christian Hagiog.: Brewster, 473474]
  9. Jorrocks irrepressible pseudo-aristocratic cockney huntsman. [Br. Lit.: Jorrocks Jaunts and Jollies ]
  10. NRA (National Rifle Association of America) organization that encourages sharpshooting and use of firearms for hunting. [Am. Pop. Culture: NCE, 1895]
  11. Nimrod Biblical hunter of great prowess. [O.T.: Genesis 10:9; Br. Lit.: Paradise Lost ]
  12. Orion hunter who pursued the Pleiades. [Classical Myth.: Zimmerman 184185]
  13. Sagittarius the Archer of the Zodiac; used occasionally to symbolize hunting. [Astrology: Payton, 594]
  14. Stymphalian birds venomous Arcadian flock shot by Hercules; sixth Labor. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Hall, 149]
  15. tally ho traditional rallying cry in English fox hunts. [Pop. Cult.: Misc.]

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Hunting

214. Hunting

cynegetics
the sport of hunting. cynegetic , adj.
falconry
1. the sport of hunting with falcons or other trained birds of prey.
2. the training of birds of prey.
venation
Archaic. the sport or occupation of hunting. venatic, venatical, venational , adj.
venery
1. Archaic. the sport, practice, or art of hunting or the chase.
2. the animals that are hunted.

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hunting

hunt·ing / ˈhənting/ • n. 1. the activity of hunting wild animals or game, esp. for food or sport. 2. (also plain hunting) Bell-ringing a simple system of changes in which bells move through the order in a regular progression.

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hunting

hunting. See beagling; fox-hunting.

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