Hunting is the practice of killing or trapping animals, or pursuing or tracking them with the intent of doing so. Hunting wildlife or feral animals is most commonly done by humans for food, recreation, to remove predators that can be dangerous to humans or domestic animals, or for trade. Lawful hunting is distinguished from poaching, which is the illegal killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species. The species that are hunted are referred to as game or prey and are usually mammals and birds.
Hunting has long been a practice used to procure meat for human consumption. The meat from a healthy wild animal (such as a deer) that has lived its life freely and on a natural diet of plants generally has a higher nutritional quality than that of a domestic animal that has been raised in an unnatural way. Hunting an animal for its meat can also be seen as a more natural way to obtain animal protein since regulated hunting does not cause the same environmental issues as raising domestic animals for meat, especially on factory farms.
Hunting can also be a means of pest control. Hunting advocates state that hunting can be a necessary component 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 or very rare. However, excessive hunting has also heavily contributed to the endangerment, extirpation and extinction of many animals.
The pursuit, capture and release, or capture for food of fish is called fishing, which is not commonly categorised as a form of hunting. It is also not considered hunting to pursue animals without intent to kill them, as in wildlife photography, birdwatching, or scientific research activities which involve tranquilizing or tagging of animals or birds. The practice of foraging or gathering materials from plants and mushrooms is also considered separate from hunting.
Skillful tracking and acquisition of an elusive target has caused the word hunt to be used in the vernacular as a metaphor, as in treasure hunting, "bargain hunting", and even "hunting down" corruption and waste.
The word hunt serves as both a noun ("to be on a hunt") and a verb. The noun has been dated to the early 12th century, "act of chasing game," from the verb hunt. Old English had huntung, huntoþ. The meaning of "a body of persons associated for the purpose of hunting with a pack of hounds" is first recorded in the 1570s. Meaning "the act of searching for someone or something" is from about 1600.
The verb, Old English huntian "to chase game" (transitive and intransitive), perhaps developed from hunta "hunter," is related to hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic huntojan (the source also of Gothic hinþan "to seize, capture," Old High German hunda "booty"), which is of uncertain origin. The general sense of "search diligently" (for anything) is first recorded c. 1200.
The oldest undisputed evidence for hunting dates to the Early Pleistocene, consistent with the emergence and early dispersal of Homo erectus, about 1.7 million years ago (Acheulean). While it is undisputed that Homo erectus were hunters, the importance of this for the emergence of Homo erectus from its australopithecine ancestors, including the production of stone tools and eventually the control of fire, is emphasised in the so-called "hunting hypothesis" and de-emphasised in scenarios that stress omnivory and social interaction.
There is no direct evidence for hunting predating Homo erectus, in either Homo habilis or in Australopithecus. The early hominid ancestors of humans were probably frugivores or omnivores, with a partially carnivore diet from scavenging rather than hunting. Evidence for australopithecine meat consumption was presented in the 1990s. It has nevertheless often been assumed that at least occasional hunting behavior may have been present well before the emergence of Homo. This can be argued on the basis of comparison with chimpanzees, the closest extant relatives of humans, who also engage in hunting, indicating that the behavioral trait may have been present in the Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor as early as 5 million years ago. The common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) regularly engages in troop predation behaviour where bands of beta males are led by an alpha male. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) have also been observed to occasionally engage in group hunting, although more rarely than Pan troglodytes, mainly subsisting on a frugivorous diet. Indirect evidence for Oldowan era hunting, by early Homo or late Australopithecus, has been presented in a 2009 study based on an Oldowan site in southwestern Kenya.
Louis Binford (1986) criticised the idea that early hominids and early humans were hunters. On the basis of the analysis of the skeletal remains of the consumed animals, he concluded that hominids and early humans were mostly scavengers, not hunters, Blumenschine (1986) proposed the idea of confrontational scavenging, which involves challenging and scaring off other predators after they have made a kill, which he suggests could have been the leading method of obtaining protein-rich meat by early humans.
Stone spearheads dated as early as 500,000 years ago were found in South Africa. Wood does not preserve well, however, and Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California, has suggested that the discovery of spear use by chimpanzees probably means that early humans used wooden spears as well, perhaps, five million years ago. The earliest dated find of surviving wooden hunting spears dates to the very end of the Lower Paleolithic, just before 300,000 years ago.The Schöningen spears, found in 1976 in Germany, are associated with Homo heidelbergensis.
The hunting hypothesis sees the emergence of behavioral modernity in the Middle Paleolithic as directly related to hunting, including mating behaviour, the establishment of language, culture, and religion, mythology and animal sacrifice.
Evidence exists that hunting may have been one of the multiple environmental factors leading to the Holocene extinction of megafauna and their replacement by smaller herbivores. North American megafauna extinction was coincidental with the Younger Dryas impact event, possibly making hunting a less critical factor in prehistoric species loss than had been previously thought. However, in other locations such as Australia, humans are thought to have played a very significant role in the extinction of the Australian megafauna that was widespread prior to human occupation.
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 in some parts of the world. In addition to the spear, hunting weapons developed during the Upper Paleolithic include the atlatl (a spear-thrower; before 30,000 years ago) and the bow (18,000 years ago). By the Mesolithic, hunting strategies had diversified with the development of these more far-reaching weapons and the domestication of the dog about 15,000 years ago. Evidence puts the earliest known mammoth hunting in Asia with spears to approximately 16,200 years ago.
Many species of animals have been hunted throughout history. It has been suggested that in North America and Eurasia, caribou and wild reindeer "may well be the species of single greatest importance in the entire anthropological literature on hunting" (see also Reindeer Age), although the varying importance of different species depended on the geographic location.
Mesolithic hunter-gathering lifestyles remained prevalent in some parts of the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Siberia, as well as all of Australia, until the European Age of Discovery. They still 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 (San people), some peoples of New Guinea (Fayu), the Mlabri of Thailand and Laos, the Vedda people of Sri Lanka, and a handful of uncontacted peoples. In Africa, one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes are the Hadza of Tanzania.
Even as animal domestication became relatively widespread and after the development of agriculture, hunting was usually a significant contributor to the human food supply. The supplementary meat and materials from hunting included protein, bone for implements, sinew for cordage, fur, feathers, rawhide and leather used in clothing.
Hunting is still vital in marginal climates, especially those unsuited for pastoral uses or agriculture. For example, Inuit people in the Arctic trap and hunt animals for clothing and use the skins of sea mammals to make kayaks, clothing, and footwear.
On ancient reliefs, especially from Mesopotamia, kings are often depicted as hunters of big game such as lions and are often portrayed hunting from a war chariot. The cultural and psychological importance of hunting in ancient societies is represented by deities such as the horned god Cernunnos and lunar goddesses of classical antiquity, the 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 Actaeon, for example, may be seen as a caution against disrespect of prey or impudent boasting.
With the 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. While these are all associated with medieval hunting, over time, various dog breeds were selected for very precise tasks during the hunt, reflected in such names as pointer and setter.
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. Hunter-gatherer societies persisted, even when increasingly confined to marginal areas. And within agricultural systems, hunting served to kill animals that prey upon domestic and wild animals or to attempt to extirpate animals seen by humans as competition for resources such as water or forage.
When hunting moved from a subsistence activity to a social one, two trends emerged:
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 stylised pursuit of it also became a luxury. Dangerous hunting, such as for lions or wild boars, often done on horseback or from a chariot, had a function similar to tournaments and manly sports. Hunting ranked as 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 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". In contrast, settlers in Anglophone colonies gloried democratically in hunting for all.
Although various other animals have been used to aid the hunter, such as ferrets, the dog has assumed many very important uses to the hunter. The domestication of the dog has led to a symbiotic relationship in which the dog's independence from humans is deferred. Though dogs can survive independently of humans, and in many cases do, as with feral dogs, where hunger is not a primary factor, the species tends to defer to human control in exchange for habitation, food and support.
Dogs today are used to find, chase, retrieve, and sometimes to kill the game. Hunting dogs allow humans to pursue and kill prey that would otherwise be very difficult or dangerous to hunt. Different breeds of dogs are used for different types of hunting. Waterfowl are commonly hunted using retrieving dogs such as the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Brittany Spaniel, and other similar breeds. Game birds are flushed out using flushing spaniels such as the English Springer Spaniel, the various Cocker Spaniels and similar breeds.
The hunting of wild mammals in England and Wales with dogs was banned under the Hunting Act 2004. The wild mammals include fox, hare, deer and mink. Hunting with dogs is permissible, however, where it has been carried out in accordance with one of the exceptions in the Act.
Many prehistoric deities are depicted as predators or prey of humans, often in a zoomorphic form, perhaps alluding to the importance of hunting for most Palaeolithic 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. Often a hunting ground, or the hunt for one or more species, was reserved or prohibited in the context of a temple cult.
Hindu scriptures describe hunting as an acceptable occupation, as well as a sport of the kingly. Even figures considered divine are described to have engaged in hunting. One of the names of the god Shiva is Mrigavyadha, which translates as "the deer hunter" (mriga means deer; vyadha means hunter). The word Mriga, in many Indian languages including Malayalam, not only stands for deer, but for all animals and animal instincts (Mriga Thrishna). Shiva, as Mrigavyadha, is the one who destroys the animal instincts in human beings. In the epic Ramayana, Dasharatha, the father of Rama, is said to have the ability to hunt in the dark. During one of his hunting expeditions, he accidentally killed Shravana, mistaking him for game. During Rama's exile in the forest, Ravana kidnapped his wife, Sita, from their hut, while Rama was asked by Sita to capture 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.
Buddhism's first precept is the respect for all sentient life. The general approach by all Buddhists is to avoid killing any living animals. Buddha explained the issue by saying "all fear death; comparing others with oneself, one should neither kill nor cause to kill."
In Sikhism, only meat obtained from hunting, or slaughtered with the Jhatka is permitted. The Sikh gurus, especially Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh were ardent hunters. Many old Sikh Rehatnamas like Prem Sumarag, recommend hunting wild boar and deer. However, among modern Sikhs, the practise of hunting has died down; some even saying that all meat is forbidden.
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 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 most Christian, do not observe kosher dietary laws hence most Christian have no religious restrictions on eating the animals hunted. This is in accord with what is found in the Acts of the Apostles 15:28–29, and 1 Timothy 4:4.
In Jewish law hunting is not forbidden although there is an aversion to it. The great 18th-century authority Rabbi Yechezkel Landau after a study concluded although "hunting would not be considered cruelty to animals insofar as the animal is generally killed quickly and not tortured... There is an unseemly element in it, namely cruelty." The other issue is that hunting can be dangerous and Judaism places an extreme emphasis on the value of human life.
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, hare, 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.
During the feudal and colonial times in British India, hunting was regarded as a regal sport in the numerous princely states, as many maharajas and nawabs, as well as British officers, maintained a whole corps of shikaris (big-game hunters), who were native professional hunters. They would be headed by a master of the hunt, who might be styled mir-shikar. Often, they recruited the normally low-ranking local tribes because of their traditional knowledge of the environment and hunting techniques. Big game, such as Bengal tigers, might be hunted from the back of an elephant.
Regional social norms are generally antagonistic to hunting, while a few sects, such as the Bishnoi, lay special emphasis on the conservation of particular species, such as the antelope. India's Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 bans the killing of all wild animals. However, the Chief Wildlife Warden may, if 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 an animal. In this case, the body of any wild animal killed or wounded becomes government property.
A safari, from a Swahili word meaning "a long journey", especially in Africa, is defined as an overland journey. Safari as a distinctive way of hunting was popularised by the US author Ernest Hemingway and President Theodore Roosevelt. A safari may consist of a several-days – or even weeks-long journey, with camping in the bush or jungle, while pursuing big game. Nowadays, it is 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, 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.
Unarmed fox hunting on horseback with hounds is the type of hunting most closely associated with the United Kingdom; in fact, "hunting" without qualification implies fox hunting. What in other countries is called "hunting" is called "shooting" (birds) or "stalking" (deer) in Britain. Originally a form of vermin control to protect livestock, fox hunting 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 hares with hounds. Pairs of Sight hounds (or long-dogs), such as greyhounds, may be used to pursue a hare in coursing, where the greyhounds are marked as to their skill in coursing the hare (but are not intended to actually catch it), or the hare may be pursued with scent hounds such as beagles or harriers. Other sorts of foxhounds may also be used for hunting stags (deer) or mink. Deer stalking with rifles is carried out on foot without hounds, using stealth.
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; there were a number of exemptions (under which the activity may not be illegal) in the act for hunting with hounds, but no exemptions at all for hare-coursing.
Game birds, especially pheasants, are shot with shotguns for sport in the UK; the British Association for Shooting and Conservation says that over a million people per year participate in shooting, including game shooting, clay pigeon shooting, and target shooting. Shooting as practised in Britain, as opposed to traditional hunting, requires little questing for game—around thirty-five 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 and 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 12 August, the so-called Glorious Twelfth. The definition of game in the United Kingdom is governed by the Game Act 1831.
A similar tradition exists in Spain
North American hunting pre-dates 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 Alaskan native communities.
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 in addition to the appropriate state hunting license.
Harvest of animals other than big game is typically restricted by a bag limit and a possession limit. A bag limit is the maximum number of a specific animal species that an individual can harvest in a single day. A possession limit is the maximum number of a specific animal species that can be in an individual's possession at any time.
Gun usage in hunting is 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 densities 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; a 2006 poll showed seventy-eight percent of Americans supported legal hunting, although relatively few Americans actually hunt. At the beginning of the 21st century, just six percent of Americans hunted. Southerners in states along the eastern seaboard hunted at a rate of five percent, slightly below the national average, and while hunting was more common in other parts of the South at nine percent, these rates did not surpass those of the Plains states, where twelve percent of Midwesterners hunted. Hunting in other areas of the country fell below the national average. Overall, in the 1996–2006 period, the number of hunters over the age of sixteen declined by ten percent, a drop attributable to a number of factors including habitat loss and changes in recreation habits.
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 the 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 sixteen years old, has raised over $700 million to help purchase more than 5,200,000 acres (8,100 sq mi; 21,000 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 money 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 utilised 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, the coypu, has become so destructive to the local ecosystem that the state has initiated a bounty program to help control the population.
The principles of the fair chase have been a part of the American hunting tradition for over one hundred years. The role of the hunter-conservationist, popularised by Theodore Roosevelt, and perpetuated by Roosevelt's formation of the Boone and Crockett Club, has been central to the development of the modern fair chase tradition. Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting, a book by Jim Posewitz, describes fair chase:
"Fundamental to ethical hunting is the idea of fair chase. This concept addresses the balance between the hunter and the hunted. It is a balance that allows hunters to occasionally succeed while animals generally avoid being taken."
When Internet hunting was introduced in 2005, allowing people to hunt over the Internet using remotely controlled guns, the practice was widely criticised by hunters as violating the principles of fair chase. As a representative of the National Rifle Association (NRA) explained, "The 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."
One hunting club declares that a fair chase shall not involve the taking of animals under the following conditions:
Indian blackbuck, nilgai, axis deer, fallow deer, and barasingha can now be found on hunting ranches in Texas, where they were introduced 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 organised mainly in Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, and Gatchina.
Hunting in Australia has evolved around the hunting and eradication of various animals considered to be pests. All native animals are protected by law, and can only be killed under a special permit. Hunted introduced species include deer, pigs, goats, foxes, and rabbits.
The numbers of licensed hunters in Japan, including those using snares and guns, is generally decreasing, while their average age is increasing. As of 2010, there were approximately 190,000 registered hunters, approximately 65% of whom were sixty years old or older.
There is a very active tradition of hunting of small to medium-sized wild game in Trinidad and Tobago. Hunting is carried out with firearms, and aided by the use of hounds, with the illegal use of trap guns and snare nets. With approximately 12,000 sport hunters applying for hunting permits in recent years (in a very small country of about the size of the state of Delaware at about 5128 square kilometers and 1.3 million inhabitants), there is some concern that the practice might not be sustainable. In addition there are at present no bag limits and the open season is comparatively very long (5 months – October to February inclusive). As such hunting pressure from legal hunters is very high. Added to that, there is a thriving and very lucrative black market for poached wild game (sold and enthusiastically purchased as expensive luxury delicacies) and the numbers of commercial poachers in operation is unknown but presumed to be fairly high. As a result, the populations of the five major mammalian game species (red-rumped agouti, lowland paca, nine-banded armadillo, collared peccary, and red brocket deer) are thought to be quite low (although scientifically conducted population studies are only just recently being conducted as of 2013). It appears that the red brocket deer population has been extirpated on Tobago as a result of over-hunting. Various herons, ducks, doves, the green iguana, the gold tegu, the spectacled caiman and the common opossum are also commonly hunted and poached. There is also some poaching of 'fully protected species', including red howler monkeys and capuchin monkeys, southern tamanduas, Brazilian porcupines, yellow-footed tortoises, Trinidad piping guans and even one of the national birds, the scarlet ibis. Legal hunters pay very small fees to obtain hunting licences and undergo no official basic conservation biology or hunting-ethics training. There is presumed to be relatively very little subsistence hunting in the country (with most hunting for either sport or commercial profit). The local wildlife management authority is under-staffed and under-funded, and as such very little in the way of enforcement is done to uphold existing wildlife management laws, with hunting occurring both in and out of season, and even in wildlife sanctuaries. There is some indication that the government is beginning to take the issue of wildlife management more seriously, with well drafted legislation being brought before Parliament in 2015. It remains to be seen if the drafted legislation will be fully adopted and financially supported by the current and future governments, and if the general populace will move towards a greater awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation and change the culture of wanton consumption to one of sustainable management.
Hunting is claimed to give resource managers an important tool 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.
However, in most circumstances carrying capacity is determined by a combination habitat and food availability, and hunting for 'population control' has no effect on the annual population of species. In some cases, it can increase the population of predators such as coyotes by removing territorial bounds that would otherwise be established, resulting in excess neighbouring migrations into an area, thus artificially increasing the population. Hunting advocates assert that 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.
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.
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 US city and local governments hire professional and amateur hunters each year to reduce populations of animals such as deer that are becoming hazardous in a restricted area, such as neighbourhood 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 that 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.
Bag limits are provisions under the law that 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. The phrase bag limits comes from the custom among hunters of small game to carry successful kills in a small basket, similar to a fishing creel.
Where bag limits are used, there can be daily or seasonal bag limits; for example, ducks can often be harvested at a rate of six per hunter per day. Big game, like moose, most often have a seasonal bag limit of one animal per hunter. 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 allocate harvest among the hunting population more equitably rather than to protect animal populations.
Without bag limits the wildlife would be heavily under populated.Poaching or not obeying a bag limit effects the population. Without bag limits more animals would be harvested than can maintain the population. It is still good to reach the bag limit though. Without hunting overpopulation could starve the animals. More animals would also be hit by cars which could effect humans as well.
A closed season is 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 to protect them during their breeding season. By extension, the period that is not the closed season is known as the open season.
Illegal hunting and harvesting of wild species contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws is called poaching. Game preservation is one of the tactics used to prevent poaching. Violations of hunting laws and regulations involving poaching are normally punishable by law. Punishment can include confiscation of equipment, fines or a prison sentence.
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.
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; this is sometimes known as 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. 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.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hunting "provides an economic incentive" for ranchers to continue to breed those species, and that hunting "reduces the threat of the species' extinction."
A scientific study in the journal, Biological Conservation, states that trophy hunting is of "major importance to conservation in Africa by creating economic incentives for conservation over vast areas, including areas which may be unsuitable for alternative wildlife-based land uses such as photographic ecotourism." However, another study states that less than 3% of a trophy hunters' expenditures reach the local level, meaning that the economic incentive and benefit is "minimal, particularly when we consider the vast areas of land that hunting concessions occupy."
Financial incentives from trophy hunting effectively more than double the land area that is used for wildlife conservation, relative to what would be conserved relying on national parks alone according to Biological Conservation, although local communities usually derive no more than 18 cents per hectare from trophy hunting.
Trophy hunting has been considered essential for providing economic incentives to conserve large carnivores according to research studies in Conservation Biology, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Wildlife Conservation by Sustainable Use, and Animal Conservation. Studies by the Centre for Responsible Tourism and the IUCN state that ecotourism, which includes more than hunting, is a superior economic incentive, generating twice the revenue per acre and 39 times more permanent employment.
The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources in 2016 concluded that trophy hunting may be contributing to the extinction of certain animals. Conservationist groups such as IFAW assert that trophy hunting is a key factor in the "silent extinction" of giraffes.
According to a national survey that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts every five years, fewer people are hunting, even as population rises. National Public Radio reported, a graph shows 2016 statistics, that only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt, which is half of what it was 50 years ago. The decline in popularity of hunting is expected to accelerate over the next decade, which threatens how US will pay for conservation. 
Trophy hunting is most often criticised when it involves rare or endangered animals. Opponents may also see trophy hunting as an issue of morality 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."
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. This analysis is disputed by many conservationist organizations and other opponents of trophy hunting. It is argued that the animals are worth more to the community for ecotourism than hunting.
A variety of industries benefit from hunting and support hunting on economic grounds. In Tanzania, it is estimated that a safari hunter spends fifty to one hundred times that of the average ecotourist. While the average photo tourist may seek luxury accommodation, the average safari hunter generally stays in tented camps. Safari hunters are also more likely to use remote areas, uninviting to the typical ecotourist. Advocates argue that these hunters allow for anti-poaching activities and revenue for local communities.
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 claimed it to be worth over a billion pounds less than ten years later.
Hunting also has a significant financial impact in the United States, with many companies specialising in hunting equipment or speciality tourism. Many different technologies have been created to assist hunters, even including iPhone applications. Today's hunters come from a broad range of economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. In 2001, over thirteen million hunters averaged eighteen days hunting, and spent over $20.5 billion on their sport. In the US, proceeds from hunting licenses contribute to state game management programs, including preservation of wildlife habitat.
Lead bullets that miss their target or remain in an unretrieved carcass could become a toxicant in the environment but lead in ammunition because of its metallic form has a lower solubility and higher resistance to corrosion than other forms of lead making it hardly available to biological systems. Waterfowl or other birds may ingest the lead and poison themselves with the neurotoxicant, but studies have demonstrated that effects of lead in ammunition are negligible on animal population size and growth. Since 1991, US federal law forbids lead shot in waterfowl hunts, and 30 states have some type of restriction.
In December 2014, a federal appeals court denied a lawsuit by environmental groups that the EPA must use the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate lead in shells and cartridges. The groups sought EPA to regulate "spent lead", yet the court found EPA could not regulate spent lead without also regulating cartridges and shells.
Hunters have been driving forces throughout history in the movement to ensure the preservation of wildlife habitats and wildlife for further hunting. However, excessive hunting and poachers have also contributed heavily to the endangerment, extirpation and extinction of many animals, such as the quagga, the great auk, Steller's sea cow, the thylacine, the bluebuck, the Arabian oryx, the Caspian and Javan tigers, the markhor, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the bison, the North American cougar, the Altai argali sheep, the Asian elephant and many more, primarily for commercial sale or sport. All these animals have been hunted to endangerment or extinction. Hunting currently threatens bird and mammalian populations around the world.
In 1937, American hunters successfully lobbied the US Congress to pass the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, which placed an eleven percent 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. The act is named for Nevada Senator Key Pittman and Virginia Congressman Absalom Willis Robertson.
On 16 March 1934, President Franklin D. 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 US Postal Service and depict wildlife artwork chosen through an annual contest. They play an important role in habitat conservation because ninety-eight percent 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 $670 million, and helped to purchase or lease 5,200,000 acres (8,100 sq mi; 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, eighty-seven percent of their sales are contributed by hunters, which is logical, as hunters are required to purchase them. Distribution of funds is managed by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC).
The Arabian oryx, a species of large antelope, once inhabited much of the desert areas of the Middle East. However, the species' striking appearance made it (along with the closely related scimitar-horned oryx and addax) a popular quarry for sport hunters, especially foreign executives of oil companies working in the region. The use of automobiles and high-powered rifles destroyed their only advantage: speed, and they became extinct in the wild exclusively due to sport hunting in 1972. The scimitar-horned oryx followed suit, while the addax became critically endangered. However, the Arabian oryx has now made a comeback and been upgraded from "extinct in the wild" to "vulnerable" due to conservation efforts like captive breeding
The markhor is an endangered species of wild goat which inhabits the mountains of Central Asia and Pakistan. The colonization of these regions by Britain gave British sport hunters access to the species, and they were hunted heavily, almost to the point of extinction. Only their willingness to breed in captivity and the inhospitability of their mountainous habitat prevented this. Despite these factors, the markhor is still endangered.
The American bison is a large bovid which inhabited much of western North America prior to the 1800s, living on the prairies in large herds. However, the vast herds of bison attracted market hunters, who killed dozens of bison for their hides only, leaving the rest to rot. Thousands of these hunters quickly eliminated the bison herds, bringing the population from several million in the early 1800s to a few hundred by the 1880s. Conservation efforts have allowed the population to increase, but the bison remains near-threatened.
The Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy cites that the legalization of white rhinoceros hunting in South Africa motivated private landowners to reintroduce the species onto their lands. As a result, the country saw an increase in white rhinos from fewer than one hundred individuals to more than 11,000, even while a limited number were killed as trophies.
However, the illegal hunting of rhinoceros for their horns is highly damaging to the population and is currently growing globally, with 1004 being killed in South Africa alone according to the most recent estimate.
According to Richard Conniff, Namibia is home to 1,750 of the roughly 5,000 black rhinos surviving in the wild because it allows trophy hunting of various species. Namibia's mountain zebra population has increased to 27,000 from 1,000 in 1982. Elephants, which "are gunned down elsewhere for their ivory", have gone to 20,000 from 15,000 in 1995. Lions, which were on the brink of extinction "from Senegal to Kenya", are increasing in Namibia.
In contrast, Botswana has recently been forced to ban trophy hunting following a precipitous wildlife decline. The numbers of antelope plummeted across Botswana, with a resultant decline in predator numbers, while elephant numbers remained stable and hippopotamus numbers rose. According to the government of Botswana, trophy hunting is at least partly to blame for this, but many other factors, such as poaching, drought and habitat loss are also to blame. Uganda recently did the same, arguing that "the share of benefits of sport hunting were lopsided and unlikely to deter poaching or improve [Uganda's] capacity to manage the wildlife reserves."
A study issued by the Wildlife Society concluded that hunting and trapping are cost effective tools that reduce wildlife damage by reducing a population below the capacity of the environment to carry it and changing the behaviors of animals to stop them from causing damage. The study furthermore states that the cessation of hunting could cause wildlife to be severely harmed, rural property values to fall, and the incentive of landowners to maintain natural habitats to diminish.
Animal rights activists argue that killing animals for "sport" is unethical, cruel, and unnecessary. They note the suffering and cruelty inflicted on animals hunted for "sport": "Many animals endure prolonged, painful deaths when they are injured but not killed by hunters [...] Hunting disrupts migration and hibernation patterns and destroys families." Animal rights activists also argue that hunting is not needed in order to maintain an ecological balance, and that "nature takes care of its own". They say that hunting can be combated on public lands by "spread deer repellent or human hair (from barber shops) near hunting areas". Animal rights activists also argue that hunting is speciesist:
"Whether hunters try to justify their killing by citing human deaths caused by wild animals, by making conservationist claims, by claiming that it’s acceptable to hunt as long as the animals’ bodies are eaten, or simply because of the pleasure it brings them, the fact remains that hunting is morally unacceptable if we consider the interests of nonhuman animals. Hunted animals endure fear and pain, and then are deprived of their lives. Understanding the injustices of speciesism and the interests of nonhuman animals makes it clear that human pleasure cannot justify nonhuman animals’ pain."
[...] hunting expeditions, as Xenophon makes plain, are images of war; therefore to men of rank such activity is honorable and necessary.
The settlers adopted sport hunting, as they did other elements of British culture, but they had to adapt it. Social circumstances and biological realities reshaped it and gave it new meaning. There was no elite monopolizing access to land. Indeed, the great attraction and boast of these nations were of land for all.
While inside escape-proof fenced enclosures
AMGTV is an American family-oriented television network featuring television programming consisting of drama, sports, movies, entertainment, how-to, hunting and fishing, children's shows, and other features, much of it repackaged from off-network and first-run syndication. The network is owned by the American company Access Media Group.
AMGTV provides programming to television stations in the United States. AMGTV also syndicates several movie packages and music specials to stations outside their affiliate base.
The president of AMGTV is Terry Elaqua.African wild dog
The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as the painted hunting dog, painted wolf, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog or African painted dog, is a canid native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest of its family in Africa, and the only extant member of the genus Lycaon, which is distinguished from Canis by dentition highly specialised for a hypercarnivorous diet, and a lack of dewclaws. It was classified as endangered by the IUCN in 2016, as it had disappeared from much of its original range. The 2016 population was estimated at roughly 39 subpopulations containing 6,600 adults, only 1,400 of which were reproductive. The decline of these populations is ongoing, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution and disease outbreaks.The African wild dog is a highly social animal, living in packs with separate dominance hierarchies for males and females. Uniquely among social carnivores, the females rather than the males scatter from the natal pack once sexually mature and the young are allowed to feed first on carcasses. The species is a specialised diurnal hunter of antelopes, which it catches by chasing them to exhaustion. Like other canids, it regurgitates food for its young, but this action is also extended to adults, to the point of being the bedrock of African wild dog social life. It has few natural predators, though lions are a major source of mortality and spotted hyenas are frequent kleptoparasites.
Although not as prominent in African folklore or culture as other African carnivores, it has been respected in several hunter-gatherer societies, particularly those of the predynastic Egyptians and the San people.Artemis
Artemis (; Greek: Ἄρτεμις Artemis, Attic Greek: [ár.te.mis]), in the ancient Greek religion and myth, is the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity.
Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the patron and protector of young girls, and was believed to bring disease upon women and relieve them of it. Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia. Much like Athena and Hestia, Artemis preferred to remain a maiden and is sworn never to marry.
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities and her temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis' symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver and hunting knives and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her. The goddess Diana is her Roman equivalent.Beagle
The beagle is a breed of small hound that is similar in appearance to the much larger foxhound. The beagle is a scent hound, developed primarily for hunting hare (beagling). With a great sense of smell and superior tracking instinct, the beagle is employed as detection dog for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine around the world. The beagle is intelligent but single-minded. It is a popular pet due to its size, good temper, and lack of inherited health problems.
Although beagle-type dogs have existed for 2,500 years, the modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier.
Beagles have been depicted in popular culture since Elizabethan times in literature and paintings, and more recently in film, television, and comic books. Snoopy of the comic strip Peanuts has been called "the world's most famous beagle".Blood sport
A blood sport is a category of sport or entertainment that involves bloodshed. Common examples of the former include combat sports such as cockfighting and dog fighting and some forms of hunting and fishing. Activities characterized as blood sports, but involving only human participants, include the Ancient Roman gladiatorial games.Bow and arrow
The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon system consisting of an elastic launching device (bow) and long-shafted projectiles (arrows).
Archery is the art, practice, or skill of using bows to shoot arrows. A person who shoots arrows with a bow is called a bowman or an archer. Someone who makes bows is known as a bowyer, one who makes arrows is a fletcher, and one who manufactures metal arrowheads is an arrowsmith.The use of bows and arrows by humans for hunting predates recorded history and was common to many prehistoric cultures. They were important weapons of war from ancient history until the early modern period, where they were rendered increasingly obsolete by the development of the more powerful and accurate firearms, and were eventually dropped from warfare. Today, bows and arrows are mostly used for hunting and sports.Cheetah
The cheetah (; Acinonyx jubatus) is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae that occurs in North, Southern and East Africa, and a few localities in Iran. It inhabits a variety of mostly arid habitats like dry forests, scrub forests, and savannahs. The species is IUCN Red Listed as Vulnerable, as it suffered a substantial decline in its historic range in the 20th century due to habitat loss, poaching for the illegal pet trade, and conflict with humans. By 2016, the global cheetah population has been estimated at approximately 7,100 individuals in the wild. Several African countries have taken steps to improve cheetah conservation measures.The cheetah was formally described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1775 and is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx. Its yellowish tan or rufous to greyish white coat is uniformly covered with nearly 2,000 solid black spots. Its body is slender with a small rounded head, black tear-like streaks on the face, deep chest, long thin legs and long spotted tail. Owing to its long legs it can run at a speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) while hunting; accelerating up to 112 km/h (70 mph) on short distances of 100 m (330 ft). It is therefore the fastest land animal. It reaches 70–90 cm (28–35 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 21–72 kg (46–159 lb). Its lightly built, slender form is in sharp contrast with the robust build of the Panthera cats. It is taller than the leopard (P. pardus), and notably smaller than the lion (P. leo).
The cheetah is active mainly during the day, with hunting its major activity. Adult males are sociable despite their territoriality, forming groups called coalitions. Females are not territorial; they may be solitary or live with their offspring in home ranges. It is a carnivores and preys mainly upon antelopes and gazelles. It stalks its prey to within 100–300 m (330–980 ft), charge towards it and kill it by tripping it during the chase and biting its throat to suffocate it to death.
It breeds throughout the year, and is an induced ovulator. Gestation lasts nearly three months, resulting in a litter of typically three to five, in rare cases up to eight cubs. They are weaned at the age of about six months. After siblings become independent from their mother, they usually stay together for some time.
Because of its prowess at hunting, the cheetah has been tamed already in the 16th century BC in Egypt and used to kill game at hunts. It has been widely depicted in art, literature, advertising and animation.Cougar
The cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known by other names including catamount, mountain lion, panther, and puma, is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae native to the Americas.
Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the widest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the biggest cat in North America, and the second-heaviest cat in the New World after the jaguar. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although daytime sightings do occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat (subfamily Felinae), than to any species of subfamily Pantherinae, of which only the jaguar is native to the Americas.
The cougar is an ambush predator that pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources are ungulates, particularly deer. It also hunts species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have recently been increasing in North America as more people enter cougar territories.Intensive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the North American cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for the isolated Florida panther subpopulation. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois (where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago), and in at least one instance, observed as far east as coastal Connecticut. Reports of eastern cougars (P. c. cougar) still surface, although it was declared extirpated in 2011.Fox hunting
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase and, if caught, the killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of unarmed followers led by a "master of foxhounds" ("master of hounds"), who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Fox hunting with hounds, as a formalised activity, originated in England in the sixteenth century, in a form very similar to that practised until February 2005, when a law banning the activity in England and Wales came into force. A ban on hunting in Scotland had been passed in 2002, but it continues to be within the law in Northern Ireland and several other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland and the United States. In Australia, the term also refers to the hunting of foxes with firearms, similar to deer hunting. In much of the world, hunting in general is understood to relate to any game animals or weapons (e.g., deer hunting with bow and arrow); in Britain and Ireland, "hunting" without qualification implies fox hunting (or other forms of hunting with hounds—beagling, drag hunting, hunting the clean boot, mink hunting, or stag hunting), as described here.The sport is controversial, particularly in the UK. Proponents of fox hunting view it as an important part of rural culture, and useful for reasons of conservation and pest control, while opponents argue that it is cruel and unnecessary.Game (hunting)
Game or quarry is any animal hunted for sport or for food, and the meat of those animals. The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world.Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film, directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and Damon, the film follows 20-year-old South Boston janitor Will Hunting, an unrecognized genius who, as part of a deferred prosecution agreement after assaulting a police officer, becomes a client of a therapist and studies advanced mathematics with a renowned professor. Through his therapy sessions, Will re-evaluates his relationships with his best friend, his girlfriend, and himself, facing the significant task of confronting his past and thinking about his future.
The film grossed over $225 million during its theatrical run, from a $10 million budget. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, and won two: Best Supporting Actor for Williams and Best Original Screenplay for Affleck and Damon.
In 2014, it was ranked at number 53 in The Hollywood Reporter's "100 Favorite Films" list.Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging (collecting wild plants and pursuing wild animals). Hunter-gatherer societies stand in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species.
Hunting and gathering was humanity's first and most successful adaptation, occupying at least 90 percent of human history. Following the invention of agriculture, hunter-gatherers who did not change have been displaced or conquered by farming or pastoralist groups in most parts of the world.
In West Eurasia, agriculture lead to widespread genetic changes when older hunter-gatherer populations were largely replaced by Middle Eastern farmers during the Neolithic who in turn were overrun by Indo-Europeans during the Bronze Age.Only a few contemporary societies are classified as hunter-gatherers, and many supplement their foraging activity with horticulture or pastoralism.Otter
Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates. Lutrinae is a branch of the weasel family Mustelidae, which also includes badgers, honey badgers, martens, minks, polecats, and wolverines.Poaching
Poaching has been defined as the illegal hunting or capturing of wild animals, usually associated with land use rights.According to Encyclopædia Britannica, poaching was performed by impoverished peasants for subsistence purposes and a supplement for meager diets. Poaching was as well set against the hunting privileges of nobility and territorial rulers. By contrast, stealing domestic animals (as in cattle raiding, for example) classifies as theft, not as poaching.Since the 1980s, the term "poaching" has also referred to the illegal harvesting of wild plant species. In agricultural terms, the term 'poaching' is also applied to the loss of soils or grass by the damaging action of feet of livestock which can affect availability of productive land, water pollution through increased runoff and welfare issues for cattle.Polar bear
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a hypercarnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–700 kg (772–1,543 lb), while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Although it is the sister species of the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice and open water, and for hunting seals, which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time on the sea ice. Their scientific name means "maritime bear" and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present. Because of their dependence on the sea ice, polar bears are classified as marine mammals.Because of expected habitat loss caused by climate change, the polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species. For decades, large-scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species, but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of circumpolar peoples, and polar bears remain important in their cultures. Historically, the polar bear has also been known as the white bear.Seal hunting
Seal hunting, or sealing, is the personal or commercial hunting of seals. Seal hunting is currently practiced in nine countries and one region of Denmark: United States (above the Arctic Circle in Alaska), Canada, Namibia, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Greenland. Most of the world's seal hunting takes place in Canada and Greenland.
The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) regulates the seal hunt in Canada. It sets quotas (total allowable catch – TAC), monitors the hunt, studies the seal population, works with the Canadian Sealers' Association to train sealers on new regulations, and promotes sealing through its website and spokespeople. The DFO set harvest quotas of over 90,000 seals in 2007; 275,000 in 2008; 280,000 in 2009; and 330,000 in 2010. The actual kills in recent years have been less than the quotas: 82,800 in 2007; 217,800 in 2008; 72,400 in 2009; and 67,000 in 2010.In 2007, Norway claimed that 29,000 harp seals were killed, Russia claimed that 5,479 seals were killed, and Greenland claimed that 90,000 seals were killed in their respective seal hunts.
Harp seal populations in the northwest Atlantic declined to approximately 2 million in the late 1960s as a result of Canada's annual kill rates, which averaged to over 291,000 from 1952 to 1970. Conservationists demanded reduced rates of killing and stronger regulations to avert the extinction of the harp seal. In 1971, the Canadian government responded by instituting a quota system. The system was competitive, with each boat catching as many seals as it could before the hunt closed, which the Department of Fisheries and Oceans did when they knew that year's quota had been reached. Because it was thought that the competitive element might cause sealers to cut corners, new regulations were introduced that limited the catch to 400 seals per day, and 2000 per boat total. A 2007 population survey conducted by the DFO estimated the population at 5.5 million.It is illegal in Canada to hunt newborn harp seals (whitecoats) and young hooded seals (bluebacks). When the seal pups begin to molt their downy white fur at the age of 12–14 days, they are called "ragged-jacket" and can be commercially hunted. After molting, the seals are called "beaters", named for the way they beat the water with their flippers. The hunt remains highly controversial, attracting significant media coverage and protests each year. Images from past hunts have become iconic symbols for conservation, animal welfare, and animal rights advocates. In 2009, Russia banned the hunting of harp seals less than one year old.Shotgun
A shotgun (also known as a scattergun, or historically as a fowling piece) is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug. Shotguns come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 5.5 mm (.22 inch) bore up to 5 cm (2.0 in) bore, and in a range of firearm operating mechanisms, including breech loading, single-barreled, double or combination gun, pump-action, bolt-, and lever-action, revolver, semi-automatic, and even fully automatic variants.
A shotgun was originally a smoothbore firearm, which means that the inside of the barrel is not rifled but later rifled shotgun barrels and slugs become available. Preceding smoothbore firearms, such as the musket, were widely used by armies in the 18th century. The direct ancestor to the shotgun, the blunderbuss, was also used in a similar variety of roles from self-defense to riot control. It was often used by cavalry troops because of its generally shorter length and ease of use, as well as by coachmen for its substantial power. In the 19th century, however, these weapons were largely replaced on the battlefield with breechloading rifled firearms, which were more accurate over longer ranges. The military value of shotguns was rediscovered in the First World War, when American forces used 12-gauge pump action shotguns in close-quarters trench fighting to great effect. Since then, it has been used in a variety of roles in civilian, law enforcement, and military applications.
The shot pellets from a shotgun spread upon leaving the barrel, and the power of the burning charge is divided among the pellets, which means that the energy of any one ball of shot is fairly low. In a hunting context, this makes shotguns useful primarily for hunting birds and other small game. However, in a military or law enforcement context, the large number of projectiles makes the shotgun useful as a close quarters combat weapon or a defensive weapon. Militants or insurgents may use shotguns in asymmetric engagements, as shotguns are commonly owned civilian weapons in many countries. Shotguns are also used for target shooting sports such as skeet, trap, and sporting clays. These involve shooting clay disks, known as clay pigeons, thrown in various ways.Weimaraner
The Weimaraner ( VY-mə-rah-nər) is a large dog that was originally bred for hunting in the early 19th century. Early Weimaraners were used by royalty for hunting large game such as boar, bear and deer. As the popularity of large game hunting began to decline, Weimaraners were used for hunting smaller animals like fowl, rabbits and foxes.
The Weimaraner is an all-purpose gun dog. The name comes from the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Karl August, whose court, located in the city of Weimar (now in the state of Thuringia in modern-day Germany), enjoyed hunting.Wolf
The wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the grey/gray wolf or timber wolf, is a canine native to the wilderness and remote areas of Eurasia and North America. It is the largest extant member of its family, with males averaging 43–45 kg (95–99 lb) and females 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb). It is distinguished from other Canis species by its larger size and less pointed features, particularly on the ears and muzzle. Its winter fur is long and bushy and predominantly a mottled gray in color, although nearly pure white, red and brown to black also occur. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed., 2005), a standard reference work in zoology, recognises 38 subspecies of C. lupus.The gray wolf is the second most specialized member of the genus Canis, after the Ethiopian wolf, as demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting large prey, its more gregarious nature, and its highly advanced expressive behavior. It is nonetheless closely related enough to smaller Canis species, such as the coyote, and golden jackal, to produce fertile hybrids. It is the only species of Canis to have a range encompassing both the Old and New Worlds, and originated in Eurasia during the Pleistocene, colonizing North America on at least three separate occasions during the Rancholabrean. It is a social animal, travelling in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair, accompanied by the pair's adult offspring. The gray wolf is typically an apex predator throughout its range, with only humans and tigers posing a serious threat to it. It feeds primarily on large ungulates, though it also eats smaller animals, livestock, carrion, and garbage. A seven-year-old wolf is considered to be relatively old, and the maximum lifespan is about 16 years.The global gray wolf population is estimated to be 300,000. The gray wolf is one of the world's best-known and most-researched animals, with probably more books written about it than any other wildlife species. It has a long history of association with humans, having been despised and hunted in most pastoral communities because of its attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected in some agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies. Although the fear of wolves is pervasive in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people, mainly children, but this is rare, as wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have developed a fear of humans from hunters and shepherds.