As a kind of sport, hunting is getting more and more popular. It has developed from a way of collecting food in ancient times to a pastime. It seems that many people who go hunting for a few times are addicted to this fascinating sport. Hunting is favoured not only for its rules but also for its history with a lot of changes through years
Hunting is the act of capturing, killing or just chasing animals. People who go hunting are called hunters. They use skills and necessary tools to make their hunt more efficient. Mammals and birds are the most hunted for food, recreation and trade. Hunting is different from the word “poaching”, which is used to indicate the practice of hunting illegally. This is an advantageous action, but it is also disadvantageous in some cases. For instance, hunting advocates believe that it is a means of pest control. Specifically, it helps to maintain the population of beneficial species by destroying their predators. On the other side, however, hunting contributes to the extinction of many species. In spite of this, hunting has nowadays become a part of life after such a long period of development.
Our ancestors Hominid were probably omnivores or frugivores, so the appearance of hunting is believed to have dated from the rise of Homo sapiens. According to evidence from Western Kenya, human started hunting as long as two million years ago. Our ancient ancestors used to pick up fruits and leaves to eat and drink water in streams. It is said that with the awareness of using tools, they gradually knew how to use tree branches to kill animals for food. First tools used in hunting were made from wood, then they ground stone to make it sharper. As a result of working for many years, human knew how to produce metal tools in order to kill bigger animals. Further more, although there is also evidence that human played a significant role in the extinction of Holocene mega-fauna, hunting is regarded as one of factors leading to this.
One interesting period in history of hunting is middle ages. Those days animal domestication became relatively common, hunting was not the main way of collecting food but a food source in addition to what people produced themselves. Human not only hunted mammals in nature but also knew how to raise some species for survival. Hunting served to kill animals that prey on both domestic and wild animals or to extirpate animals which they regarded as competition for resources like water or ensilage. In the change of hunting from a subsistence to a social activity, there were two trends emerging:
- The development of specialist hunters with training and dedicated equipment.
- The co-option of hunting as a sport for upper social class.
This is also the time when hunting was a vital part in life of many people, though restricted. First restriction such as the rule of no hunting in the forest of the King was put into practice. Only the rich and the upper class were allowed to hunt whatever they could. Hunting became primary sport for the nobility of that time. They could go hunting in certain areas which were solely under their control. There were also games of hunting to get food or furs in those areas. Colonists to the New World requires hunters to have as many skills of hunting as possible, although they progressed quickly from relying on hunting to creating farms and plantations. Popular weapons for use in hunting during this time period was forms of archery, slings and throwing spears. The gun was also used but it was not really as popular as today.
Following the Middle Ages was the Industrial period. This era lasted for a significantly long time. Industrialization as well as the globalization brought about great changes in hunting. Large farms became very popular, where livestock was raised instead of the practice of hunting wild animals. This downgraded hunting to only become a past time. Guns, ranging from muskets to rifles, were being to be used extensively. Archery was downgraded to sport use only, though it was very popular for tests of skill.
Through so many years, hunting has changed a lot in both its rules and its tools. People more and more produce better material to use in hunting. Guns have evolved the same way, with many types of bullets and guns for different types of hunting.
In the modern world, safety and skill are the prerequisited for hunting. Regulations have been developed to prevent species from going extinct. Hunting is still popular, although there are much more restrictions in areas of hunting than before.
In brief, hunting is one of the sports which undergone the longest period of history. Hunting revolutionized from an action of searching food to a pastime of aristocracies and then a popular sport among people, especially for men.