History of hunting

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.

Stone Age

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.

history of hunting

Middle Ages

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.

Industrial period

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.

Present day

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.

Methods of hunting

Hunting is not only a way of getting food but it also a sport favoured by many people. It is true to say that the development of hunting comes as a result of changing methods. There are more and more different methods of hunting practiced by hunters. They not only used the necessary skills and their experience but they also use chemicals to trap the prey.

Historical, subsistence, and sport hunting techniques can differ radically. Technique variation may depend 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.

method of hunting


This is the method in which hunters use decoys, scent,lures for food to feed the animals. It is usually used to hunt animals such as deer, dog and bear. Bait is a food or other lure put in a trap in order to poison the prey. However, this method has been banned on some kinds of animals like bear.


It is said that battue originates from ancient times while our ancients went hunting. Hunters scare animals, sometimes they use sticks or weapon into a killing zone which has created in advance to capture or kill them more easily. There are large holes that hunters prepare to scare animals into. At the bottom there are some kinds of traps such as huge nets to capture a large number of animals or wooden sticks which are sharpened to kill or injure them. This method requires hunters to have preparation before going hunting. Also, people who use this method not only  have to have skills so as to scare animals into the right direction to the hole but they also make a right decision of where to become the killing zone.

Using dogs

Dogs are used to find, chase, retrieve, and sometimes to kill the animals. 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 like the Labrador Retriever, the Brittany Spaniel or the Golden Retriever . To become hunting dogs, they have to be trained carefully in many aspects like running, scenting, chasing and so on. This is one of the popular ways for hunters when they want to hunt the dangerous animals or the ones which can run so fast that people can not chase. This methods requires hunting dogs to be trained as well as possible. Prerequisite for them is to understand the wild game, including what to do when being ordered by the appearance of the preys. After that these dogs will be trained on other skills while hunting like the special scent of animals to easily orientate the preys.


Stalking or still hunting is to walk quetly and wait for animal to appear individually to easily hunt. This method does not require many skills but hunters have to know how to stay still in searching for animals. Preys of this type of hunting are usually young animals which are not able to run persistently or the ones straying from their herds. It is always easier to hunt a single animal but as a result, hunters can not hunt in large number like when using some other methods. Similarly, blind hunting or stand hunting is to wait for animals from concealed position. This strategy requires hunters to hide from preys’eyes. They have to stay still in a secret position and watch the animals, then find a suitable time and use the tools to capture the animals.

Aggressive mimicry

Aggressive mimicry is quite popular among hunters and also scientists who want to study more about wild animals. This strategy is a form of mimicry that hunters perform to trick animals into thinking that they are the same species. By this way, hunters can get closer to his prey in order to capture or kill it easily. Using this method, people have to wear fake animal skin and sometimes mimic animals’ behaviours. To use this method, hunters have to know about special behaviours of each species. What is more, they have to micmic as exactly as possible. If not, hunters can be in danger when recognized by animals. They will be attacked if animals realize that hunters are not among their herds but come to hunt.

In general, there are many different hunting strategies used nowadays, the most popular ones include:

  • Baiting
  • Battue
  • Using dogs
  • Stalking
  • Aggressive mimicry

Each method has its own benefits and also drawbacks. The important thing is to choose the suitable one to use in the right case.