1902 Encyclopedia > Hunting

Hunting




HUNTING. The circumstances which render necessary the habitual pursuit of wild animals, either as a means of subsistence or for self-defence, generally accompany a phase of human progress distinctly inferior to the pastoral and j agricultural stages; resorted to as a recreation, on the other hand, the practice of the chase in most cases indicates a considerable degree of civilization, and sometimes ulti-mately becomes the almost distinctive employment of the classes which are possessed of most leisure and wealth. It is only in some of its latter aspects, viz., as a "sport," pur-sued on fixed rules and principles, that hunting requires notice here.

The information we possess as to the field sports of the ancients is in many directions extremely fragmentary. With regard to the ancient Egyptians, however, we learn that the huntsmen constituted an entire subdivision of the great second caste; they either followed the chase on their own account, or acted as the attendants of the chiefs in their hunting excursions, taking charge of the dogs, and securing and bringing home the game. The game was sought in the open deserts which border on both sides the valley of the Nile ; but (by the wealthy) sometimes in enclosed spaces into which the animals had been driven, or in preserves. Besides the noose and the net, the arrow, the dart, and the hunting pole or venabulum were frequently employed. The animals chiefly hunted were the gazelle, ibex, oryx, stag, wild ox, wild sheep, hare, and porcupine; also the ostrich for its plumes, and the fox, jackal, wolf, hyaena, and leopard for their skins, or as enemies of the farm-yard. The lion was occasionally trained as a hunt-ing animal instead of the dog. The sportsman appears, occasionally at least, in the later periods, to have gone to coverin his chariot or on horseback ; according to Wilkinson, when the dogs threw off in a level plain of great extent, it was even usual for him " to remain in his chariot, and, urging his horses to their full speed, endeavour to turn or ! intercept them as they doubled, discharging a well-directed arrow whenever they came within its range." The partiality ! for the chase which the ancient Egyptians manifested was j shared by the Assyrians and Babylonians, as is shown by the frequency with which hunting scenes are found depicted on the walls of their temples and palaces, and also by the ! alleged fact that even their dresses and furniture were ornamented with similar subjects. The game pursued j included the lion, the wild ass, the gazelle, and the hare, i and the implements chiefly employed seem to have been the javelin and the bow. There are indications that hawk-ing was also known. The Assyrian kings also maintained magnificent parks, or "paradises," in which game of every kind was enclosed ; and perhaps it was from them that the Persian sovereigns borrowed the practice mentioned both by Xenophon in the Cyropcedia, and by Curtius. Accord-ing to Herodotus, Cyrus devoted the revenue of four great towns to meet the expenses of his hunting establishments. The circumstances under which the death of the son of Crcesus is by the same writer (i. 34-45) related to have occurred incidentally show in what high estimation the recreation of hunting was held in Lydia. In Palestine game has always been plentiful, and the Biblical indica-tions that it was much sought and duly appreciated are numerous. As means of capture, nets, traps, snares, and pitfalls are most frequently alluded to; but the arrow (Isa. vii. 24), the spear, and the dart (Job xli. 26-29) are also mentioned. There is no evidence that the use of the dog (Jos., Ant., iv. 8, 10, notwithstanding) or of the horse in hunting was known among the Jews during the period covered by the Old Testament history; Herod, however, was a keen and successful sportsman, and is recorded by Josephus (B. J., i. 21, 13, compare Ant., xv. 7, 7; xvi. 10, 3) to have killed no fewer than forty head of game (boar, wild ass, deer) in one day. The sporting tastes of the ancient Greeks, as may be gathered from many references in Homer (Il.,'ix. 538-545 ; Od., ix. 120 ; xvii. 295, 316; xix. 429 sq.), had developed themselves at a very early period; they first found adequate literary expression in the work of Xenophon entitled Cynegeticus, which expounds his. principles and embodies his experience in his favourite art of hunting. The treatise chiefly deals with the capture of the hare; in the author's day the approved method was to find the hare in her form by the use of dogs; when found she was either driven into nets previously set in her runs, or else run down in the open. Boar-hunting is also de-scribed ; it was effected by nets into which the animal was pursued, and in which when fairly entangled he was speared, The stag, according to the same work, was taken by means of a kind of wooden trap (7ro8oo-Tpa/3i?) which attached itself to the foot. Lions, leopards, lynxes, panthers, and bears are also specially mentioned among the large game; sometimes they were taken in pitfalls, sometimes speared by mounted horsemen. As a writer on field sports Xenophon was followed by Arrian, who in his Cynegeticus, in avowed dependence on his predecessor, seeks to supplement such deficiencies in the earlier treatise as arose from its author's unacquaintance with the dogs of Gaul and the horses of Scythia and Libya. Four books of Cynegetica, extending to about 2100 hexameters, by Oppian have also been preserved ; the last of these is incomplete, and it is probable that a fifth at one time existed. The poem contains some good descriptive passages, as well as some very curious indications of the state of zoological knowledge in the author's time. Hunting scenes are frequently repre-sented in ancient works of art, especially the boar-hunt, and also that of the hare. In Roman literature allusions to the pleasures of the chase (wild ass, boar, hare, fallow deer, being specially mentioned as favourite game) are not wanting (Virg, Georg., iii. 409-413; Bel., iii. 75; Hor., Od., i. 1, 25-28); it seems to have been viewed, however, with less favour as an occupation for gentlemen, and to have been chiefly left to inferiors and professionals. The immense vivaria or theriotropheia, in which various wild animals, such as boars, stags, and roe-deer, were kept in a state of semi-domestication, were developments which arose at a comparatively late period; as also were the venationes in the circus, although these are mentioned as having been known as early as 186 B.C. The bald and meagre poem of Gratius Faliscus on hunting (Cynegetica) is modelled upon Xenophon's prose work; a still extant fragment (315 lines) of a similar poem with the same title, of much late* date, by Nemesianus, seems to have at one time formed the introduction to an extended work corresponding to that of Oppian. That the Romans had borrowed some things in the art of hunting from the Gauls may be inferred from the name canis gallicus (Spanish galgo) for a greyhound, which is to be met with both in Ovid and Martial; also in the words (canis) vertragus and segusius, both of Celtic origin. According to Strabo (p. 200) the Britons also bred dogs well adapted for hunting purposes. The addic-tion of the Franks in later centuries to the chase is evi-denced by the frequency with which not only the laity but also the clergy were warned by provincial councils against expending so much of their time and money on hounds, hawks, and falcons ; and we have similar proof with regard to the habits of other Teutonic nations subsequent to the introduction of Christianity.5 Originallyamong the northern nations sport was open to every one 6 except to slaves, who were not permitted to bear arms ; the growth of the idea of game-preserving was a gradual one, and kept pace with the development of feudalism. For its ultimate development in Britain see FOREST LAW, where also the distinction between beasts of forest or venery, beasts of chase, and beasts and fowls of warren is explained. See also GAME LAWS.
The English word "hunt" (from henten, "to capture," and thus nearly equivalent to "chase," which is the doublet of the verb " to catch " ; compare Ital. caccia, Fr. chasse) has come specially to be applied to the pursuit of the stag, hare, and fox, especially of the last-named, with horse, hound, and horn, as distinguished from other modes of capturing game. It thus corresponds to the French chasse an courre, as distinguished from chasse au tir, a I'oiseau &c, and to the German Eetzjagd as distinguished from Birsch. The origin of the sport in Britain does not admit of being historically traced. Doubtless the early inhabitants shared to a large extent in the habits of the other Celtic peoples ; the fact that at least they kept good hunt-ing dogs is vouched for, as we have seen, by Strabo ; and an interesting illustration of the manner in which these were used is given in the inscription quoted by Orelli (n. 1603)—"Silvano Invicto Sacrum-—ob aprumeximijeformse captum, quern multi antecessores praedari non potuerunt." When the period of Alfred the Great is reached, we have it on the authority of Asserius, his biographer, that before he was twelve years of age he " was a most expert and active hunter, and excelled in all the branches of that noble art, to which he applied with incessant labour and amazing success." Of his grandson Athelstan it is related by William of Malmesbury that after the victory of Brunan-burgh he imposed upon the vanquished king of Wales a yearly tribute, which included a certain number of " hawks and sharp-scented dogs fit for hunting wild beasts." Ac-cording to the same authority, one of the greatest delights of Edward the Confessor was " to follow a pack of swift hounds in pursuit of game, and to cheer them with his voice." It was under the Anglo-Saxon kings that the dis-tinction between the higher and lower chase first came to be made,—the former being expressly for the king or those on whom he had bestowed the pleasure of sharing in it, while only the latter was allowed to the proprietors of the land. To the reign of Cnut belong the " Constitutions de Foresta," according to which four thanes were appointed in every province for the administration of justice in all matters connected with the forests; under them were four inferior thanes to whom was committed immediate care of the vert and venison. The severity of the forest laws which prevailed during the Norman period is sufficient evidence of the sporting ardour of William and his successors. The Conqueror himself, we are told by his contemporaries, " loved the high game as if he were their father;" and the penalty for the unauthorized slaughter of a hart or hind was loss of both eyes. Stag Staff Hunting.—-Although at an early period stag hunt-hunting, ing was a favourite recreation with royalty, it is difficult to say when the royal buckhounds were first established. It seems probable that in the reign of Henry VIII. the royal pack was kennelled at Swinley, where, in the reign of Charles II. (1684), a deer was found that went away to Lord Petre's seat in Essex; only five got to the end of this 70 miles' run, one being the king's brother, the duke of York. George III. was a great stag hunter, and met the royal pack as often as possible.





The Devon and Somerset staghounds are the only pack in England that now pursue the wild red deer. In his interesting work, The Chase of the Wild Red Deer, Mr Collyns says that the earliest record of a pack of stag-hounds in the Exmoor district is in 1598, when Hugh Polland, Queen Elizabeth's ranger, kept one at Simonsbath. The succeeding rangers of Exmoor forest kept up the pack until nearly 200 years ago, the hounds subsequently passing into the possession of Mr Walter of Stevenstone, an ancestor of the Rolle family. Successive masters continued the sport until 1825, when the fine pack, descended probably from the blood hound crossed with the old southern hound, was sold in London. It is difficult to imagine how the dis-persion of such a pack could have come about in such a sporting country,but in 1827 the late Sir Arthur Chichester got a pack together, and the country has been hunted ever since, the present master being Mr Fenwiek Bissett. Stag hunting begins on the 12th of August, and ends on the 8th of October; there is then a cessation until the end of the month, when the hounds are unkennelled for hind hunting, which continues up to Christmas; it begins again about Lady day, and lasts till the 10 th of May. The mode of hunting with the Devon and Somerset hounds is briefly this :—the whereabouts of a warrant-able stag is communicated to the master by that important functionary the harbourer; two couple of steady hounds called tufters are then thrown into cover, and, having singled out a warrantable deer, follow him until he is forced to make for the open, when the body of the pack are laid on. Very often two or three hours elapse before the stag breaks, but a run over the wild country fully atones for the delay. With all other packs of staghounds, except one in the New Forest, which hunts fallow deer, the quarry is the carted deer; the animal is turned out from a vehicle resembling a prison van in appearance, and the hounds are laid on after a quarter of an hour's law.

Fox Hunting.—It is only within comparatively recent Fox times that the fox has come to be considered as an animal hunting of the higher chase. William Twici, indeed, who was huntsman-in-chief to Edward II., and who wrote in Nor-man French a treatise on hunting, which still exists in an English translation, mentions the fox as a beast of venery, but obviously as an altogether inferior object of sport. Strutt also gives an engraving, assigned by him to the 14th century, in which three hunters, one of whom blows a horn, are represented as unearthing a fox, which is pursued by a single hound. The precise date of the estab-lishment of the first pack of hounds kept entirely for fox hunting cannot be accurately fixed. In the work of " Nimrod " (C. J. Apperley), entitled The Chase, there is (p. 4) an extract from a letter from Lord Arundel, dated February 1833, in which the writer says that his an-cestor, Lord Arundel, kept a pack of foxhounds between 1690 and 1700, and that they remained in the family till 1782, when they were sold to the celebrated Hugh Meynell, of Quorndon Hall, Leicestershire. Lord Wilton again, in his Sp>orts and Pursuits of the English, says that "about the year 1750 hounds began to be entered solely to fox." The Field of November 6, 1875, p. 512, con-tains an engraving of a hunting-horn then in the posses-sion of the late master of the Cheshire hounds, and upon the horn is the inscription :—" Thomas Boothby, Esq., Tooley Park, Leicester. With this horn he hunted the first pack of foxhounds then in England fifty-five years. Born 1677. Died 1752. Now the property of Thomas d'Avenant, Esq., county Salop, his grandson." These extracts do not finally decide the point, because both Mr Boothby's and Lord Arundel's hounds may have hunted other game besides fox, just as in Edward IV.'s time there were " fox dogs " though not kept exclusively for fox. On the whole, it is probable that Lord Wilton's surmise is not far from correct. Since fox hunting first commenced, however, the system of the sport has been much changed. In our grandfathers' time the hounds met early, and found the fox by the drag, that is, by the line he took to his kennel on his return from a foraging expedition. Hunting the drag was doubtless a great test of nose, but many good runs must have been lost thereby, for the fox must often have heard the hounds upwind, and have moved off before they could get on good terms " with him. At the present day, the woodlands are neither so large nor so numerous as they formerly were, while there are many more gorse covers; therefore, instead of hunting the drag up to it, a much quicker way of getting to work is to find a fox' in his kennel ; and, the hour of meeting being later, the fox is not likely to be gorged with food, and so unable to take care of himself at the pace at which the modern foxhound travels.

On hunting days it is the master's duty to say what The covers are to be drawn, and to request the field to take up master-such positions as will enable the fox to have fair play. The management of the field requires considerable firmness, but the very strong language one sometimes hears is better avoided. Where a professional huntsman is em-ployed, he is responsible for the actual hunting, and the less he is interfered with by the master or anybody else the better. The country should be hunted fairly throughout its length and breadth, not only for the sake of the subscribers living in the different districts, but with a view to sport. Woodlands of greater or less extent are to be found even in countries denominated open, and these places are generally strongholds for foxes, and should be regularly rattled throughout the season; if this be neglected, the foxes, instead of breaking quickly, will ring about the cover all day, and, what is worse, many small covers will be drawn blank by reason of their inhabitants seeking the quietude of the wood. The frequent hunting of woodlands, though conducive in the long run to sport, is not popular with the field. It is on the whole a matter for congratulation that most packs of hounds are now carried on by subscription. Little by little the expense attending a pack of hounds has increased until it has now assumed large proportions : the hounds must be of the best blood ; at least five horses per hunting day (exclusive of the master's) must be allowed for the hunt servants; no
makeshifts for kennel or stable will be tolerated; and the hunt servants must be men of known character. Under these circumstances, a master undertaking to keep hounds at his own expense incurs great cost for the benefit of others, or else, being judged by the standard of great establishments, lays himself open to a charge of only half doing what he has put his hand to. If hunting is as popular as it is supposed to be, it is for every reason advisable that those who derive amusement from it should contribute something towards the general expenses. In establishments conducted upon a liberal scale, the annual cost will amount to about £620 a year for each day in the week that the pack hunts; thus, a three days a week pack will cost about £1860 per annum, a four days a week pack £2480, and so on; but absolute efficiency cannot be maintained much under £520 per day.

The author of the Diary of a Huntsman says that, to be perfect, " a huntsman should possess the following qualifications—health, memory, decision, temper, patience, a good ear, voice, and sight, courage and spirits, perseverance and activity; and with these he will make a slow pack quick." Should the master be his own huntsman, he will save about £300 a year, but he should unite as many as possible of the above list of virtues to those he is possessed of in his capacity of master. The position of a huntsman is a peculiar one; he is the ser-vant of the master, yet the latter must to a certain extent make a confidant of him, as in cases of breeding, drawing the hounds for a day's hunting, and other matters. A huntsman must be fond of his calling, or he will not be energetic in the pursuit of it; he must also be a bold horseman,—if a good one so much the better,—for nothing is more annoying to the master and the field than to see a huntsman refuse to cast his hounds in an obviously probable direction, because the doing so would necessitate jumping an ugly fence. Observation and decision are also indispensable. When hounds check, the proper course to pursue is very often suggested by some trifling incident which occurred perhaps ten minutes before, and which was noticed at the time without any particular weight being attached to it; for instance, some rooks might have been hovering on the left or right of the line the hounds were running; or again, some hound that can be depended on diverges for a moment from the rest of the pack. The huntsman remembers this when the check takes place, and tries in that direction, often with success. When once a check occurs, decision should be shown in acting promptly; right or'wrong, the huntsman must do something, and must have a reason for what he does. Authorities are not wanting who reckon youth as one of a huntsman's qualities; but huntsmen, like hunters, are not at their best until half worn out. There is so much to learn in the nature of the fox, so many isolated cases must have been observed in order to deduce a principle from them, that a young man cannot possibly have the experience necessary to show the best sport, and our hunting records tell of men who have continued to ride boldly and to show no signs of age when fifty years old.

The method of hunting a pack of hounds varies some-what in different countries. One of the most accepted canons is that the huntsman should not interfere with his hounds more than is necessary. So long as hounds can hunt, it is best to let them do so, for if their heads are once got up by hallooing and lifting, they will not so readily settle down again; while hounds that are in the habit of being lifted and galloped off to a distant point whenever a check occurs, will generally look for assistance, and will make but little use of their own noses on cold scenting days. Some countries are naturally bad-scenting ones, and, in order to kill a fox in them, hounds must be lifted more than in others.

Huntsmen are often much abused, when drawing a large cover, for not going away with the first fox. There is a difference of opinion whether, if hounds are running one fox in cover, they should be stopped and put on the line of one that has gone away. Something will depend upon whether the cover was well worked during cub hunting or not, and whether foxes are plentiful or scarce, but after the 1st of February the rule should be to go away with the first fox that breaks, or the hounds may get on a vixen.





The whipper-in, to be a success, must be content to The suppress himself for the public good. When a " good whipper. thing" occurs, and the huntsman is going as hard as heln' can, and many of the field harder than they like, the whip, or, if two be kept, the second whip, should wait in cover and come on with the tail hounds. A good whip can do more in the furtherance of sport than any huntsman; in the in-terest, therefore, of fox hunting, there must be no rivalry, or rather no manifestation of it, between the huntsman and the whip. A noisy fellow is an abomination ; and the whip should carefully avoid rating a hound after seeing that his voice is entirely disregarded. If needs be a hound must be flogged and that soundly, but he should never be struck without knowing what it is for; thus, it is of no use, twenty minutes after a hound has ceased to run riot, to get alongside of him, bellow out his name, and then flog him; to warrant the use of the lash, he must be caught flagrante delicto, and must pay no heed to rating. Where, however, hounds have been properly entered and treated, they will require but little chastisement. On approaching a cover, one whip should go on in advance and station himself on the lee side of it, where he may often see a fox steal away as soon as the hounds are thrown in. Although some packs have only one whip, a second is very desirable, especially before Christmas, and in countries where there is much woodland. One whip can then go into cover and keep near the huntsman in readiness to obey any directions he may give, and the other is free to see to other matters.

The earth-stopper is an important functionary in coun- The tries where there are many earths, for if he neglects his earth-business blank days will probably result with annoying fre- stoPPer-quency. When properly carried out, earth-stopping con-sists in a man going round and stopping all the earths in the district to be hunted over during the day, so that when foxes return from finding their food, which they do some hours before it is light, they shall find their own door barred against them. This involves the earth-stopper being astir shortly after 2 A.M., not the most pleasant hour of the twenty-four on a winter's day. If he gets to work late, he stops all the foxes in instead of out; and, when the cover is drawn, no one can understand how the fox which has been seen about for the last fortnight cannot be found at the moment when his presence is particularly desired.

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

Hare hunting, which must not be confounded with COURSING (g.v.), is an excellent school both for men and for horses. It is attended with the advantages of being cheaper than any other kind, and of not needing so large an area of country. Hare hunting requires considerable skill; Beckford even goes so far as to say—" There is more of true hunting with harriers than with any other description of hounds In the first place, a hare, when found, generally describes a circle in her course which naturally brings her upon her foil, which is the greatest trial for hounds. Secondly, the scent of the hare is weaker than that of any other animal we hunt, and, unlike some, it is always the worse the nearer she is to her end." Hare hunting is essentially a quiet amusement; no halloo-ing at hounds nor whip cracking should be permitted; nor should the field make any noise when a hare is found, for, being a timid animal, she might be headed into the hounds' mouths. Capital exercise and much useful know-ledge are to be derived by running with a pack of beagles. There are the same difficulties to be contended with as in hunting with the ordinary harrier, and a very few days' running will teach the youthful sportsman that he cannot run at the same pace over sound ground and over a deep ploughed field, up hill and down, or along and across furrows.
Otter Otter hunting, which is less practised now than formerly, hunting, begins just as all other hunting is drawing to a close. When the waterside is reached an attempt is made to hit upon the track by which the otter passsd to his "couch," which is generally a hole communicating with the river, into which the otter often dives on first hearing the hounds. When the otter "vents" or comes to the surface to breathe, his muzzle only appears above water, and when he is viewed or traced by the mud he stirs up, or by air bubbles, the hounds are laid on. Notwithstanding the strong scent of the otter, he often escapes the hounds, and then a cast has to be made. When he is viewed an attempt is made to spear him by any of the field who may be within distance; if their spears miss, the owners must wade to recover them. Should the otter be transfixed by a spear, the person who threw it goes into the water and raises the game over his head on the spear's point. If instead of being speared, he is caught by the hounds, he is soon worried to death by them, though frequently not before he has inflicted some severe wounds on one or more of the pack.
Quitting the United Kingdom, we find that the elephant, Other hyaena, hunting leopard, and a small species of panther kinds of known as the ounce, are not only objects of chase, but lumtmS-are themselves trained to assist in the capture of other ani-mals, The elephant has been found of great service in lion and tiger hunting, his size affording comparative safety to the hunters seated on his back. The hyama, which re-sembles a dog in many particulars, is said to be as tractable, when properly trained, and to be of much use in the pur-suit of game. The hunting leopard or cheetah and the ounce are used in hunting a species of antelope. They have hoods put over their heads, and are taken in a small waggon into the field; when the deer is seen the hood is taken off and the animal starts in pursuit, followed by the hunter; when the game is secured the hood is again put on. In India field sports are largely indulged in, owing partly to natural facilities, and partly to the taste for hunting characteristic of the English resident there. Tigers are sometimes caught in traps, and sometimes shot in the jungle from the back of an elephant ; they seek to conceal themselves, and very rarely commence hostilities against mankind, but when severely wounded and brought to bay they fight courageously. Hunting the wild hog, or " pig sticking," as it is often termed, is a favourite sport in India ; the ground is walked over by beaters, and when a hog is roused the two mounted huntsmen nearest to him start in pursuit, and endeavour to spear him. The riding requires judgment and very good nerves : hollows, ravines, and cracks in the ground caused by the sun are numerous, and, as they are hidden by the tall grass, the horse cannot avoid them; it is said that no horse can run down a hog in less than a mile, even over the best ground, while over a rough country the distance travelled amounts to three or four. The rider's aim is to blow the hog sufficiently before getting within spearing distance—for the charge of an untired hog is a dangerous affair; but when near a thick cover the sportsman must try to spear him at all hazards, or make up his mind to lose him. The proper management of the spear requires considerable practice. Besides the above mentioned animals, the fox, jackal, wolf, hyaena, buffalo, and four-horned antelope are also objects of the chase.

Australia was formerly the scene of a great deal of kan-garoo hunting, but that animal is now comparatively scarce.

In Africa there is plenty of big-game hunting, the list including the elephant, lion, giraffe, hippopotamus, antelopes of various kinds,leopard, hyaena, buffalo, jackal, and ostrich. Of these the larger and more dangerous animals are killed as opportunity offers, but the jackal is hunted by English settlers like a fox. Ostrich hunting is somewhat peculiar ; the bird is pursued by men on horseback, and, though over the ground it is swifter than a horse, it generally runs in a large circle, so that the riders, by describing a smaller circle and relieving one another, are enabled to keep tolerably near to it, and so to ride it down.
In North America the bison, an animal sometimes when full grown weighing as much as 142 stone, is pursued by the natives on horseback and then shot. The moose is chased towards a ravine or a snowdrift, and when he begins to flounder in the snow he is shot at by the hunters. The red deer is now hunted with staghounds upon the English prin-ciple. South America affords hunting after the puma, tapir, and wild bull, the lasso being the usual means of capture.

In Russia, bears, wolves, and wild boars are hunted, Wolves are found in Germany, where they are not only hunted by properly trained wolf-hounds, but are killed by | any available means.

France offers facilities for hunting the wolf, wild boar, and deer, but the sport, though followed up with a considerable amount of enthusiasm, is not carried out in a manner strictly in accordance with English ideas. The weak point in French hunting is that the huntsmen do not seem to possess a particularly accurate knowledge of the habits and characteristics of the animal they pursue. Then again their system of kennel management is not what it might be. To show sport in the vast forests, the hounds should be in good health and well-trained, and there should be plenty of them. Of late years, however, more attention has been paid to hound breeding and kennel management, and with encouraging results. (E. D. B.)



Footnotes

See on this whole subject eh. viii. of Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians (ii. 78-92, ed. Birch, 1878).
See Layard (Nineveh, ii. 431, 432), who cites Ammian. Marcell.
xxvi. 6, and Athen., xii. 9.
s Engl, transl. by Blane.

4 Hehn, Kulturpflanzen u. Hausthiere, p. 327.
5 References will be found in Smith's Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, art. "Hunting."
6 " Vita omnis in venationibus . . . eonsistit," Caes., B. G., vi. 21. " Quoties bella non ineunt, multum venatibus, plus per otium trans-igunt," Tacitus, Germ., 15.

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



Search the Encyclopedia:



About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Sitemaps
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us



© 2005-17 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries