Hunting and gathering was one of the ancient practices in human history. The society regarded hunting and gathering as a form of hobby, trade or simplify as a method of obtaining food. Hunting and gathering was widespread especially in densely populated forests because these areas were inhabited with animals and wild fruits. However, the trend of hunting and gathering has changed in present times (Hummel, 72). Perhaps it can be attributed to people’s evolving lifestyles.
This paper explores how hunting has transformed from native years to present. It explores in details whether the practice has become more of a game or simply a sporting activity.
How Hunting and Gathering Has Changed From Its Native Years
According to Maisels (76), early man was likely to be a scavenger than a hunter. He could feed on the remains of animals which died of natural causes or killed by predators. Over 500,000 years, hunting and gathering, was the only means of survival for the early man. The hunter–gatherer communities were forced to be always on the move since some areas produced foods seasonally due to variations in climatic patterns.
Natural rocks and trees provided them with shelter. For more than 80,000 years ago, revolution started to take place and early man invented old age tools such as; the bone harpoons, fishing nets and hooks (Maisels, 86).
Besides these tools simplifying work of obtaining food, they aided in promoting sporting activities. Men were primarily hunters while women were gatherers in most communities but in some communities, women also allowed to hunted.
These communities lived in clusters based on their tribes and kinship. They adopted a democratic and non-hierarchical system of governance. In addition, shared and exchanged resources besides creating space for leisure activities as affirmed by Maisels (124).
Agricultural practices were implemented 10,000 years ago, and it has since played a vital role in the replacement of hunting and the gathering as a way of livelihood. However, some communities have not adopted it in entirety as some communities are still hunters and gatherers (Maisels, 127).
The continued demand for land for agricultural practices led to the integration of more hunter-gatherers communities to the innovative agricultural measures.
The communities which were not able to adapt were forced to flee the scene. The hunter-gatherer communities uprooted any plant deemed inappropriate for their consumption to create space for the growth of consumable plants and shelter for wildlife.
In the modern society, hunting and gathering is still practiced by agriculturalists for instance, hunting is carried out during the winter season (Maisels, 133).
Evolution of Hunting and Gathering Methods
Early man used sharp stones for hunting and with the development of new hunting strategies, man invented new tools for hunting such as the arrows, bows and spears which simplified hunting for fast-moving and wild animals (Maisels, 152).
The dogs were domesticated and used for persistence hunting. They were good in aspects fit for hunting such as; good sense of scent and sight. They could intelligently flush out the target from its hiding place and pace in order to hold it. They were also used since they are able to attack and kill some dangerous and difficult to trap animals.
In India, the elephants were used to pursue the extremely dangerous animals such as the tigers due to their large sizes (Maisels, 154). The horses were also used in the UK due to their ability to run fast. The elites used the war chariots to hunt lions.
Gun Powders and Rifles
These tools were commonly used when hunting bigger animals which were perceived, as threatening. The rifles and gun powders were and still are used to kill and net predators such as lions and tigers which are regarded as man-eating beasts (Maisels, 170). With the use of gun powder, safety and health regulations have to be adhered because of environmental hazards.
Hunting and Gathering, Sport or Game?
In ancient times, hunting was seen as a sport for the rich and famous. According to Hummel (95), hunting was encouraged as relaxations to facilitate the elites in the society develop their fighting skills. In our modern times, hunting and gathering, has evolved thus it is more of a sport than a game.
Some governments for example, countries in Eastern Africa region, have established laws which simplify this sport (Hummel, 102). For example, governments allow a specific season whereby animals such as; Axis Deer, Blackbuck, Nilgal and fallow Deer are hunted.
However, laws and regulations limiting hunting have also been affected. This is to curb illegal hunting and to control and protect endangered species such as Rhinos and wild birds. These laws have been affected through bans on specific species of animals and control of hunting seasons (Hummel, 121).
Nevertheless, the dog has still remained an accomplished animal during sport hunting. This is due to its persistence hunting techniques and skills. Moreover, Tourism has contributed to modernity of hunting sports. As a form of relaxation, they visits game reserves and game parks and participate in hunting.
Bird shooting has also attracted many enthusiasts. This has made countries such as the UK to come up with strategies of breeding “species of bird” specifically for hunting sports. Also, In the United States, government has taken initiatives to streamline the sport (Hummel, 124).
This has been through purchasing of land and providing hunting training to lovers of this sport. Consequently, the US government has authorized hunting of some animals because they have been perceived as pests. According to Hummel (128), computers have also endeavored in modernizing hunting sport; this has been through the use of a webcam and guns which are remotely controlled to shoot at imagined animals.
Hunting and gathering has established a new sporting culture in our modern times. Traditionally, gathering was mainly centered towards food sustenance. However, the culture has transformed gradually thus breeding gardening as a form of hobby.
Similarly, Hunting was designed to provide enough food for families. Over the centuries, the culture has shifted thus leading to leisurely sports such as game shooting, filming among others. Hence hunting and gathering has become more of a sport than a game.
Hummel, Richard L. Hunting and Fishing For Sport: Commerce, Controversy, Popular Culture, Wisconsin, Popular Press, 1994
Maisels, Charles Keith. The Emergence of Civilization: From Hunting and Gathering To Agriculture, Cities, And The State In The Near East, New York, Routledge, 1993