Hunting Facts
Hunting Facts

49 Targeted Hunting Facts

Madeline Thatcher
By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer
Published April 25, 2019Updated October 15, 2019
  • Archaic humans began hunting around 3 million years ago, and it has remained a part of our civilization since then.[10]
  • When archeologists discovered early evidence of our human ancestors' hunting activities, it became clear that adding meat to the diet meant big changes for early Homo sapiens. For example, skeleton size increased soon after, suggesting meat was important for evolution.[4]
  • Researchers believed early humans waited in trees for their prey to pass underneath, rather than chase after animals the way hunters in the classical and Renaissance periods generally did.[7]
  • Bows and arrows were a universal method of hunting, except in Australia.[5]
  • Hunting Men Facts
    Weapon choices vary, but a bow and arrow are fairly traditional
  • Blowpipes, or blow guns, are some of the most dangerous weapons a hunter can use.[5]
  • The Australian boomerang, now a popular toy and tourist gift, was originally a tool used for hunting.[5]
  • When early humans hunted bigger game, like antelopes, they chose to eat only adults, leaving behind younger and older animals in the herd.[7]
  • Hunting may have helped establish traditional gender roles, as males were forced to learn to hunt more efficiently in order to feed their female mates and offspring.[2]
  • When agriculture was introduced about 11,000 years ago, hunting became less important as people dedicated more time to cultivating crops.[10]
  • Hunting is still important for people who live in areas where farming is impossible or very difficult, such as rainforests in South America or jungles in Southeastern Asia.[10]
  • Artemis, daughter of Zeus, was the virgin Greek goddess of the hunt.[11]
  • Diana, the Roman equivalent of Artemis, guarded forests and the animals who lived there.[11]
  • Mixcoatl was the Aztec god of hunting. To ensure a prosperous hunting season, the Aztecs performed human sacrifices.[11]
  • Aztec Hunting Sacrifice
    Aztecs often made humans sacrifices to ensure the favor of the gods (we're curious about how they hunted those animals)

  • Dogs were most likely trained to hunt alongside humans in the early Neolithic era, and some breeds were developed to hunt specific animals.[5]
  • Horses were raised to hunt starting in 2nd millennium.[5]
  • In ancient Egypt, hunters were a separate class, often hunting for nobles and aristocrats as well as on their own.[5]
  • The use of hunting dogs can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where greyhounds were used to track gazelles.[5]
  • “Coursing” is the use of hounds in hunting.[5]
  • “Gun dogs” are dogs that hunt by scent and sight, and both fetch birds after they have been killed as well as sighting them before. Setters, spaniels, and pointers are the most common "gun dog" breeds.[5]
  • During the Middle Ages, hunting as a sport was reserved for the rich and done on private lands owned by aristocrats.[10]
  • Some hunting techniques in the early modern era involved putting animals in an enclosed space and allowing them to be killed outright with little effort.[6]
  • In many early Northern European tribes, slaves were forbidden from hunting since they were not allowed to own weapons or bear arms.[5]
  • Hunting with firearms began in the 16th century.[5]
  • The perils of duck hunting are great - especially for the duck.

    - Walter Cronkite

  • In 1515, the French government made hunting and poaching illegal for peasants.[10]
  • Punishments for peasants who hunted on grounds owned by nobles included being sewn into a deerskin and chased by hunting dogs, who would kill the prey upon capture.[8]
  • Kings would often demonstrate their hunting ability for an audience of nobles. To do so, kings would have game brought to closed arena before shooting and killing it, rather than hunting it in the wild.[6]
  • Nobility in medieval England hunted several animals, including the stag, the boar, and even otters.[8]
  • Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed hawking (where prey is killed by trained hawks) as well as hunting.[5]
  • Royal feasts in medieval and renaissance Europe often included wild boar and venison, sometimes killed by the king himself.[6]
  • Red deer, fallow deer, and hares were hunted for their ability to lead a chase, an exciting change from waiting for prey to wander into range.[6]
  • The French Revolution opened up lands for hunting, but the sudden free-reign of people on hunting grounds caused massive animal and ecosystem damage.[10]
  • Foxes were initially hunted like vermin but were eventually hunted for sport.[6]
  • Wolves were considered a type of vermin in early Europe. People were allowed to kill as many wolves as they could, whenever they could.[6]
  • Hunting Fact Wolves
    Wolves were hunted to extinction in the UK, but species still remain in North America and in continental Europe
  • By 1770, wolves had become extinct in the British isles due to overhunting.[6]
  • In the 1800s, over-hunting had brought about the extinction of several species, prompting the introduction of the extensive game laws currently in place in Great Britain.[5]
  • In the UK, nothing more deadly than a double-barreled shotgun is allowed as a hunting weapon, as the shooter can only unload two bullets before reloading, thus allowing prey the chance to escape.[5]
  • It costs about $20 and takes about 5 hours for the average deer hunter to secure one pound of venison.[2]
  • The most common “trophy” animal (an animal meant to be killed and then displayed) in the United States is the snow goose.[1]
  • American hunters track and kill most of their trophy animals in Canada.[1]
  • In Africa, the most common trophy animal is the lion, followed by the elephant and the leopard.[1]
  • Samuel Colt, the man who created an empire selling hunting weapons, was said to have coined the phrase “new and improved.”[3]
  • Only five percent of Americans participated in hunting during the past five years, meaning the sport is on the decline.[9]
  • Non-violent natural activities, such as nature photography and bird watching, are replacing hunting in popularity.[9]
  • Hunting Conservation Fact
    Somewhat ironically, money spent on hunting helps fund wildlife conservation efforts
  • Taxes on hunting licenses and equipment pay for 60% of wildlife agencies’ expenses. Less hunting means less funding, which is a concern for many state-run wildlife and recreational departments.[9]
  • President Theodore Roosevelt, himself an avid hunter, helped create the “conservation through wise use” principle and encouraged other hunters to donate to causes that would preserve the land they hunted on.[9]
  • New York sold its first deer hunting permit in 1864. President Roosevelt helped more states sell licenses, thus allowing for healthier revenue streams.[9]
  • In 1937, Congress passed legislation that required money earned from hunting licenses and products to be used for conservation efforts.[9]
  • Almost a third of hunters in the United States are baby boomers.[9]
  • Most hunters retire from the sport by the age of 65.[9]
  • Shoot Your Shot INFOGRAPHIC
    Hunting Infographic Thumbnail

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