What is hunting and poaching?
Hunting is the killing of wild animals and poaching is capturing, selling and buying of animals usually these animals would be captured on another’s land.

What was the importance of hunting and poaching in medieval times?
At times hunting was an important source of food but over time people hunted for respect and also to train using weapons. Poaching was illegal until the 1800’s and during that time peasants could not hunt and poach but at 1700 many people turned to poaching to survive. poachers were protected by commoners because the food supply was limited. Poaching gangs mainly did not provide food to the poor, the were often violent and greedy, poaching mostly to the black market instead of starving peasants. Authorities could not depend on citizens to turn to poachers so they made traps and spring guns that would wound or kill poachers.

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What would people use to hunt in medieval times and how?
The most commonly used weapon was a bow, or the later introduced crossbow because they were easy to learn. Other weapons also include the lance, spear, knife or sword. A horse was also used to hunt in medieval times, specifically a courser breed. A courser breed is much smaller than the horses today, however it was still powerful enough to carry the rider at high speeds over large distances and manoeuvre difficult terrain without any problems.
Dogs were crucial to a good hunt, because of its good sense of smell dogs are able to find the prey. It would then assist in driving the hunted animal and, when the animal was finally at bay, the dog would either be the instrument of attack, or distract the prey while the hunter moved in for the kill.

Who had the right to hunt and poach?
Hunting was a right reserved by landowners and nobles, and this stayed the same for a long time. While hunting was only for the privileged, it was illegal to buy and sell wild animals, and stayed that way until the mid-1800’s. although this did not stop poachers, in fact gangs of poachers formed outlaw bands and sold animals through the black market. The people that bought these animals actually included some wealthy people, who either could not or chose not to hunt on their own. As rural poverty was prevalent in the 1700’s, for many people is was a necessity to live. As I said before, poachers were protected by commoners because food was very limited. To help with this, taps and spring guns were made to injure and murder the poachers. In the 1830’s, spring guns and traps became illegal, and in 1883, peasants were allowed to kill small game, such as hares or rabbits, on their own farms.


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