Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife or feral animals, by humans for food, recreation, or trade. Animals may also hunt other animal species but this is usually called predation. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law. The species which are hunted are referred to as game, and are usually mammals and migratory or non-migratory gamebirds.
- The mischief [the wolf] causes by his hunting might be borne, though it is considerable, if he were not impelled by his wild hunting zeal and indomitable thirst for blood to slay more than he needs for his sustenance. This renders him a curse to the flock-owner and sportsman, and makes him everybody's cordially hated enemy.
- Alfred Brehm, Brehm's Life of Animals (1895).
- For she maketh my hunting very certain and speedy. She hath never failed me, for almost every day this week but brought me in the right way to a deer. And this last week she brought me to a stag which myself had stricken with my bow, being forced to the soil where, with the help of a greater water spaniel that forced him out of the water, your good brach helped to pluck him down.
- William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, letter to the Earl of Leicester on a hunting dog he had given Burghley, c. 1580-81; reported in Conyers Read, Lord Burghley and Queen Elizabeth (London: Jonathan Cape, 1960), p. 257.
- You may seek it with thimbles — and seek it with care;
You may hunt it with forks and hope;
You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
You may charm it with smiles and soap.
- Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony, in Eight Fits) (1874), Fit the Third : The Baker's Tale.
- Detested sport,
That owes its pleasures to another's pain.
- The dusky night rides down the sky,
And ushers in the morn;
The hounds all join in glorious cry,
The huntsman winds his horn,
And a-hunting we will go.
- Henry Fielding, A-Hunting We Will Go (1734), st. 1.
- Green wind from the green-gold branches, what is the song you bring?
What are all songs for me, now, who no more care to sing?
Deep in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.
- Fiona MacLeod, Poem The Lonely Hunter.
- There were three jovial Welshmen,
As I have heard them say,
And they would go a-hunting
Upon St. David's day.
- Nursery rhyme, Three Jovial Welshmen.
- The English country gentleman galloping after a fox — the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
- Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance (1893), Act I.
- The game laws are already sufficiently oppressive, and therefore ought not to be extended by implication.
- Willes, J., Jones v. Smart (1785), 1 T. R. 49; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 99.