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Re: [SCA-Archery] varment hunting

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  • James Koch
    John, ... I agree 100%. It always amazes me when people make blanket statements about the Middle Ages, usually from an English bias. During the medieval
    Message 1 of 8 , May 5, 2011
      John,
      >
      I agree 100%.  It always amazes me when people make blanket statements about the Middle Ages, usually from an English bias.  During the medieval period packs of wolves were a big problem in Hungary, and unlike the North American variety, were known to attack people and even settlements.  This is one of the reasons Hungarian shepherds carried fukushes (sp?).  Even today we think of Europe as being densely populated.  Lithuania is still mostly forests and has the area of Ohio with only 1/10 th the population.  Just take a look at SCA period hunting scenes from illuminations and wood cuts.  These are extremely common and depict all classes of people in pursuit of a great variety of game.  We also tend to forget that there once existed vast seasonal flocks or migrating birds moving between the Arctic and Africa.  These were hunted at night with lanterns and shot out of trees.     
      >
      Jim Koch "Gladius The Alchemist"
      >
      >
      >  At 01:48 AM 5/5/2011, you wrote:
       

      Actually, we can't make any sweeping generalizations here.  "SCA period" covers a vast range of space, time, and culture, much of it poorly- or totally un-documented, so that we can't make blanket statements about "poaching", or much of anything else for that matter.

      Even if we only discuss medieval Western Europe, however, I think we'll find that we only know of  royal (or ducal, or whatever) game preserves in certain times and places.  Taking game from these preserves without permission was poaching, but taking game elsewhere might not have been.

      Now, I'm no expert on what medieval game laws are documented, but here are some things to think about.  None of it is hard evidence, of course, but it does bear on the subject:

      a) Proclamations of restrictive game laws, especially with accompanying harsh penalties, may bias our view of things because we are unlikely to find proclamations to the opposite effect.  Proclamations are seldom made about the *absence* of a law.

      b) Even if we look only at medieval Western Europe (our SCA "target" area), there are times and places where game laws would make no sense.  For example, even well into the High Middle Ages (c. AD 850 - 1200, depending on who you consult), much of France was heavily-forested and under-populated, a howling wilderness broken here and there by pockets of "civilization".  There would have been no scarcity of game, hence no need for game laws, and in fact a need for peasants to kill deer, rabbits, etc., to protect crops.

      c) When Edward III raised an army in 1337 to invade France, he found literally thousands of English peasants who were expert in the use of the bow, and could draw bows of moderate-to-high poundage.  Logic would suggest that the persistence of the practice and culture of archery among these peasants indicates a practical day-to-day use of the bow.  Had they all been poachers, or was there a legitimate reason for this expertise?

      d) The existence of certain defined areas where peasants were expressly forbidden to hunt or catch game suggests that this prohibition was not universal -- i.e. that outside these areas taking game was not forbidden.  Otherwise, why mention them specifically?

      -John



      On 4/30/2011 7:57 AM, Scott B. Jaqua wrote:
      On 4/30/2011 10:27 AM, richard johnson wrote:
       


      Thus, going out with a shortbow and blunts, the coming home at dinner
      with a few rabbits and birds would be far more common.
      Would this be considered poaching?
      In a word, Yes! All the game belonged to the crown, not just dear. The ladies of the court might take a rabbit via a crossbow or hawk. They would take birds like dove and such via a falcon.

      We raise Brittanys, which were bread in period in the Brittany region of modern day France. They are bread for hunting upland game birds such as dove, quail pheasant and such. The are very intelligent dogs. They would be trained not to come to, approach or recognize their owner unless a special signal was given. In this way if a poachers dog was caught but not the poacher, it could not be taken to the village to search the owner out.

      Pretty much, you could not take anything other then dead fall wood out of the royal preserve.

      Njall

    • John Rossignol
      Sorry, I have no idea what a fukush (sp?) is, but I m always curious about weapons. ;] Can you fill me in a bit? John
      Message 2 of 8 , May 5, 2011
        Sorry, I have no idea what a fukush (sp?) is, but I'm always curious about weapons.  ;]   Can you fill me in a bit?

        John


        On 5/5/2011 11:16 AM, James Koch wrote:   This is one of the reasons Hungarian shepherds carried fukushes (sp?).

      • Hobbe
        Fokos. Shepard s Axe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherd s_axe ~Hobbe
        Message 3 of 8 , May 5, 2011
          Fokos. Shepard's Axe.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherd's_axe
          ~Hobbe

          --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, John Rossignol <giguette@...> wrote:
          >
          > Sorry, I have no idea what a fukush (sp?) is, but I'm always curious
          > about weapons. ;] Can you fill me in a bit?
          >
          > John
        • James of the Lake
          Likely a fore-runner to the mountaineer s ice axe. James
          Message 4 of 8 , May 5, 2011
            Likely a fore-runner to the mountaineer's ice axe.

            James

            On May 5, 2011, at 8:10 PM, Hobbe wrote:

            > Fokos. Shepard's Axe.
            > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherd's_axe
            > ~Hobbe
            >
            > --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, John Rossignol <giguette@...> wrote:
            >>
            >> Sorry, I have no idea what a fukush (sp?) is, but I'm always curious
            >> about weapons. ;] Can you fill me in a bit?
            >>
            >> John
            >
          • Dan Stratton
            ... ............... Just a footnote: The Royal Forests of England is that discussion - from the records. It s available online in a free pdf download. Google
            Message 5 of 8 , May 7, 2011

              >Actually, we can't make any sweeping generalizations here. "SCA period"

              >covers a vast range of space, time, and culture, much of it poorly- or 
              >totally un-documented, so that we can't make blanket statements about 
              >"poaching", or much of anything else for
              that matter.
              >Even if we only discuss medieval Western Europe...
              ...............
              Just a footnote: "The Royal Forests of England" is that discussion - from the records.
              It's available online in a free pdf download. Google finds it easily. Worth the read if this interests you.
              ...............
              Ian Gourdon of Glen Awe
              Midrealm Forester - OP
              "- bows of carved wood strong for use, with well-seasoned strings of hemp, and arrows sharp-pointed whizzing in flight."

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