A casual search for ‘hunting trips’ provides a vast insight into the many types of hunting trips around the world from guided hunting trips to fox and bear hunting to fossil hunting and even corporate hunting trips.
Big game coursing trips are very popular in Africa with its abundance of wildlife. Most coursing trips are scheduled around particular times or seasons of the year when more numbers of animals are out in the open. Tour and travel operators in colder climes of the world offer special trips like fox coursing, wild geese coursing, bear coursing, even specific types of fish such as tuna, herring, salmon, cod and so on.
Hunting trips have been happening as events for many centuries and we have read recorded events in history of royal families in many parts of the world arranging hunting trips for their families and visiting royalty. Especially in England and other parts of Europe, royals had exclusive rights to hunting which was indulged in for recreation. Early photographs of royal coursing lodges in various countries replete with images of the heads of animals hunted, killed and mounted on the walls of these coursing lodges are familiar to us.
Hunting has been a favorite pastime of the aristocracy since ancient times as the prowess for hunting was associated with military skill and service. Many parts of England’s forest areas were set aside and protected specifically for the hunting activities of England’s past kings. Among the famous monarchs of England, Richard III was specifically renowned for leading several hunting trips; his large hunting lodge, vestiges of which still exist, in the Sherwood Forests of Nottingham was one of the best royal coursing lodges, well stocked and staffed for hosting visitors. It is believed that the Justices and Lordships of England serving as legal luminaries were kept informed well in advance of such coursing trips so that no fee was levied. An interesting fact indeed!
In the absence of strict laws and guidelines in the context of animal conservation like today, hunting in those days was considered necessary for two practical aspects – for meat and for population control. Animals like boar, deer, hare, game birds and even bears in some cases were hunted and killed in order to prevent them from becoming ‘vermin’ or pests.
In today’s context, with the focus on preserving animal species and protecting their rights to survival, hunting has been vastly reduced although it is still present in some context. Notably, the current royal family of England has been a vociferous supporter of banning hunting altogether and has since done away with their annual deer and hare hunting trips in many parts of England, Scotland and Wales.