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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Steve-O-GerstAnybody know much about how Poaching was done around the 1300s? I assume they wouldn't have lugged around the heavy, and inefficient fire arms of the day, and would instead have used bows, or crossbows, and a dog might have been used.

But where they would do so, how, how often, and how much of their diet was generally from poached meat is a bit of a mystery, as is the specifics on their gear.

LevanI think you'll find that poaching then, as now, was not particularly sophisticated. Traps and snares were by far the most economical form of poaching. In general, most poaching will have been done to meet relatively modest subsistence level needs - rabbits and hares being one of the main quarry.

At a bigger level, horses, cattle and sheep were stolen, again using more basic methods. In Scotland, there were many inter-neighbour disputes around the ownership and theft of livestock. Until relatively recently, the theft of livestock was a capital offence in many European countries.


Steve-O-GerstWhat about all the stories of people stealing deer from the king's land? I wouldn't expect a snare to be very effective with that...

Without guns, would they have hunted with other weapons? Crossbows? I'd imagine having a crossbow ready might make it a useful hunting weapon, although it seems a bit bulky for poaching...

Longbows? These may have been a little more easily concealed than crossbows, but I wouldn't expect them to be tucked away in walking sticks like in Robn Hood, Prince of Thieves.

Slings? These would be pretty good for small game, and could easily be concealed in a fold of cloth, but they would not be so ideal for larger game.

Would a dog be used, possibly?

Once you've gotten your stolen meat, how do you bring it home?

MariaLong time ago, I was dissapointed to discover that medieval people thought the same way nowadays people do. Just that they didn't have all the modern technique.
So, you've killed a deer. There are many ways to bring it home, just make sure none of the neighbours sees it. So... put it in a bag, or put it in a cart and cover it with hay, or bury it and come back for it when the night comes...
As for the weapon, a shortbow would do the trick. Hide it if the neighbours are unsimpathetic.
And there are many other ways.

[This message has been edited by Maria (edited 03-04-2006).]

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