Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Medieval Word Wednesdays - Bear and Boar Hunting

In researching for my recent writing projects, I have been investigating hunting, specifically bear and wild boar hunting. Why those two creatures specifically? Because I need creatures who are dangerous enough to kill their hunters and have hunting seasons that fall at the appropriate times of the year for my stories.

Wild Boar

Hunting Season - 14th of September to the 2nd of February (

Known to turn and gore attackers when cornered, wild boar hunting was pursued by men interested in improving or showing off their military/fighting skills. The first part of the hunt was spent running the prey to exhaustion while on the hunters remain on horseback.  Then when the animal cornered, the hunters would dismount and kill the animal with spears.

Sometimes to increase the danger, hunters would hunt during the boar's mating season when they were particularly aggressive.

Sources: and

Boar Spear Head

Hunting Season - May to December (

According to one of my sources (, the Eurasian Brown Bear was roughly half the size of our North American Grizzly Bear. According to them, hunting a Grizzly using medieval weaponry and tactics would be suicidal.

As far as I have gathered, bear hunting was done using mastiff dogs to track and distract the bear until the hunter could get a clean shot using a bear hunting spear. The bear spear resembled a boar spear (pictured on the right), except it had a larger head (more like a bay leaf) and a longer and harder shaft so that it could be propped on the ground to help the hunter handle the struggling animal on the other end.

Bears were hunted more for sport and prestige than for food, but the elite did partake in eating the kill. The paws and heads were kept as trophies.

Sources:, and

Either prey should add plenty of drama to any story.


Jack said...

Their hunting trips were more exciting then I first thought, especially the boar. I always thought hunting boar was easy...

Jack said...

Your books are in Barnes and Noble! (I just discovered this and it makes me very happy. I've not found a lot of books there, mostly just amazon.)

Shanna Hatfield said...

Plenty of drama! Like the photo of the spear head - very cool!

Rachel Rossano said...

Thank you, Jack! :) Apparently the ancient Egyptians and Romans found boar hunting easy, but the medieval Europeans considered it dangerous. Maybe the Romans knew something the others lost. :)

Did you find my books on the shelves in a Barnes & Noble or on the website? I am glad you found them. :) I try to get them into as many places as I can so everyone can have a copy in the format of their choice. :) Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. You are welcome to come back next week for more medieval themed trivia. I am touching on law, or at least trials. :)

Rachel Rossano said...

Thanks, Shanna. :) Yes, I am hoping the two hunts will create the perfect setting for all kinds of drama, both life and death and other less fatal conflicts. :)