Hunting is the chase and killing of wild animals or birds (game) that live free in their natural habitat. The hunting season in Greece lasts from late August to late February. The hunted species are animals chosen for their meat, such as hare, wild boar, birds(turtledove, common wood pigeon, wild pigeon, quail, thrush, blackbird, magpie, jackdaw, crow, woodcock, and sparrow) and animals chosen for their fur, such us fox, marten and weasel. The methods and means of hunting vary depending on the kind of the game and the type of the terrain.
Besides guns (carbine, double-barreled shotgun, ‘tsagkra’-a type of light shotgun-), traditionally, there were also other methods of hunting, such as the following:
Hunting with hooks: those who hunted with hooks were called ‘agkistrolooi’. Each ‘agkistroloos’ prepared approximately 80 to 100 hooks and started at dawn at about 4 am with a lantern or flashlight. They found an appropriate place, sank the hooks into the ground and waited until morning to start gathering the birds. By this method, they caught thrushes, which landed on the ground to graze and were trapped. In the past, hunting with hooks flourished, but nowadays it is prohibited.
Hunting with a net/mesh: Hunting by this method took place in the wider area of Mani. Hunters would hunt alone or in a group. The group consisted of 7-9 hunters and was called ‘trapela’. Ambushes were set up at places, which were passages for birds and each person had a specific role in the group (tracker, decoy).
Hunting with a slingshot: The slingshot consists of a forked Y-shaped wooden frame and a rubber band, which is stretched to throw the stone or projectile. They usually killed birds like sparrows and thrushes.