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It seems that sometimes noble women did hunt, although illustrations showing women doing so are limited and it's a little hard to see what is for the sport of hunting and what is representing hunting for food.

In a practical sense, it is unlikely women would have been the providers of meat in a household. The women shown are noble ladies, and not peasant women who need food..

The illuminated image from the Taymouth Hours from England dated between 1325 and 1340, show a lady hunting rabbits with what appears to be blunt arrows.

This may indicate that in this instance, hunting was for sport as a game of accuracy, and the aim was not to kill the prey, although ideas of this type have not been put forward to the best of my knowledge.

Other illuminations, like the Hunting Scene from Queen Mary's Psalter at left, dated around 1310 to 1320 make no illusions to exactly what is intended.

The stag has taken an arrow to the head and the hunting hound is in the process of bringing the beast down.

The image is clearly designed to show a successful kill.

A further illumanated image dated from 1325 to 1340 from an English manuscript, The Taymouth Hours, shows four women in the process of gutting a stag.

The entire manuscript shows women hunting, hawking and using bows and arrows to hunt.

Their fur-lined overgowns have the sleeves pinned up to keep them clean, but in a real-world scenario, noble ladies would have servants to gut the stag for them.

Other images from the same manuscript show the women netting rabbits, and using birds of prey.

Other manuscripts like the Romance of Alexander, shown below, in detail 122v, show women riding astride chasing hounds or using birds of prey. Again, it seems extremely unlikely that this was an activity undertaken for anything other than amusement.


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