Oᴠᴇʀᴠɪᴇᴡ




To some (mostly Boars), hunting is merely a chore: a necessity so simple that it isn’t even worth the effort to learn. To Birds, however, it is an art, and these warriors spend much of their time honing their skills, seeking new and better ways to bring prey back to their home. It is perhaps little wonder, then, that Treeclan’s Birds are owners of an impressive arsenal of techniques, and that there’s a form of hunting to suit almost every need. It’s appreciation of hunting’s complexities, and not the skill’s necessity, that has driven the development of its three specialisations, and even now Birds encourage their apprentices—and each other—to try new techniques; to improve on the old; to make the art their own.

Over time, the combination of the Four’s original techniques, and generations of experimentation, led to the development of entirely new forms of hunting. Branch came first, and is well established within the clan, but more recently Tree hunting has been added to the arsenal, further expanding the hunter’s reach, and opening an entirely new set of possibilities for those more experimentally inclined. This is an exciting thing for many Birds, and now, as always, they encourage this development of new methods—but even so they retain a certain scorn for any tactic not focused on the ground and trees. This might change in the future, but with such abundant prey there’s really no need for the clan the extend their diet, and therefore no need for Birds to extend their range.


Note: This page is heavily based on the Warriors books, and was put together using a variety of online sources. That said, the tactics listed under Branch Hunting and Tree Hunting are unique to TCE.




Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛs








Related Pages








Gᴇɴᴇʀᴀʟ Tᴇᴄʜɴɪǫᴜᴇs



General Rules

  • Keep upwind of prey to mask scent.
  • Travel quietly; try not to break twigs, rustle plants, or startle birds.
  • Keep low to the ground, and, if pelt is lightly coloured, keep to the thickest cover.
  • Keep mouth open to track/pinpoint prey scents. Remember that if there’s no breeze, prey will be harder to find.




Hunter's Crouch

  • Keep body low and tail straight (it shouldn’t be high in the air or brushing the ground).
  • Keep weight balanced in hind legs, ready for a leap.
  • Keep front paws ready for the pounce / catching prey.

Notes:
Elements of the Hunter’s Crouch also act as a good base for some fighting techniques, so Boars will usually have some grasp of this technique.









Mɪᴄᴇ



Stalk & Pounce

  • Take all weight into haunches – this will reduce the impact of paws on ground.
  • Keep paws light on the ground / attempt to slide them, rather than lifting them.
  • Remember that mice feel vibrations, and will ‘feel’ steps before they hear/see the cat.
  • Kill with swift bite to the neck.





Rᴀʙʙɪᴛs & Hᴀʀᴇs



Stalk & Pounce

  • Most cats will need to approach slowly and very quietly.
  • Get as close as possible before pouncing – rabbits can outpace most cats.
  • Remember that rabbits will usually hear/smell a cat before it sees them.




Chasing

  • Fast cats may be able to catch up with, and overtake, a running rabbit/hare.
  • Once overtaken, attemp to knock the rabbit/hare off its paws and pin it to the ground, or 'herd' it back towards a hunting partner.
  • Kill with a bite to the back of the neck.

Notes:
All cats may be given the chance to try this, if the opportunity arises, but only the fastest will succeed. As a result, it’s virtually unheard of for full-Boars to catch a rabbit (although some Borderlines may succeed).




‘Fishing’

  • Find a rabbit hole and ensure that it’s currently occupied (ie: the scent is very fresh).
  • Wait silently next to the hole until the rabbit emerges.
  • Scoop it out, and quickly make the kill.

Notes:
Boars are not taught this technique.
Birds of all speciality may be given some rudimentary training in this technique, but it’s primarily taught to young Branch/Tree hunters, before they begin hunting within trees. Acts as an early ambush training exercise.







Bʀᴀɴᴄʜ Hᴜɴᴛᴇʀ Tᴇᴄʜɴɪǫᴜᴇs

Note that these techniques are taught to (and used by) both Branch and Tree Hunters, but never to Ground Hunters. Both of these techniques must be mastered before Tree Hunters can move on to more advanced training.



Treetop Ambush

  • Locate a solid, stable branch that either shows signs of regular prey activity, or is close to a prey resource (ie: food, water, burrows, ect).
  • Gain a comfortable position on branch and wait, keeping alert for any signs of prey.
  • Once prey appears, wait for it to stray within reach and then either pin it quickly to the branch or employ a secondary technique.

Notes:
Taught to all Branch and Tree Hunters relatively early in apprenticeship, though not until they’ve demonstrated their patience through Rabbit/Hare Fishing.
Frequently paired with other tree-based hunting techniques, and also often adapted for ground use.








Branch Pounce

  • Used from lower-hanging branches, within a relatively safe distance from the ground.
  • Pinpoint the prey’s location (preferably by sight, as well as sound) and position oneself accordingly.
  • Leap downwards and pin the prey animal to the ground with front paws.
  • Quickly bite the prey’s neck or head to confirm the kill.

Notes:
Only taught to older Branch/Tree Hunters who have a proven sense of balance and depth perception.
Initially practiced on the ground / very low branches, and slowly moved upwards as apprentice’s skill improves.













Bɪʀᴅs



Stalk & Pounce

  • Approach in short bursts of stalking.
  • Get as close as possible before pouncing – birds will easily take wing/escape if the gap is too great.
  • If unable to kill in first strike, attempt to disable one or both wings.






Bird Leap

  • Used when a bird attempts to take off, usually because it’s noted the presence of a predator.
  • Leap high into the air and attempts to bat the bird back to earth.
  • Aim to land on the bird, so its unable to escape.

Notes:
Boars are not taught this technique.
Most Birds are shown this, but only the lightest/most agile amongst them are expected to master it.
Borderlines are often assumed incapable of pulling this technique off, and as such many Borderline Birds are either never shown the technique, or given only ridumentary training in its use.





Vᴏʟᴇs & Sʜʀᴇᴡs



Stalk & Pounce

  • Take all weight into haunches – this will reduce the impact of paws on ground.
  • Maintain the hunter’s crouch and approach with quick/light steps.
  • Always kill these as quickly as possible – they tend to squeal, and this will scare off all other prey in the area.







Sǫᴜɪʀʀᴇʟs



Stalk & Pounce

  • Initial approach can be slow/quiet, to close the gap.
  • Always make the final strike quickly, as they will run for the trees at the first sign of trouble.




Trunk Block

For use when squirrels run for the nearest tree.
  • Scale the tree alongside the squirrel and attempt to block it higher up the trunk.
  • Chase it back to the ground, where it’s easier to catch.
  • Pin with a paw and kill with bite to the neck.

Notes:
Boars are not taught this technique.
Most Birds are given some rudimentary training in this, but Ground hunters rarely master the skill, and Branch hunter success rates are highly variable. Only Tree hunters consistently pull it off.
Should not be taught to younger apprentices.)






Tʀᴇᴇ Hᴜɴᴛᴇʀ Tᴇᴄʜɴɪǫᴜᴇs

Note that these techniques are only taught to (and used by) Tree Hunters, and then only after the cat has proved themselves to their mentor.




Squirrel Leap

  • Used by Tree Hunters when prey appears on trees/branches near to their own.
  • Leap from current tree to the trunk or branches of the prey-bearing tree.
  • Aim to land on or very near to the prey, and to get a firm grip on the trunk/branch on landing.
  • If necessary (and grip secure), chase prey down to make the kill.

Notes:
Only taught to older Tree Hunting apprentices who have developed excellent balance, depth perception, and awareness of their own limitations, and who have demonstrated skill with the Squirrel Chase.
Early training occurs virtually at ground level, and places high emphasis on learning which jumps are too far or difficult for the individual cat to pull off.
Most Tree Hunters are only capable of short leaps, but a small group (including its founder) have consistently pulled off jumps of a couple of tail lengths – hence the technique’s name.




Treetop Bird Leap

  • Used when a bird has taken flight from the cat’s current branch, or from somewhere below. Takes two forms.
  • Form one: leap downwards with front paws outstretched to strike bird during descent, and pin it to a lower branch on landing. Kill quickly to avoid losing balance in a struggle.
  • Form two: leap up and out to pluck bird out of the air with teeth or claws. Land within a neighbouring tree and kill quickly to avoid losing balance in a struggle.

Notes:
Only taught to older Tree Hunting apprentices who have already demonstrated skill with the Branch Pounce, Squirrel Leap, and normal Bird Leap, and been actively hunting within the trees for a couple of moons.
Initially trained either without prey or using large non-prey targets, and as close to the ground as possible.
Apprentices of all ages are forbidden from attempting this technique alone or in a true hunt until their mentor gives them the go-ahead.
Possibly the most dangerous technique in the Tree Hunter’s repertoire, and is known to have caused many deaths.




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