Hunters range the forests and plains of the Seven Kingdoms, whether lawful men plying their trade or poachers intent on stealing a deer or boar from a noble’s private forest. These men — and sometimes women — are stealthy in the wilderness, swift with arrow and blade. They can sense their prey with a keen awareness. Some Hunters enlist with noble lords and ladies, accompanying them on planned hunting excursions and keeping their storehouses filled with game. Others prefer an independent life, living off the wild and using their sharp instincts to survive.
Hunters are often out in the wilderness for long periods of time, which can lead them into many unexpected adventures. Not much can surprise them, however, thanks to their finely honed senses and ability to move stealthily in their native environment. Hunters are quite patient and are used to hiding in place for hours; they make excellent scouts and spies in wilderness territories. An experienced Hunter is often a better outrider than a lifelong soldier, thanks to his or her keen ears and eyes and patience to wait out an enemy patrol. Hunters may also be used as a sly strike force in wilderness areas, sent in groups to waylay enemy units, then attacking hard and fast before retreating to the safety of the wilderness, where no soldier can hope to find them.
Hunters are swift and silent in their favored terrain. They can live off the land for as long as necessary, whether forced to do so by pursuit or in search of game to take back to the home fire. They can track beast or man over the hardest ground and through the wettest swamp. A good Hunter knows how to use the terrain to the best advantage in a fight, and can hold his or her own against any soldier when fighting in familiar surroundings.
Sport Hunters are often born of noble blood, since only the rich have time to make hunting a leisure activity. Many smallfolk learn the art of hunting as a means of survival. They specialize in bringing in food for supper and trading hides or preserved meat for other goods and services. Most children, especially in Dorne and the North, are taught at least the basics of hunting given the harshness of their surroundings.
All of the houses of Westeros, both great and small, employ Hunters to train their children and keep their stocks full of fresh meat. Great Hunters often enjoy friendships with lords and their children, not only because of their prowess but because they possess freedom a noble can rarely know.