Hunting is an ancient practice of killing animals and birds, and many ancient kings and princes used to do hunting, in order to express their bravery and their archery skills. Even the divine avatars like Rama and Krishna had hunted some wild animals, but they have done it, only for the purpose of offering it as a sacrifice in the ritual yagnas.
Divine amshas and the great kings like Prahlada, Vikramaditya, Bhojaraja and Dhruva have also hunted wild animals in order to prove their efficiency and courage. But even if the animals were hunted by them, they would take a pious birth in their next birth, since they were killed by the holy people.
It is also believed that hunting is a hobby for the kings, and it is also considered as one of their routine activities. Lord Rama hunted the demon “MARICHA”, who has transformed in the form of a beautiful golden deer, and helped Ravana for kidnapping Ma Sita as per the orders of Ravana.
From the ancient texts we can know about the holy hunters like Guhan and Jara who have interacted with Lord Rama and Krishna. Guhan is well known for his great bhakti on Lord Srirama, and though he was a hunter by profession, while he met Rama, he offered him only honey and fruits, and didn’t serve him non-vegetarian food.
Jara was a noble and a pious man, who mistakenly shot an arrow on one of the legs of Lord Krishna, and though he has done a mistake, it was pardoned by Lord Krishna, and he blessed him for his good nature, and also granted him salvation.
Ma Valli, the holy consort of Lord Muruga, was brought up by a Hunter king, and she and her entire family members were staunch devotees of Lord Muruga.
The great Shiva devotee, Sri Kannappa Nayanar, who was a hunter by profession, had given his own eyes in order to stop oozing of blood from the Shiva Lingam.
Likewise lot of noble hunters were there in ancient periods, and due to their selfless devotion on the almighty, after their death, they have attained salvation.
But religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism strongly condemns the act of killing animals and birds. Nowadays hunting of animals in India is prohibited.