For centuries, hunting for tigers and other animals has been part of court and nobility culture in India. However, when British control reached the forests, they banned hunting, believing that by killing these animals they could civilize people. As a result, the usual practice of hunting deer, partridges and other small animals was prohibited by forest laws. Those caught poaching were punished accordingly.
In some areas of the forest, hunting was only allowed to British officials and their allies. This caused a great deal of hardship for those who lived near forests and relied on hunting deer, partridges, and a variety of small animals to survive. The scale of hunting increased to such an extent under colonial rule that some species became extinct. In order to protect the forests, the colonial government proposed reserving two-thirds of the forest in 1905 and stopping changes in the cultivation, hunting and harvesting of forest products.
Villagers grazing cattle in youth stalls, transporting timber without permission, or traveling through wooded land with carts for horses or cattle were punished. Trade was also fully regulated by the government, giving many large European trading companies the exclusive right to trade forest products from certain areas. In many places, all over India, from Mizoram to Kerala, dense forests have survived only because villages protected them in sacred forests known as mange, devarakudu, kan, rai, etc. Villages protected their forests by involving watchmen and each household had to provide some grain to pay for them.
If people in one village wanted to take wood from the forests of another village, they paid a small fee called devsari, dand or man in return. The Dutch also imposed rents on land that was cultivated in the forest and then exempted some villages from these rents if they worked collectively to provide free labor and buffalo for cutting and transporting wood. Every year there is a big hunt where village chiefs from a pargana (group of villages) meet and discuss topics of interest, including forests. Local villagers take care of all the natural resources within their limits and people pay a small fee called devsari, dand u hombre in exchange for taking some wood from the forests of another village. The forest rules had a significant impact on hunting in India. The practice was prohibited by law and those caught poaching were punished accordingly.
In addition, rewards were awarded for killing wild animals and some areas of the forest were reserved for hunting. The colonial government also proposed reserving two-thirds of the forest and stopping changes in the cultivation, hunting and harvesting of forest products.