Hunting was another of those things the nobility tended to reserve for themselves. If commoners were allowed to hunt at all, they had to pay a fee for the privilege or were limited to small game. Arguably this was a form of sound ecological management. To discourage poaching of "the lord's game" (the penalties for which ranged up to mutilation and death), the local nobles appointed trusted and knowledgeable servants to keep an eye on their hunting preserves and the game therein. There would be "foresters" in proportion to the amount of hunting land the lord controlled. In some cases this could be hundreds of square miles for a great duke or a king. Even a thousand acres of forest and meadow would require the services of two or three foresters and their families. Being a forester was a plum position, for you got to deal with the nobles when they were having a good time (hunting). The foresters not only protected the lord's hunting lands and the game therein, but assisted in the hunt. The forester would direct the hunting parties to where the game was likely to be and would, in general, be available to act as guides. The job paid well and there was ample opportunity to introduce your children to the nobles and get the kids consideration for other prime posts in the lord's service.