Well known from Arthurian literature as well as from biographies of later periods, the royal hunt was one of the great highlights of the summer.
The preferred hunt was always the hart, or deer. However, fox, predators, or even a rare boar or lion would have been acceptable. For the most part, whatever animal could be a featured part of the next feast was huntable.
The meat was eaten, but the most admired portion of the animal was the head, and that was only given to the individual who did the most to bring the animal down. Usually that amounted to the person who gave it the first serious wound.
The trophy was traditionally given to the most beautiful woman in the hall (wow what a treat). Married men gave the head to their wives, younger men to their girlfriend of the moment or, if the king was married, to the queen.
The hunt is a common theme for a hero's visit to the Otherworld. Animals, particularly deer and dogs, who are white except for the red tips of their ears are considered to be guides to the Otherworld. In pursuing their game, kings and their warriors can be brought there.