1historical (originally colonial). A type of hunting in which vegetation is set alight in order to drive out the game.
This method of hunting is particularly associated with North American Indians.
2Hunting by night in which the light from burning wood, often held in a frying pan, is used to illuminate the eyes of the game; (also occasionally) a hunt conducted in this way. In later use: hunting by night using any source of light to illuminate the eyes of the game. Now historical except in US, regional(chiefly Midland) usage.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Robert Beverley (c1673–c1722). From fire + hunting.