In the story, the village men prepare for a hunt by picking out their weapons of choice the evening before.
Hunts always begin early in the morning, so the hunters must prepare during the night. Kira sees this firsthand when she witnesses the distribution of weapons one evening.
Essentially, all of the long spears are taken out of a storage building beside the Council Edifice and laid out in piles at the center of the village plaza. Then, the hunters test each weapon for themselves and eventually make their choices.
However, this process is not without conflict. Sometimes, hunters fight among themselves when they each favor the same weapons. In the story hunters are an especially important group of people. Without hunters, no one gets any meat to eat.
In the story, we learn that Kira and her mother went without meat after Kira's father was reported missing (supposedly killed by wild beasts). Since only men could hunt, both Kira and her mother had to make do with fish from the river and the occasional small animal they could trap.