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Hunters are bowmen skilled in forest and mountain combat. They are stronger than Archers, yet lack defense. An example of a Hunter in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is Castor, who you obtain early in the game. While Castor is 'better' than the other Archer in the game, Gordin (in the means that he has more strength and therefore can deal more damage to opposing units), he lacks in just about every other category. This is the case for most Hunters.
Hunters promote into Horsemen, which gives them not only a horse for superior field movement and dodge, but also the ability to use swords.
Hunters rarely feature in the bulk of Fire Emblem games, but the characteristic of a stronger, yet more vulnerable bow-user persists in many Fire Emblem games, which typically feature an all-around strong Archer (such as Wil from Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken) and another archer that while more vulnerable, deals more lethal damage (Rebecca from the same game).