In Western Europe during the time of the Middle Ages, humans regularly hunted wild animals for numerous reasons utilizing various types of hunting swords; and while the game was considered at times as a vital source and supply of food, this was a rare source of nutrition for people living in that period.
Almost all classes in society engaged in hunting yet came the High Middle Ages, the necessity for this activity has evolved into a more conventionalized pastime of the aristocratic class.
More importantly, hunting was also considered as a vital means for social interplay, vital for war training, plus it was also considered as a measurement and privilege of the nobility. Additionally, hunting during medieval times was more than a type of entertainment and was considered as a form of science and art.
Some of the most popular and favored hunting weapons were the spear and bow since both of these tools allowed the hunter to keep the right distance between the prey and himself.
In numerous Assyrian and Egyptian wall paintings, frescoes, as well as sculptures, a huntsman was commonly present wielding his spear or bow; at times, he was shown riding a chariot while wielding the mentioned tools but was rarely shown carrying his hunting sword.
Although this was depicted in numerous wall paintings and such, it was still necessary for these hunters to rely on their hunting swords to protect themselves against any type of harm. Eventually, smiths have developed and honed their skills into creating a hunting sword that can readily stand on its own.
Origin of the Sword
A hunting sword was a kind of one-handed short sword that dates all the way back to the twelfth century; however, it was utilized during the hunting parties of various Europeans from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. Swords have always been carried as a sidearm for hunting big game but only in the fourteenth century did the specialized swords for hunting appear.
The blades of single-edged hunting swords often feature a saw-like pattern on its back edge; this was necessary since hunters utilized this part of the blade for slicing sectioning or undergrowth game.
The late fifteenth century was the time when other types of skinning tools were introduced, and these were included in one sheath which was similar to the contemporary kukri.
In the fourteenth century, the great hunting swords were utilized to hunt and capture larger game and these included the deer and wild boar. By the sixteenth century, the hunting sword developed and improved along the same lines as the hunting spear.
Blades of the hunting sword eventually became narrower right on the first two-thirds of its length but at the end of the sword, it slowly widened and expanded to its normal width.
The hunting swords were commonly fixed with cross guards right at the end of the widest portion of the blade and these were usually spring-loaded to literally pop out whenever necessary; there were also some hunting swords that made the final portion of its blade similar to the Flamberge.
Characteristics of Hunting Swords
The common hunting sword usually appeared with a straight, pointed, and single-edged blade that is not more than twenty-five inches in length. Hunting swords were mostly utilized for finishing off the game instead of using and just wasting another shot; it was adopted by a lot of European individuals and was sometimes worn by officers from the military in the past centuries.
The weapons were utilized as a badge of the officer’s rank since the hunting swords also displayed highly detailed and amazing varieties in design. Some of the hilts exhibited a thin knuckle-bow simply to protect the user’s fingers while other hunting swords had a jagged saw edge right at the back of the blade.
For customization, there were some individuals who added little matchlock pistols that were fixed into the hilt of the hunting sword; additionally, there were also deep firing grooves that were cut into the sword’s fuller.
The Hunting Sword and its Different Variants
Here are some of the different hunting swords utilized by numerous individuals in the past:
The Great Hunting Sword
The Great Hunting Sword was considered as a strong and durable weapon that could readily withstand sudden charges of animals; it was further developed throughout the centuries until it evolved into a more powerful and stronger weapon that gained a point that was similar to the spear.
The boar swords first appeared in the first half of the fifteenth century and these weapons appeared with either a square, octagonal or triangular section throughout its whole length.
The boar sword is also called the estoc or tuck in Britain and was utilized as both for fighting on foot or on cavalry; it was quite popular due to its excellent thrusting powers which were necessary during battles and for hunting.
All the previous swords that have been characterized had an average measurement of about forty-eight to sixty inches and were highly efficient in performing numerous tasks when hunting.
However, such a length could also be quite inconvenient in some situations which is why mounted swordsmen often preferred the smaller version of the bigger swords and these were the short hunting swords.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, American and European gentlemen usually brought with them a sword which worked as a sidearm and one of the most common forms was the regular cutting sword.
It was generally called the cutting hanger and it was a hunting sword that was usually featured a simple grip, plain knuckle bow, and either a slightly arched or straight blade. Additionally, this hunting sword was considered as a short civilian tool that was primarily utilized as an accompanying weapon for hunting.
Hunting Sword for Sale
For anyone searching for a hunting sword, he or she can readily purchase hunting swords for sale from numerous online weapon shops. One can choose from a fully functional or decorative hunting sword for sale depending on the user’s needs and requisites.
The decorative pieces are great for a sword or weapon enthusiast who wishes to add this type of weapon to their growing collection; it can also be utilized to adorn and beautify one’s home.
When it comes to the fully functional hunting swords, these are more than just finely made replicas of the authentic weapons; these hunting swords for sale are adequately sharpened so its owner can readily utilize this for cutting practice or training.