I will agree that without the ‘Crocodile Dundee’ accent, the above line is not nearly as interesting. However, knives and knife hunting are truly intriguing subjects that can not be overlooked, even though most hunters and outdoor enthusiasts choose the latest in modern technology to bring down their prey.
In the 21st Century we think about multi-tools, innovative barrels, scopes, LED lighting and telescopic lenses that could show the hunter a stag walking across the red sand of Mars (just kidding; it’s doubtful there are any deer up there.) But there is one type of hunt that does not rely on gadgets to offer the outdoor enthusiast a great deal of fun. In addition, it is one of the very oldest hunting methods that should be taught to the next generation (much like falconry or archery), so that the popularity and the amazing skills don’t die out.
Since the beginning of time, humans have taken down prey with a knife. Whether it be the Bowie knife or the fixed-blade hunting knife that modern hunters are utilizing. Wild boar is the usual prey when it comes to the knife hunter (AKA razorbacks), which are primarily found in the southern half of the United States. But ever since the Stone Age, when the knife was actually nothing more than a rock that had been chipped and worked into the sharpest edge imaginable, knives have been used to feed the family.
Ancient Egypt, which is still the epitome of ‘cool,’ had their original hunters take the old stone knives and began to simplify the process. In fact, they were much like the innovators of today; a group who wanted to take a machine/product and turn it into something far better. Egyptians gave their hunters wooden handles as well as leather sheaths to make their job easier…yet soon the next in line would build on their ideas.
The Ancient Greeks – which were always one-upping the Egyptians throughout time – took their skills and expertise (and absolute love for luxury), and transformed the standard wood handled knives into objects that gleamed in the sunshine. Completely bronze, the knife soon turned from a primitive weapon into a stunning piece that are still being found by archaeologists all these centuries later.
Steel came with the Romans. Not exactly a surprise there either, considering Rome was all about strength and brute force. Although bronze was the ‘pretty’ way to go, steel became the Romans choice for all weaponry that was used to ‘bring home the bacon,’ literally – and take out the Emperor if he was sitting just a tad too high on the hog. But for these top three ancestral groups, the actual strategy of bringing down wild game was essential to their survival, and learning these strategies became he most lucrative and expert business during their time periods.
Many hunters choose the knife, and boar as their prey, for the simple reason that they must utilize quick reflexes and extreme intelligence in order to claim victory. A much more hearty workout than sitting in a treestand with a gun. Most knife hunters like to actually charge the boar – attack them head-on, harkening back to the mighty Gladiators who rushed into the ring to fight.
Now the boar has what you would call Gladiator armor, so hunting and actually bringing them down is extremely difficult. Therefore, when a hunter accomplishes such a feat it is a true thrill. The boar weigh up to a thousand pounds and be over eight feet in length, not to mention they can run twenty to twenty-five miles per hour. However, this animal is a true gladiator, charging ahead and not running away ninety-nine percent of the time. The four sharp tusks they own can disarm any hunter, which is why the person who chooses to learn and hone this skill must be able to be quick on the draw without the help of a bullet that would stop the animal in its tracks.
The weapon of choice for boar hunting is, of course, that strong, sharp blade that will definitely not fold during the hunt. From a Bowie knife to more specialized hunting knives that are referred to as “pig strikers,” with blades that can run up to fifteen inches in length – these are the safest bets to bring the pig home!
Whether using a dog to flush out the boar from its habitat, or simply going it alone, the hunter still needs the skill set to be fast on their feet, not to mention the right aim in order to find the boar’s soft belly in time.
Yes, there are many critics that will state the fact that knife hunting is extremely violent and teaches younger people the wrong thing. However, when you truly look at the statistics it is the gun, not the knife, that is causing the most violence around the globe.
From mountain men to buffalo hunters to the modern-day wild game hunter, the knife actually puts the human and the prey on the exact same footing, whereas a gun certainly does not give the animal much of a chance of survival. And, as always, good education and supervision are the keys to teaching the next generation about the history and responsibility of any sport.
Oh…and getting that ‘Crocodile Dundee’ hat for yourself is also something to look into. That will always be unique.