Hunting is one of the oldest activities of mankind, and its history, as a result, is quite diverse. In order to understand its development, it’s good to look at how hunting fitted into each era of human life.
Over time, there have been many tools utilised in hunting, and the humble knife is one of the oldest weapons. Primitive cavemen would chip the sides of wedge-shaped stones (flint) to form a blade or utilise bone or shell to make sharpened edges that were suitable for cutting.
First and foremost, prehistoric hunting was about survival. Men would hunt the ferocious beasts outside their homes, using every part of the animal to feed their families. Although, hunting was also a way to determine hierarchies, where the bravest would be leaders, leading their pack in the hunt.
Whilst in the time of the Egyptians and Babylons (i.e. civilisation), hunting was less about survival and more about the sport. They would capture their prey and put them into gladiatorial competitions for the entertainment of the public. Only a select few were hunters by trade, and it was their responsibility to feed their community, rather than every man going off for the hunt- particularly if their skills are more valuable in the cities.
Fast-forward to the time of the great Greek philosophers like Plato and Pythagoras and the hunting knife had progressed in its dress, just like mankind, with bronze-plated blades popular amongst most of Europe and Asia. By the Roman era, blades were commonly made from steel, a material that is still popular to this day. But still, the hunting knife’s predominant use was for the sport of hunting.
The Industrial period was all about the evolution of machines that brought vast changes in hunting. Farms became popular, steering towards the nurturing of livestock rather than the practice of hunting wild creatures. This ultimately began the dwindling of hunting as a sport.
In WW2, knives were issued out to the UK troops to use if they ended up trapped behind enemy lines.
Perhaps the most recognised hunting weapon, the Bowie knife is arguably the image synonymous with hunting. The Bowie knife is known for being the weapon of the iconic James “Jim” Bowie, a 19th-century American pioneer who played a significant part in the Texas Revolution. The Bowie knife is said to be the invention of his brother, Rezin P. Bowie, who created this weapon for his brother to protect him in future battles. Jim Bowie went on to own and modify several Bowie knives in a mission to perfect its design for hunting, as well as combat. The characteristics of the Bowie knife include a large fixed blade and a clip point, and many have an S-guard, a little piece between its handle and blade that will deflect any advances from an opponent knife.
Another iconic development began in the 1800s with the invention of the Swiss Army Knife. As a primary hunting tool, it is perhaps not the best option, but as a multi-functional knife, it is the perfect option for contemporary hunters who can use it for an array of things such as camping and woodsmanship. This knife was ultimately designed for the wilderness, used for hunting, skinning and wood-cutting.
With many hunting knives available on the market, you can be rest-assured that our knives are top quality. From Bowie to survival knives, you could own a little part of history!