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A look at my G.C. Co. (Gutmann Cultery) Fixed Blade Hunter.
I’m really not sure if these were just novelties or if people actually used them. I’m also not sure if it is cool or creepy. Either way, when I came across one in really good shape for a reasonably low price, I decided I had to have it.
The advertisement of the day had them priced fairly low so I assume they were novelty items or knives bought by young boys. This may also explain why so many of them are in rough shape these days. The Advertisement has knives similar to this one going for $1.35 back in the 1950s. Today people are asking for $50-$100 on eBay. However when I see them starting with a low bid, they tend to sell between $25-$60 depending on the condition.
In most cases there is significant damage to the deer hoof with most of the fur worn away. Blades are also well worn. Many are sold without a sheath. I think mine is in excellent condition considering the age. I’m guessing the original owner really didn’t do much with it expect store it improperly.
The knife is well made. All of the parts are well secured with no wobble. The brass S guard is tight and snug as is the nickel silver furring band that attaches the hood to the tang. The rat tail tang is also deeply inserted into the hoof.
I’m not sure how the hoof was stabilized by I’m guessing the taxidermist did a good job as there seems to be no decay in the handle and it is now at least 50 years old! The cloven hoof and the hocks are quite secure as well. There is one spot where the fur has been matted because of long time storage in the sheath. The blade is also discolored from storage.
The 5 inch blade is about 1/8 inch thick with a nice deep fuller. As mentioned it has some staining but does not appear to have been sharpened. Despite this it has a decent edge. (BTW the over all length is a tad over 11 inches.
The sheath is pretty decent for its age. The leather isn’t cracked and remains soft and supple. It is nicely riveted and has a nice brass tip guard. The leather retaining strap is also free of cracks and the snap works great. The sheath also has some nice embossing.
The Knife has the tang stamp G.C. Co Solingen Germany on the reverse and 465 on the obverse. The sheath is stamped Made in Germany between the holes for the belt loop.
G.C. CO is a common marking for Gutmann Cutlery, of Mount Vernon New York. They were a knife distributor/importer that started in 1947. They really hit if big around 1957 when Kurt Gutmann became the sole distributor of Puma knives for the US market.
Okay so you tell me, Creepy, Cool or Both? Or would you rather keep your opinion to yourself.
As for my "reasonable price?" I got it for $25.
Thanks for all the info Shlomo. You made my day!
i wouldn't call it creepy as i'm not squeamish. i couldn't buy/keep it though even if i knew the deer was a kill for feeding a family that needed it to make it through. or was a result of too many deer etc.
i didn't become a hunter because of deer. i couldn't see killing such an animal with eyes like that etc. and then just shoot it...
I love deer meat, i'm not going to lie. my heart just can't handle seeing a part of a deer like that because it would remind me too much of the live animal. iT'S DIFFERENT WHEN YOU HAVE THAT MEAT ON A PLATE COOKED ...
caps Ninja means no harm
Anthony, I think that would fall into the creepy category: The use of a recognizable animal part for a knife handle. But then the same is done with deer antler; yet it is perceived differently.
Schlomo’s comments concerning the use of this knife by Jägermeisters falls into the cool side of the equation. Jägermeister is more than a type of schnapps. Transliterated the word is “Hunt Master” but it actually means Game Keeper or Game Warden. And while many people see them as an enforcer who makes sure you have a license their purpose is to make sure the forest and its creatures remain sustainable for future generations. The Game Keeper has been venerated in Germany for centuries as a noble profession. A verse from the epic poem, Weidmannsheil (Good Hunting ) appear on the bottle of Jägermeister.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.
Or in English
This is the hunter’s badge of glory,
That he protect and tend his quarry,
Hunt with honour, as is due,
And through the beast to God is true.
This in turn leads us to St. Hubertus, the Patron Saint of Hunters from where the concept of the Hunter as the Game Keeper derives. St. Hubertus (Hubert) was a nobleman who originally hunted for the thrill of the chase and killed animals without regard until he received a vision.
The vision was a magnificent Deer with a Crucifix glowing between its antlers. As he looked at the deer a voice called to him “Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest a holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell”
St Hubertus was also told to “hold animals in high regard and have compassion for them as God's creatures”
He was given instructions on the way to hunt. These included “the hunter ought to only shoot when a humane, clean and quick kill is assured. He ought shoot only old stags past their prime breeding years and to relinquish a much anticipated shot on a trophy to instead euthanize a sick or injured animal that might appear on the scene. Further, one ought never shoot a female with young in tow to assure the young deer have a mother to guide them to food during the winter." And he passed along this philosophy through his evangelization.
The legends of St. Hubert are still taught and held in high regard in the extensive and rigorous German and Austrian hunter education courses.
So when the knife is seen in the light of the historical perspective of the Jägermeister then it seems pretty cool. Yes the knives have fallen from favor in these days of political correctness, But I can see their appeal in bygones ages.
The Conversion of St. Hubertus (Patron Saint of Hunters), by Wilhelm Räuber
My uncle had a knife very similar to that. He was a WWII vet, not sure if he brought it back from Europe after his service in war or got it here. I imagine a hoof was cheaper than horn.
I think the idea of using the hoof was to actually make it something recognizable and to impart the persona of the hunter, very much like a souvenir. We're talking about an area where hunting lodges are strewn with bear skin rugs, various mounts on the wall,and maybe even a stuffed wild boar or bear in the corner. The knives are from a time when taxidermy wasn't portrayed as a creepy hobby of weird kids who grow up to be serial killers but was a respected profession. A man having an elk's head on his wall was perfectly acceptable and in some places maybe even expected.
You can still find such lodges and and inns in Southern Germany. They have a certain rustic charm. These knives come from such a time and reflect such an era. The more I think about it, the more the creepy wears off and the more its place in history seeps in. Being a History buff, it is hard for me to condemn the knife into a world of creepy.