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Thread: Letzter Bissen-Last Bite

  1. #1

    Letzter Bissen-Last Bite

    I have heard that some European hunters perform rituals such as, in the case of the German hunter 'The Last Bite' over the body of the grassed deer. Has anyone witnessed these rituals or know anything about them. They sound very interesting. I wonder how far back these practices go. Could they have been known and performed by the Ancient Germanic and Celtic hunters?

    Answers please to either Jack Hargreaves or Fred Dineage of the 'How' team.

    I have my own deer ritual that I perform, it involves me kneeling quietly at the side of the deer for a moments reflection of the days events, laying my hand on the deer's neck and then saying loudly 'Yum...yum vension sausage for tea'! 'Ding dang doo...snicky snacky snoo'!

  2. #2
    Hi

    As you have probably guessed by now I do the 'Letzter Bissen' wherever and whenvere practical. The tradition is very ols and is based on a reconciliation between the dead game animal, its soul, spirit and God. In earlier times it was restricted to male game animals.
    One can also place a branch on the carcass and this notifies other hunters that the animal has been claimed by the hunter.
    In essence it is a mark of respect to the hunted animal.



    Mark

  3. #3
    Cheers for the info Mark. Seriously I always take a minute to honour the deer and follow the tradition that was taught to me by the first stalker I shot with. He would toast the deer with a single malt from his hip flask. He would spill a gulg on the deer and the ground, then offer me a sip before toasting a good kill and taking a sip himself, we then would shake hands and congratulated each other on a good stalk and a clean kill. Very moving experience!

  4. #4
    I found this on Deer-UK's letters page:-

    To Deer-UK,

    I was stationed in Giessen, Germany for 3 years and developed a friendship with a German officer who was a hunter and fisher. There is a German hunting tradition where the hunter places an evergreen twig in the mouth of the game just harvested and places one in his hat. Do you know the name of this tradition and it's origin? I would really appreciate any information on this. Thanks.


    Sincerely,


    Larry Hale

    Reply from John Cadman;

    The name of the Branch Sign that is placed in the mouth of male cloven hoofed game, capercaille and blackcock is the "letzter Bissen" which literally means "last bite" and is a mark of respect to the game. The "Schützenbruch" or hunters/shooters branch is presented to a hunter after shooting cloven hoofed game, the fox, cock capercaillie and blackcock. It can also be presented for shooting badgers, although this is not always the case. The branch should be placed in the hat band on the left side of the hat and officially, should be worn until sunset on the day that the animal was harvested.

    The origin of these traditions goes back a long way. But interestingly, when German Hunting Law was re-defined during the pre-war and early war years by Herman Goering, both these and many other traditions involving "Branch Signs" were included. They are principally a method of signals between hunters to convey a series of important messages and include warnings, directions to follow, routes not to follow and many others.
    It is interesting to note that many of the mainland European Nations have a similar, and in some cases, identical, form of signs.


    Hope this is of interest.


    John Cadman

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Interesting subject this one, if you check out a lot of the european hunting DVDs the traditions are quite well illustrated on many of them.

  7. #7
    It is uplifting to know that a great many of my fellow stalkers on this site treat their quarry with the respect that it deserves, unlike the mass killers of Glenfeshi etc.

    I for one always say a prayer over every deer I take with my rifle, and with many of the clients I have had over the years, some have become quite emotional, which I personally have no problem with at all. With every Stag or Buck I have taken a client out for or shot myself I have always patted the deer on the neck and whispered " Rest easy my friend" that is just my own way. Most of us have our own particular way of paying homage if you can call it that, for the animal that will now go into the food chain, or will fill our freezers and keep our families and friends in fresh meat.

    I have hunted with Bushmen, Zulu's, Shona and Patonka in Africa and with many other hunters in America and parts of Europe all have shown the upmost of respect for the animal, this is what makes us all on this forum true hunters and stalkers. Showing respect at all times for the quarry, to my mind is the mark of a good professional stalker/hunter.

  8. #8
    Douglas
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    He would spill a gulg on the deer and the ground, then offer me a sip before toasting a good kill and taking a sip himself, we then would shake hands and congratulated each other on a good stalk and a clean kill. Very moving experience!
    Sounds like a waste of good malt.

  9. #9
    I'm getting emotional just reading this thread. I get really annoyed when people tell me that as a deer stalker I am an evil insensitive monster! 'How can I kill beautiful innocent Bambi's'! They don't understand the bond between the hunter and the hunted, or the fact that its is the most natural thing in the world.

    If I had my way I'd only ever eat meat that I had hunted myself and paid respect to. Food is taken so much for granted in this country, yet TV chefs are worshipped! Any animal I shoot gets my respect even 'Charlie'.

    I asked a friend to shoot a wild goat for me recently, he has them on his patch, he brought me a Billy Kid. 'What do you want that stinking thing for'? He asked. The Wife curried it, fantastic meat, even better than venision. I'll get her to post the recipe if anyone is interested. Honestly fellow Stalkers, Goat tastes great!

  10. #10
    Douglas
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by sikamalc
    It is uplifting to know that a great many of my fellow stalkers on this site treat their quarry with the respect that it deserves, unlike the mass killers of Glenfeshi etc.

    We make no excuses. We had a job to do and if we hadn't of done it someoe else would have.

    I for one always say a prayer over every deer I take with my rifle, and with many of the clients I have had over the years, some have become quite emotional, which I personally have no problem with at all. With every Stag or Buck I have taken a client out for or shot myself I have always patted the deer on the neck and whispered " Rest easy my friend" that is just my own way. Most of us have our own particular way of paying homage if you can call it that, for the animal that will now go into the food chain, or will fill our freezers and keep our families and friends in fresh meat.


    I kill to many in the course of a years work to be saying prayers or patting their arses. I'm more interested in ensuring that the beast is shot cleanly, and dies as painless a death as humanely possible.

    I have hunted with Bushmen, Zulu's, Shona and Patonka in Africa and with many other hunters in America and parts of Europe all have shown the upmost of respect for the animal, this is what makes us all on this forum true hunters and stalkers. Showing respect at all times for the quarry, to my mind is the mark of a good professional stalker/hunter.

    An accurate shot and a a quick death often under extremely testing conditions are more the marks of an professional stalker/hunter in my opinion. Sentimentality is all well and good but does nothing about getting what is sometimes a thankless job done

    Thats often the difference between the professional and recreational stalker/hunter

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