Trusting the tools of your trade, is paramount when you need to use them in critical situations! Luckily the majority of us will never experience a similar incident as Harry Wolhuter did, where his only means of survival rested on his knife, but it does go without saying that every hunter needs a proper knife…
Wild Meester knives were born from just such an approach, searching for a sturdy practical multi-purpose field knife that could stand the tests of the African bush. The idea for an optimum working knife is that it needs to be able to do many different, yet very specific jobs. Whether for skinning, bushcraft or survival, the general design and features would be critical. To establish the most needed features, Wild Meester launched a survey with most hunting and conservation organisations and associations in Africa. Associations that participated included the likes of: the African Professional Hunters Association as well as the Professional Hunters Associations of South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Added to this list was also SANPARKS and the Game Rangers Association of Africa.
Three years after the project launched and from all the data collected, two main designs emerged namely: the Professional Hunter and the Ranger. The Ranger knife can be produced in larger volumes at reasonable prices while the Professional Hunter, a USA-based handmade product, provides you with personal tailormade options and a unique numbering engraved on the blade.
The blades are made from 440-C high-carbon chromium stainless steel for ultra-strength, while options are available for the handle material, including buffalo, stag or ram horns, camel bone or olive wood. The Hunter has a sturdy 4mm thick blade while the Ranger has a slightly thinner 3mm blade. Some of the blade feathers available in the designs include Japanese saw teeth or normal serrated, a thumb grip and handle guard, heavy pommels as well as the good old gut hook.
The thicker Hunter blade features an engraved edge section perfect for hammering with a log or gavel thus used to slice through thicker bone. The Ranger knife has a blade hole and together with the pommel hole, could be stringed to create a spear. These are not your everyday pocketknives; they are made with heavy-duty intent for the African bush!
Holding them in your hand, the grip-shape for both designs fit with ease and balance to the profile of your palm. I found the Hunter knife to be slightly heavier than the Ranger design but considering the purpose of skinning large game and even ‘batoning’ wood this is completely understandable. The sheath is designed to allow for 3 different positions: the hip; lowered to the outside thigh or positioned horizontally on your lower back. Sheath options include black or brown leather.
The price ranges on these knives might not suit everybody’s pocket, but you can be well assured that the quality you get far outweighs the price tag. Early prototypes are still available on their recently launched website.
Retailers in Africa, USA, Canada and Europe can contact them for an individual reseller code and arranged discount. These are quality handmade knives made by hunters, for hunters! Visit their website at www.wildmeester.com for more.
Fritz is an avid hunter, writer and student of wildlife & outdoors. His writing has also been featured in Man Magnum Magazine – South Africa.
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