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From a sport - hunting perspective, the lives of all game animals revolve around two criteria- a central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord and the oxygen supply that fuels it.
In order to kill any game animal quickly and humanely, one mist "switch off" the brain, sever the forward half of the spinal cord, or disrupt the system's oxygen supply. The first two options are pretty straightforward; a shot that reaches the brain will switch it off, and a neck or shoulder spinal shot will accomplish the second. The third, disrupting the central nervous system's oxygen supply, is a bit more complex.
By Carolina Armero.
Hunter’s Branch (Schützenbruch)
The hunter’s branch is a branch that is dipped into the blood of cloven hoofed game following the kill. The branch is then placed on a hunting hat and presented to the successful hunter with the word “Waidmannsheil”. The branch must be of a native german tree, mainly of trees oak, pine, spruce, white fir and alder.
The hunter responds with “Waidmannsdank” and places the branch at the right side of their hat with the upper side of the branch outward. When wounded game is tracked down by a dog, the dog handler will present the branch to the hunter. The hunter will return a piece of the branch to the dog handler who, in turn, breaks off another piece and puts it in the dog’s collar.
In hunting broken branches represent an ethical and aesthetic function. When hunting alone, the hunter should remember to place the
hunter’s branch in their own hat.
The understanding of the hunters to each other using this signs is still of great importance, also for the hunting operation of our time.