The Gebrauchs – Hirshfänger is one of the major designs attributed to Oberforstmeister Walter Frevert (1897-1962) who was the Chief of Forestry in Germany. His involvement with Puma started circa 1953. During this time PUMA shifted its emphasis in a major way to making knives for the hunting industry. Frevert was a major consultant in the earlier designs of the Hirshfänger, Waidblat, , Saufeder, Waidmesser ,Jagdnicker and the Universal. He entered into an arrangement with Puma-Werk to use his name and title when producing the knife. Here is a short clip of him and the time period he was active with PUMA. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB9tgwY9sBI
The Hirshfänger is one of the four hunting sidearms from the House of PUMA. It is a highly specialized knife and made for one purpose. When hunting deer, the long cutlass style blade is used to stab and finish off the deer. The blade with fullers ( blood grooves ) on both sides is designed to penetrate deep behind the shoulder to enter the heart of the deer to finish the kill.
Known as the Gebrauchs – Hirsfänger the literal intepretation is a “working knife for deer hunting to make the final kill”. Specifically, Gebrauchs ( Working ) Hirsh (Deer) Fänger ( to stab or finish off ).
Many would argue that this is not a side arm. Typically, side arms has a military or police connotation, where swords, knifes and pistols were worn on the side and readily available used as weapons of last resort. The term as a side arm for PUMA came into play as it is one the largest knives made by PUMA and it is in th 1984 Catalog under the category “SIde Arm”. The 1984 Catalog is commonly referred as the “Collectors Bible” and the category is frequently used by the collecting community.
The Hirshänger was in production from the Mid-1950’s through 1993.