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Matt J.





Joined: 26 May 2010

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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject: Armour for Hunting Dangerous Beasts         Reply with quote

Throughout the ages, hippos, boars, wolves,crocodiles, lions, and even elephants have been hunted. This brings the question: What armour would they wear?

Would it just be whatever battle armour was popular at the time (IE: Plate in the 1400s, mail in the 800s)? Would they wear less or more than usual?

Also, do accounts give an idea of how well it held up? If people were often missing limbs or dead by the end of a hunt, it'd stand to reason their armour wasn't good enough.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is this plate from Blackmore's Hunting Weapons

http://www.myArmoury.com/books/item.0486409619.html

The armor in that instance seems about right for the period, or maybe from a little bit earlier. I wouldn't expect one would have been using expendable armour but rather armour that would work. It has been a few years since I have even opened up that book but great reading and more illustrations. Maximilian boar hunting with boar swords, etc. Worth having on any shelf.

Cheers

GC



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Eric Allen




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why would they wear any armor at all?
Generally, if you need to rely on armor to keep you alive an in one piece while hunting, you suck as a hunter.
And yes, that even goes when hunting potentially dangerous animals.

Most animals, even big and dangerous ones, can be subdued by spears, javelins, arrows, or traps. The objective is to kill the animal quickly, not get into a wrestling match wit it.
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Allen wrote:
Why would they wear any armor at all?
Generally, if you need to rely on armor to keep you alive an in one piece while hunting, you suck as a hunter.
And yes, that even goes when hunting potentially dangerous animals.

Most animals, even big and dangerous ones, can be subdued by spears, javelins, arrows, or traps. The objective is to kill the animal quickly, not get into a wrestling match wit it.


Your objective perhaps, but the caption reads that the huntsman is attacking the bear with a dagger- to me that speaks to a different objective. Maybe his goal is to come to grips with the bear. If that was the case, it makes sense to wear harness.

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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Absolutely - the main method for hunting bear or boar was to use dogs and spears - plenty of contemporary illustrations of this can be found in these forums, most (all?) showing no armour being worn whatsoever.

However, jumping in with a dagger (or even a sword), clad in armour, was not about how much you 'sucked' as a hunter, or how quickly you could put your prey down, but how much prowess, bravery, skill and ability you had as an 'extreme sportsman' (to use the modern phraseology), and therefore to show off your mettle as a man to your contemporaries. Hence its popularity amongst a certain class of individual.

Julian
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was responding to the original question, not the plate (which was posted while I was writing my reply).

But, you're right; it depends on you objective. If you're hunting, then armor isn't and shouldn't be much of a concern.
If you're purposefully going hand-to-paw with a wild animal to "prove your manliness"... well that's a different beast all together.

To help, let's take a look at what sort of protection would be necessary. What threats our would-be hero will face depends largely on what sort of critter we're pitting him against, but we can make some generalizations.
The way I see it, there are three major threats: impact damage from getting swatted, biting damage from getting bitten, and torsion from getting thrashed around.

The first is comparatively easy to deal with. A bear or a lion can thump you hard with its paws. As long as our hero is wearing sufficiently thick cloth or any sort of metal, the claws aren't going to do too much. The harness the guy in the plate posted above should be enough, though a good blow to the head may still knock him for a loop.

Biting is a threat, but if we're wearing armor it is mostly going to be a threat from crushing. The strongest bite known among living animals is from the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) with a force of 3,700 pounds-force (~16.5 kiloNewtons) from a 17-foot individual (Erickson et al., 2012).
Hyneas (Crocuta sp.) are known to chew through iron bars. takes them a while, though.
If our hero's arm and leg armor can withstand that amount of crushing, than the animal will likely be unable to deal much biting damage apart from lacerations to exposed areas. I don't have any difficulty believing this wouldn't be a problem.

The largest threat as I see it will come if the beast gets a purchase on our hero and thrashes around. This can potentially severely injure our hero's joints and cause nasty lacerations. Perhaps articulated joints in later-style harness could minimize this threat?

In short, IF you're going to go toe-to-toe with a dangerous critter in a test-of-manliness wrestle-it-to-the-ground-and-stab-it-with-a-dagger, then so long as the animal doesn't get the better of you and knock you unconscious or get you in an unarmored place (e.g. bites your leg when you're not wearing leg armor), then your standard battlefield armor would likely be sufficient. With plate armor, you could likely even get positively careless or put on a show.


Gregory M. Erickson, Paul M. Gignac, Scott J. Steppan, A. Kristopher Lappin, Kent A. Vliet, John D. Brueggen, Brian D. Inouye, David Kledzik, Grahame J. W. Webb. Insights into the Ecology and Evolutionary Success of Crocodilians Revealed through Bite-Force and Tooth-Pressure Experimentation. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (3)
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are plenty of stories about men wearing spikes and blades on their armour when fighting wyrms and dragons. Assuming they weren't completely made up, then it is possible that this sort of armour was used when hunting real-world dangerous animals.
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, boar/bear hunting dogs have, from the early medieval period onwards, been given armoured or spiked collars to protect them from being gripped by the throat by their prey.

You may take the following 19thC Siberian bear-hunting suit with a pinch of salt.......



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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In skimming through Blackmore's book again ( the photo above saved years ago) the only other plate of note is an Elizabethan hunt with the gents wearing metal cuirass and back plates which was as much fashion of the day as protection from an antlered foe.. There are a few other illustrations of the hunt where huntsmen are wearing padded jacks and one fanciful unicorn illustration for Dan of a fellow in maille slaying a unicorn. Other's a bit vauge as to what textiles they might be wearing and one Scythian archer with no drect context to hunting but rather as an example.

Cheers

GC
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 9:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus (14th century-early 15th or thereabouts, I believe) shows no one hunting in armour. Everyone is wearing civilian clothes. Ditto all the facsimile 14th and 15th century books of hours in their hunting scenes.
Happy

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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Aug, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A few boar-hunting pics; nothing clearly identifiable as armour:


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Boar Hunt.jpg


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Neuw Jag vnnd Weyderwerck Buch, Frankfurt 1582.jpg


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