By Stephanie Douglass
Wiesbaden Hunting, Fishing and Sport Shooting Marketing Coordinator
WIESBADEN, Germany – The Wiesbaden Hunting, Fishing and Sport Shooting program initiated its newest group of Jungjäger and Jungjägerinnen at the Jägerschlag held at the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation July 13, 2021.
After completing months of extensive classwork and marksmanship practice, all while navigating the challenges and restrictions brought by Covid-19, students passed both written and oral exams, as well as shooting qualifications in order to fulfill requirements to obtain their Jagdshein, or German Hunting License.
The Jägerschlag is a time honored ceremony that dates to the Middle Ages, and
consists of three Schläge, or strikes. The induction, likened to a knighting, consists of three blows that signify the initiation of the hunter, that they hunt righteously, and that they always keep the Hunter’s Code of Honor.
The ceremony was oﬃciated by Weisbaden’s subordinate hunting authority chief, Ralph Mann, who administered the 800+year-old oath to the new hunters.
The Jägerschlag is steeped with tradition and culture that all point back to a responsibility of conservation that German hunters are entrusted with.
“I was drawn in by the great hunting community, and the German hunting traditions,” said Jungjäger Alex Brink. “I also saw the hunting course as an opportunity to increase my knowledge and skills as an outdoorsman.”
Erika Gardner, president of the local German hunting association, Jägerschaft Weisbaden, was in participation and gifted each new hunter books about German hunting and wild game recipes.
Throughout the ceremony, Jägerschaft Wiesbaden Bläsercorps sounded traditional hunting music and fanfares with their horns. Songs such as Sammel des Jaegers (Gather the Hunters) and Auf, Auf zum Fröhlich Jagen (On to Happy Hunting) are traditionally played by horn corps to hunters in the field, and are examples of Germany’s long-standing hunting traditions.
It was the Bläsercorps first public performance in over a year, and their enthusiasm was evident as they played their bright, resonant songs. The presence of the Jägerschaft Wiesbaden contributed greatly to the authenticity and camaraderie of the evening.
The event was the first Jägerschlag held since Covid-19 related restrictions had eased, and was a successful gathering of the American and German hunting communities, as well as family and friends. It was also an opportunity for new hunters from previously held hunting courses to participate, as many Jägerschlag ceremonies were cancelled or postponed during lockdowns.
“For many of the new hunters, this was their first traditional German event. This event signified for us and our German partners that we are willing and able to proceed with such important social and traditional events in the shadow of COVID-19,” said Wiesbaden HFSS Hunting Coordinator John Thruelsen.
For the Jungjäger and Junjägerinnen, obtaining a Jägerbrief and German Hunting License is an honorable accomplishment that few Germans achieve, and even fewer Americans.