© 2019 by Forestry of the Third Reich.

Deutsche Jägerschaft

Reichsbund Deutsche Jägerschaft (German Hunting Society) was the official hunting society in Nazi Germany, 1934-1945. Membership was mandatory for all who possessed a hunting license.

It was created through the Reichsjagdgesetz (National Hunting Act) of 1934. Existing hunting societies were disbanded and the membership transferred to the new society.

Their mission was: educate the hunting community to practice an ethical hunting culture, preserve the wildlife population unchanged to the benefit of future generations. Jews were excluded from membership even if they owned hunting grounds.

The Deutsche Jägerschaft was a statutory corporation with mandatory membership for all who possessed a hunting license. The membership was in hunting matters subordinate to the jurisdiction of the Deutsche Jägerschaftthrough its system of honorary courts. Deutsche Jägerschaft was led by Hermann Göring, as Reichsjägermeister, and was governed by the Führerprinciple. Elected officials did not exist; all functionaries were appointed by their superiors in the internal chain of command. Goring's deputy and leader of the daily work was Walter von Keudell until 1937. Administrative leader was Oberstjägermeister Ulrich Scherping.

"Deutsche Jägerschaft" was organized in a number of Jagdgaus. Some Länder had a Landesjägermeister as leader of the Gaujägermeisters. Each Jagdgau contained a number of Jagdkreise under a Kreisjägermeister. Each Jagdkreis had a number of Hegeringen (Game Management Areas) under a Hegeringsleiter. Thüringen, for instance, formed a Jagdgau with 15 Jagdkreise that were state wildlife agencies. The Institute für Jagdkunde (Hunting Science Institute) and the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Handfeuerwaffen (German Research Station for Small Arms) also came under the Deutsche Jägerschaft.

The Allied Powers dissolved the Deutsche Jägerschaft in 1945, and its assets and properties were confiscated.

Rank structure

  • Reichsjägermeister

  • Oberstjägermeister

  • Landesjägermeister

  • Stabsjägermeister 

  • Gaujägermeister

  • Kreisjägermeister

  • Hegeringsleiter

This period document shows the different Jagdgau, Jagdkreise and their leaders. Document is from around 1936.

Logo and flags

The logo of the Deutsche Jägerschaft was a dear skull with between his antlers the swastika with sun rays behind it. Under the skull the letters D.J. After the fall of the Third Riech in 1945, this sanitized version of the flag was used where the swastika was replaced with a cross.

Flags and wimpels for the different ranks (from left to right): Reichsjägermeister, staff of the Reichsjägermeister, members of the Reichsjagdrat, Landesjägermeister, Gaujägermeister, Kreisjägermeister and ordinary member.

Wimpel for the ordinary member, hand stitched. 

Hunting

Every member of the Deutsche Jägerschaft had to have a hunting license and ammunition card to go hunt. There where restrictions what they could hunt and with what kind of rifle/ammunition.

This grouping belongs to Herr Finanzpräsident Arthur Anding. This set contains his hunting license and his ammunition card. He lived in Saarbrücken and he belonged to the Saarbrücken departement of the Deutsche Jägerschaft. The license gave him permission to hunt in the whole Reich. The license had to be renewed each year. You will see on the photos that he did not only had to pay for his license, but also a mandatory hunting insurance. The ammunition card was linked to his hunting license trough his card number. On this card they could see when and how much ammunition he bought in that year. He could only buy ammunition when he showed this card along with his license.

This hunting rifle from my collection would fit a normal member of the Deutsche Jägerschaft, but also a förster. Also försters had to pay for their own hunting rifle. That is why alot of hunters and försters bought a second hand rifle. This German made 16 kal double barreled rifle from Sauer&Sohn (still makes hunting rifles today) would be a example of this. It was made around 1920/1930. This was a more expensive piece to own, rifles from other country's (cheaper ones) would be bought more often. One barrel is a little smaller in diameter at the end then the other barrel. This is because one barrel is for shooting close range (the bigger one) and the other long range (the smaller one). The gun also has two triggers, one for each barrel.

Ordinance on the use of rifle ammunition when hunting from 1th of october 1941. I describe the type of ammunition the could and couldn't use.

The photo on the left is membership badge of a member of the Deutsche Jägerschaft. These where made from metal and aluminium. The middle photo is the same, but a stickpin version. The photo on the left is a Jagdaufseher (game warden) badge. His job was to supervise hunting events and step where necessary. Both badges where worn on the hunting fedora, the stickpin was worn on the vest.

This table medal is a hunting price they could win during a event. There where 3 podium places and they reflected the colour of the medal: bronze, silver and gold. Most examples only have the year on them, but i have also seen them with additional text, like: place, day and month, name of the event, etc. This table medal also have stickpin versions, also again in bronze, silver and gold.

A near perfect condition DEVA enameled badge celebrating 50 years of the DEVA - The German Gun Testing Organization. Not maker marked, but without a doubt from Josef Preissler in Pforzheim. I bought this badge from Mighty Micro Jo after he made this video about it.

Arthur Greiser in the uniform of a Gaujägermeister.