Knives For Hunting


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black bear
July 20, 2007, 09:01 AM
KNIVES FOR HUNTING

Many of us hunters of long have a love affair with the tool of a successful hunt; the knife.
In our minds, we have this idea of the perfect knife that will fit our hand like a glove; that will perform surgery like a scalpel; that will not need to be sharpened ever, and will remove a cape as well as field dress and skin anything from a deer to a moose.

In our search for the perfect blade, we accumulate many of them that are probably as good as the best knife ever made, but in our search for Nirvana we keep adding new blades and hoping to do enough hunting to test all of them on game.

On the other hand, some hunters are not interested at all in the tool. My friend Frank that has probably field dressed at least fifty deer with the same Buck hunter knife in the last 20 years removes it from the pack once every year in hunting season to field dress a deer or two, and the blade goes back into the same pack to wait for next year’s job.
Perhaps his father being a butcher has something to do with it. He was taught how to field dress a deer early in life, and to him it is just a necessary job that has to be performed. To others like me it is a culmination of all our efforts and should be done as elegantly and as clean and bloodless as possible and with the most effective of tools.

I have found in my long search for the perfect blade that many of today’s knives in the market qualify as superb blades for the job. A good knife blade of 3 ½ to 4 inches will be plenty for most chores. Preferences in my case are for the drop-point blades, but I have had good service from clip points or other shapes.

Some of us like a fancy wood or antler handle or perhaps some engraving on the blade. Those I label dress knives and are a great way to stir a conversation between fellow hunters. I am one with that type of taste and will always appear at camp with a fancy blade. The truth is that I perform all of my field dressings with a plain one that I keep hidden in my pack.

Here is one of my fancy blades, the Browning model 122 one of one thousand, and the one that does the actual field dressing, a Buck 192 Vanguard.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/browningandbuck.jpg

Best wishes

Black Bear

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eliphalet
July 20, 2007, 11:17 AM
that will not need to be sharpened ever
I want to know when that knife has been made, but I sharpen my own and have no problems.
Those are some beautiful knives, I am a big fan Buck as a company, one is in my front pocket as I write this, their customer service is great.
All that said it was a sad day when the steel they chose to use went from 440C used in the 60' and 70's to the 420HC used now.

koja48
July 20, 2007, 12:49 PM
I've long been a fan of 3-1/2" -- 4" drop point blades. The 2 I use/have used most are a hand-made, Damascus-steel sheath knife & a Kershaw folder, both 3-1/2" Easy to maintain, less blade to hone, and also less blade on which to cut yourself. I've handled everything from bunnies to moose with no problems (though moose hair/hide will require a touch-up to the blade along the way).

MCgunner
July 20, 2007, 12:58 PM
Them's purdy. :D Would ya call that a "BBQ knife"?

Never been into more'n just a quality CHEAP hunting knife. For as fixed blades, been thinking I'd like another 4" with carbon steel blade like the excellent Schrade I used to have that I lost somewhere along the way. It was a bit of a classic, leather handle, but that carbon steel really could get sharp and hold an edge. I never had a stainless blade quite so good as that thing.

I have a showy knife my old man gave me for Christmas in 75, a Case Kodiak Hunter. But, it's a bit large and heavy to be anything useful, though I've butchered with it. Holds a good edge, can tell ya that!

Sonora Rebel
July 20, 2007, 01:18 PM
Green River... Dadley or the Skinner. They do what they were designed to do... CUT.

41magsnub
July 20, 2007, 01:22 PM
I pack around a Gerber Gator in the field. Not the best knife, but it holds an edge nicely and I like the rubber grip for when getting down and dirty.

I was given a model with the gut hook back I will try out this year, will be bringing the normal knife as well.

Art Eatman
July 20, 2007, 01:55 PM
My main field use in hunting has been either cutting the tail off a coyote or gutting a deer. A 3" or 3-1/2" folding knife is plenty good for Bambi, so long as I can tap the back of the blade with a handy rock when I split the pelvis.

Folks do make some really pretty knives, but I just have problems with driving a new Cadillac in country more suited to old jeeps...

:), Art

MCgunner
July 20, 2007, 02:44 PM
I pack around a Gerber Gator in the field. Not the best knife, but it holds an edge nicely and I like the rubber grip for when getting down and dirty.

I really like my Gerber, light, handy size, great non-slip ergos, and still tight and sharp after a couple of decades.

black bear
July 24, 2007, 08:16 AM
Here is another of my limited edition Browning knives, this is the model 65 one of one thousand.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/brown65oneof.jpg

And here is a close up of a detail on the handle of the knife.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/br65work.jpg

I have a "thing" for stag scales in my knives.

Cheers
Black Bear

Big Daddy K
July 24, 2007, 10:36 AM
This came in an old metal sheath that had 1942 enscribed in Old English numbers. A little big but is east to sharpen and holds a good edge.

http://aycu30.webshots.com/image/21349/2000441504760710024_rs.jpg (http://allyoucanupload.webshots.com/v/2000441504760710024)

I usually carry my Vangaurd for field dressing.

T.R.
July 31, 2007, 07:48 PM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/schradegoldenspike.jpg

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/Queen2blade.jpg

These are my two favorites for big game hunting. Sadly Schrade is no longer made in USA. But the big two blade knife is still made by Queen Cutlery in Pennsylvania.

TR

Regolith
July 31, 2007, 08:21 PM
One of my favorite current hunting knives is a Schrade Sharpfinger, one of the older ones that still has a carbon steel blade.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v320/Koloblicin/Knives%20and%20Guns/schrade-sharp-finger-1.jpg

The one I've been saving up for though is either one of these: http://www.barkriverknifetool.com/professional/highlandspecial/index.html

or one of these:

http://www.barkriverknifetool.com/professional/foxriver/index.html

atomchaser
July 31, 2007, 09:51 PM
2nd the Bark River knives. A little more pricey than the big names, but high quality and well thought out. They are also convex ground which makes them extremely easy to sharpen -- your can just strop in on a piece of leather or a mouse pad.

Alagator
August 1, 2007, 07:34 AM
I have field dressed and boned out over 200 Alabama whitetails with a Victorinox Safari Hunter (a folding Swiss Army Knife). It has a standard blade, a long concave-curved blunt-tipped non-serrated gut/skin blade, and a bone saw. They are, unfortunately, discontinued. Good news, I bought two of them when they were being closed out. I would post some pics, but they are in Alabama, and I am in England, where knives are only allowed if you are a street criminal. Can't have the citizens defending themselves, the yobs might get hurt.

Karbon
August 1, 2007, 06:09 PM
i love the benchmades. 154cm steel is the best I've had to date.

omcjf
August 1, 2007, 06:41 PM
I've got a Case XX, a couple of Shrades and a Gerber but my favorite knife is a Cutco lockblade I bought 7 or 8 years ago. Kind of expensive and pretty ugly but it holds it's edge like no knife I've ever had and its really compact and light.

Smokey Joe
August 1, 2007, 07:26 PM
Folks do make some really pretty knives, but I just have problems with driving a new Cadillac in country more suited to old jeeps...Well said, Art!!

The fanciest rifle I own I wouldn't hesitate to take out in the field hunting. Likewise, the fanciest knife I own. Neither one would impress any collector.

I've never understood the fascination with knives made so fancy they would be a shame to put to the work for which they were originally designed. Come to think of it, I feel the same way about "presentation grade" firearms.

Ah, well, to each his own. And don't think for a minute I'd turn down a nice Randall if one came my way...but by heck it'd get USED!!

Fisherman_48768
August 1, 2007, 08:33 PM
I've been using this knife since 1968, made by Rudy Ruana himself.http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a149/Fisherman_48768/RUANA196825CMKDM.jpg

mod700
August 7, 2007, 03:06 PM
i have had the same schrade + knife for about 10 years. its a fixed blade Old Timer with a gut hook and green rubber handle. between my and my dad's deer ive cleaned my fair share of deer with it, and can still put an edge on it like the day i bought it.

Rembrandt
August 7, 2007, 10:23 PM
This one gets the most use....don't think they're made anymore. Gerber with interchangeable blades. Have skinned and gutted around 40+ deer/antelope/mulies with it. Small and compact.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Huntingknives-2.jpg

This is the handiest saw I've ever seen....a Gerber bone saw, only cuts on the pull stoke. (like a chainsaw) Have used it to cut everything from pelvic bones to removing antlers.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Huntingknives-3.jpg

Have several "display only" knives, like this 1-of-2500 Browning Model 52 knife.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Huntingknives-4.jpg

Some of the other hunting knives in the collection. (top) Gerber interchangeable, ATS, Benchmade, & Gerber LMF.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Huntingknives-5.jpg

emerson
August 8, 2007, 03:05 AM
Hi All,

Since we are on the topic, I would appreciate the group's opinion on the (new?) Steens hunting knife by Leatherman. I am from Oregon, and new to hunting, and am looking for a knife that would be appropriate for use on game up to Elk in size. As I currently have no suitable tool, I'll be making a purchase in the next month or so. I'm afraid the knife looks a bit "gimmicky", although I have no experience with "hunting" knives, or this design, so it is hard for me to develop an informed opinion. I have owned and used an Original Leatherman and a Leatherman Wave in the past, and I have been very pleased with the design and function of both.

Thanks guys!

http://www.leatherman.com/products/knives/steens/default.asp

Rey B
August 8, 2007, 12:31 PM
Any moving parts have a greater chance of breakage. That having been said I would like to examine this Leatherman in person because that is one neat looking knife.:D

kmrcstintn
August 8, 2007, 02:50 PM
I've got a variety...

Gerber E-Z Open folder w/ half serrated blade (450 steel)...2 of them since the older version without the skeletonized blade are no longer made and the older ones with the larger thumb hole in the blade work better for me;

"Outdoor Life" (pseudo Shrade) X-Timer gut hook fixed blade...same subcontractor as Schrade when they were made in mid-2000's before Schrade was bought out; the Outdoor Life version is exactly the same and was half the price

Buck Diamondback fixed blade (420HC) blade...not the best blade quality, but I only paid $10 since Gander Mountain had purchased a boatload at reduced cost

the Gerber(s) is my everyday in-pocket companion; the Outdoor Life gut hook will be used during deer season; the Buck will be my woods carry/camp companion

coelacanth
August 9, 2007, 04:01 AM
the pivoting blade/guthook idea is a novel approach. The saw looks like it might be a little lame but considering the overall size of the thing you can't expect miracles. If it's built like my WAVE it should last you quite a long time.

H&Hhunter
August 9, 2007, 05:16 PM
I use a 3.5 to 4" drop point exclusively for everything from the smallest deer to cape buffalo and elephant. They just work really good!

I've got two Wagner Clipit's one is a Spyderco the other is a version with a carbon fiber handle by Bladetech and three fixed blade drop points one is a cold steel Pendleton hunter the other two are custom knives by Charles Sauer of Montana.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/Knives.jpg

41magsnub
August 9, 2007, 05:17 PM
I use a gerber gator. It cuts as well as anything else I use and if it is lost or damaged it is not remotely bank breaking to replace it: http://www.rockynational.com/Image.aspx?i=1106_1&d=250&q=90

For the breast bone, pelvis, and if it comes up quartering a critter I use a T-handle saw. I inherited the one I use and have no idea what make it is, but it is pretty similar to this from cabelas though not as fancy: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/content/Item/51/70/28/i517028sq01.jpg

Cosmoline
August 9, 2007, 05:24 PM
Give me a puukko for game and an opinel for fish.

EricTheBarbarian
August 15, 2007, 09:09 PM
i like my kabar for a hunting knife. believe it or not, my girlfriend bought it for me for christmas 2 yrs ago. skinned dozens of animals including my deer and three of my friends deer this past year. holds a real good edge and have only needed to sharpen it once. However, I dont like to try to cut bone with it because bone really can dull up a knife. I dont know if anyone else has done this, but once you get to the butchering stage of your deer, a milwaukee sawzall does a great job cutting through rib bones and hip bones. sawzall isnt really a knife but its got a blade.:D id be interested to hear what knife people prefer to hunt with on those knife and dog hog hunts

retrieverman
August 16, 2007, 06:54 AM
I love this thread! I am a "knife guy" and have more than a dozen "skinning" knives that I have accumulated in 25 years of deer hunting, but I am still searching for the "perfect" one. My current favorite "skinning" knife is a Knives of Alaska Magnum Ulu, and I just bought it last year and have tried it out on 15 deer and 4 hogs. So far, I am quite impressed. My other knives that I carry in my pack are a Cold Steel Outdoorsman and a Spyderco Impala.

My current pocket knife if choice is an Emerson CQC-11SBT.

Regolith
August 16, 2007, 07:59 AM
Hi All,

Since we are on the topic, I would appreciate the group's opinion on the (new?) Steens hunting knife by Leatherman. I am from Oregon, and new to hunting, and am looking for a knife that would be appropriate for use on game up to Elk in size. As I currently have no suitable tool, I'll be making a purchase in the next month or so. I'm afraid the knife looks a bit "gimmicky", although I have no experience with "hunting" knives, or this design, so it is hard for me to develop an informed opinion. I have owned and used an Original Leatherman and a Leatherman Wave in the past, and I have been very pleased with the design and function of both.

Thanks guys!

I've never had one, but it looks like it will work well for what you intend to use it for. Its made out of extremely good steel (S30V) which will hold an edge, which is important when processing an animal. Also, Leatherman makes good tools, so I don't doubt its quality.

learningman
August 17, 2007, 12:12 PM
My favorite knife is a CRYT. It holds a great edge and splits the brisket on a muley with no problem. I also carry the pack saw from Cabelas(X-Mas gift). Two years ago I recieved as a B-Day present the three knife set from Knives of Alaska. They are absolutely great knives but I find that the three pack is just to bulky to carry on the hip. It has the cleaver, skinner, and cub, plus a small stone for keeping the edge. I have brought it along in my pack though, and they have proven to me that they would be worth the money.

45crittergitter
August 20, 2007, 10:45 PM
I don't use folding knives if I can help it, due to all the crap you have to clean out of the inside when you're done. I have to give a +1 to the Sharpfinger, though it's a bit small for my taste, except it's an outstanding skinner. My current preference is a Dozier in D2 steel, which is outstanding. I think mine is the "Pro Guide" or something like that. I also love the Benchmades, especially in D2, but have only used the folders, and not for cleaning game.

black bear
September 15, 2007, 05:04 PM
Years ago I was invited to join a German hunting club in the Catskills, which had access to huge woods and was managed for quality deer. The members hunted from hotchsits and performed the "last meal" ceremony in the deer they got, all very proper and traditional Teutonic customs.

To "fit" in I dusted off my Mannlicher style Mauser 30-06 rifle and bought a White Hunter II Puma knife.

Here is it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/whithutwo.jpg

Best


Black Bear

Pigspitter
September 15, 2007, 05:52 PM
I use a sharpfinger and a german steel straight razor for the detail work.

black bear
September 30, 2007, 03:35 PM
Another of my fancy blades, a Colt 1851 (one of 1200)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/coltred.jpg

Cheers
Black Bear

dmazur
September 30, 2007, 04:04 PM
I like this 3 inch I got from AG Russel. ATS-34 blade / Micarta scales / Nickel silver guard. Works well and stays sharp.
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb212/pacific1927/Russel3in.jpg

Navy joe
September 30, 2007, 08:02 PM
I will carry most anything from a SAK to a Khukri in the woods. Never have too many knives. I carry this one hunting as well as dressing up.http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=64821&d=1191196921

redneck
September 30, 2007, 09:28 PM
There's some really nice knives posted in this thread. I'm just getting started at hunting, and haven't done much field dressing or butchering yet, but I make knives and have sold a fair number of knives to hunters.
Last year I used a 3-1/2" drop point blade I'd made with D2, that had paduak wood scales. It would still shave after field dressing and boning out one deer. Didn't use it for any heavy work on bones though. Gave it to the guy I was hunting with when we were done.
This year I've got a blade started to make myself a small clip point knife with a tapered handle. Its actually adapted from a kitchen knife pattern I came up with that has been pretty popular. It will be 440C, and I plan on using linen micarta for the handle. A little bit easier maintenance than carbon steel and wood.Should turn out similar to this guy:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=64824&stc=1&d=1191201798

And this afternoon I messed around and forged a 3" drop point blade out of some O1 drill rod. I have some whitetail crowns sitting around and may use one of them for a handle. It will be more for passing around the campfire if I have time to finish it :D

redneck
September 30, 2007, 09:44 PM
Here's one you guys might find interesting. A guy sent me a whitetail shed and asked if I could make a knfie for him. After some head scratching I came up with this:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=64825&stc=1&d=1191202088

I should have put a quarter or something in the picture for size reference. Its almost a miniature. Blade was maybe 2" long, with an overall length of maybe 5 or 6 inches. The antler is maybe a 1/2" to 5/8" in diameter. I'm glad the guy asked me to do it, it was a fun challenge. Still have about 3 inches of horn left in case I decide to take up miniatures sometime too :D

Smokey Joe
September 30, 2007, 09:50 PM
as I see it is, that you're reluctant to use it for anything that might mess it up too much, or damage it. Thereby rendering that knife useless as what it was meant to be: A tool.

FWIW I have the same problem with "presentation grade" firearms--you dast not take them out in the field and use their fine qualities as they were designed.

So I've never had anything fancier, myself, than a SAK for pocket use or a Buck 110 on the belt, or a Ka-Bar, or a plain Rapala for filleting fish, even though I know there are far nicer knives out there, and with better steel.

I'd love to have a knife of really fine steel, that was MEANT to be USED, and after 50 years, shows every nick and stain. And still holds a razor edge. Oh, and doesn't cost a mint--that factor alone puts a knife into the "museum piece" category for me. Probably I'm SOL.

pete f
October 3, 2007, 02:25 AM
Google Bark River mini canadian. its all you need for field dressing deer. consider it a hunters scapel.

Browning
October 3, 2007, 11:22 PM
Smokey Joe : Problem with really nice knife as I see it is, that you're reluctant to use it for anything that might mess it up too much, or damage it. Thereby rendering that knife useless as what it was meant to be: A tool.

FWIW I have the same problem with "presentation grade" firearms--you dast not take them out in the field and use their fine qualities as they were designed.

So I've never had anything fancier, myself, than a SAK for pocket use or a Buck 110 on the belt, or a Ka-Bar, or a plain Rapala for filleting fish, even though I know there are far nicer knives out there, and with better steel.

I'd love to have a knife of really fine steel, that was MEANT to be USED, and after 50 years, shows every nick and stain. And still holds a razor edge. Oh, and doesn't cost a mint--that factor alone puts a knife into the "museum piece" category for me. Probably I'm SOL.

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

That's why I usually stick to knives from in between $10 and $100 with most being somewhere in between $30 and $75, that way I'll actually use them but they're still well made with some quality materials being used in it's construction.

I've got a really nice looking AL Mar Mini Bowie that cost my wife a pretty penny, problem is that I'm afraid to use it as it looks to good and I'm afraid of scratching it. Lately I've gotten into Scandinavian blades that fit that bill pretty well. There's another thread on Mora and Puukko knives in the hunting section that has some links.

I've gotten some from here that fit that description real well.

http://www.kellamknives.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_33_59_61

http://www.ragweedforge.com/HelleCatalog.html

Smokey Joe
October 4, 2007, 12:23 AM
Pete F & Browning--Thx for the suggestions & links! Mebbe I'm NOT SOL! :)

skinewmexico
October 4, 2007, 05:24 PM
Dave McCroskey custom - great discouts for NRA members, etc. Holds an edge like you wouldn't believe. A little over $100 at the time......

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-11/891136/McCroskey(2).jpg

black bear
October 5, 2007, 10:53 PM
I resisted gut hook for years, but finally I got a MUELA knive that show me what the gut hook is all about.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/S5300121muelafuryred.jpg

Black Bear

sm
October 5, 2007, 11:20 PM
Due to schedule and all, I did not get to go Deer Hunting per se'.

Small game, and lots and lots of bird hunting, and "woodscraft skills" where game was taken for food. More or less living off the land.

Case Trapper, Mini Trapper, Barehead Trapper my Main "hunting" knives.
Chrome Vanadium blades.
Case Mako Shark, as this knife fit my hands real well.
Case Bird & Trout.

Old Hickory, Paring knives were always / still are a huge tool for when I am hunting or in the woods. [other Old Hickory, still the paring just does too much for its size].

Oh I have had and used Custom Carbon Steel knives, fixed and folders, handles vary from Genuine Ivory with 18k yellow gold accents, to Ironwood, Zebra wood and Stag...

Bokers with Rosewood handles of Soligen Steel carried a lot.

Just...something about that Case, Yellow Handled CV Trapper knife ...

starpuss
October 6, 2007, 12:27 AM
i find the best knife to skin deer's is the one with the guthook in the pic (this knive was make in the uk from my plans)

brasskeeper
October 6, 2007, 11:12 AM
The knives I have used over the years to field dress deer have been a folding gerber gator, old kabar folding two blade hunter, a remington fixed blade, a old german knife with a six inch blade I bought off of ebay.

The remington was the worst, it will not hold an edge. The other three are great knives. The only problem with the german fixed blade is the length and shape of the blade, a 6" blade is to long to use in the chest cavity and the tip curves up which makes easy to stick your self. The german holds the best edge of all four knives.

I'm currently loooking for a carbon steel 4" fixed blade and untill I find the one I want I will stick with the gerber gator or the kabar folding hunter.

H&Hhunter
October 6, 2007, 11:42 AM
MAN!

There is some nice cutlery out there. I'm glad that I am not the only one who enjoys fine knives.;)

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