What's the largest knife you carry when hunting?


February 4, 2003, 10:21 AM
Just curious. I usually carry about 5-6" sheath knife with a small pocket-knife. Any bigger would just seem to get in the way.

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February 4, 2003, 11:29 AM
I always carry a pocket knife but when hunting a 3 1/2 -4" sheath knife ( no dumb gut hook either) is all you need for deer. A small folding saw for cutting bone or branches also is handy.

February 4, 2003, 04:46 PM
I carry a Gerber Gator folder (3 1/2 - 4" blade). Works good for dressing deer. Longer blade knives just get in the way in my opinion.

February 4, 2003, 05:16 PM
i carry a folding buck knife. not sure of the model... brass bolsters, wood handle. anyway, length is around 4". i used to carry a monster fixed-blade knife, but found i didn't need all that length for deer, and it was always in my way.

as for pheasants...i no longer carry a knife for them. i found an easier faster way to field dress them, so i only have a need for my one folding knife (not several different knives for several different kinds of hunting).

February 4, 2003, 06:17 PM
I carry a Gerber ATS-34 EZ Out folder most all of the time. For deer or elk hunting I add a Wyoming knife with an extra replacement blade. For elk I also bring along a small Pak saw.

Larry Ashcraft
February 4, 2003, 06:23 PM
The knife I use for 90% of my work is a custom made 3.5" featherweight lock back folder with a caper blade, made by Jim Sasser.

I also carry his excellent "Big Game Tool", which is like a mini cleaver, 6" blade, 1.5" wide with a curved front for skinning and one of those "silly gut-hooks" on top. This one is good for heavier work such as splitting a breastbone, and the gut hook is actually pretty handy for cutting hide.

February 4, 2003, 08:26 PM
For small game, a swiss army knife is all you'll need.

For Antelope I use a Wyoming knife and meat saw, and a bigger saw in the truck. I don't usually pack my "big knife" anteloping.

For elk and deer and bear and such I carry a Cold Steel tanto with a 5.5 inch blade, its been my hunting knife since 1986 or so.

I may try out my Cold Steel Bushman knife one of these days, or pick up a K-Bar, those are bot good overall utility knives.

February 4, 2003, 09:38 PM
4" buck locking blade

February 4, 2003, 10:13 PM
Fixed blade knife that has about a 5 inch blade. I always have my folding Spyderco in my pocket also.

February 4, 2003, 11:05 PM
Cold Steel Master Hunter is as large as I've gotten... though I've started to gravitate toward smaller blades like the Buck Zipper. I'm talking about deer hunting here. For turkey, I carry a small knife just in case, but the game shears are really about all I need.

Mike Irwin
February 5, 2003, 05:14 PM
Haven't hunted for years, but the only knife I carried was a folding lockback with a blade about 4" long, if that.

Always did the job I needed it to do.

February 5, 2003, 10:07 PM
I use one of two knifes my primary is a Spyder Co Tim Wagner clip it, with a 3.5" blade and the other is a Cold Steel Pendelton hunter also a 3.5 or 4" blade. Both of which are very nicely shaped drop points. I believe that the shape and feel of a knife is far more important than the size.

I've used both for anything from skinning a coyote to quartering a moose.

Vern Humphrey
February 6, 2003, 05:24 PM
I always carry a McCoy stockman's knife (made right here in Arkansas) and will usually drop a Swiss knife (the kind with everything in my pack.) On my belt, I carry a Randall Model 3, with a 5" blade for elk hunting, along with a Gerber folding saw in the pack (both bone and wood blades.)

Deer hunting, I carry a Buck 102 Woodsman, with the clip point reshaped and the false edge sharpened.

For small game, turkeys, and so on, my McCoy stockman does just fine.

Art Eatman
February 6, 2003, 11:53 PM
Tossup for deer: An old Solingen 3-1/2" folder, wood handle; or a Browning stainless, wood-handled, 4" locking blade. Occasionally any of several 5" "huntin' knives".

:), Art

February 7, 2003, 12:28 AM
Well, mine are all missing[moving gremlins I guess].

-Case Mako Shark
-Boker wood handled lockback
-Case 'trout knife' fixed in a sheath

old favorites are yellow handled Case Trapper and a Swiss Army for general purpose.

wish the gremlins would return them...

Ron L
February 7, 2003, 11:02 PM
When actually hunting, it's either a 3.5" Dozier K1 or a 3.75" Terry Hearn Skinner. When scouting, which may include clearing shooting lanes or some such thing, I'd carry a Blackjack AWAC. I'm looking at either a Swamprat Camp Tramp or the Battle Rat for a larger heavy-duty knife that'll do double duty for some chopping chores.

February 8, 2003, 07:49 AM
The largest knife I carry while hunting would be my 16.5 inch HI WWII khukuri.I also sometimes carry an EDMF Sandberg Bowie with a nine inch blade.They don't get much use,though.
My wyoming knife also goes with me on every hunting trip.

Matt G
February 8, 2003, 11:05 AM
Rarely do I carry anything larger than a 5".

99% of my best work is done with a very small, VERY sharp folder. Art Eatman once watched and held back giggles as I used a very large, VERY dull cheap (folks, I'm talking cheap!) folder to render a poor javelina into a mess fit only for stew, sausage, and chili. (which it did just fine, thankee kindly.) :)

Johnny Guest
February 8, 2003, 11:53 AM
Some kind of sturdy lock blade with a three to four-inch blade -- Currently it's a Kershaw - - and a Swiss army. There's usually a medium-size fixed blade in my day pack or shoulder bag, but it is seldom used.

Only time in the past 30 years I wore a fixed blade on my belt was a bear hunt in Ontario -- Wore an old Randall Model 18, about a seven-inch blade.


February 9, 2003, 03:44 PM
Lately, either a Randall #11, 4 inch, or a Cold Steel All Terraine Hunter, same size. I always carry the old Swiss Army pocket knife.

I have seen others with much bigger knives. lol

Vern Humphrey
February 9, 2003, 04:26 PM
I used to carry a Randall Model 14 in the field. In Viet Nam, I used it for everything, from cutting the wires on C-Ration cases, to clearing fields of fire I gave it to my daughter when she was in the Officer Basic Course.

A couple of years ago, she gave me a replacement -- a new Model 14 in stainless steel. I usually carry it horseback, to hack away overhanging brush and so on, but it isn't a "hunting knife" -- too big and cumbersome.

February 11, 2003, 01:57 AM
Depends on the hunt, but everything gets a SAK locking w/saw & for elk, I'll pitch in a "skinning knife" - more to have a beefier blade than anything else.

The SAK's always got it done though.

Dave McCracken
February 11, 2003, 05:26 AM
Puma White Hunter(Now there's a non PC name!), bought in the late 60s. Gave it to Pop then, got it back when he died. I carry it for luck as much as for use.

My pick for actual use is a Helle Tor. This Scandanavian masterpiece has the best steel I've ever used. I touched it up after dressing 4-5 deer, but it really didn't need it.

If I think I'll be clearing brush,etc, then a tomahawk rides along.

February 11, 2003, 12:22 PM

you probably know this, but anyway: I think most of, if not all, Helle's blades are still made in the traditional Norwegian way; they are laminated. A piece of hard carbon steel for the edge is sandwiched between two layers of softer more tensile steel. We are rather fussy about our knives around here. I also think Norwegian/Scandinavian knives are a bargain, especially when you consider the fact that compared to us, the US is "low cost". :)

I often carry an 8" Lapplander knife when hunting or hiking, it can be used for everything from light wood chopping duty to slicing bread and even as a table knife - although that sometimes attracts strange looks.

February 12, 2003, 10:37 PM

any questions?

Dave McCracken
February 13, 2003, 05:14 AM
M67, I did know. Japanese swords, among others, were/are made the same way.

The results are amazing. C J Winans, the writer and biologist, used mine to dress out a meat doe. CJ was impressed by the knife, I was impressed by CJ's two minute dressing time. He's done over 1K deer as part of his job.

The sheaths take a little getting used to, us Americans aren't used to something so traditional on a using knife.

There's knives here from Buck,Gerber,Cold Steel, Puma,Camillus and Case. The Helle is my pick for a using knife.

February 13, 2003, 11:36 AM
I don't have any Helles,but I just recently bought a couple of Iisakki Jarvenpaa Finnish knives from www.ragweedforge.com
They are really a great value.I really like the grind on the Classic Utility Knife.

February 13, 2003, 05:53 PM
I've carried the same Buck 102 sheath knife for the past 27 years, and if I don't lose it I suspect I'll never need another knife.

I've used it to dress everything from rabbits to moose. Its whittled, chopped, filleted, hammered, pried and even opened tin cans with ease.

February 13, 2003, 11:32 PM
I normally don't carry anything longer than a 5" blade. Sometimes a Case folder or a locally made custom fixed blade w/ modified drop point.

February 14, 2003, 01:44 PM
i have a schrade pocket knife(3" blade?) that is handy for cleaning fish to field dressing deer, and anything in betwee. when the deer is hanging, i skin and quarter it with a green river style skinning knife, pretty soft metal but can put a good edge on it. peace

February 14, 2003, 01:58 PM
Dave ... interesting you should mention the White Hunter .. wonder if this is very same? I bought this in about 1967 for, approx $40 IIRC ... been a great knife, holds a terrific edge and will manage small tree limbs if needed, due to weight in the end. made a new sheath way back but otherwise ..... had great service.

No good of course for delicate skinning and so that would fall to my daily carried 3 1/2 folder.


February 14, 2003, 08:50 PM
Speaking of those Helle knives, brought to mind the old Norwegian Brusletto I used to carry. I dug through a few boxes to find it. Probably been sitting there in its fitted box for 20 years. Brought it out to see if it was ok. The carbon steel blade was as bright and shiny as the day I packed it, and forgot about it. Sharp as a razor, it will shave the hair off your arm. Beautifully figured hardwood hilt, brass stud on the end, used to snap the leather thong of the sheath on. The blade is 2 3/4 inches long, entire knife is just under 6 inches.

I skinned a number of deer with this knife. The sheath is the traditional Norwegian style.


Dave McCracken
February 16, 2003, 07:51 AM
Similar but not identical,P95. Mine has a single guard and the blade looks a bit different.The serrations sit way back on the main edge here.

It's an excellent design and well made. Takes and holds a nice edge.The blunt point may not be ideal for tight area skinning and caping, but it works very well for fast removal of large areas of hide.

Combined with a clip or fine drop point, good setup for most hunting....

February 22, 2003, 05:01 PM
I carry either a 2-blade Cabela's folder or a Browning folder, both with a 3.5"-4" drop point and a saw blade (the saws come in handy for trimming branches and other tasks). I don't like carrying any more than I have too, so the multi bladed pocket knife fits my needs.

I read an article a few years ago about a guy who forgot his knife, so he field dressed a mule deer, or elk, with a broadhead, (I can't remember who) but it goes to show that you don't usually need a big knife.

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