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Heavy Hunter Large Game Blade

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Sam1911, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    This is something I did as a bit of an experiment in form. I wanted something with a deep belly, and this sort of evolved from a bushcraft blade into more of a field dressing and butchering knife.


    It is 3/16" 52100, heat treated by Lee Oates. Black Gun Kote to keep off the rust, and natural canvas micarta handles with black canvas micarta pins.

    The blade is exactly 6" long and 1-7/8" at the deepest spot of the belly.

    As the design developed I decided to go with a full-flat grind which lightens this up quite a bit and makes it quite slicey, rather than choppy. But the very good steel should give it a lot of toughness when pushed, I think, especially when working on a deer or elk, rather than cutting brush.

    I'm curious to hear from guys who do a lot of big-game hunting if this would be a useful item to have when gutting and quartering a larger animal, for example.
  2. messerist

    messerist Well-Known Member

    That shape speaks to me!
  3. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    I like the shape, and the colors. I gave my opinion on the thick spine but FFG already.
  4. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Looks a bit like a "Hudson Bay" knife.
  5. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Sam I love your knives, but I'm trying to think how it would be used. Sure is not a skinner,I use a saw(or a hatchet if forced) for quartering ect. A true chopper is quite heavy and when the blade hits the wood that the meat is on it should be parallel like a cleaver.I think you are right about butchering something real large, which I have paid to have done mostly.What exactly did you have in mind for it's use.
  6. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Well-Known Member

    Mr Sam;

    I've harvested about 10 elk in Colorado since I moved here and started hunting big game in '78. I haven't used anything bigger than a 4" knife to slaughter and quarter any of them. A folder is adequate for the job but messy to clean up after so I do most work with a sheath knife. A knife of the size you show here is pretty nice for butchering, or preparing for the table or freezer though many use one like it for gutting/quartering without complaint so that use gets no criticism from me.
    I'm getting old so I take more time in the field to cut up my game than some but I get most of the meat home even if I'm back in so far that I have to bone most of it out before I pack it on my back.
    I remove any bones from my game when I package it for the freezer anyway and use an 8" slicer for that work.
  7. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    Good looking Blade for clean deer and such.
  8. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Well-Known Member

    Nice looking knife but in my experience, too big for meat chores. The old old link below shows a pic of a set that Mel Sorg jr and I worked on many years ago. We called it a camp set. 2 blades to handle all needs for caping, quartering, and butchering medium and large game. The 4.5" semi skinner is as big as I want to handle when cutting meat. Anything bigger calls for a saw or hatchet.
    Just my preference, not to demean your blade or design.
    Edited to add
    I own the camp set and it has been in the mountains, plains, prairies, and woodland river bottoms. These 2 knives have cut several elk, a dozen or more antelope, and over 40 deer. our goal was to design a set of two blades that could do every meat cutting chore in a remote hunting camp. The size and style was based on real experience. I carry a grandfors hatchet or a saw for wood or heavier cutting. A larger or heavier knife is fatiguing to use for hours of caping or butchering IMHO.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  9. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Ideal size shape skinning/gutting knife for up thru Elk : (and I presume moose cuz I have not shot one) was developed for African plains game .
    3/16" x 4.5 flat grind

    AlthoughI use a hatchet or saw for quartering , your Camp Defender would work well I think. I cut up a steer half with it .
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Guys, I really appreciate your advice! I've used this one in the kitchen a bit but that's easy duty. I am quite used to the "small is beautiful" idea in knives, but what is a 6" blade good for?
  11. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    "Camp " Knife ! Do anything but not optimum !"Survival" blade also in that range would be usefull to many.
    I got this gorgeous 6 1/2 " recurve Knife on the left from Stephan Fowler. I won't give it up but it was not optimum for anything I tried to use it for, go figure. Knives under about 8" are not real choppers IMHO unless very cleaver like and not so much even then for heavy duty Bar B Que prepping.9-10" knives can be wonderful choppers, wonder why competition choppers have that size and are usually very cleaver like!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    Oddly enough...it has neutral balance. Very much what most US knife guys think a fighter should feel like. I would have saber-ground it, though.

  13. CA Raider

    CA Raider Well-Known Member

    very nice game knife. :)

    CA R
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    I think you could slightly decrease the blade width near the handle, giving the knife more belly without additional true width (of course, then it's starting to become a miniature Camp Defender). Then change the grind to a sturdier grind that will be better able to chop. This should keep the weight the same, or shift the balance forward slightly. Either is fine.

    Then I can see a use for this knife. :) As it is now, it is a perfectly balanced but heavy slicer. It feels GREAT in the hand, but if it's only a slicer, it could weigh 30% or more less. There's no need for its current weight unless you want it to stand up to hard use...in which case, it needs a sturdier grind.

    The other option would be using thinner stock. That would lighten the knife, in which case this grind could make perfect sense.


  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    I see what you're suggesting. If that blade was out of thinner stock, it would be the most wicked slicer ever. (It's pretty good at that now!)

    More of a saber grind would give it the intense toughness for choppy, bush-craft sort of tasks.

    Makes sense to me!
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Thanks! :)
  18. tiamat

    tiamat Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the bump - I'd missed seeing this the first time around. Love the canvas scales in particular. Can you tell a little more about the canvas pins? I'm not quite sure I understand.
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator


    The pins through the tang and scales are made of canvas micarta, which is the same material as the scales themselves, just in a different color. I couldn't find the right sized micarta rod stock in the color I wanted, so I made those myself from black micarta sheet stock I had around.
  20. tiamat

    tiamat Well-Known Member

    very industrious (and cool) of you. Wish I had extra cash lying around. I'm a sucker for full flat grinds.

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