Choosing the Right Hunting Knife

Before you compromise on that new hunting knife, there are some things you should keep in mind. What animals will you hunt? How will you get dressed and butcher the animal? Do you propose to have a mount made? How do you need to carry the knife and is size or weight a issue? All these things might not seem vital at first glance, but get into the elk woods with a knife poorly applicable to skinning, caping or deboning and that they abruptly end up obvious.

Small game and upland birds are often without difficulty treated with the average pocket knife. There are, however, knives specially designed for small recreation. Big recreation like deer, elk, undergo, moose and caribou are simply that … BIG game. As the size and weight of the animal growth, the longevity of the disguise will increase. Body length and weight are decidedly an difficulty if you need to region or debone the animal to get it home or to a meat processor. That pocket knife you operate on rabbits or quail would possibly get the task accomplished on a endure, but it is not going to be smooth or high-quality. Neither is area dressing a cottontail with a huge, constant-blade sheath coolest pocket knife.

Let’s examine the fundamental responsibilities we ask our knives to do

We’ll stay with large game. After the kill, your first consideration will possibly be area dressing or gutting. Any skilled hunter knows that, right? But is there a particular kind knife that is higher at gutting than a few other? Can’t you gut a deer or an elk with the same knife you will use to skin it? Sure you could, however …

Consider that a committed intestine hook, or a knife with a integrated gut hook, will do a better, purifier activity of subject dressing than a skinning knife will, just as a skinning knife will skin that elk less difficult and extra successfully than a deboning knife ever ought to. And speaking of deboning … Strive it with a dedicated gut hook sometime. And what if that elk you just shot is your “Trophy of a Lifetime”? You need a mount, don’t you? At least a complete head or a shoulder mount, huh? That means someone will need to cape that elk well so your taxidermist could have something to paintings with besides a ragged conceal full of nicks and holes. A caping knife is in order.

The point here is that there are exclusive kind knives for exceptional tasks. The right tool for the task, as the announcing goes.

Now permit’s compare the sorts noted so far

Dedicated intestine hooks

This knife (for our purposes we’ll call it a knife) surely has best one supposed reason … To cut open the stomach, or paunch, WITHOUT slicing into the entrails and creating a huge, stinking, contaminating mess. The dull tip does now not nick the gut because the inverted “U”-shaped reducing facet zips open the stomach slick as a whistle! Kind of like one of these fancy letter openers. It’s now not a whole lot excellent for some thing else, even though I assume it is able to pass as a pencil sharpener in a pinch.

Knives with built-in intestine hooks

This is a regular knife, pretty much any style blade, but with the intestine hook constructed proper in. Double obligation, -in-one, if you may. (We’ll talk about the distinctive blade patterns similarly down the web page.)

Skinning knives

Skinning knives typically have a rounded blade and are not so pointed on the tip. The rounded reducing facet enables slicing the membrane that holds the skin to the animal. You use it in a kind or “swiping” or “rocking” movement, instead of “cutting”. The blunter tip allows you avoid punctures in the disguise and meat as you progress. As with any knife, there are variations and variations however a skinner almost usually has this rounded, blunt-tipped look.

Deboning knives

Often thought of as a “butcher knife” or definitely a “boning knife”. This kind knife is good for reducing meat from bone. The pretty slender blade facilitates close, easy cuts so you do not waste any meat. At the hazard of offending, or angering the purists, that is, in all honesty, the only you could in all likelihood do without. There are masses of widespread, all-around looking knives that could appropriately debone a massive animal. Then again, a deboning knife could function a terrific general all-around searching knife.

Caping knives

Caping entails pleasant, targeted skinning paintings round your trophy’s antlers, eyes, ears, nose and mouth. A proper caping knife usually has a narrow, skinny … But now not too flexible … Blade and a fairly small, quite ergonomic take care of. Control and delicacy are paramount with a caping knife. Some caping knives have pointed blades, a few rounded. Some carry the rounded give up to the acute. This is more a count of preference than whatever else. While the rounded variations assist make sure you don’t by accident poke a hole wherein you do not want one, the pointed versions can reach into tighter places to make extra sensitive cuts. Just consider … Manipulate and delicacy. Any undesirable hollow will have to be patched through your taxidermist (maximum possibly at introduced price to you) and any “missing” conceal isn’t always effortlessly or inexpensively changed.

It’s viable to cape out a pleasant trophy with that standard, all-around hunting knife, but preserve in mind the old pronouncing approximately the proper tool for the job. You do not want to apply a sledge hammer to pressure end nails.

Blade styles

As far as looking knives cross, there are three fundamental blade patterns drop point , clip point and skinning .

The drop factor is an wonderful blade layout for big recreation. The blade is usually heavier and thicker, making for a stable, robust knife capable of splitting the sternum and even the ribs of all but the most important, hardest huge recreation animal. The sluggish curve from cope with to point lets in full use of the complete length, in place of handiest the first inch or so from the point. The drop factor is an top notch preference for searching.

Clip point blades are extremely thinner than drop points and the factor is accentuated. It’s also a bit flatter from cutting facet to returned and makes an first-rate all-reason knife, looking aside. Most hunters would agree that, if you have handiest one searching knife, the clip point isn’t always quite as properly because the drop point. It’ll work, just now not as effectively in a spread of situations.

Many skinning knives are very similar in layout to the drop factor. However, the “traditional”, “modern-day” skinners do not have the sluggish curve associated with the drop point. The skinner’s curve is generally greater drastic, beginning greater within the middle than on the deal with, and the curve has a tendency to have a greater radius than that of the drop point. A good skinner also makes an amazing camp knife. It slices better than the other two kinds. Some very antique skinner designs, no longer lots in production as looking knives nowadays, have an almost crescent form and often a great deal longer blades. They still see use in industrial operations but are not very “available” to tote round camp or the hunting woods.

Fixed or Folding?

Fixed blade knives typically do not have any moving elements. That said, there are a few with interchangeable blades, or even some that have two blades, one projecting from each give up of the deal with … One blade at a time, via “sliding” the manage from side to side. For our purposes, these are still constant blade knives.

Fixed blades require a sheath to protect the cutting part, and the hunter. They are manifestly longer than a folder of the identical blade length, so now not as compact for storage or deliver. All but the smallest/shortest will, by means of necessity, be carried at the belt or in a percent. Fixed blades are very sturdy, less difficult to maintain easy and have a tendency to remaining a totally long time.

Folding knives do just what the name says. The blades fold away into the take care of whilst no longer in use, even though no longer with the aid of themselves. Safety first, oldsters. Folders are more compact. All but the largest will in shape on your pocket however most searching folders include a belt sheath. Any folding knife used for big sport must have a mechanism that locks the blade open. Folders aren’t as strong or durable as fixed blades. Pivots sooner or later wear out and, from time to time, a locking mechanism fails. They are also a piece more difficult to maintain smooth. Debris, blood, grit, dirt, animal hair, you call it, continually finds its manner into the blade storage slots, the pivots, and even underneath the locking bar. Not a large deal and no longer all that hard to easy, just something to take into account.


There is a knife for each challenge you will come upon in searching. Each task begs the right knife. Does this mean you will need to carry three, four, five knives each time you place out from camp? Of course not. With one nicely-designed, properly-made knife, maybe two, you may accomplish any of these duties. The alternatives are there, you understand what they may be. Now you simply make up your thoughts based on what you understand and how much you may spend.

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