Well, I wasn't sure where to post this but figured the Off Topic Room would work best. The Mods can move this if they see fit.
I do a lot of hunting and have been thinking for a number of years about the best skinning and butchering knives for wild boar, deer, bear and Elk. Growing up on a small farm where we did our own butchering, I soon realized that kitchen knives such as old hickories, chef knives and paring knives were the bees knees for skinning and butchering cattle and pork. This experience has carried over into my hunting where I usually get strange looks from the guys with custom knives who end up fumbling around for an hour with them while I've already got a carcass skinned and broken down into quarters with my kitchen knives.
Well, As much as I like the old hickories, I end up choking up on the handle and knife blade to get into tight places. I also use a paring knife to ease into the crevice between skin and ribs while working the hide off. At any rate, this trio duplicates my needs as I can most closely figure. With hunting season upon us, I will tentatively take them out in the field to see how they do. Until they are proven, I will also take my kitchen knives with me. By the way, this trio is from Bark River with "antique ivory micarta". I think they look pretty.......
What do others here use for skinning and hunting knives? Feel free to post!
I'm not a hunter, but I will be making a skinning knife for a guy from the FD. I came across this beautiful one that Luke Snyder made (bottom knife), and I immediately saved it to my phone for inspiration.
I never hunted but I have some cool hunting knives....I have a nice ivory one from carter....a Damascus nick wheeler....a John Fitch hunter.....I like the hunters to carry for an EEC type knife....some are too big but hey what the hell....if I get pulled over , I just hope I don't get searched!....ryan
P.s....I wish I had more opportunities to use my knives....sometimes I wish I lived in the wilderness in Alaska just so I might have a reason to use a knife sometimes...ryan
Hunting/skinning knives are a personal thing. I have tried several shapes, lengths, thicknesses, all do certain things well, but I have yet to find one that excels at all. I have one that I call a plains skinner, that comes close, but not quite. Next piece, the evolution may get it closer!
I worked at a natural history museum while I was in grad school, and we had to skin all sorts of animals that would be brought in for the collection, often by hunters, trappers, or as roadkill. Everything from mice to sea lions. It was basically taxidermy, but we pretty much saved everything except the organs (and sometimes we saved some of those). Skin and bones all went into the collection, DNA samples into the freezer, Stomach contents into jars of alcohol, data and measurements into notebooks. That was where I first learned the value of a well sharpened skinning knife.
We found that the upswept or "trailing point" tip, with a nice round belly, is the most important feature. We had all different sizes, from quite large skinners and scimeters, all the way down to what I think were probably wood carving knives, and we often used scalpels. But all the blades had roughly the same shape. We had a few that looked almost like rounded putty knives with the edge sharpened part way back on the spine. One person at the state wildlife pathology lab down the road used an ulu for larger animals and swore by it.
i am a bowhunter. i try not to be a hunting knife snob. i want a custom blade bad!! but to be honest, my last elk; the hide came off pretty nice with my Knives of Alaska, ALPHA WOLF. it is D2 steel, and i let it get really dull doing that elk. we were so tired, and had the longest trip ahead. we knew we had at least two trips in/out to get that meat out. so we just blast thru that animal. i wish i stopped more often to touch up the blade. i found it super hard to resharpen. even at home.
so, i just got a new knife! a $15 Mora companion. that thing is so much easier to touch up. it is so sharp! i think the tip is a tad too pointy to be a GREAT skinner, but i just skin to get to the tasty meat. i dont need a perfectly skinned hide.
having said that. i am considering the new Havalon Bolt. it might be a game changer for me. if i am at the truck, i use an old forgecraft butcher knife.
i just love carbon steel.
I've got to agree with you..... Carbon steel really is good stuff for skinning and butchering. Add a little patina and it is almost worry free.
I don't bowhunt anymore but BP will open here soon. Below is the kit I plan to take to camp.
The pretty one is a G Sakai folder rehandled by "greased bullet" - best trade ever. Boning saw from Chuckles - 2nd best trade ever. A couple Gerbers (my get her done knives), Sab boner and a new Hankotsu. The Sakai has been in many deer, I like it because its short enough that I can use it without seeing it and not nick anything that should not be nicked. The Gerbers will get the hide off and do everything else at camp. I've not used boning knives with deer before - just removed the loins and took the quarters to the sausage guy. This year I'll do a little more trimming...
NM, I was hoping you were still here. I just picked up some Hatch chiles and remember some of your photo essays with them.
I'm still around. Work has been a little heavy so I haven't been as good at posting.
We got our hatch chile roasted and peeled last month in August. It was the first load off the truck. It's nice not to worry about it, but here we are in September and I'm twiddling my thumbs feeling like I should be doing something. :biggrin:
Good luck on your BP hunt!