Hunting trip knife choice

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stevessf

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So you and your buddies are taking a 10-day hunting trip. Your job, besides hunting and drinking, will be to butcher the primal cuts of boar, venison, and elk provided by the other guys for eating and freezing. You'll have very little time for sharpening and you only want to take one knife. So what type of knife do you take: 210mm or 240mm gyuto? Boning knife, other?
Knife steel: 1095, 52100, White #2, SG2, or S35VN?
 

SeattleBen

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You'll want something other than gyuto if you're only taking one and are actually going to be processing multiple animals.
 

KenHash

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You need a "Hunting Knife", not a chef's knife to process the animals. But if your buddies are going to do all the processing and just ask you to deal with the cuts, then you could use a boning knife (such as a Honesuki) and a Gyuto. SG2/R2 would probably be most edge retentive. But I find it hard to imagine going through the meat from multiple animals without any sharpening though. Blade length depends on the size board you will have at your disposal.
 

daveb

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This is minimum I carry for weekend trip deer hunting to break down into "cooler" deer. The "hunting" knife(s) does most of the work, getting the guts out, opening the rib cage, popping knuckles, quartering. You need the robust edge. Could do it all with this knife. The hankotsu works well for removing hide, and getting meat off bones if you choose to. The saw will be needed for the pelvic bone, cutting off legs.

If you're going to process on the fly then suggest you add a western boning knife to the kit. The front end loader is handy as well.....


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stevessf

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You need a "Hunting Knife", not a chef's knife to process the animals. But if your buddies are going to do all the processing and just ask you to deal with the cuts, then you could use a boning knife (such as a Honesuki) and a Gyuto. SG2/R2 would probably be most edge retentive. But I find it hard to imagine going through the meat from multiple animals without any sharpening though. Blade length depends on the size board you will have at your disposal.
Thanks for your response, and everybody else as well. Absolutely everyone carries and uses a hunting knife for the field breakdown. They will bring back the primal cuts to the lodge. I'll bring a honing rod and a 1000/3000 stone. But my quandary is do I go with the SG2/R2 type steel for the additional edge retention and additional sharpening time or the carbon steel, 52100, for the quick edge tune-up?
'
 

stevessf

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This is minimum I carry for weekend trip deer hunting to break down into "cooler" deer. The "hunting" knife(s) does most of the work, getting the guts out, opening the rib cage, popping knuckles, quartering. You need the robust edge. Could do it all with this knife. The hankotsu works well for removing hide, and getting meat off bones if you choose to. The saw will be needed for the pelvic bone, cutting off legs.

If you're going to process on the fly then suggest you add a western boning knife to the kit. The front end loader is handy as well.....


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View attachment 148445
Great pics, very helpful.
 

Bodine

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For field dressing and quartering, a hunting knife is your friend. For cutting pelvis, sternum and legs, a good set of lopping shears speeds things up.
For boning and cutting roasts , steaks and leftovers for burger, a good boning knife or butcher knife will do fine.
 

KenHash

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Thanks for your response, and everybody else as well. Absolutely everyone carries and uses a hunting knife for the field breakdown. They will bring back the primal cuts to the lodge. I'll bring a honing rod and a 1000/3000 stone. But my quandary is do I go with the SG2/R2 type steel for the additional edge retention and additional sharpening time or the carbon steel, 52100, for the quick edge tune-up?
'
I understand your quandry. I would be the same shoes.
On one hand if there is going to be any work with bone-in cuts, I would probably choose to bring a carbon steel knife. Knowing full well that I will be sharpening. Maybe a lot. I may not want to risk chipping a SG2/R2 edge and be stuck trying to sharpen it out during the 10 day trip.
On the other hand maybe you won't need to worry, especially if you also bring a boning knife, and the harder steel
will keep the edge longer and make it all easier.
Sorry...I don't see a simple decision here...lol.
 

deskjockey

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First robust edges. Second would be a blade steel that isn't brittle or overly hard. Third would be something for a quick edge tune-up.

A saw is super handy if ask you me but if you bone out everything probably not needed.

Since everyone is bringing in "primal" cuts, you really need a classic butcher knife, not a "chef's/Gyuto" knife.

With feral hogs, I use a Sawz-All to decapitate, take the legs, and split the pelvis. Everything else is broken down with a 4" drop point hunting knife. And yes, the tractor loader makes bleeding them out a whole lot easier!
 

stevessf

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Good stuff. Good reasoning. The Sawz-All is so obvious and a great suggestion.
 

Noodle Soup

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I have a little over a hundred deer, a couple of elk and 8 wild boar to my credit at home butchering. The last deer was about a week ago. As a knife guy I tend to lay out a selection of specialized blades when I'm butchering but if I was going to cut it down to the minimum I was say one 6-inch boning (i like straight but many prefer curved) and a 8 to 10 inch breaking or steaking knife. A small game saw is also handy. For me both Victorinox and F. Dick meat packing knives are good. Benchmade has a new model they are calling the "meat crafter." Good steel and nice looking but it seems too long for a boning knife and too short for a good steaker. Its a compromise I could probably make work as a one knife does it all if I had to.
 

stevessf

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Thanks for all the comments and info. Much appreciated. I based my choices on the following criteria:
1. I already have it.
2. It will do the job.
3. It will sharpen fairly easily.
4. Easy to pack

Top -- Deba White #2 (quick, razor-sharp edge)
Middle -- 6" boning knife AEB-L (durable, pretty easy to sharpen)
Bottom -- 45-year-old Buck 110 ) (what else can I say?)
Rht side -- Smith Diamond field sharpener
Lft side -- Belt sheath
Not pictured -- Sawz-All

Hunt trip knives.jpg
 
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