Need a field dressing knife

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by civilian75, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. civilian75

    civilian75
    Hillsboro, OR
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    I am a totally new to hunting. Getting ready for next year season. I'd like to get decent knife for skinning and de-boning game that won't go dull quick. I also very new to knives. Plant to go tomorrow to the HIO guns&knives how and maybe pick up something. What do you suggest?
     
  2. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel
    Columbia County
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    I tend to prefer to make my own but I can say that in my experience a mid length (4-6") blade with a good curve and thick handle is the way to go. You can go fillet style or wide bladed. I also carry a short strop in my pack to refine the edge after de-boning. Are you going to rely on hanging in the field? Punching out the hide? Are you going to try and preserve the hide at all?

    Edit; I actually use two knives when I have to field dress; The first is a store bought fillet knife that's got a thin and flexible blade. I use that one to glide over and around bones and joints. The thin profile makes it fast work. First though I use a wide blade to rough out the hide. I was taught this method and it's worked ok for me. Means more gear to hump around though.
     
  3. eriknemily

    eriknemily
    Tillamook County (Cheese!)
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    My friend helped me dress and pack out my deer yesterday. He got a new knife this year made by Outdoor Edge called the SwingBlade. It worked really well. It's a $50-60 knife depending on where you go to buy it.
     
  4. civilian75

    civilian75
    Hillsboro, OR
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    I think I should have emphasized "won't go dull quick", as in what brand stands out in this area. thanks.
     
  5. swellrider

    swellrider
    Dallas Or
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  6. joshkk

    joshkk
    Portland, OR
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    Regardless of what knife you use, you WILL want to have sharpening capacity at hand. Remember, cutting through a hide is essentially like cutting through leather. Over the course of a body the size of an elk, you will need to touch up your blade. Get a little stone or diamond and learn how to use it. I use a Buck #673 Buck Knives: Buck BuckLite Max Knife, Small, BU-673BKS, which seems to work just fine. My pocket knife, which is different when hunting than my everyday piece, is a CRKT Drifter Pocket Knives - Drifter - CRKT. I would largely feel comfortable doing the work of cutting up an elk with even such a little knife.

    JOsh
     
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  7. joshkk

    joshkk
    Portland, OR
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    That one that swellrider linked too looks HOTT! I would like that, I think.
     
  8. twoclones

    twoclones
    Tri-Cities, WA
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    How about a gut hook? Growing up on a farm, I've dressed out cattle, hogs, goats and even deer but have never used a gut hook. Are they worth having?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  9. drew

    drew
    OR
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    Pretty much a personal preference. It adds a bit of security so you won't hit anything nasty. If you are comfortable dressing the animal without one, you probably don't need one. It will give you another surface that needs sharpening with a round file too.
     
  10. orygun

    orygun
    West Linn
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    The gut hook works well for what it's intended to, but in my opinion it gets in the way when doing other parts of the dressing. I have a Cold Steel knife that I like, but don't carry it as a primary knife just because of the gut hook. In fact, I'd like to get the gut hook cut off of it.
    We use Benchmade fixed blade knifes. One is an Outbounder and the other is an Activator. As far as gutting and skinning an elk, neither of these needed "touching up" but we didn't use them to cut up the sternum. That may make a difference. I'm most impressed with the way they hold an edge without being a thick blade.
     
  11. padd54

    padd54
    Weippe,Idaho
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  12. lucky guy

    lucky guy
    Sisters
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    The BB you mention doesn't mention the steel, flag for me. Interchangeable blades, etc. is just more stuff to keep track of. Also, skinning and butchering is a messy business and often in less than ideal conditions. Handling and changing blades might not be quite as great an idea as it sounds. Keep it simple. Like someone mentioned above I'd also look for a blade with more of a curve instead of the nearly straight design of the BB.

    If you want a durable edge Check out the Knives of Alaska line, most if not all use D2 tool steel. I use the Alpha Wolf Sure Grip. There are one or two others that are similar - different handle materials, etc. I've done 2 elk in the last two years with it without having to sharpen during the process. (not both, each one). Great products.

    Wholesale Sports has the KoA line and they have a website too of course.
     
  13. twoclones

    twoclones
    Tri-Cities, WA
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    Some tips I'd like to offer for anyone new to skinning large critters:
    - Hair will dull your blades very quickly. When you start the skinning process, you want to pierce the skin then slip your blade under the skin and cut outwards rather than trying to cut from the outside in.
    - Keeping the edge {sharpening before the blade gets more than a little dull} is much easier than waiting until after the blade is dull.
    - You really want to avoid letting hair come into contact with meat because it can spoil the flavor. However, washing the carcass with a clean cloth soaked in white vinegar helps to clean off that contamination.
     
  14. pease

    pease
    Stayton
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    what is your price range. check out Tom Krien it will cost 2-300 but will last a life time.
     
  15. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage
    Newberg
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    Knives Of Alaska make some great knives. They make a 3-knife set, that is great. Has a couple different skinning knives and a Cleaver. Pricy, but worth it. Most of the time, buy US made and you can't go wrong. I still have my Grandpa's Puma Hunter skinning knife and his German Cleaver that he used one many (30-50) deer and elk. Buy quality, you'll buy once. After almost getting my finger cut off buy a Columbia River (china) knife, that the lock gave out on, I'll never buy one of those again.
     
  16. dcgameslayer

    dcgameslayer
    Roseburg
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    the baracuta is the knife you want for skinning and i also carry buck omni folder ,omni fixed blade, or gerber gator when hunting. As for brands go with usa made bucks and gerbers to stay some what cheaper in price.
     
  17. Jerry

    Jerry
    Vancouver, WA
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    I have an old Western fixed blade that I've had for darn near 40 years. The blade really holds an edge and is easy to touch up. I probably got it in 1973 or 1974. I couldn't begin to guess as to what kind of steel it is. I don't really care, I reckon. Damn thing has cleaned trout, catfish, salmon, steelhead, deer, elk, bear, been whittled with, used at dinner, etc.

    Damn fine knife!
     
  18. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke
    Eugene
    Curmudgeon Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    My wife got me this for Christmas a few years back. It works pretty well and if I'm not in a hurry I use it. I've also dressed out deer with my 30 year old Buck 110, which never leaves my pocket no matter what else I'm carrying. A couple years ago I shot a buck that fell off a 50' cliff before dying. I had to quarter him to get him out. I left my backpack at the top of the cliff, with the Kershaw in it, and once I'd climbed down I wasn't going back up to get the bone saw blade. So I ended up using a brand new Buck #119. It severed the spine, breastbone, and pelvis with no problem. It wasn't real nimble for skinning, but it worked pretty well.
     
  19. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs
    oregon
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    I hunt the coast range for deer, & I like to keep it lite. This Buck knife with the 2 blades is all I need to field dress a deer & drag him out. I don't worry about resharpening my knife to get through one deer. I always have a Leatherman with me if I need a back up blade.
    huntingknives007.jpg

    Elk hunting, I'll pack one good fixed blade knife, sharpening stones or crock sticks, & a bone saw. I use a cheap folding hand saw that takes sawzall blades. these two set ups have served me well out in the field.
    huntingknives005.jpg
    huntingknives002.jpg
     
  20. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79
    ...
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    I'm a functional kind of guy, so I don't like to spend more money than I have to. Call me crazy, but I like to use a fish fillet knife. They're cheap and thin so you can maneuver around joints easily. For the initial cut though get something shorter, (better control) so you don't puncture the intestines. Any 3"knife will do.

    Here is an idea or just go to wally world and look around.
    2 - Pc. Set Of Meyerco Folding Fillet Knives, Fishing, Meyerco, Meyerco Folding Fillet Knives Knife 199040 at Sportsman's Guide
     

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