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Field Dressing/Hunting knife, best overall?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've been thinking for a while and have been planning to go hunting with friends soon. Problem is that a pocket knife will not dress a deer. I have a Shun utility knife, but the blade itself is very brittle (hitting a bone would definitely chip the blade) , a Chef/Gyuto knife sounds a fair bit better. Without all the money in the world its a hard decision. If you have any experiences with any of these blades. Please give your feel on how it handles.

 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kachkn8.html

 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hachkn8.html

 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tasantschkn8.html

 

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/chefsknife.html

post #2 of 9

I'd find a hunting knife, my preference is for Buck knives http://www.buckknives.com/index.cfm?event=product.wall&end_use=H
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #3 of 9

When I lived in Montana in the 70s and 80s I hunted and field dressed about 15 deer and a couple elk with a locking Case pocket knife with a 3 inch blade.  I also carried a 5 inch hunting knife that I mostly used to split the rib cage and pelvis "H" bone. The sheath knife was forged by an old Finn, Carl Ruana of Bonner Mt., from Studebaker pickup leaf springs.  Very soft and tough steel--easy to sharpen, but very obtuse angle so you could bash it with a rock as a hatchet substitute.

 

Pretty crude and inelegant and I'm not reccomending my approach, but it can be easily done.  My ex-wife threw out the Case knife with the leavings from a meal on a camping trip.  She gave me a fancy little folder with all kinds of elaborate filiong by Atkinson of Wausau, Fl.  as penance, but I've never developed any affection for it.  Ah, senile ramblings.  Happy hunting!

post #4 of 9

You can do a surprising amount with a proper pocket knife. I'm partial to Bark River knives for this sort of task though they don't make a dedicated skinner. http://www.barkriverknifetool.com/Deluxe.htm 

post #5 of 9

A chef knife is not what you want for dressing an animal.  I like a knife that is agile enough to work around the anus, long enough to cut the esophagus above the rib cage, sharp enough to scrape some hair and open up the belly skin and stout enough to split the saddle.  I don't like cutting up the sternum it exposes too much meat to air before butchering.  I've accomplished these with a good pocket knife, but a dedicated knife is a wonderful tool.

post #6 of 9
I like to use a cleaver to chop the large pieces and bones while it is easy to use a leatherman muiltitool to pull on things and a Buck brand skinner to do most of the cutting especially one with a hook on the back blade.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies, sorry it took a while for me to respond. 12 hours in the kitchen beats the hell out of most of us. 

I sit corrected on the pocket knife dressing biggrin.gif Would a combat knife do just as well? I'm trying to find something for multiple uses instead of just one position. I got 2 pocket knives that will follow up for the skinning since it seems far easier to do with. But, for the sternum it seems to be a different type of blade needed. From replies so far.

 

Blade Must be

5 inches in length

Strong enough to break the rib cage

Fairly light for its size

Sheath

 

Is their any other brands to compare with Bark River and Buck? Thanks for all the replies again.

 

Ah, would Esee be of good use particularly the Esee 5?


Edited by SaixFo - 10/1/12 at 2:03am
post #8 of 9

As some one who has hunted and fished for years and has been fortunate enough to travel the world in those pursuits I would suggest you invest in a proper knife for the task. Trying to crack ribs or a pelvis in the field with a pocket knife is a good way to expose your self to the need for stitches in a less than sanitary environment often far away from medical care. A folder or pocket knife will work but it's far less than ideal. If you go that route get a lock blade. A small fixed blade hunting knife would be a better option.

I'd second the suggestion for a Bark River although I carry a Marbles. There are many brands. Try looking on line at stores like Cabelas.

Best of luck this hunting season.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #9 of 9

  @Duckfat-- That is why I think that if you plan to do more than clean and quarter the carcass then you need a skinning knife, a pocket knife, and maybe a hacksaw.  This is also why I like using pliers on a multitool.  Carrying a few pieces of cultery is not too much to ask especially if you want to process the meat right.

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