Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hunting Knives

This is a topic I have yet to write about although I am a big fan and admirer of well made knives. I also feel that much like firearms there's no such thing as having to many. The only thing hampering my affection for acquiring more is my checkbook. Be that as it may there is no harm in looking and drooling.
Ever since I was "old enough" so to speak, I have carried a small pocket knife. I have fond memories of my dad's slender Old Timer pocket knife and how warm it felt in my hands as a young girl. It's weight was dense, heavy for its small size and I liked that feeling.  My dad kept it razor sharp and I recall him enjoying the time he spent honing it. Pausing every so many strokes to test it on his arm to see if was shaving hair yet. Once he achieved that edge he was done and no need to remove anymore steel, just fold the blade closed and slide it in his pants pocket and put the stone away. I was intrigued by the process and little did I know to what degree that interest would carry over into my professional life.

I have had many pocket and hunting knives throughout the years, some were gifts from my dad and some I bought myself. I've always appreciated a well made tool which is just what knives are. It took me awhile to find a suitable all purpose hunting knife that could multi-task. I have a Kershaw Black Horse 2 that I use for both waterfowl and big game duties. It a well proportioned knife with a secure locking back and not a liner lock. I am not a fan of liner locks just don't trust them, especially when I need to put some elbow grease into the job.  It's stainless steel blade is 3 3/4" L. and closed it is 4 7/8" L. The co-polymer handle with it's finger grip contours is wonderful when your hands are wet or bloody as it doesn't slip in your hand. It is sharp right out of the box and is easily re-sharpened. It comes with  a nylon sheath and I am able to keep my EZE-Lap Pocket Sharpener in the sheath with it. They both live together either in my Quail Flats Gunning Box or my Kifaru Daystalker Pack, depending on the season. It also has a strong enough back that if I needed to hammer on it, it can no doubt stand up to the blow and deliver. It can also tolerate a bit of twisting or prying with the blade tip like when I'm dismembering deer and elk legs at their knees. I don't always find the sweet spot first time and sometimes a little twisting or tweaking is required. I have had this knife for close to 15 years and it hasn't let me down yet. It's a solid and versatile well built American Made knife that I can confidently recommend.

My day in day out pocket knife that sometimes doubles for skinning and cutting loose the attachments along the inside of the spine of a deer or elk to get the gut sack loose is a Gerber E-Z Out Skeleton folder. It too has a locking back and is easy to open and close. It's blade is 3 1/2" L. and an overall L. of just under 8". It is a slender knife and even though it's lightweight, it's still a workhorse than can take some abuse. It re sharpens easily and not like some Gerber's I've had in the past that seemed quite difficult to put a good edge back on. For everyday use this knife works well for me. It has a clip that I use to secure it inside the lower leg pocket on my Carhartts. The only flaw I've found with this knife is the clip indent wallows out in the handle where the clip is indexed. I have used JB Weld to resolve the problem and not allow the clip to swivel laterally and eventually spin freely. 

These are 2 of my favorite knives and including the EZE-Lap diamond pocket sharpener all 3 items can be purchased for less than $100. and all, are proudly made in the U.S.A.. Outdoor Edge has some new knives out for big game hunting that I'd like to try at some juncture, specifically the SwingBlade. If any of you have used this let me know what you think of it and if it lives up to the hype.

There are many custom artisan  knife makers out there producing incredible works of art. One of my favorites are Chris Reeve Knives and they're worth a look. In particular the Sebenza with it's sleek lines and titanium handle it is absolutely beautiful and feels wonderful in your hand. I personally don't own one yet but a friend of mine does. Hopefully someday I too will be the proud owner of a Sebenza.

 I know this barely scratches the surface of hunting knives so I'll leave it at that for now. What are your "go-to" knives and what makes them that for you? 

Women's Hunting Journal  Integrity For The Hunt 


Eastern Shore Outdoors said...

I like the post and agree that you cannot have enough cutlery. However, I still come back to a few tried and true. My top "go-to's" are: a Benchmade Mini-Griptilian as it has a solid lockup, is very light and holds a great edge; a Spyderco Pilot model (I believe) with a left hand grind (used this as a work knife for three years, it is super tough). Fixed blades are another can of worms...Phil

Kirk Mantay said...

A few of the cheaper Kershaws (similar to but not the same one you mentioned), a Buck Parallax (also cheap) and a Spyderco.

I've never liked the Old Timer. It's a great knife but it never felt right with me using it. If that makes any sense.

Unknown said...

This is one of the coolest knives I have ever seen! A truly scary weapon that was very functional in many ways.This knife is exactly how it looks. For this price it is a very good deal.Old time pocket knives are one of the classic genius knives.Only sad thing about this is that Old Timer Knives manufactured by the Imperial Schrade Corporation closed their doors July 30, 2004, after 100 years of business.

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