For years I carried a bucklite folder and it did every deer I shot. Then I went to a Cold Steel SRK (survival rescue knife) that cost a bit. I had begun hunting back woods areas and swamps and wanted a knife for more than deer dressing. The SRK does it all, holds an edge, cuts through doors and people, etc.
Now I don't go as deep in the woods and I bought a Cold Steel Western Hunter. They stopped making them, but they are available through some dealers. This week, my eldest son borrowed mine and did a deer and begged me for one. He said cutting the rib cage open was like cutting butter with a hot knife. I found an outfitter selling them for $28 and ordered it for him. Merry Xmas. They come sharp and stay that way. The shape is good for dressing, skinning, and butchering. I really like it and am staying with it from now on.
One little tip. I used to spend big bucks on Blood detecting sprays for tracking. God has a sense of humor and has spread the earth with leaves both red and spotted red. Often we would have to stop mid track and pick up a leaf and sniff, rub, dab, etc. to find out if it was blood. An old timer told me to save my money and buy a $1.00 bottle of peroxide and a cheap spray bottle. Peroxide fuzzies up when it hits blood. I did so and kept a spray bottle full of peroxide in the car. When it came time to track a blood trail, I carried it out, and low and behold, red leaves just get wet, blood spots foam up to be darned. A few of my hunting buddies fell in suit and we would go marching through the woods spraying red spots. Many a blood trail was found doing this. AND....when you find the critter and turn it into a canoe, spray your hands. It cleans the blood off and sanitizes any wounds. We would spray, see it fuzz, mark the closest bush with a biodegradable tissue, and look for the next drop. Find the critter, gut it, then clean our hands. The stuff is cheap and works great.
Everyone who finds this beneficial, please send $1.00 to my house.
Back to knives. No matter what knife you buy, I found the best way to sharpen it was to use a Lansky or similar knife sharpener, then buff it till it's like a razor. I purchased a small grinder, put buffing wheels on it, and on one side I applied metal polishing material,(sold at Sears) on the other I just buff. After sharpening my knife, I then polish it with the one wheel, then clean it with the other. I can then take 20# fishing line and shave it at least 5 times by just dragging the blade against it. It makes the knife scalpal (sp?) sharp. Just be careful as the grinder wheels will rip it from your hand and impale you or the ceiling.
Okay, that's another dollar.