good deer knife

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by pdg929, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    For thirty years or more I used the "Edge Brand" "Solingen Steel" stag handled "Buffalo Skinner" I bought new when I was 13 years old at W.T. Grant as my all around hunting knife, for gutting and skinning, deer and small game, and LOVED that knife...

    UNTIL I lost it in the woods when the third or fourth sheath I had to buy for it failed!....:mad:

    I had a Western Drop Blade Hunter in my knife drawer that I acquired some time ago that I let my son use as a hunting knife when he used to hunt with me...that I began using as my "hunting knife," It is absolutely the GREATEST knife I have ever used to gut a deer...

    THEN I acquired an Old Timer classic Skinner knife on clearance at Dick's for a song, and I am now CONVINCED.

    You NEED a decent "Drop Point" as your "Field Knife," and a dedicated "Skinner" for skinning....using a "Skinner" for gutting, and you will be hamstrung a little, using a "Hunting Knife" for skinning and you will be also hamstrung...a LOT!

    "Compromise" knives that can do several things means they CAN do several things, but none of them WELL....

    You need a good DROP POINT for Field Dressing, and a good SKINNER for skinning...and NEVER the 'twain shall meet....;)

    Just as you need a good stiff knife for BUTCHERING, and another nice flexible Fillet knife for BONING...

    IF you hunt AND butcher deer, you will need a MINIMUM of 4 good knives...GOOD, not necessarily EXPENSIVE...

    While my Western Drop Point is no longer made, there are plenty of good 4" drop point stainless belt knives Made in USA by several manfacturerers, Buck, Case, Gerber, Kabar, etc, ...that are available and that will hold a good edge....

    You will have a hard time beating an "Old Timer" $19.99 Classic Skinner carbon steel Skinning Knife for what it does, large enough for skinning, small enough for "caping," as long as you oil it after you are done before you store it...

    If you are lucky enough to find or have a Case XX Fillet Knife, it will be the knife you use the most for deboning AND butchering....

    And an Old Hickory Carbon Steel Butcher Knife that you may find used at yard sales or flea markets for a song ($5-$20) (mine is the one my Dad bought in North Carolina new just after he married my Mom, when they were at Ft. Bragg in 1944, for $2.00...) is about the best carbon steel kitchen/Butcher knives you can find....they REALLY hold an edge...
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012


    Jan 29, 2012
    I have carried a Buck 119 for many many years it has served me well. It is a little bigger then what you want but it is a great knife.



    Jan 29, 2012
    oh and gut hooks are a waste of time IMO. I had one never liked it.
  4. pdg929

    pdg929 Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    im not a fan of gut hooks either
  5. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Man has hunted, killed, gutted, and skinned animals for thousands of years. He never had a gut hook, or a butt plug, didn't need them!
  6. Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    NW AR
    I will say this, gut hooks on a knife are worthless to me. The razor blade "guthooks" are awesome though! They basically look like some of the letter openers you may have seen. I consider them pretty disposable, but they are handy. Make your cuts around the legs and then slide that puppy down. Makes short work of it. Anywhere you can get the tip in you are away and cutting. You are cutting naturally from the inside of the skin, so no having to cut through the hair or hold your knife just so to have the angle to do the same thing. It can sure save you some frustration if your knife isnt razor sharp and several minutes.
  7. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Sitka, Alaska
    My favorite is a Schrade Old Timer "Sharp Finger". The lady of the house prefers her Wyoming Knife.
  8. 45nut

    45nut Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Buck #104, 106, 110 (folding lockblade) Uncle Henry - Schrade sheath & folding knife are good too.

    Didn't see the anti gut hook talk. My experience is just the opposite. I can gut a deer without it, but to just slip the gut hook in and unzip my deer is the easiest part of gutting now. Mine is on a Great Western Skinner and it works fabulously. Don't have to worry about nicking a gut bag. :D
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  9. Hawg

    Hawg Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    +1. I use an Old Timer with a gut hook and it unzips a deer hide really fast. The only thing I don't like about it is the handles get slick when they get bloody. I've had this one for about 20 years but they sell pretty cheap on ebay. I don't really like a folder for meat work. Too hard to clean compared to a fixed blade.



    Jan 29, 2012
    I guess by the time gut hooks were main stream I was alreadsy hunting for many years so I have no need for it. I have gutted prolly 100s of deer and I can say without a doubt I have never cut into the guts. What if you knife was also a survival tool and you had to repeatedly stab something. Would the gut hook get hung up?
  11. ka64

    ka64 Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmmmmmm, Nevermind............
  12. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Attached Files:

  13. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I bought a Bear Gryls fixed blade for this season (have not gotten to use it yet, bummer), only $50 and has it's own sharpener and a firestarter deal plus a sheath. Best value I've seen on fixed blades recently. Gerber has some other ones, one is only $20 and looks like a great skinning knife.

    I carry two though, I have an old two blade folding Case I use to skin with, then a large fixed blade for going through the pelvis and joints, etc.

    For elk and large bears, I have a tomohawk and a folding bone saw also.
  14. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    and I do carry gloves with me lately, I don't worry about disease so much but it makes cleanup afterwards much easier. plus if I smoke a grouse or something else while out big game hunting, I can use the gloves if there's no water nearby to wash up with.

    Don't really want to play with grouse guts and then shove a big chew in or munch snacks afterwards.

    and they also are a good and very small way to keep your digits warm in an emergency! put them under your regular gloves and your hands will be much warmer. (and turn into a prune, but warm)
  15. jstgsn

    jstgsn Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Milford, Delaware
    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. :D:D:D:):eek:

    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. :eek::bleh:

    Okay, that's another dollar.
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