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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many blades do you need for hunting/gutting/cutting up your deer?

When I am actually hunting, I have with me my Western Drop blade knife, my Buck Knighthawk belt knife, my Friendship blacksmith’s made ‘Hawk, and at least one pocketknife and/or folder.

My skinner is a Schrade carbon steel classic, and when I cut the deer up at home I use the Western and the ‘Hawk to rough quarter it up, my Father’s Old Hickory Butcher knife he bought at the PX at Ft Bragg in 1945 and my Case XX fillet knife I won from my bro-in-law in a poker game in 1981 to do all the rest of the “processing…”

Am I a”blade nut” or pretty normal?😎
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never used a gut hook. Always thought it would be useful though, just never had one.

I used to use the first knife I ever bought, when I was 12, (cost me a hard earned $6.95 at a WT Grant store,) a stag handled Edge Brand “Solingen Steel”“Buffalo Skinner” for gutting and skinning until I managed to lose it in the woods about 20 years ago from a sheath failure 😡

Didn’t hold an edge too long but so easy to make it sharp again with just a few swipes on a washita stone…was great for skinning but had to be careful gutting or you’d catch an intestine and make a mess on the first cut with that upswept skinning point.

I used to collect/trade knives and had the old stainless Western in the kitchen drawer I had picked up years ago, just used it around the kitchen, that I pressed into service with an old sheath after I lost the Edge, and discovered how much better a drop point blade was as a hunting knife, plus it holds a nice edge longer.

And I bought the old schrade Carbon skinner really cheap on sale shortly after, holds an edge for an entire deer, small but really nimble, almost a caping knife, easy to sharpen, but will rust easily, have to oil it well after resharpening it before it goes back into the sheath…

Sometimes it’s better to have a specific knife for a specific job, than try to have one knife “do it all…”
 

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I've used a Wyoming Knife to open the deer. It's a dedicated gut hook and the blades are easy to touch up or replace. There is a little red plastic protector for the exposed blade which I kept on it. I can't imagine a better gut hook blade than these.
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Early on I bought a Gerber Gator folder
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with a partially serrated blade 3 3/4" blade. The serrations worked very well when opening the brisket and the rubber like material they use for the handle had a good grip that didn't slip in your hand when bloody or wet.
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Years later I added a Case XX 216-5" for reaching up into the neck and cutting away the diaphragm. The thin, narrow 5" blade just felt like it had a nice combination of reach and was still maneuverable. I don't know what steel was in the early Gerber Gator but I wish I'd known about their drop point model with 154CM steel back then.

At one point I tried a 6" knife but they are just to big and unwieldy in a deer carcass for me. Another time I forgot my hunting knives and used a 3" folder that I had with me. It worked surprisingly well but i still preferred my other knives.
 

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I used to use an old German stag handle solingen steel knife years ago. Nowadays I use a Gerber Big Game replaceable blade knife. The blades are like a scalpel and extremely sharp. I used a Wyoming knife for one season, found it too awkward-clumsy for me. I since have switched to a cheap plastic seat belt cutter that works fantastic and is light as a feather. Opens them up quick & easy once a cut is made with the knife. I'm too impatient these days to sharpen a knife in the field anymore, Gerbers are way better than the Havalon replaceable blade version IMO. :)
 

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Hunting, I carry one fixed blade with no more than a 4 in. blade. Could be one of several, a couple customs or an old Queen Steel that was Dad's or, I've become rather fond of a TOTW roach belly. That curved belly really works good skinning.

Edit: My stockman pocket knife is ALWAYS with me. Field use it's relegated to small game.
 

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A deer is not hard to cut up, you don't need a large knife to get the job done.
I carried a bunch of knives to help harvest deer for years, but as I age carrying that extra weight got to me real quick. Now I only carry two a 4" Rapala fillet knife & a Outdoor Edge 3.5" onyx EDC. The Rapala fillet knife I have used for years, it was my most used knife for gutting & cleaning deer. But since I bought the Outdoor Edge it was like using a zipper to cut open my last deer. I had that deer gutted & cleaned in record time.
 

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If I were doing this all over again I'd probably want my knife to have an orange handle or something bright enough to see easily when I laid it down.

Another blade I sometimes carried with me in Illinois where those wild rose vines seemed to spread was a 22" machete. It was long enough that the vines wouldn't swing back and getcha. Usually I'd only carry it when cutting my way into a new stand location. Also, something about a big knife just makes me feel good. I have another 12" machete that I like to have with me. It's handy enough and light enough to cut all kinds of things that get in your way or you want to clear out. Mine is a wicked looking Cold Steel Barong that they clearanced out years ago for next to nothing.
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I have carried a Buck 102 for almost 40 years. I have had several knives with gut hooks over the years. Old Timer, Gerber and now, a Buck. All of the knives with gut hooks also have a skinning blade and work well at their intended job. I killed a buck in Ohio and did all the dressing and butchering with my Buck 110.

At home processing I have several Forschner 6" Boning knives and a 10" & 12" Steaking knife. Plus my Grandpa's (yep, a butcher) Old Hickory boning knife and large steaking knife. I'll take pictures and add later.

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Buck 102

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Gut hook Buck (don't remember the number)
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and a Gerber Gator except mine is all black.

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6" boning knife
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I spotted a vintage
I have carried a Buck 102 for almost 40 years. I have had several knives with gut hooks over the years. Old Timer, Gerber and now, a Buck. All of the knives with gut hooks also have a skinning blade and work well at their intended job. I killed a buck in Ohio and did all the dressing and butchering with my Buck 110.

At home processing I have several Forschner 6" Boning knives and a 10" & 12" Steaking knife. Plus my Grandpa's (yep, a butcher) Old Hickory boning knife and large steaking knife. I'll take pictures and add later.

View attachment 262257
Buck 102

View attachment 262258

Gut hook Buck (don't remember the number)
View attachment 262259

and a Gerber Gator except mine is all black.

View attachment 262260

6" boning knife
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I spotted a vintage 12" Cimeter (steaking knife?) at a 2nd hand shop and had to buy it. $4. and maybe from the 1940's from the old knife factories we had years ago. Since I don't own a butcher shop it is mostly my watermelon and butternut squash knife although when I do buy a large piece of beef or pork it does make smooth, one draw cuts.
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One of the first knives I carried for deer was a Schrade + Uncle Henry folder similar to the Buck 110. That just happened to be what the tool truck had one day. It lasted until I dropped it in the tall grass and never did find it.
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Just an old timer finger skinning knife to field dress and skin with.

Use a deboneing knife, butcher knife, and cleaver to cut the meat up for storage. The cleaver is used for slicing thicker cuts not chopping. Everything is deboned before slicing.

I usually let it hang for a week in the cool barn after skinning to drain and dry out some and then cut up later in a seperate process for storing. Similar to the way beef is done but I dont saw through the bones.
 

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Just an old timer finger skinning knife to field dress and skin with.

Use a deboneing knife, butcher knife, and cleaver to cut the meat up for storage. The cleaver is used for slicing thicker cuts not chopping. Everything is deboned before slicing.

I usually let it hang for a week in the cool barn after skinning to drain and dry out some and then cut up later in a seperate process for storing. Similar to the way beef is done but I dont saw through the bones.
They say that's important now with all the wasting disease going around.
 

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How many blades do you need for hunting/gutting/cutting up your deer?

When I am actually hunting, I have with me my Western Drop blade knife, my Buck Knighthawk belt knife, my Friendship blacksmith’s made ‘Hawk, and at least one pocketknife and/or folder.

My skinner is a Schrade carbon steel classic, and when I cut the deer up at home I use the Western and the ‘Hawk to rough quarter it up, my Father’s Old Hickory Butcher knife he bought at the PX at Ft Bragg in 1945 and my Case XX fillet knife I won from my bro-in-law in a poker game in 1981 to do all the rest of the “processing…”

Am I a”blade nut” or pretty normal?😎
Just one, my 49'r
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Just an old timer finger skinning knife to field dress and skin with.

.I usually let it hang for a week in the cool barn after skinning to drain and dry out some and then cut up later in a seperate process for storing.
You mean a Sharpfinger? It doesn't stay cold enough for long enough here to hang one for a week . I've hunted on Christmas day wearing jeans and a T shirt.
 

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You mean a Sharpfinger? It doesn't stay cold enough for long enough here to hang one for a week . I've hunted on Christmas day wearing jeans and a T shirt.
Yeah the sharpfinger - I think that is it (I have CRSS). I had one years ago and lost it carring game out the woods and really missed it after that. I'm not sure if they still make it or not. I spied one laying in the bottom of an old display case at an old backwoods country store a few months ago so quickly grabbed it up. It still had the 1980s price tag of 20$ on it. I was a happy camper.

It is again my favorite skinning knife - if I can get my lazy backside out the house and go hunting I may get to use it. Its supposed to be bellow 40 here for the next week so this evening and tomorrow will be my window of opportunity.

If you are in a warmer region, check around your area to see if a business or similar near you has a meet locker you can store your kill in for a week or so - it helps to age it a bit before freezing it. 40 degs is all thats needed. You can also use an old fridge to store quartered game in to age it - check for used ones that can be picked up for near nothing. It still better to hang it upside down if possible though so the fluids drain better.
 

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Yeah the sharpfinger - I think that is it (I have CRSS). I had one years ago and lost it carring game out the woods and really missed it after that. I'm not sure if they still make it or not. I spied one laying in the bottom of an old display case at an old backwoods country store a few months ago so quickly grabbed it up. It still had the 1980s price tag of 20$ on it. I was a happy camper.
They still make them but they're made in China now and made out of stainless steel. They're nowhere near the quality of the old U.S. made carbon steel knives and the current price of 18.95 reflects that.
 
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