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Thread: Best Knife for Field Dressing Big Game?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Northwest Connecticut
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    Best Knife for Field Dressing Big Game?


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    I would love to hear some recommendations on favorite knives for field dressing deer. What"s the best folder? Best fixed blade? Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    NY state
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    This question always gets a million replies !!! I never use a folder since they are a pain to clean ,even to take apart my Sebenza. Fixed -4" slight drop point, straight handle,one of the better stainless steels .Many fit that description. Depends on how much you want to spend. 4" is enough to dress, skin,and completely butcher a deer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    I like a good trapper, or jack knife in the 3-4" range. I also use a boning or paring knife some times. joe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Florida
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    71
    For field dressing BG - fixed - Bark River Upland special
    folders - Buck alpha hunter from 154 CM steel or Kershaw Lahar - VG 10 steel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Gorman, TX
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    2,147
    I have the Case 380 for field dressing. My cousins all use the smaller Case 379 and love it. I also have the Schrade 1520 but haven't had the chance to use it yet. It doesn't sharpen as easily as I would like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Northeast
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    I've used everything from 2" folders to 6" fixed,to completely dress, skin, and bone deer.
    They all work, as long as it's sharp, .
    But... a thin, 3 1/2 or 4" fixed blade is about perfect...IMO.

  7. #7
    I prefer a Bark River Knife and Tool Fox River


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Texas
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    The best knife for dressing big game is as varried as the people that use them. I prefer, by a large margin, a caping knife for dressing, skinning, and quartering. I like them slim and pointy, made from a good tough steel. Not going to be doing any chopping, but that little blade may need to torque in and around bones at joints. However, a larger knife is better suited for butcher tasks like deboning and cutting steaks (kitchen tasks). Your mileage may (and very likely will) vary.

  9. #9
    For fixed blades, have a look at Bark River if you favor a convex edge, and Bob Dozier for beveled edges. Bark River has produced so many options in hunting knives that you are bound to like at least one of them. The models I have all hold an edge through several deer, and they are easy to touch up in the field.

    While I do not use folders for field dressing (a p.i.t.a. to clean), the Buck 110
    model has probably dressed more deer than any other single knife. The Cabela's Alaskan Guide 110 model in S30V would be an excellent choice here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Currently Nothhern Colorado
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    Over the years, I've used Case, KaBar, Gerber, Buck and a few others.

    Today, I have a Bark river and a Bob Dozier in my hunting kit. I've done 3 elk with the Dozier on one trip without sharpening.

    If I had to use a folder (and thank God I don't) it would be the Kershaw Blur.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Rochester N.Y. USA
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    For just about 20 years I have used a CS Master Hunter in Carbon V. I am on my second sheath with it. Before that I used a Buck 110 with good results. keepem sharp

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Maine, USA
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    402
    Recently 'rediscovered' the Buck 102 while skinning and processing by brother and I's deer this past year.
    I started with my BM 210 Snody, which is great for turkeys. Not so great for deer.

    Sharpened up my brothers 102 and went to work on his deer in the morning.
    I went home that night and ordered the 802 (Buck 102 in s30v).

    I like the looks of the Bark River Bravo too.
    But, Scott and Lamont say they will be coming out with a 'hunter' in time.
    To support Maine craftsman, I'll wait and see what they come up with and use my 802 until then.

    Last edited by Shaman; 02-16-2008 at 06:54 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Cumming, GA
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    We don't field dress. We gut, skin and be-head and hang in the cooler. Our favorite knives are Dexter Russell curved boning knives. Fillet knives also work well.

    For the sternum we use a saws-all or loping shears.

    The same knives work well for de-boning

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Black Hills
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    I use many but the Grohmann Belt knife, SOG Northwest Ranger and The KOA D2 Alpha Wolf are some of my favorites. I have field dressed a 100 or more big game animals with the Bucklite Folder as well although I agree its a bit of a hassle to clean up a folder. I use the Gerber replaceable blade gut hook and the Sagen or Wyoming saw as well.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Richland, Washington
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinetree View Post
    We don't field dress. We gut, skin and be-head and hang in the cooler. Our favorite knives are Dexter Russell curved boning knives.
    I don't understand your statement. Gutting is field dressing. You can also add skinning, removing the head and legs. Some states require you to leave certain parts on your animal till you pass the Game Check Station. Do you mean you don't gut your game animals till you get home?

  16. #16
    I use a Case stockman, CV blades.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce View Post
    I don't understand your statement. Gutting is field dressing. You can also add skinning, removing the head and legs. Some states require you to leave certain parts on your animal till you pass the Game Check Station. Do you mean you don't gut your game animals till you get home?
    We haul the deer to a "skinning shed", hoist the deer and get to work. Then we hang in the cooler. Many hunt clubs around Georgia and Alabama have these. One I go to in AL has a big walk-in cooler too. When we leave camp, we de-bone and pack in coolers. Usually we are shooting does trying to control the population and ratios. For the bucks we try to only take culls and mature 8's or better. Most the does we shoot are in the 90 - 110# range. Often we don't even gut the deer entirely but use the rib cage as the "gut bucket" We take the tenderloins, the loins, the hams and shoulders. In AL the limit is 2 antler-less deer a day.

    I may hunt public land and the regs may change but the deer are near varmint status here big brother doesn't take too much interest unless you're cheating.

    Don't take me wrong, I carry a Buck Big Sky in the woods and many in camp use their hunting knives which run from Griptillians, 110's, Knives of Alaska and a folding knife that takes long scalpel blades.

    I also will use a Benchmade Rescue tool as a gut hook.

  18. #18
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    I use either an old Schrade Guidemaster or Grohmann Belt Knife. Otherwise, I test all the knives I get to see if they're any good for this chore. To date, the best I've found has been either a Grohmann Belt Knife or a SOG Field Pup.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Hills Of Northern Pennsylvania
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    Buck 192 Guide series from Cabela's. A real bargain too.
    Last edited by DavidZ; 02-17-2008 at 03:10 PM. Reason: spelling

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Richland, Washington
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    pinetree, I was mostly interested in the fact you don't "gut" the animal in the field. I'm guessing it isn't but an hour or two till you get it to the shed and it's innards removed. I wouldn't want to let it go any longer than that, because although the animal is dead, it's gut bacteria are not and can get out of control, faster in warmer weather. You don't want meat tainted by the gasses that can come from a bloated carcass.

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