.... which knife to take on my upcoming desert bighorn sheep hunt! Yep.... persistence through 24 years of unsuccessful applications finally paid off, and I have a tag for AZ unit 12B. It's BIG country; this is looking South towards Lee's Ferry down the Paria Canyon (wilderness): According to the unit manager, the best rams live at least 4-5 miles into that canyon (about one third of the way from the shadow in the back, to the rim where the picture was taken), so I will probably be backpacking in. The "trail" is half in the river, half beach-like sand... so very grueling on my scouting hike, and that was with a much lighter pack. The best blade from my quiver is a tough choice... this once-in-a-lifetime hunt deserves something awesome, but I'm not packing my ASHBM LE or even a TGLB six miles in, along with all of my other camping and hunting gear! Here are the contenders, in no particular order: And some thoughts about each... Busse Elmax HACK: the lightest at 3.2oz (4.6 with BB sheath), and I have come to love that Elmax after The Boss works his heat-treating magic. It's never seen game, which is also a plus. SYKCO Scrap Max 420: best blade length to weight ratio for sure at 3.6oz, no field use yet (although it rocks the kitchen), but it would need a good light sheath to make the cut (yes, pun intended. No, I'm not sorry). Spyderco (Phil Wilson) South Fork: this one has become my go-to elk knife. It did two bulls without even a touch-up one year (2X genius heat-treat on that S90V), and weighs 5.4oz bare/7.6 with the sheath. Busse BAD: probably the top contender... it's never seen game, took a marvelous polished convex edge after thinning a bit, and just feels spectacular in hand! I figure the slightly harder INFI will handle de-boning and capeing well, but it's just a tad heavy at 5.3/7.2oz Busse MaxDuty: this one would probably be the top choice, but I used it last year for my pronghorn (also a very hard to draw tag in AZ). Love that Elmax, and it's light with a perfect profile (I did de-talon it so my index finger fits in the choil). Scale tips at 4.0/6.0 so nice and light. What would you other hunters bring? I do have a couple of friends that will be helping glass to locate a ram, but the backpack in will probably be solo, so every ounce counts. I will also have a folder along for general use and/or back-up... probably a PM2 or Endura (for the light weight). I'm not into the replaceble blade folders, and would prefer to do the whole job without stopping to sharpen. Here's my best picture from scouting so far.... looks like a decent 7-8 year old ram. He was kind enough to pose at 150 yards while I fiddled with my phone and spotting scope =D There was another bigger ram near the same spring, but he wasn't as keen about the photo opportunities.