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Need advice on a hunting knife

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Auglaize117, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Auglaize117

    Auglaize117 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2018
    Hello all, I don't post too often (other than in the exchange) and was hoping to get advice on a good hunting knife. I know there are tons of good brands out there, but with so many great knives to choose from its been difficult for me to figure out exactly what I want haha it's a great problem to have I know. So what I'm looking for in said knife would be the following:
    Blade steel: Elmax/something comparable
    Blade length: 3.5"-4" preferably closer to 4"
    Blade thickness: Under .200"
    Handle material: wood or Micarta
    Price: $300 or under

    FYI this knife will mainly be used on whitetail and hogs. Any advice would be appreciated!
    Kiteman72 likes this.
  2. Mingecutter

    Mingecutter Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    BRK Scagel Small Hunter (A2 steel & a little longer blade, though, at 4.5")
    Hess Whitetail (1095 steel)

    BRK has many, many hunting-centric models and frequently uses Elmax blade steel.

    Good luck with your search!
  3. Auglaize117

    Auglaize117 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2018
    Thanks! I have looked at the gunny hunter LT, snowy river and the classic drop point. I'll take a look at the scagel small hunter. I haven't handled any BRK knife though, just looked online.
  4. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I've had several Bark Rivers and they are well worth the money. I believe this one is the closest to what you want:
    Bark River Knives: Classic Drop-Point Hunter - Elmax
    Depending on handle material they run from the low $200s to a little over $300.

    I would also check the exchange here daily for at least a week to see what pops up, there are many great hunters that can be had for under your $300 limit, with just the materials you specified.
    navaja and Auglaize117 like this.
  5. Auglaize117

    Auglaize117 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2018
  6. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Buck 103 is a solid choice and very well priced.

    jmh33 and Auglaize117 like this.
  7. wmalone1


    Jan 29, 2014
    I really like Bark River. My personal choice for those tasks is the ext 2 however thats a little longer than you had specified. Fox River is very popular for game. Loveless style handled knives such as the drop point hunter or bobcat or featherweight hunter are good options. I also think the mini tundra (recent run just released) would be a good option. There is also a very nice clip point hunter just posted maybe yesterday for sale on the knife exchange. Hope that helps
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    Auglaize117 likes this.
  8. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Gollik knives ... a maker here on our forums uses Elmax and makes some nice knives ...

    I'm not sure if Colin @ Shannon Labs uses Elmax but I think he does sometimes ...

    LT Wright knives in AEB-L might check your boxes ...

    With you wanting Elmax or similar steel limits my thoughts ... there are many good choices but the steel may not match Elmax ...
    Auglaize117 likes this.
  9. Auglaize117

    Auglaize117 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2018
    Thanks for everyone's replies! I'm thinking Elmax mainly because I have no knives in it. I've seen golik knives and like them quite a bit! I've been wanting a bark river for awhile now, so I have a feeling I may go that route. I'm really liking the ext-2 or classic hunter. Now at least my decision in limited to two knives now haha
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  10. Auglaize117

    Auglaize117 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2018
    JJ_COLT45, do you happen to have any experience with the LT Wright large northern hunter? I checked them out from your recommendation and they are slightly longer than 4" but look pretty damn good. The one I looked at was in 3v.
  11. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I haven't used the large hunter ... I have a few GNS and I really like my Outback ... the GNS I have 2 in AEB-L ... the Outback is 3V ... I'm not sure if they offer it in AEB-L yet or not ...

    The large hunter is very similar to the Grohman belt knives and those handle well ...

    LT Wright's 3V is good I love my Outback in 3V

    here is a pic of my GNS knives and the LT Wright Outback ... and an LT Wright Rouge River in A2 ...

    The top is a Battle Horse Big Jay ... the next 2 are Winklers ... then the LT Wright GNS knives 4 of those 2 in AEB-L and 2 in 01 ... then the Outback in 3V ... then an LT Wright Bushcrafter in 01 ... and then the bottom is an LT Wright Rouge River in A2 ...

    2019-04-11 13.59.06 (1).jpg
    jmh33, steelnut, neal70 and 2 others like this.
  12. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    My last 2 whitetails were field dressed (I'm 99% sure I'm remembering right) with my Cross Knives "Trapper" model with 3V steel and a burlap micarta handle.

    Very well satisfied with the edge retention and "grippy-ness while bloody" qualities.
  13. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 6, 2017
    Bark river makes some knives that might work for you. You might try looking into Silver Stag too, they use the best D2 steel Ive ever seen. My skinning knife has never been resharpened actually, it just doesnt seem to dull. I strop it lightly after every deer or beaver or whatever but it never needs it. Plus theyre good looking knives and are unique.
  14. Auglaize117

    Auglaize117 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2018
    Sorry I didn't have time to respond last night. Shout out to my wife, she gave me my 3rd daughter!!! No offense to all those responding, but I may be in a worse place now. I literally like a knife from every maker given!!! hahaha. I collect folding knives, but I guess I may just start a fixed blade collection. :)
  15. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    My preferred hunting knife is the Loveless drop point at around 4" of blade. This W.C. Davis has been with me for many years and is my standard field knife. What I like about the pattern is that it's not too big, handles well, fits my hand, allows me to move up the blade when needed, has the point for fine work and slitting the skin while also having enough belly to allow skinning. The canvas micarta scales work well when wet, and it's easy to keep clean.


    I usually carry a pocket knife also. I never was a trophy hunter, but that would be my choice for really fine work (around the ears, nose, etc). Likewise when I've gone upland hunting I tend to prefer a slimmer, thinner, blade for that.

    This little Dunn Caping knife is a favorite of one of my cousin's who runs a trap line. He swears by it for taking a nice clean pelt.


    There are a lot of choices out there for hunting knives, and as you can see, they tend to be specialist tools. Like a hammer, you're going to have to decide what's best for you. Good luck.
    jmh33, neal70 and MolokaiRider like this.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Take a look at the Bobcat model made by Bark River and exclusive to Knives Ship Free. It would be a great practical knife for hunting tasks. I have almost purchased it on a number of occasions when I was suffering a weak knife moment.

    Bob Dozier makes some fantastic knives for hunting. Most are in D2.
  17. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    That little Dunn caping knife is all anyone would need to field dress and skin a deer-sized animal. I like the bigger knives for collecting purposes but they are not necessary in the field for hunting. Guides do a little eye-roll when a client shows up with a knife with a four-inch blade. Nothing wrong with that particularly, just not necessary. When butchering meat a person does need a longer blade. Don't get me wrong; I am not dissing the bigger knives; I have some really big ones and a lot of them in the 4 to 6 inch range for blades. I rarely carry them, however. As far as steels go, it is good to lay in a supply of knives with all kinds, Elmax is one of the new kids on the block, of course. As for reasonable performance in the real world, 1095, 440C, 01, D2, 5160, ad nauseum are all fine, as well as the newer steels. Well, the bottom line: just can't have too many knives.
  18. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Since my previous post I remembered that before I got into customs for hunting, the Spyderco Southfork was the best knife I ever used on deer. CPM-S90V steel (even better than Elmax), micarta handles and great ergos made it the best factory hunter I ever used. Back when I had mine they were about $225 new. So I looked them up on the secondary markets (they're discontinued) and now they are going for $350 plus. If you could find one under $300, it would be hard to beat.
    neal70 and tongueriver like this.
  19. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Actually, for hunting knives that do MORE than just field dress and skin a deer-sized animal, I love the very ordinary Buck knives in 102, 105, 118 and 121 iterations. They are just hard to beat and WAY less expensive than any Bark River.
    Will Power and jmh33 like this.
  20. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Jeff, I done forgot to buy my Southfork like you told me to. I should have done that.

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