The best elk killing knife?

Oct 23, 1998
I believe the answer to the best combat knife question can never be found. So, I like to approach this in a different manner.

Let say I got drawn for bull elk this year (I am still waiting for the result). And let say I saw a trophy bull elk with a 7x7 rack in the wood and he is coming straight at me. Of course I will let him have a round of 300WM out of my Winchester Sharpshooter. But, what if he does not go down and still coming at me full speed and my gun is jammed (God forbid).

The question is: which knife currently available that will let me perform a "one cut stop" on this bull elk. I would like something that is above the 90% chance with a correct cut placement. Any opinion is welcome, but an actual/similar situation is even better. Remember, I want a knife to backup my gun, period. It will not be used to pry, cut wood, built shelter, cook dinner, etc.
Dear me! That's pretty terrible. Don't some hunters carry a handgun for that purpose? I'd rather jump out of the way than try to go "CQC" with a bull elk.

OK, this is an armchair opinion, I admit... I think thrusts are the way to go for instant stopping power and nothing gets more easy penetration and overall damage than a nice double-edged dagger-type knife. I'm thinking a Gerber Mk II or maybe Applegate-Fairbairn. The old Blackjack Blackmoor Dirk would do nicely as well. Anyone know what sort of penetration we'd need to achieve to drop a full-grown elk? Maybe something bigger, but I can't think of any such things in production. A smatchet would probably get the job done quite well, but that's a lot to carry for such a rare emergency. I'm shooting in the dark, here.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
Come on now, guys! A 7 point elk, shot once and still mad and coming? The "only" answer is get out of his way! Put as many trees, rocks, and as much distance between you and him as you can.

A full grown bull elk weighs as much as a small to medium steer. A perfect jugular cut (usually only made on hanging, unconscious beef) will still take a minute to stop him, a minute he will have to take you apart! To penetrate to his heart would take a ten+ inch blade, directed just right through the fifth and sixth (if I remember right) ribs on a slight downward angle, ensuring you miss the sternum. If you have a few minutes and can get him to stand still, broadside, maybe a couple of us with knowledge of ruminent anatomy could make that cut, but that doesn't mean he will stay still after (I wouldn't). If your .300 mag didn't do it, get to your truck as fast as you can!

P.S. Don't give me any crap about bull fighters, either! An elk is a lot taller and has a lot more antler area!

Bruce Woodbury

My reputation is shot because I can't spell "jugular."

[This message has been edited by bruce (edited 02 July 1999).]

Uhhhh. This is assume-ing that the
Elk is just mad ? Perhaps the Elk is
amorous ? Maybe both mad and amorous?
Sorry,I just couldn't help it.

I was thinkin about the bear hunter
whom the bear asked " Son.You ain't
out here for just the huntin are

How about a HI 20" Ang Khola Kuhkuri
or the big one that is used for the
Ceremony with the Water Buffalo? I
ain't that nimble though.

I have read where "some of the people
in India would aggravate a tiger unti
it charged and then nimbly jump aside
while severing a paw and then while
the tiger was writhing in pain
cleanly dispatch it with the
Kuhkuri." I don't know if the story
is true or not.

I do know there was a bear killed by
a farmer in Nepal wth a kuhkuri
though. I would imagine that the bear
was pretty mad before it died though.


If this is a major concern you should hunt with a full dress WW1 8MM Mauser along with sword bayonet. At first sign of a jam while faced with charging elk (or moose) just affix bayonet and execute full thrust.

I did make the draw this year. I'm not much going to worry about this possibility. My only concern is bears who want my kill. I may or may not bring a pistol, but I am going to bring some road-side flares (fuzees). Old hunters tell me the light, heat, and smell of these inexpensive red flares will discourage a bear. At least I figure to use them as a distraction while I find a covered spot to shoot my rifle from.

PS. In Colorado the Division of Wildlife has a website that lets you check if you made the draw. Do you have one in your state?
Make an elk is a bit much. If you talk about killing a wild boar with just your knife, though, that's a fearsome enough proposition. Check out Larry Harley's solution to this problem -- he's field tested it.

His answer is: double-edged for maximum penetration on a thrust, long enough to hit the vitals, and extra extra secure handle.

If you survive the situation you described and have an elk on the ground the Uluchet will be a good choice for the job of field dressing. After you get done changing your shorts of course.

YES,it is sharp, just keep your fingers out of the way!

Marvin, where are you when I need you ;-)
I have two contenders, my own of course;-) How about an 'Edge' camp knife with a thin, 13", CPM3V blade that has a convex edge. You stand there waiting for the elk to run you over, and dodge to the side at the last moment, bringing the blade down with all your force on the back of the elk's neck, just in back of his head.
If you don't think that would have enough 'oomph', I'm working on an 18" 'talon' shaped blade called the 'Cobra' after the Fairborne design that was on rec.knives several months back. That one will be double edged the last nine inches, so it would probably make an even better grizzley bear knife....give you something to hack yourself out from inside him after he's 'et you ;-)


Why would anyone even consider such a notion and why would anyone hunt with a gun? I would have to say it would be next to impossible to kill a bull elk with any kind of hand held knife. Much less one wounded and po'd. I will also go on record as to say if this does happen stand your ground and when he is within spitting distance tuck you head between your knees and well you know the rest... Next sensible question.

Hmmm... Cold Steel makes the long and short Assegai spears and a boar spear, and Museum replicas makes boar and Viking spears, it's time for a face-off!!! Cliff Stamp, where are you? And maybe throw in s spetznaz shovel and maybe a halberd, a poleaxe, a guisarme....
Just nail it with a well-thrown CS "Torpedo"


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
Fortunately, deer type critters tend to run away from whatever is trying to eat them. A long time ago, most folks figured out that if you go to kill a large herbivore with a knife, it should be "livestock" and not "game" - or at least confined in a tight place like livestock. Kosher slaughter is done by drawing a very very sharp knife, that's at least twice as long as the neck is wide, through both carotids and jugulars all at once, and the animal generally drops.

For killing big game outdoors, the best answer to rifle jams is probably to start with a well-built rifle and reliable ammo, and keep mud and such out of the rifle. Since hunting isn't warfare, and the herbivore isn't hunting you, you always has the option of passing up a shot if you have doubts about the rifle.

PS: I just finished listening to a song called "Da Turdy Point Buck" on a CD from Bananas at Large. Recommended, if you appreciate heavy-handed outdoorsman humor with digestive noises.


[This message has been edited by James Mattis (edited 03 July 1999).]
Just quickly set up your handy field guilatine (I never leave home without mine), stand behind it and taunt said Elk until it charges at and its head is positioned correctly...pull the cord and...instant trophy.
Okay, those who are familiar with me know I couldn't leave this one alone;

I live in Florida, we have no elk. I have never seen an elk, but I have seen a moose.

Anyway, I hunt three species down here, shark, boar, and aligator. I kill them all with a knife. I use a rod to real in the shark then stab it through the skull to destroy the brain, I harpoon the aligator an d wear him out while he's on the other end of the cable and sever the spinal cord. In both cases the fight is pretty much out of the animal. They do put up a last-ditch defense, but aligator's have short endurance, and anybody, including a shark, would be tired after an hour or two of tug 'o' war. However the boar are another stroy;

I stalk them through the swamps, get real close, shoot them in in the leg with an arrow to slow them down, then chase, pounce, and dispatch the monster. Usualy with a stab to the heart, but it usualy takes more than one.(don't worry, it's over pretty quick. I'm not a sadist) It's pretty hard core. I have been gored, not bad though, but I do have a scar. Preferably, I chase/drive them into the water where we're more evenly matched. I don't use dogs. Just me and my knife vs. the boar and his tusks.(the bow just makes up for the fact that biped speed can't match quadroped speed, except for a turtle or sloth, something like that)

I do this with a Chris Reeve Project 1.
Which is totaly inadequate for one-shot kill on a large charging mammal. You are talking about a sword. Corduroy has got it right with the thrust, that elk is gonna defend himself with his antlers. He's used to fencing. His head'll be lowered anyway. A slash would have to cut through the antler before it could do any beheading. But at least after you gained his strength after the Quickening, you'd be better prepared for your next fight. No, wait a minute, elk aren't immortal, are they..? Anyway, even a big kukri would be up for that. It's a lot easier to behead the ceremonial bovine than the horny elk(deeze, like you've never seen a pun before...).

The fixed bayonet is the best way to go I can think of. It allows you to keep some distance between you, switches instantly from ranged weapon to melee weapon, and allows for a good, solid thrust. I like Enfields. Either the Mk. 4 in .303Brit or one of those Ishapore IIA's that shoot .308.
Actualy, never used one of the Ishapore's, they may suck. I loved my Tanker(not Jungle) Mk. 4. `Used to impress the guys at the range with the giant mark that massive ice-pick-for-a-firing-pin the thing made.

Longbow; Yeah, I've never been into gun hunting either. I like recurves more than compounds. Lighter and more compact. Something around 50lbs. draw. I can't do much with a compound, they just shoot weird. Right now I'm using some bow I bought at a pawn shop. I don't know the make, but it's got a black plastic belly with a goldish-colored wood back and handle. I'm coveting the PSE Coyote right now...

Smoke was telling me about that article by, I forget his name, but the guy mentioned up above "his is field tested" or something. I can't find the article anywhere, if somebody has it and a scanner, could I bother you to post it or send it as an attachment to my e-mail?
There is only one choice: The Stihl 088 Production Chain Saw, found here:

If you can't get a "one-cut stop" with that puppy, you need to go back to DOOM school...

Step to the side, take his legs off as he passes, then carve out a log cabin and barbecue pit. Use your BF Native to clean and dress him...

It's late... so late....


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for

Insert witty quip here