A knife is just as important a tool for a hunter as a gun. Because to shoot wildfowl is half the battle, it still needs to be properly skinned. Therefore, the hunter needs to take a responsible approach to the choice of this tool. A hunting knife is classified, first, according to the purpose of the work:
– Universal or general purpose. Such a blade is used for general work related to the arrangement of the camp, cooking, as well as for finishing off the beast. However, with its help, you can butcher the wildfowl in the same way, with the proper skill and qualifications. Given the load that the blade will experience, the knife blade is made of the appropriate steel grades, has a thickness sufficient to not break;
– Special – was designed to simplify the performance of some specific actions, in particular for skinning and butchering prey. The shape and thickness of the blade allows carefully removing the skin without damaging it, as well as easily separating the parts of the carcass from each other. It is irrational to use these types of hunting knives for normal operations, as the blade will quickly become dull.
Experienced hunters, as a rule, have both types of knives presented in their arsenal. For the first time, beginners can get by with the universal one, if their task is not to preserve the integrity of the skin of the killed animal.
The choice of a hunting knife should also be based on the shape of the blade. This factor determines how convenient it will be for the hunter to pierce the skin of the animal, make cuts and accurately cut off individual parts of the carcass or tissue.
The blade can be one of the following types:
Double-edged – like a classic dagger;
Skinner – in which the cutting edge is curved and the butt is straight;
Normal straight – straight top edge;
Clip point – also has a straight upper edge, but with a steep descent at the tip of the blade;
Drop point – the upper edge smoothly descends into the tip located centrally;
Trailing point – the edge line gradually rises at the top.
Of course, the types of hunting knives are also divided by size. The traditional version weighs approximately 120-180 grams, the blade width is up to 3.5 cm, and the length is from 10 to 13 cm. This type of knife is sharpened only on one side. The sharpness and size allow for long-term cutting of the carcass.
Large knives have a blade length of 13 cm and can reach 17 cm. In this case, the shape can be any and the weight is up to 300 grams. Increased weight and dimensions are necessary in order to carry out chopping blows when butchering animals. Usually such a blade acts as an auxiliary when it comes to accurate skinning, a more suitable classic knife is used.
They have no balance, so it is difficult for them to cut for a long time. They can have different shapes and sizes, as well as an additional blade. These knives can be used as a backup in a hunter’s inventory and are well suited for occasional hunting.
Of course, a hunting blade must be comfortable, fit well in the hand, so that the careful work of skinning and butchering can be done. Comfort is affected by the shape and material of the handle. Wood and deer antler were traditionally used, as no other materials were available. Today plastic, micarta, and rubber have replaced them, and knife models with wooden handles are premium. Like everything, each of these materials has its pros and cons. Rubber is convenient because the knife does not slip in a wet or sweaty hand from the heat. Wood tends to heat up from human heat, and therefore it is more comfortable to use such a knife in cold weather. Plastic has an affordable price, allows producing knife handles with an interesting design.