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mossyhorn

Think about a knife

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Nobody uses a gut hook anymore.

The knife I use, and it has gutted out more deer then any other knife I have ever seen, is a simple 6 inch blade Sharpe knife I bought at Kmart 25 years ago.

I think it is somewhere up around 160 deer gutted and over 60 deer butchered with the same knife.

All that matters in a hunting knife is that it holds a decent edge and that it doesn't fall apart with use.

Case Knives are of a known quality, made in Pennsylvania - Bradford to be exact and will hold a good edge and last a long time. Plus the manufacturer is not going to go out of business anytime soon.

This is the knife I would buy if I needed a replacement - http://www.wrcase.com/knives/fixed_blades/browsefixed2.php?Family=%27Leather%20Handle%27&Fixed=%271%27&Item=%270385%27

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Nobody uses a gut hook anymore.

I do.

Looks like a nice knife. I have a KA-BAR that looks very similar to that one, also have an Old Timer with the gut hook that is real handy.

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Nobody uses a gut hook anymore.

I sure as heck do. Where do you do your research?

trailguideplus2.jpg

Case makes some nice knives and if that is what you like...go with it. I find the gut hook handy. Opens them up like a zipper.

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Man there's nothing like getting a new knife to perk a hunter's spirits! I liken it to that same sensation that kids experience when they're feavourishly trying to sort through what Santa has left them under the tree at xmas.

Most guys will wade through numerous knives over their lifetime looking for that one knife that will do it all and last an eternity. Mooreseville Rocket found his knife of a lifetime, but for a lot of guys, the search is never-ending.

I used to think the perfect knife had to be big, but I soon found out how wrong that could be. If you know any trappers, just look at what size of knives they carry and stock in their traping sheds. I would hazzard a guess that smaller or shorter would be the norm. And if you've ever spent much time cleaning out an internal cavity on a downed big game animal, or prepped a few small game animals, then you'd appreciate that "size isn't everything", or "bigger isn't always better". The guys with "Rambo sized" knives can probably whittle down a tree in short order, but will likely struggle at field dressing.

I've bought a few knives over my lifetime, but keep searching for that one perfect knife for me. I've learned however, that the perfect knife also requires the perfect care, and that's something that I paid little attention to until recently. There's a lot to learn about the design and composition of a knife, and even more to learn about how to properly sharpen it and how to maintain long term care for it.

I got some advice from a few people on-line, one of which was the man behind RTCustom Knives that Swamphunter mentioned, and a few other friends whose opinions I respect. I may very well have owned my perfect knife several times over allready, but just didn't have the know-how to care for it properly. Sharpening a knife is a real art form, but doesn't have to be a well guarded secret if you only read up on it and listen to a lot of knowledgeable people, many of who post on this and many other hunting websites.

And the design is muchos importante as well. Read up on blade materials and research what metal ratings provide the best combination characteristics for your type of use and skill. Also look at different blade shapes, sizes and their recommended use. I was even surprised to read comments from other websites that mentioned the pros and cons of different handle compositions. Did you know that "stag handled" knives, look great on display, but will hold the rotting scent of blood after a field dressing if not properly cleaned with a strong cleaning agent? I didn't know that until recently.

That's something you might want to ask or read up on about leather. Do leather handled knives have that same characteristic as stag handles with regards to scent retention and required cleaning methods? I personally don't know, but if I was going to opt for a leather handled knife, that's something I'd want to find out.

One of the reasons that I used to look for a longer bladed knife, was for cutting out around the anus of big game animals, but that's not needed. You can either opt for a tool such as the "ButtOut" tool to assist in that process, or read about alternatives to merely shoving a knife in as far as it will reach. I've watched a few of my trapping friends field dress animals with blades no bigger than 2-1/2" to 3" and one even used a pocket knife, and I was impressed at their surgical-like skill on animals like bears and even moose.

And today, there's a lot of combo packs out there too with two or more knife shapes to meet the required task at hand. I recently just purchased a combo knife pack from Knives of Alaska and have been pretty pleased with them thus far. I did however read up on, and ask a lot of questions about care and sharpening hoping to make this knife (set), my knives of a lifetime.

That doesn't exclude me however, from ever purchasing more knives in the future, as I am still a big kid at heart and love getting new toys. And when that next urge comes, I'll be checking out http://www.rtcustomknives.com/ like Swamphunter mentioned.

Good luck with the new blade(s).

TBow

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I sure as heck do. Where do you do your research?

trailguideplus2.jpg

Case makes some nice knives and if that is what you like...go with it. I find the gut hook handy. Opens them up like a zipper.

Have a few knives with gut hooks here, used one on the deer I killed a week and a half ago.

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I've got a Gerber multi-blade knife I've had for over 20 years. It's got three different blades, gut hook blade, skinning blade, and saw blade. This knife has cut up, skinned, and caped a bunch of deer over the last two decades. My brother made the comment this year at hunting camp in Ohio that I've change or upgraded everything I've got except that knife. I love this knife and will not change it, unless it breaks or heaven forbid I lose it.

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I use a gut hook all the time too.

Me too. I love the gut hook. Don't have to worry about puncturing anything. Like was said before, "opens them up like a zipper".

I've got a folding case pin knife and love it. My skinning knife is a buck knife with the same design.

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