Listen to any outdoors man or hunter’s story and you’ll often hear about how a trusted knife (they’ll show you what’s left of it) saved their life. I once heard about a hunter who’d wounded a buck and tracked it through mountainous terrain. By the time he’d caught up to his prey the weather had become treacherous and the hunter had to find a way to get down the mountain in a blinding blizzard …with his prize. He had just begun his trek down the mountain when he slipped, fell and ended up on a ledge. Although badly bruised he was able to use his knife to climb up off the ledge and then later to cut open the animal to provide life-saving warmth. Then he carved through the carcass in such a way that he was able to ride it down the side of the mountain to safety.
Some knives, like men become legendary. Take the Bowie knife. There are a lot of stories around the man who this knife was named after- it’s hard to know what’s truth or fiction. The Bowie knife was named after an American plantation owner. It had a really big blade for knives of that time and had a clipped point. Apparently a fellow named Clift made the knife for Bowie in the fall of 1885. Bowie was known to have a fiery temper and get into brawls. Most men would back down when they saw the knife he carried. People would say “here comes Bowie with that butcher knife.”
The Bowie knife Robert Redford used in the movie Jeremiah Johnson was about 16 inches long.
Knife legends may be larger than life, but the knife doesn’t have to be. Recently, a man killed an attacking black bear with a knife that was about 6 inches long. He was on a canoe trip with his dog, when the black bear appeared out of nowhere, blocking the path that would get him and his canine companion back to the water’s edge and the canoe. His dog began a fight with the bear. Fearing the bear was about to kill his dog; the man jumped on its back and began stabbing it with his knife. The fellow and his dog suffered a few bear bites but, thanks to his trusted hunting knife, they weren’t dinner.
It’s no wonder there are so many legends of knife and men- the knife is one of man’s oldest tools…cavemen probably sat around the fire telling their story (and proudly displaying what was left of a jagged piece of rock) that had saved their life.
How to Choose the Best Hunting Knife
A good hunting knife can last a lifetime, and can really become one of the most valuable things you own. Its versatile enough to be able to skin a deer during hunting season, or become a normal letter opener and everyday knife at home. That is why when you are looking for a blade to become your companion for life, you really need to find the Best Hunting Knife available. The little investment now is worth the lifetime of service it will provide.
When it comes to selecting the optimum knife, like many things, it really comes down to which types of features are really right for you, and will fit your lifestyle the best. We’ll go over a couple of different options and situations to consider before you take a look at our list of the top selections we could find.
What size of knife are you looking for? Are you primarily hunting moose, or rabbits? Obviously you will want a much differently sized knife for large game than small game, just when working with the carcass. Do you want your knife to be more of a general, multi-purpose blade, for use in a variety of situations (hunting, survival, tactical, everyday, etc.)?
Folding or Fixed?
folding-vs-fixedDo you want to be able to fold up your knife and pocket it, or would you rather just have it attached to your belt, and kept in its sheath? If you plan on carrying it around everyday, then a folding knife would be a better choice for you. But if it’s only for hunting, and you don’t want to deal with folding parts, a fixed may fit your lifestyle better.
Clip Point, Drop Point or Skinning?
Now time to decide on what type of point you want to have on your knife, clip point, drop point or skinning?
Clip Point Knives
Clip point knives are generally thinner, with a well-defined point, and are more of an all-around knife. They are good enough to skin and animal, yet durable and rugged enough for normal camp activities.
Drop Point Knives
The drop point knives are made much more for skinning an animal, and aren’t as suited for camp chores. The drop point knives are generally thicker blades, with a less defined point, made for skinning animals easier without tearing the meat.
The last type of knife is the pure skinning knife. These are designed primary for skinning, and are thinner like the clip point knives. But, unlike the drop point knives, these are versatile enough to be used for activities around the camp.