The thrill of hunting prey is more popular than ever in the USA, with 101 million Americans taking to the hunt up to the end of 2017.
The shiniest new guns, camping equipment and high-tech kitchen gadgets often receive a lot of the hunting gear limelight. What hunters should be sparing a thought for is the most simple tool in the box – the humble hunting knife. Absolutely key to every hunter’s equipment pack, it is nevertheless sometimes overlooked in importance by flashier bits of gear.
There’s a lot of variation to be had with a hunting knife today. There’s a plethora of materials to choose from a good handful of viable designs. Making the choice can be achieved through three logical steps – solid or folding, material, and whether you need any special features.
Choosing a handle
Hunting knives are divided by two types – solid and folding. Solid handles are generally more sturdy and are a great choice for food preparation as they emulate the action of a chef’s knife. They are also sturdier for non-hunting activity, like hewing wood. However, they can be more dangerous in transit and will often require a sheath for safe transport and keeping it clean. Flip handles and utility knives are more versatile, but don’t handle some heavy-duty work as well. It’s also important to check local laws; certain states prohibit particular folding knives.
Picking your materials
One big benefit that technology has brought to the hunting arena is through material research. Advanced polymers and carbon fibers make certain tools lightweight while sturdy and still effective. However, they can be more brittle when faced with high-impact work. Conversely, a bone, wood or metal handle is generally sturdier and can have a more attractive finish. Consider the weather in your hunting zone, though – non-synthetic materials are much better conductors of heat and leave your hands feeling cold, which will impair your ability to use the tool.
The lure of special features
Many game hunters will have a particular specialty for looking at the best hunting knife review. Some will hunt deer, others exclusively birds. As such, your gear can reflect this, much as your other equipment – guns and vehicles – will. Knives have a huge range of customizations that enable this. These can be built into the blade or, increasingly, come as attachments for already ready-made tools.
For example, bird hunters will benefit from a knife that has a bird gutting hook, attachment or something fun like a dragon carved silver swiss army knife. This allows you to easily pullout viscera from the animal, according to Outdoor Life. Elsewhere, deer hunting enthusiasts will massively benefit from a deer gutting blade or Tanto blade, which allows you to easily open up a deer without risking injury – either to yourself or the valuable innards of the animal.
The hunting knife is a crucial and irreplaceable part of the hunter’s equipment pack. You’re simply unable to make the most of your catches while still on the trail, and several other outdoors tasks require one to keep moving. Having a good think about your choice of knife is important, and will set up your trip to be successful.