Jake's Outdoors » Blog Archive » My Favorite Hunting Knife

My Favorite Hunting Knife

June 24th, 2008

I don’t know about you all, but when I head off into the woods, I like to have a knife that I trust. There have been a couple of traditions that have arisen in our camp surrounding knives, that I think are a bit interesting. I am not sure where they came from, but they are fun to continue.

The first is that no one is allowed to give away a knife. If we are going to “give” a knife to a fellow hunter, he has to give up at least one dollar. I’m not sure how or why this got started, but it a rule. Maybe my dad can share a bit of light on the origins of the tradition.

The second tradition has to do with “luck”. We are not really superstitious, but we have fun with superstition. We have our lucky shirts. And we don’t want to break in more than one piece of new equipment per year. Maybe that is just to keep us from buying too much stuff in any one year. But, it applies to knives as well. I hate to carry a brand new knife…it isn’t “lucky” until it is broken in by eviscerating its first deer. A knife intended for a hunting knife is not allowed to be used for anything prior to field dressing its first deer. All of this is done in good fun, and it is particularly fun to harass one of our fellow hunters who has a new knife that is untested for 2 or 3 years.

That brings me to telling you about my favorite knife. I have been hunting for 22 years, and have only had 2 knives over that period of time. My first knife, which I loved dearly, was a Case Mako Folding Hunter. It was given to me by a good friend, who also made me leather case for it. I carried it for several years, and used it on many a deer. However, about 7 or 8 years ago, that knife began to come apart, and I didn’t want to lose any of the parts (the handle came apart). So, I purchased a new knife. This time I got a Buck Woodsman with a Cocobola (Redwood) handle. This has turned out to be another great knife. It is easy to sharpen when it gets dull, but stays sharp for a long time. I have cleaned and skinned 3-4 deer between sharpening. I am hoping that this knife will last me for several more years. I liked this knife so much that I got the regular handled knife for several of my friends and family. They got the regular handle so that I could tell the difference between theirs and mine!

I don’t know if our little group of hunters is the norm, but most of our folks are pretty attached to their hunting knives. They don’t want to have to trade up or get a new knife. And, if someone forgets their knife at home, it is a major ordeal to have to settle for one of the spare knives (and I have several “spares” in my box). There are some other pieces of equipment that we have the same attachment to (guns for example), but most things can be replaced much easier than a knife.

So, tell me what your favorite knife is. How long have you had it, and how do you feel about it?

13 Responses to “My Favorite Hunting Knife”

  1. It is impossible at my age to narrow down one’s hunting knives to a single favorite! So, I have three “favorites” — two of which are retired. The first is a folding Puma that was used from 1984 till 1995. It was given to me by a friend as a going away present. It came with a custom made and hand decorated sheathe. I used it exclusively in field dressing and skinning game (as I do all my hunting knives). The second knife, a Buck 3″ folder, was again given to me by a friend who was moving out of country. I used it from 1995 till till 2005. I kept track of the deer I’ve cleaned and skinned with this particular knife — 64. It is worn out and retired. The third knife is also a 3″ Buck folder (exactly the same as # 2) that was given to me by my second son (author of this page). It has been properly initiated (didn’t take two or three years either) 🙂 and is already showing “usage”. I don’t know where the $ for a hunting knife started (I am sure it is somewhat an American tradition), but I learned it from my grandfather B.B. Brewer. I have his last hunting knife, a 5″ fixed blade Western. Oh, I also have a knife intended to be my oldest grandson’s “first” knife which he will receive when he is old enough to keep his fingers! 🙂

  2. I think that knives have a lot of different traditions associated with them.

    I’m too slow with gutting deer, so my brother gets frustrated and ends up helping. Well he thinks I’m too slow anyway….It’s fine by me because then his knife gets used and mine stays sharpened…when he is around of course!

  3. Oh, this blog was just too painful to read! I just lost my faithful hunting knife this spring. 🙁 I have four hunting knives, but I don’t know why, I always only take and use this one Old Timer that was a dandy – and given to me by my grandfather. And I lost the dang thing on a catfish trip. How sad.

  4. I carry my husbands retired Kershaw and it works pretty good for me – he retired it because I bought him a nicer one for our anniversary one year (right before hunting season kicks in good) of course, since I’m commenting on this post I can’t remember what kind it is… It was expensive and I think the name starts with a “B” does that help any? 🙂

  5. Benchmade!

    That’s what it is – a Benchmade and he likes it – he also carries a Wyoming knife on hunting trips. He carries the Benchmade all the time, adds the Wyoming knife to it for big-game hunting trips and a Kershaw filet knife for fishing trips.

  6. My mother worked at a gun store when I was growing up. They sold knives too. So every special occasion she would give my granfather a knife. When he passed away I got them. Most of them are buck knives. I would have to say Buck knives are my favorite but I like many others including old timer and case and puma and sharade.

  7. I lose my knives too fast to get attached to them. As a result, I’ve started carrying cheap ones into the field and leaving the ones with sentimental or dollar value at home.

  8. My one and only hunting knife is the one my husband gave me years ago that I treasure…It’s always in my hunting pack during hunting season and most of the time brings me good luck! 🙂 The handle is made from Old English Burl with the inscription ‘Marian – A wife, friend, and hunting buddy. Love Bob’ on the blade. During the off season, it is proudly displayed on a knife stand. You can see me using the knife on my website getting ready to dress my deer. 🙂

  9. My favorite is an old Buck knife passed down from my dad to me and he got it from my Grandpa.

  10. A man after my own heart. I too carry a Buck Woodsman (regular handle) as well as a Buck Light folder. I alternate between the two depending on the circumstances and whether or not I want to carry a fixed blade. They have both been well broke in on whitetail deer and hopefully will see some use on bigger game in the near future.

  11. I too have a favorite hunting knife past down from my grandfather to my father to me. A great knife that has lasted three generations, And in four years when my son turns 10 that pocket knife will start its fouth generation. For all of you that has lost your favorite knive or are ready to pass it down you should check out my blog. I have really enjoyed all of your comments.
    goffenterprizes.blogspot.com

  12. My favorite knife isn’t a hunting knife- its a little SOG folding knife that I carry on my key chain. I got it as a gift from my husband and I’ve used it for just about everything except for its intended: protection. Thankfully, never had to use it for that but its certainly comforting knowing that I have it. Don’t laugh…this little knife could do some damage!

  13. My favorite hunting knife is really two hunting knives. I have a Buck Akonua fixed blade with a rosewood handle. It’s an older model that I believe has been discontinued, but I like it a lot. I also carry The Buck folding hunter (4″ blade)in the Alaskan Guide series, which has a black blade of high quality SS. As you can see, I am a “Buck” person. However there are a lot of nice knives out there and everyone has there favorite or favorites.

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