Hunting Washington Forum

Equipment & Gear => All Other Gear => Topic started by: aman on September 11, 2018, 09:20:05 AM

Title: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: aman on September 11, 2018, 09:20:05 AM
I have a leatherman but I'd like to purchase a knife for skinning and boning. What would you recommend?

Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Mfowl on September 11, 2018, 09:24:12 AM
Havalon
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: aman on September 11, 2018, 09:26:22 AM
I've never butchered a big game animal before but will Havalon do everything I need?
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: vandeman17 on September 11, 2018, 09:26:34 AM
Havalon

I started using havalon last year as well. Works great for skinning and gutting. I have another knife I use for caping or if I need something a little more rigid as the blades on the havalon can break if you put too much torque on them.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: 7mmfan on September 11, 2018, 09:27:19 AM
Havalon Titan. Done.

Surgical blade for the bulk of your boning, fixed blade for tougher joints, and I prefer it for skinning/caping. I also got some of the replaceable gut hooks and saw blades last year. The gut hooks made making my initial cuts for skinning ridiculously easy and fast.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: carlyoungs on September 11, 2018, 09:27:46 AM
Get the outdoor edge razor lite. Just like the havalon but you can put some more pressure on it without the blade popping off
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Alchase on September 11, 2018, 09:29:18 AM
Lots and lots of hunters love Havalons, I can't argue against them at all.

I just prefer a good fixed blade knife for skinning and gutting.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Woodchuck on September 11, 2018, 09:30:20 AM
Havalons are awesome but should come with a map to the nearest ER in the package.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Stein on September 11, 2018, 09:36:31 AM
I use a Havalon for boning and the razor lite for skinning.


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Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Buzz2401 on September 11, 2018, 09:38:19 AM
I carry a outdoor edge replaceable blade knife and a Buck 112.  I do like the Outdoor edge but it just gets expensive always buying new blades and kinda seems like a waste.  I have broke down around 30-40 elk and at least that many deer with the Buck over the last 30 years and it still is going strong.  If you aren't that good at sharpening knifes then you really cant go wrong with a Outdoor edge or a Havalon they really do work well just be prepared to buy blades.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Jonathan_S on September 11, 2018, 09:45:06 AM
Havalon Piranta will do everything.  Nice to have a heavier blade when I feel lazy but I've completely broken down, skinned, and deboned two deer, a bear, and an elk this year without actually needing anything more.

Working with a sharp, thin blade people just need to start slow and everything will be fine.  People get hurt when they're frantically working or not paying sufficient attention to what they're doing.  Knives are dangerous but so are guns, bows and broadheads.  Slow down  :tup:
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: carlyoungs on September 11, 2018, 09:46:52 AM
Havalon Piranta will do everything.  Nice to have a heavier blade when I feel lazy but I've completely broken down, skinned, and deboned two deer, a bear, and an elk this year without actually needing anything more.

Working with a sharp, thin blade people just need to start slow and everything will be fine.  People get hurt when they're frantically working or not paying sufficient attention to what they're doing.  Knives are dangerous but so are guns, bows and broadheads.  Slow down  :tup:

Good advice.  It is hard to slow down when you got those damn yellow jackets surrounding you and fighting you for the meat
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: thinkingman on September 11, 2018, 09:47:20 AM
I like my 4" drop point Spyderco Moran.
VG10 steel, processed an entire elk and is still razor sharp.
Nice handle, good grip.
Love the thing.
https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details/FB02/Spyderco-Bill-Moran-Drop-Point/43 (https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details/FB02/Spyderco-Bill-Moran-Drop-Point/43)
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: andersonjk4 on September 11, 2018, 09:48:04 AM
For an inexpensive ($30) all purpose hunting knife I really recommend the Sharade/Uncle Henry Golden Spike fixed blade knife (link below).  I got one of these knives as a gift 20 years ago and I have used it to process a lot of deer and many elk.  I have recently added a Havalon to my kill kit and it plus a good fixed blade knife will do anything you need to do while processing a deer or elk.  As far as processing for the freezer once you get home I just use my Henckel kitchen knives. 

https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/526412/uncle-henry-golden-spike-fixed-blade-hunting-knife-5-clip-point-7cr17-high-carbon-stainless-steel-blade-staglon-handle?utm_medium=shopping&utm_source=connexity&utm_campaign=Knives+%26+Tools+-+Hunting+Knives+%26+Tools&utm_content=526412 (https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/526412/uncle-henry-golden-spike-fixed-blade-hunting-knife-5-clip-point-7cr17-high-carbon-stainless-steel-blade-staglon-handle?utm_medium=shopping&utm_source=connexity&utm_campaign=Knives+%26+Tools+-+Hunting+Knives+%26+Tools&utm_content=526412)
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on September 11, 2018, 09:51:07 AM
Get the outdoor edge razor lite. Just like the havalon but you can put some more pressure on it without the blade popping off

This  :tup:.  I used a Havalon on one elk and after three broke blades, that was enough.  My Havalon is now relegated to just a camp knife.  The OE knives have much stronger blades, and, the blades are easier to change. 

To your original question..... I carry one fixed blade knife (depends on how I feel that day which one gets carried) and the OE.   
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Jonathan_S on September 11, 2018, 10:03:24 AM
Havalon Piranta will do everything.  Nice to have a heavier blade when I feel lazy but I've completely broken down, skinned, and deboned two deer, a bear, and an elk this year without actually needing anything more.

Working with a sharp, thin blade people just need to start slow and everything will be fine.  People get hurt when they're frantically working or not paying sufficient attention to what they're doing.  Knives are dangerous but so are guns, bows and broadheads.  Slow down  :tup:

Good advice.  It is hard to slow down when you got those damn yellow jackets surrounding you and fighting you for the meat

Agreed.  I had a black and yellow cloud on Saturday with a dead elk and it gets distracting.  Totally doable though  :tup:
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: trapp01 on September 11, 2018, 03:58:14 PM
Rapala 4" fillet knife is my go to. Cheap, sturdy, and it comes with a cheap sharpener.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: nwwanderer on September 11, 2018, 04:10:55 PM
Sharp is the important part, get after them
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: !Xabbu on September 11, 2018, 04:31:35 PM
I've had a buck 103 for 40 years and no telling how much DNA is under the handle. It's all about how it's sharpened though.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: DOUBLELUNG on September 11, 2018, 04:32:31 PM
You can certainly do it with your Leatherman - a coworker and I gutted and halved 5 elk with ours (that had been shot by a geriatric poacher).  All of the above recommendations are adequate too.  The one NOT to use is a folding knife that doesn't have a locking blade.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: MonstroMuley on September 11, 2018, 05:30:21 PM
WY Knife
Title: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Cascade on September 11, 2018, 05:35:11 PM
I skinned/broke down a moose, 2 bears and 3 deer before I broke a blade.  Iíve since broke 2 more.  If you go the havalon route I recommend the blaze orange.  It stands out better in the head lamp at night when you are trying to find where the heck ya put it down at!


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Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: tritt007 on September 11, 2018, 06:21:36 PM
I kinda scoffed at the born and raised guys bench made altitude when I saw the price tag but my brother is a bench made dealer so I got a good deal on one and it's a bad a*# little knife ! Stays super sharp , it's super lite and gold one heck of an edge ! I highly recommend looking at one if your looking for a sweet skinning knife , especially if your a backpacker or back country hunter !
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: KFhunter on September 11, 2018, 06:25:12 PM
I starting to be a fan of born and raised outdoors  :tup:

Also seen that knife, I'd like one myself eventually.   For now I'm using an outdoor edge and havalon.

Only time I don't like the havalon is when my fingers are too cold to have full dexterity, then it gets scary.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: LongBomb on September 11, 2018, 07:16:57 PM
Havalon and serrated Cutco with orange handle!
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: LandofRath on September 11, 2018, 08:55:42 PM
Just picked up a Havalon Titan Dual Blade and like it. Before that I had the standard Havalon and found I wanted a stronger blade at times.
It is a bit larger though.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Dan-o on September 11, 2018, 09:00:21 PM
Another vote for Havalon.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: huntnfmly on September 11, 2018, 10:07:42 PM
Outdoor edge swing blade
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Bob33 on September 11, 2018, 11:09:02 PM
Havalons are the Tikkas of the knife world.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: huntnphool on September 11, 2018, 11:15:06 PM
Havalon and serrated Cutco with orange handle!

 +1 on the Cutco serrated, but mine has the black handle. :chuckle:

 https://www.cutco.com/products/product.jsp?item=clip-point-outdoor-knife#sm.0000bxvr441s8e06uw0252tievcse
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Oh Mah on September 11, 2018, 11:16:28 PM
Outdoor edge swing blade
I love this one.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: vandeman17 on September 12, 2018, 08:31:42 AM
Bunch of outdoor edge knives for sale on camofire right now
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: 724wd on September 12, 2018, 08:54:51 AM
Havalons are awesome but should come with a map to the nearest ER in the package.

 :'(  i thought you'd have said a custom knife, not some throw away...  :(
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Woodchuck on September 12, 2018, 09:00:44 AM
Havalons are awesome but should come with a map to the nearest ER in the package.

 :'(  i thought you'd have said a custom knife, not some throw away...  :(
:chuckle: My custom is waaaaaaaay awesomer but I don't want people knowing all my secrets. I need to hurry up and get another ordered to beat the holiday rush.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Duckhunter14 on September 12, 2018, 09:41:21 AM
As mentioned above, the Outdoor Edge Swing Blade with the replaceable blades on the other side will break down any animal you drop (I usually carry 2 extra blades). I used to use the havalon but as weird as it sounds I found it was too sharp. I was cutting through the hide and slicing into the meat while skinning and with elk I would break blades when doing any work around heavy bone or skinning out the head.

 As most have mentioned I just cant get away from bringing a light weight fixed blade just in case also. Last year I carried the Kestrel Skinner and was beyond impressed. I skinned a moose, four elk and several deer before I needed to put a new edge on it. I also have a Benchmade connection and was able to get the altitude at a good price and have been impressed with the bear I cut up with it. Still razor sharp.

For under $50 the Outdoor Edge is tough to beat.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: viva_che1363 on September 12, 2018, 10:24:40 AM
I have yet to jump on the replaceable blade bandwagon.
I currently carry a small 3-4" Fixed blade drop point for gutting, skinning etc, and an older marttiini ( rapala) fillet knife. I dont know if they used better steel on the older blades but mine are a breeze to get razor sharp and the thin blade is great for cuts getting around bone.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: aman on September 13, 2018, 11:40:19 AM
thanks boys! I'm taking a look at some fixed blade knives right now. Replaceable blade knives look great but I want to build some memories on a single knife. :)
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: yakimanoob on September 13, 2018, 07:58:18 PM
The Gerber Vitals knife has been a solid performer for me. 

Anybody know if those Havalon gut-hook blades will fit in the Gerber?   The beefier Havalon blades don't quite fit in my Gerber so I'm a little leary.  But man, a good hook is sure a time saver when it comes to opening up the hide... 
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Jonathan_S on September 13, 2018, 09:14:29 PM
No clue. Never have carried a gut hook. Just score along the spine and start skinning is what a lot of us do.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: biggfish on September 13, 2018, 11:23:20 PM
I have a gerber vital after listening to hunt talk radio Randy Newberg highly recommends it. So I watched it action. On his YouTube videos. He makes quick work of quartering out an elk. They now also make a vital big game which has gut hook blades as well as larger replaceable blades that to seem like it would be an excellent skinner. Steven Rinnela used to use havalon so you can watch his tutorials on YouTube and see it in action. Most of the videos I've seen with replaceable blade knives recommend also having a stout fixed blade for popping joints and any other action that will require tourqe.

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Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: dvmagernbk on September 14, 2018, 07:50:17 AM
I bought a Mode One caping knife at the Sportsmans Show last year. Used it for the first time on my deer this year alongside my Havalon. Actually put down the Havalon. Mode One was exceptionally balanced, sharp... felt natural like an extension of my hand rather than a knife. I'm going to buy more if they show up at the show again this year.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: 7mmfan on September 14, 2018, 08:28:07 AM
The Gerber Vitals knife has been a solid performer for me. 

Anybody know if those Havalon gut-hook blades will fit in the Gerber?   The beefier Havalon blades don't quite fit in my Gerber so I'm a little leary.  But man, a good hook is sure a time saver when it comes to opening up the hide...

I used the havalon gut hook blades last year for the first time. Used them strictly for making my initial cuts on the hide for skinning. I felt they worked really well. I've always struggled pushing a knife in a straight line down the spine but pulling the gut hook worked really well for me. The only issue I have is that it's just another blade to change and the time spent changing back to a scalpel blade probably voids any time saved by using the gut hook.

In the end it's a matter of seconds anyhow, and I enjoy the process of breaking down animals so I'm usually not in a huge rush to complete the process (I'm not saying I take all day and the meat spoils because I sit on my arse basking in the glory of my kill, so haters move along!) Just do what works best for you.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: tlbradford on September 14, 2018, 11:01:52 AM
I have yet to jump on the replaceable blade bandwagon.
I currently carry a small 3-4" Fixed blade drop point for gutting, skinning etc, and an older marttiini ( rapala) fillet knife. I dont know if they used better steel on the older blades but mine are a breeze to get razor sharp and the thin blade is great for cuts getting around bone.

This is my preference as well.  I also have a leatherman wave on my belt for a multipurpose tool.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: dreadi on September 14, 2018, 11:10:10 AM
A fillet knife, a scalpel with replaceable blades and a deboning knife. Two out of three can be had inexpensive from restaurant supply shops. Of course for all three thereís Amazon. Bring smaller sharpener as well.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: T-Dozzer on September 23, 2018, 02:40:55 PM
I carry 2 knives. Either a tyto or havalon than a esee izula or a spider delica.
Im a weight weenie so I like the light weight knives. Plus, for the price, they are just about disposable.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: pashok23 on September 24, 2018, 06:28:16 PM
Havalons are awesome but should come with a map to the nearest ER in the package.
Thats just funny right there  :chuckle:
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: kentrek on September 24, 2018, 08:12:00 PM
Wasnt a fan of the serrated cutco...sharp but jerky

Havalon is nice but I hate breaking blades...would be solved by working slower but why ??

Outdoor edge is pretty nice for an initial cuts but still prefer classic fix blad drop point for general skinning so I'm packing both
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: huntnnw on September 25, 2018, 05:23:10 AM
Havalon Piranta will do everything.  Nice to have a heavier blade when I feel lazy but I've completely broken down, skinned, and deboned two deer, a bear, and an elk this year without actually needing anything more.

Working with a sharp, thin blade people just need to start slow and everything will be fine.  People get hurt when they're frantically working or not paying sufficient attention to what they're doing.  Knives are dangerous but so are guns, bows and broadheads.  Slow down  :tup:

Good advice.  It is hard to slow down when you got those damn yellow jackets surrounding you and fighting you for the meat

that's when you get out the black pepper
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: huntnnw on September 25, 2018, 05:24:44 AM
I always carry 2 a good fixed blade knife and a Havalon.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: C-Money on September 25, 2018, 11:08:16 AM
I have gutted and skinned a crud load of deer and a few elk using one of these. This knife is on my belt when out hunting big game. I bought my son one as well.

https://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=2043174&type=product&WT.z_btnclk=YMAL-2043174&WT.z_pg_ref=prd1216783

Won this as a prize at a trap shoot a LONG time ago, and it is my primary skinner. It lives in my pack and gets to work when its time to take a hide off... 142ot Schrade

https://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/catalog/13969-schrade-142ot-guidemaster
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Jonathan_S on September 29, 2018, 08:09:38 PM
This year Iíve skinned, quartered, boned out and otherwise processed four deer, an elk and a bear with the good old 60A blades. Havenít sharpened a blade yet  :IBCOOL:
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Bullkllr on September 29, 2018, 08:40:12 PM
I try not to overthink it, but I've never found one knife to be best at everything. I have a hand full of old folders- Schrade, Buck, Kershaw- they all work if they're sharp and I always have one in my pocket. In my pack I carry one of the old plastic "Zak knives" (like a cheapy Wyoming knife) for the zip cut. If I know I'm boning out, I carry a Forshner boning knife in the pack. Skinning at camp or home I prefer a wide bladed drop point skinner.
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: thinkingman on October 01, 2018, 09:36:32 AM
A fillet knife, a scalpel with replaceable blades and a deboning knife. Two out of three can be had inexpensive from restaurant supply shops. Of course for all three thereís Amazon. Bring smaller sharpener as well.
Agreed.
A Forschner boning or filet knife for $20 is the best solution to part of the question.
A cheap guthook down the spine to get you started and then start skinning with my Spyderco VG10 Bill Moran. 
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on October 01, 2018, 10:22:39 AM
This year Iíve skinned, quartered, boned out and otherwise processed four deer, an elk and a bear with the good old 60A blades. Havenít sharpened a blade yet  :IBCOOL:
and you also modified your puffy jacket collar in Nevada with it  :chuckle:
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Magnum_Willys on October 01, 2018, 10:59:02 AM
Havalon Titan. Done.

Surgical blade for the bulk of your boning, fixed blade for tougher joints, and I prefer it for skinning/caping. I also got some of the replaceable gut hooks and saw blades last year. The gut hooks made making my initial cuts for skinning ridiculously easy and fast.
This  :yeah:  If caping though its faster to use a duller knife for some of the work like an outdoor edge or fixed skinner blade.   The outdoor edge metal dulls much sooner for me. 
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Jonathan_S on October 03, 2018, 06:55:23 AM
This year Iíve skinned, quartered, boned out and otherwise processed four deer, an elk and a bear with the good old 60A blades. Havenít sharpened a blade yet  :IBCOOL:
and you also modified your puffy jacket collar in Nevada with it  :chuckle:

Can't believe I waited that long to finally "mod" that.  Probably almost sliced my throat open  :chuckle:
Title: Re: A knife for deer and elk?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on October 03, 2018, 07:56:05 AM
This year Iíve skinned, quartered, boned out and otherwise processed four deer, an elk and a bear with the good old 60A blades. Havenít sharpened a blade yet  :IBCOOL:
and you also modified your puffy jacket collar in Nevada with it  :chuckle:

Can't believe I waited that long to finally "mod" that.  Probably almost sliced my throat open  :chuckle:
near death experience for sure :chuckle: