The choice of a knife type to use for hunting is your prerogative. But the principle behind using a hunting knife to hunt is a skill you must learn. The kind of prey you will be hunting is also a major determinant of the knife you will use. That aside, what is the proper way to use a hunting knife? We will answer this question and much more surrounding the use of a hunting knife.
Which Are The Best Types Of Hunting Knives?
You cannot purport to know how to use a hunting knife without knowing the different types you can use. There are up to 8 types of hunting knives to choose from. Here is a brief description of each of those types:
#1 CAMP KNIFE
A camp knife is a multi-purpose knife that most consider a classic hunting knife. The design of the knife gives it the versatility to perform the tasks of the specialized knives.
#2 BOWIE KNIFE
A Bowie is a type of large fighting knife featuring a clip point blade. Although it may not be in wide use today, some hunters still prefer it over the more specialized types.
#3 CAPING KNIFE
It is the knife type you will use if you are making an animal trophy. Its unique design features an upturned point on a rather small blade. Although a caping blade is specialized, you can still use it for many hunting tasks.
#4 SKINNING KNIFE
Skinning needs a lot of attention, keenness, and accuracy. This is because you will need to remove the skin without damaging or tearing the hide. A skinning knife has specialized features. These features will help you achieve such precision without undue pressure. The design includes a razor-sharp blade, and grippy, non-slip handle.
#5 BONING KNIFE
A boning knife will help you remove meat from the carcass. It as narrow blade that is normally flexible. Boning knives are usually somewhat similar to fillet knives used to remove the skin from fish. In fact, you can also use a fillet knife for boning.
#6 HUNTING DAGGER
A hunting dagger is the hunting knife proper. It is the knife you will use to kill a pray before using the other specialized knives named above. However, nowadays killing pray does not require knives. A true hunting dagger has a sharp double-edged blade and a non-slip grip. You may not need this knife for hunting.
#7 KUKRI KNIFE
A kukri knife is native to Nepal. It is a multi-functional knife that you can use both as a weapon and as a utility knife. It resembles a machete with an inwardly curved blade. You can use it for chopping wood, clearing small bushes and shrubs. You can also use it for digging, cutting meat and vegetables, slaughtering animals for food and opening cans. Many hunters now choose Kukri knife because of its versatility.
While the categorization above is based on the utility of the hunting knife, there is another way to classify the knives. You have the chance to choose between fixed-blade knives and folding knives. In case the game you are hunting is large then a fixed-blade knife is better in penetrating the body of the game. They are strong and durable. Folding knives, on the other hand, are preferred because they are easy to conceal and carry. The fact is that most hunting knife types are fixed-blade.
What Should You Use A Hunting Knife For?
Let us set something straight before we continue. You should not use a hunting knife to kill your prey. Instead, a hunting knife should help you prepare a meal out of the kill. This means you will need to kill the prey with a weapon such as a hunting rifle. Then you can use your preferred type of hunting knife to get what you want from the kill.
All hunting knives feature designs not strong enough to pierce or cut through solid bones. You will need something like a saw to do that. But, bigger or heavier knives such as Kukri are strong enough to cut through the bones of certain types of games. Common hunting knives help with the field dressing process and skinning by processing the game inwards from the skin.
Using a Hunting Knife
The processes that will need you to use a hunting knife are just three. These include field dressing, skinning, and butchering. By using the knife properly, you will finish the task quite fast and you will get the most out of your kill. Here are the processes:
STEP 1: Field Dressing
The goal of field dressing is to get the inner organs of the animal (such as intestines) out. Use your preferred hunting knife to make a tiny and careful incision along the underside of the game from the anus towards its ribcage. This process will open a cavity through which you can pull the abdominal and thoracic contents out.
You can then use a heavy-duty knife such as a kukri knife to break the ribcage open all the way to the neck. The next step in field dressing includes carefully separating the inner contents from the linings of the muscle and body cavity. The process may be messy if you are not keen. Try as much as possible not to contaminate the meat with intestinal contents.
STEP 2: Skinning
Now that you are through with dressing, it is time to move on to skinning. Start skinning from the thighs of the animal just above the knee joint. The process almost always requires a special skinning knife. However, a hunting knife can do provided it is razor-sharp and possess a grippy, non-slip handle.
For a successful skinning process, use your knife to cut underneath the skin. Proceed by pulling the skin from the lower body to the upper body. You have to take extra care if you want to save the hide as a trophy or for other purposes. The razor-sharp blades of skinning knives can quickly tear the hide.
STEP 3: Butchering
Butchering is perhaps the most difficult step using a hunting knife. The process requires a heavy duty hunting knife or a special boning knife. Personally, I prefer butchering with a kukri knife. It has a perfectly designed blade to help in the butchering process. The knife can help you remove meat from the carcass quickly and efficiently.
If you are new to hunting for then this information is for you. Knowing how to use a hunting knife is a good skill that everyone should have. Whether you are a hunter, camper or a survivalist, a hunting knife will help you to prepare game meat for food in a quick and clean manner. A hunting set has different types of knives that you can use for different processes post-kill. However, a multi-purpose knife like a Kukri knife could be all you need.