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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the Knife Forum.
hipnp I'm new to hunting big game and am looking for an all around single knife for elk hunting if such a knife exists.
I need a knife for field dressing. I heard about what I think is called a swing blade knife, with a gutting end and a skinning end that flipped from one to the other.

It was on the high price end of the knives on display, so I would imagine it's design has merit. I've also seen scabbard kits that have both of these knives in them.

I've seen lots of "Gut Hook" knives and can purchase one from Buck at a pretty substantial discount, but it seems it will carve and possibly puncture the stomach pretty bad if I'm not extra careful.

Please give me your basic thoughts on what will make a good all arounder or if need be explain why I will need more than one knife.
Your input is appreciated

GQ-
 

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Nothing wrong with your question, but it is similar to all the other questions i.e. 9MM vs .45acp, revolver or automatic. Now the reason I say this is your going to get alot of different answers to this.

So here's mine. I usually carry three knives/tools when in the field, I've never used a guthook, and don't really see a need. Those three are a fixed blade with at least a 6" blade with a good belly on it(Curved part of the blade). Second is a medium folder, prefer a lock back, and last is my Leatherman Wave. In with these is a good diamond stone, blades are going to get dull cutting hot meat. Now my fixed blade is a Cold Steel SRK, and the folder is the same makers large Voyager. The SRK is the primary, with the folder as backup and camp chores, and the Wave takes care of everything else. OH Yeah, don't forget a good hand axe!
 

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Like Leighton says lots of opinons on that one.I went to a army buddies place one time in americus georgia and met a lot of his friends he grew up with.Knives are big there and I seen some pretty fantastic sets.I cannot tell you the names of them but they were not cheap junk. I am sure Leighton or Giz would recognize the names if I could remember. But any way they had wraps they carried them in and different sizes and shapes of blades for dressing deer.
Although I can see there use I am from a area where you carry one knife.I have seen a few people who like to carry a saw with a T handle I cannot remember the make.
My self I used to carry a long curved fixed blade case. But swiched to a folding buck 112 back in 1979.I keep it razor sharp with 600 sand paper.I make a tiny slit in the belly skin enough to get two fingers in and turn my blade upside down and lay it between my fingers and just slip it up the belly to the breast bone.Then cut the second layer around the breast bone.Then I grab my knife from the top of the blade and leave about a inch sticking out past my fingers. With my left hand I run it up until I find something that feels like a vacume cleaner hose.That is the wind pipe. Then I take my right hand with the knife turned away and slide the back of my right hand down my left arm until I am at the end and I move my left hand back a ways and cut the wind pipe with my right hand. That lets the lungs loose and you can roll the guts out a ways and reach down into the chest cavity and cut them loose from the insides.Then you can roll the whole pile out.I dig out the heart and leave it in its sack and cut the liver loose and wrap it all in my wool hunting shirt and stuff it into the chest cavity.Then I poke holes in the gut strap every few inches and lace the chest cavity shut with nylon rope to keep the leaves and dirt and sticks out and the heart and lungs inside.
Tying one legg to a tree realy helps before you start also because there leggs will swing around and get in the way.But any way then I tie nylon rope around there neck and cut a chunk of alder about two foot long or so and make a couple grooves in it on the ends and tie the rope into those and step inside the ropes and lean into it and drag it down hill to a road or as close to a road as I can get.
Some times you dont go far because of dead fall etc.I take out my engineers ribbon and flag the elk off and my path out and go home.But I retrieve the heart and liver and at home put them in the sink and soaking in salt water.I try and find a friend to help but if not I go back with a regular carpenters wood saw and pack boards.If I know I am going to have to pack it.I knuckle the leggs off with my buck knife and cut off the head. Then I start at the breast bone and saw that open and then saw open the I dont know the name the bone in there crotch and clean all that out.Then I saw the elk in half .Then I can tilt the halves up and follow the back bone down as I saw the halves into quarters.I tie the front quarters to the pack boards and put the saw on one of them.If its a bull I will usualy saw up the antlers into four pieces if its a five point rag horn or I saw the top of the skull and take the horns loose and turn them up side down on the board and lash them on.You can get a couple hundred bucks for six points and more for a seven from a taxidermist or sell them to a californian in the bars for 500 bucks sometimes.
Then I throw a hind quarter over my shoulder and pack it out to my truck.Come back for the other then each pack board.It is hard work and takes hours and you will be covered in blood and smell like a dead elk.Bring a flash light because it can take you into the night to get one out.
Some times you can drag one right to the edge of a road and load it whole right into your truck.Some times you can get your fire wood skidding cable and skid one up hill with your truck or a chainsaw winch to the road.But packing one by your self is a very rough way to go and I have only did it four times. You can usualy get some one to come help you.I leave the hide on because its a pain to skin a elk on the ground by your self and very time consumming.
I take it home and skin off the hide and wash the meat and pour course grain pepper on it and hang it for four days. Then I start cutting it and wrapping it and do two quarters per night on my kitchen table.I use old hickory kitchen knives and keep a stone sitting at the table with me to touch them up as they dull.
On my hunting belt that is my army issue web belt I carry my buck and a small pair of bushnell binoculars because I dont use a scope.A swaude leather ammo carrier that when you unsnap it drops down and I have 14 extra rounds of ammo.I carry 20 foot of white nylon rope tied into a hangmans noose on the back of my belt.That is all the gear I take.
Most of the time your going to be dressing a elk on a 1 1/2 to one slope or at least a two to one.Make sure you drag the hind quarters down hill before you tie it off and start gutting so the blood runs out.Other wise your gonna have a couple gallons of blood splashing around in the chest cavity and when you roll the guts out it will soak your boots and dry in your socks and make your toes stick together.It usualy only takes one shot to kill one and dont forget to rechamber a round and lean your rifle up on a bush or tree close.And look around you once in a while. Elk stink to high heaven and can attract un wanted guests.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Onenut58. lgnngp npihanp
ryperp Okay you got too deep, too quick for me. Remember I'm new at this! ryperp

I did just buy a field dressing DVD that just might make sense, if I watch it and read along with your response at the same time.(lol)
Man it's amazing how much info just 26 letters from the alphabet can make when you jumble them all up.

Here's the new deal for you.
Don't try to explain to a city boy how to accomplish this monumental task.

Just come up here.
I'll buy the license and shoot he damned Elk.
You gut it and field dress it.
I'll pack it out. After it comes back from the processor you get half!
I'll pay the processors bill too! Sounds like a win, win for both of us!

PM me, and break it down into smaller bites please.
Thanks, GQ
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh yeah.
I forgot to ask if you all can post a few pics of these knives, without making this post look like a knife show, so I can at least get an idea of what I should be looking for.

ryperp
Seriously, I haven't hunted since 1978 and it was only for Michigan White Tails and Pheasant back then. It didn't take a serious amount of firepower or much more than a basic Buck knife to dress them out.

I appreciate Leighton's response.
It is much appreciated, knowing that everybody has their favorite, but he kept his answer right on point.

onenut58 - You know me, your answer is exactly on the money for where I am going to be hunting. You were raised a only few miles from here. Thanks!!!!!
This is exactly why I am using this S&W forum.
Straight answers without harassing me for having stupidly simple questions with really difficult answers.
 

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It isnt rocket science just hard work.If you can gut a deer you can gut a elk.The knife or knives you use are a personal choice.What ever you used to gut a deer will work just fine on a elk.The same goes for skinning or cutting up the meat.
I am going to try and make it home this year to hunt. But it isnt looking good.I have been off work to long and by the time I get resetled in northern nevada I may still be to broke. But I am going to try and if I do I will definatley hook up with you and we will go knock a couple down.I am going to snap a pic of you though all covered in elk blood looking like a axe murderer to post in here.
 

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gearchecker, notice that onenut mentioned a saw (I prefer a small hand-axe), rope and packboards. Have these items handy 'cause you will probably need them. Elk are large animals and the work "really" begins when you get one down..........all those items may be needed to get your elk out .

Don
 
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Knives of Alaska makes this set....Never been used on Elk, but has done numerous Maine Moose, picked this set up from a retired Registered Maine Guide, who thought highly of them. Useful for caping work, too.



For a different period in time...much earlier...I carry this one as a general purpose knife. I could butcher/cape a deer with it, or use it for dinner ;)



giz
 
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