The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Hunting Knives

Hot Kitchen, Hot Knives: Jamie Carlson of You Have to Cook It Right

This is the seventh installment of The Cutting Edge’s new article series: Hot Kitchens, Hot Knives! Cooks and foodies almost love geeking out about their knives as much as they love food (and at times, even moreso!), so we’ll be sitting down with chefs, kitchen crews, and bloggers all across the world to ask them about their knife collections and the culinary workhorses that they know and love. Check out this series every Tuesday if you want to find out what kind of heat the guys and gals in the kitchen are packing in their knife rolls.

Jamie Carlson and his mom posing with squirrels.

If you’ve ever been stumped for cooking ideas for your wild game, Jamie Carlson’s blog, You Have to Cook It Right, is a lifesaver. Though venison steaks and wild boar sausage are great standbys, they can get kind of dull — especially if you’re as good of a hunter as Carlson is. His dishes are imaginative and versatile, ranging from sesame pheasant to wild game charcuterie. Even if you’ve never hunted or eaten wild game in a serious way, Carlson’s enthusiasm for hunting will inspire you to get cracking on your duck shelter ASAP.

Naturally, he’s got quite a respectable arsenal of knives. More on that after the jump! Continue reading

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Talking hunting knives with huntress Lisa Jane

There’s something primal, skillful and undeniably enjoyable about hunting. Weapons are integral elements of a hunter’s repertoire, so to get a perspective on hunting knives, the Cutting Edge spoke with Lisa Jane, better known as the Writing Huntress. Lisa loves hunting, has a writing degree from Niagara University and runs a fantastic blog about her hunting experiences called Hunt Like You’re Hungry, which I highly recommend you check out.

Here’s part of our interview with Lisa.

What do you love about hunting?

I adore the way an opaque stretch of woods magically turns into a different world after sunrise. I love the adrenaline rush that accompanies the sudden appearance of a strutting tom, an elusive deer or highflying duck. I esteem the sense of camaraderie of hunters, the way a community can be formed and held fast simply because the members live to hunt. Most of all, I love hunting because the feeling of providing food to my dinner table is unsurpassed.

What do you hunt?

I hunt anything I can legally kill in legal North Carolinian seasons. Currently, we’re in archery season for deer, which has been unfruitful thus far. I kill deer, duck, goose, and soon to be bear! I’ll try anything twice so let me know what else I should be hunting!

How important is it to have a knife while you’re on the hunt?

Knives are as important as guns or bows during a hunt for many reasons, but the main reason is field dressing. Without a proper knife, especially in North Carolina early seasons, meat can spoil and innards may rupture. Besides field dressing, knives are used constantly, whether they’re needed cutting camo netting for a blind, hewing small branches for a shot lane or for emergencies.

What are the traits of a good hunting knife?

The key characteristic of a good hunting knife is durability. The knife needs to be able to last many seasons, without falling apart in a deer’s belly or getting lodged in a tree. Also, a great blade that can last many sharpenings without losing its razor-esque qualities is absolutely necessary. Personally, I would love a knife that cannot be lost. For some odd reason, I have lost both knives that I had owned previously and adored. If a company can create an ever-lasting, misplace-resistant knife, do let me know!

What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about buying a hunting knife?

I would advise the person to evaluate what kind of game he or she is buying the knife for. If you’re stalking large game, a small knife intended for rodent dressing will not be practical. Also, knowing what type of game will determine the style of knife. Will you want to cut cleanly through the hide or roughly get through layers of muscle and tissue? Do you need a hooked knife for waterfowl dressing?  Personally, I am a big supporter of camo knives and those with non-slip handles. While the latter may be extremely practical, the first may be the primary reason why I can never find my knives once they’re lost.

What do you think is the best hunting knives?

Mike, my partner in crime, carries a Kershaw Ken Onion Leek, which he states is the “best knife I’ve ever owned.” I have used it for field dressing and I can’t disagree. The knife works extremely well for its size, consistently keeps a sharp edge and the assisted opening is extraordinarily advantageous when one needs a blade in a pinch.

There is also a knife that sits atop my bookcase. It never sees action anymore, but I’m sure it skinned its fair share of animals when my granddad wielded it. The box smells old and the pamphlets within tell a hunting tale that speaks to an era far surpassed. The knife, for all the years it has seen, still functions wonderfully. Maybe that is what should be searched for, a knife that exhibits all of the long-lasting, hardworking technologies of yore.

To read more about Lisa Jane’s (The Writing Huntress) hunting adventures, go to her site Hunt Like You’re Hungry.

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The Lowdown on Survival Knives

Dark Ops Survival Knife

Dark Ops Survival Knife

A pocket knife is adequate for a number of outdoor tasks, but if you’re a bona fide survivalist, a serious hunter or a Rambo-enthusiast, you’ll want a bigger, burlier, survival blade. Here’s a look at how the survival knife changed over history and what it represents today.

Survival knife prehistoric history

The survival knife has likely existed in some form for thousands of years. When German hikers discovered Otzi the Iceman, Europe’s oldest mummy, he had a flint knife in tow.  He likely used that knife to skin animals, start fires, build shelters and defend himself from everything from bears to human attackers.

Jim Bowie, survival knife inventor, fighting machine.

It’s difficult to imagine a historic figure manlier than Jim Bowie. Whether he was operating as a backwoods pirate in the swamps of Louisiana or slaying Mexicans with his back to the wall at the Alamo, Bowie was one of the toughest knife-wielding renegades of the 19th century and a key contributor to the legacy of the survival knife.

In 1930, Bowie designed the most famous version of his Bowie Knife, a monstrous 9.5-inch blade similar to a butcher knife.  The knife blade curved at the end, making it especially apt for skinning dead animals; its straighter section was ideal for chopping or cutting smaller items.

However, the most infamous use of the Bowie knife was combat.  In 1827, Bowie was a principal at a duel, later termed the sandbar incident, that ended in him being attacked and shot. Bowie defended himself with his Bowie knife, disemboweling one man and nearly slicing off the arm of another.

Continue reading

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Jungle King 14-inch Hunting Knife w/ Survival Kit

Two of my favorite knives are hunting knives and survival knives, which is why this heavy-duty Jungle King hunting knife has me so enthused.  It’s essentially a hunting knife and survival knife in one.

At 14 inches, it has a freakishly huge blade, making it great for cutting through brush when trekking deep into the woods.  I’ve also used it to cut pieces of firewood, and thought I’ve yet to skin an animal with it, I’m fairly confident it’s up to the task.

The knife comes with a stainless steel fixed- blade with a clip point, which makes it excellent for stabbing and tearing.   Its top edge is serrated and can saw through wood if necessary.

A slick-looking jungle green nylon sheath is included and comes with some lagniappe in the form of a full-fledged survival kit, which contains:  a multi-function skinning knife, can opener, slingshot, matches, compass, sewing kit, fishing kit, band aids, tweezers and more.

You’re not going to use all of this survival gear every time you hit the woods, but having it there gives you a  host of tools to choose from.  I dig that, and it’s another reason why I’m such a huge advocate of this knife.

Another is the price.  The Jungle King Hunting Knife only costs $50, which is significantly less than many other hunting knives in its class.

Lastly, this is just a rugged-looking blade.  I’ve never been one to prioritize style over substance, but when the substance is there, the style is a plus.

If you’re going to buy a survival knife, you might as well buy one that looks like it’s capable of slaying a mountain lion, skinning it, clearing brush for a campfire to roast it and finally slicing its tender morsels into tasty pieces for you to enjoy.

That’s exactly how I feel with this survival knife in tow.

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How to Skin a Rabbit

So you’ve shot a rabbit.  Congrats on the kill, but what are you going to do now?  Skinning and gutting a rabbit, just like any other game, can be a tough task.  First and foremost, you need to have the right hunting knife for the operation.

A skinning knife is ideal for removing the rabbit’s fur.  Whether you’re dressing it in the field (recommended) or afterward, a high-quality skinner, whether it’s a gut-hook or a fixed-blade, is necessary.

But you’ll need a meat cleaver as well, for chopping off the rabbit’s head, legs and tail.

Lastly, and most importantly, you’ll need to know where and how to make your cuts.

Check out the video below from chef Mark Gilchrist, it’s one of the best tutorials on rabbit skinning, gutting and preparation on the web.  Gilchrist is the head chef of the British catering company Game for Anything.

In this video, he skins, guts and prepares a rabbit, showing you a quick and easy may to bring your hunt to a tasty conclusion.

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