Author Topic: Game processing knife  (Read 6823 times)

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Game processing knife
« on: November 09, 2012, 08:08:23 AM »
Hi all,

I did a search and couldn't find this specific topic discussed. If I missed it please link me.

I got my first squirrel a month ago and after going through nearly every knife in the kitchen I realized I need to get a good game processing knife, as well as learn to sharpen the kitchen knives I have.  I ended up getting the job done but it could have been much easier.

I need a recommendation of a good game processing knife that will last. I understand that a small sharp knife is what is recommended for field dressing a deer. So is there a one knife fits all game option?

My father is a chef and sharpens knives semi-professionally. Looks like I need to go pick the old mans brain and acquire this useful skill set. 

Thanks,
Patrick

Offline ID_Joker

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 11:26:06 AM »
No recommendations from me, but I'm interested to know what you find out!  I could use some more appropriate knives for the same use.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 12:01:53 PM »
A "flexible" boning knife. (Its not really "flexible" in the sense most people think....but thats what its called)

Henkles or Wusthoff are my favorites. Dont buy one that's less than $35 unless its used. Theres "economy" versions and then theres good ones... you dont want to go cheap because the edge on these economy knives get to the point where you cant sharpen them.  A good kitchen knife should last you a lifetime... and in fact, if the knife does get damaged, both of these companies will replace it for life.

My Henkles chef's knife was over $100. Worth every penny and more.


oh...and no matter who tells you differently, dont buy a Global knife.

Offline archer

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 12:11:58 PM »
buy a Mora carbon steel knife:
http://www.ragweedforge.com/SwedishKnifeCatalog.html

inexpensive, holds an edge well, easy to sharpen.


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Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 12:13:44 PM »
Thanks for the info. Are you talking about these?

http://www.chefsresource.com/boning-knife-henckels-twin-pro-s.html?gclid=CM7JkPi9wrMCFYuZ4AodmTMAxw

http://www.chefsresource.com/wusthof-flexible-boning-knife.html?gclid=CLmL-Yy-wrMCFUWo4Aodi1YAfw

They look like really nice knives. So do most people use a kitchen boning knife as a processing field knife? I assume I would need to buy or make a sheath for these.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 12:16:52 PM »
I like the story of the Mora knives. The blade is much different in shape than the boning knives. Do you use a Mora knife to field dress your game?

Offline BetaMike

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 12:18:49 PM »
I've been eyeing this kit, take a look...

http://www.snareshop.com/prodinfo.asp?number=VFIELD


Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 12:27:02 PM »
Thanks for the info. Are you talking about these?

http://www.chefsresource.com/boning-knife-henckels-twin-pro-s.html?gclid=CM7JkPi9wrMCFYuZ4AodmTMAxw

http://www.chefsresource.com/wusthof-flexible-boning-knife.html?gclid=CLmL-Yy-wrMCFUWo4Aodi1YAfw

They look like really nice knives. So do most people use a kitchen boning knife as a processing field knife? I assume I would need to buy or make a sheath for these.

yes.... that first one is the one I have ...although thats about double what you should spend on it though. Check eBay for a better deal.

I'll precursor this with Ive never processed a deer before, but I have processed half a cow in culinary school using just that 1st knife. An actual butcher would use a boning knife. I would asume you could use the same knife for field dressing and processing, but if Ive got a big ole piece of meat with bones in it on a table I want the right tool for the job, which is a boning knife. As far as field dressing... im sure you could use a boning knife... but again...right tool for the right job. 

When I eventyually go deer hunting I'll be getting another knife for field dressing and my henckels boning knife for processing.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 12:34:06 PM »
from looking more at the mora it looks like a great field knife... but a boning knife is specifically designed to have some flex to it, which is very helpful when deboning a piece of meat. It also seems to have a lot more length to it compared tot he moras

that being said... if you only wanted 1 knife... probably cant go wrong with the mora... I just think a seperate processing knife makes life easier.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 12:38:43 PM »
@BetaMike,

That kit looks good but I don't think I need all those knives. I will probably have a local butcher do my first couple deer. Maybe learn from him if I can. That company doesn't sell just the boning knife.  :(

@livinitup0,

Would you be getting another boning knife to field dress or something else? I like the blade style of the boning knife. I think it would work well for getting into the chest cavity of a deer. That said, the Mora knives are small and much cheaper. I will have to think about it and do some research.

Anyone feel free to chime in and recommend what you use. I would like to see what everyone uses and make an informed decision.

Thanks 

Offline BetaMike

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 12:40:00 PM »
Here's something a little more field oriented and cheaper too.  Will handle evrything from small game to big game:

http://www.outdooredge.com/Butcher-Lite-p/butcher-lite.htm

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 12:47:54 PM »
That kit looks like it would be good for processing but I just need a knife for field dressing deer and processing squirrel. I will most likely have a butcher do any deer I get.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 12:55:56 PM »
@BetaMike,

@livinitup0,

Would you be getting another boning knife to field dress or something else? I like the blade style of the boning knife. I think it would work well for getting into the chest cavity of a deer. That said, the Mora knives are small and much cheaper. I will have to think about it and do some research.

Thanks

for field dressing? no... I'd have to do more reserch into it but i'll probably either get a mora or a skinning knife because they're designed for field dressing.

Also... you can go on eBay and get a whole set and knife block of those henckels for super cheap... retail those sets are in the $300-400 range... Ive seen used ones as little as $150. Just the boning knife you should be able to get for less than $30. Also... that boninig knife is a godsend when breaking down chickens or pretty much any meat with bones.

Im just remembering butchering that half a cow... using a mora on that would have been a nightmare I think. I know a deer's going to be smaller, but i'd just be more comfortable processing it with the boning knife.

just my 0.02.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 12:58:20 PM »
my bad....just noticed we were really talking about squirrel... yeah Id defintely want a boning knife over a mora... the blade is much thinner. I'd ruin a squirrel with a thick knife like the mora.

imo I think you're going to need to look at 2 different knives here, but thats just my $0.02.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 01:07:26 PM »
Yeah its looking like I will get a boning knife and a Mora. Maybe a few Mora's seeing how cheap they are.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2012, 01:20:21 PM »
Yeah its looking like I will get a boning knife and a Mora. Maybe a few Mora's seeing how cheap they are.

awesome... hey you mind doing a squirrel butchering post when you get it?

just subscribed to your blog.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 01:30:13 PM »
awesome... hey you mind doing a squirrel butchering post when you get it?

just subscribed to your blog.

Yeah no problem. I am new to hunting but we, my fiance and I, did a good job with our first squirrel. If I had a sharp knife it would have been much easier.  ;)

Looks like I need to go squirrel hunting again. darn.....

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2012, 01:31:41 PM »
haha... mine wouldnt even try squirrel. One of these days i'll sneak it in and tell her after shes eaten it lol :)

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2012, 01:34:50 PM »
Lol, you should. Here is my fiance in robe and slippers helping skin and gut the squirrel. She is examining the internal organs. We are both EMT's, professional curiosity.


Offline inconel710

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2012, 02:08:10 PM »
I haven't processed a squirrel, but I would probably just use my Swiss Army Knife Hiker Model.  I'm going elk hunting this year and after much thought I've decided to take an ESEE-3 as my processing knife.  Good knife that holds its edge, from a good company, made in USA, and a no-BS warranty.

http://usamadeblade.com/ESEE-Model-3-MIL-RC3MILP.htm

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2012, 02:14:00 PM »
from the Ulu thread, I am wondering if one of those would work on small game as well as the big fatty alaskan game.
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Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2012, 02:17:14 PM »
Looks like a great knife. That would be a a bit big for squirrel. My backpacking knife is a USMC K-bar which I have realized is not suited to skinning.  :)

Offline archer

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2012, 03:28:53 PM »
I like the story of the Mora knives. The blade is much different in shape than the boning knives. Do you use a Mora knife to field dress your game?

i use my moras in the kitchen and also with butchering rabbits with Cedar. Sorry, dont have any experience (yet) with anything larger.


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Offline RazorCityDen

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2012, 03:17:13 PM »
We process quite a bit of game (mule and whitetail deer, antelope, elk and various grouse) and domestic animals (goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs and beeves). My two most used knives are made by Vicotrinox, a 5" upswept 'boning' knife and a12" 'scimitar steaker'. The boning knife is for just that and the large steaker for cutting steaks and roast in a nice square and uniform fashion.

The knives are professional butcher knives, but not that expensive. The boning knives wear out pretty fast, usually only lasting us a couple years before they start to look like tooth picks from frequent sharpening, even then they are good for small game, birds and fish. It seems most of the pro meat cutters I have been around use the 5" upswept boning knife for 90% of their cutting since they don't hand cut steaks and roast anyway.

We always have a few of the boning knives around since we often do several head a game at a time and just rotate them out as they loose their razor edge. Knives like that generally only get sharpened on a steel, so we don't want to blunt the edges, besides meat cutting sucks with dull knives.

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2012, 08:39:54 PM »
Having fully processed two deer this weekend, I didn't find a particular blade style that was much better than another.  For me, super sharp was the key.
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Offline Winston Smith

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2012, 09:48:31 AM »
Got one of these Gerber field dressing kits from Dicks for $30.  I haven't tried it yet, but it at least looks like it would be good for opening up the abdomen without piercing anything.

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Offline Mister Dark

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2012, 10:06:47 AM »
Moras are great all around knives, you can even baton firewood if you are REAL careful.   Another good knife would be a Bird and Trout (google it) - they are long, narrow blades, good for making delicate cuts.  I carry one with me a lot of the time when in the woods, just in case a squirrel or brook trout falls over dead right in front of me on the trail.
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2012, 12:16:37 PM »
Looks like you're getting a lot of different types of replies, are you wanting a "one knife" to work for both field dressing and processing of the meat?  And do you want that knife to serve its purpose on small to large animals, including birds and fish?  And you want it to be right for "you"?

Well GOOD LUCK ! . . . .  I primarily hunt large game and even then I carry multiple blades in my pack to field dress my kill (which sometimes includes quartering and maybe even boning).  When I get that animal home, I usually use yet another set of knives to process the meat.  If I was hunting small game, birds, or fishing, I might even have a different set in my pack.  Not to forget that my brother (my hunting partner) uses a set completely different because he likes a different feel and has a different sized hand.

The cool thing is that knives are relatively inexpensive (so you can own a lot) and can be found at numerous retail stores (so you can get your hands on them before buying). . .  Don't get stuck on "one".  Sure, one will work for all that you are asking of it, but probably won't work well on any of it.

Too many people get stuck on what the blade is made out of, how sharp you can get it, and how long it will hold an edge.  It's all hogwash. . . . .  My favorite knife is a plain 'ol low carbon steel blade.  I will say, it is definitely much easier to use a sharp knife, but it doesn't have to be "cut paper" or "shave hair" sharp to serve it's purpose.  If you get one with a blade that will hold an edge a very long time, keep in mind that it will probably be hard to put that edge back on, which is fine at home but not what you want in the field.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 12:43:51 PM by nelson96 »
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Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2012, 12:27:53 PM »
Looks like you're getting a lot of different types of replies, are you wanting a "one knife" to work for both field dressing and processing of the meat? 

No I am looking for a knife to field dress a deer. And since looking into that subject I have noticed a lot of hunters prefer a small knife for this. I am wondering if there is a "one knife", just for field processing, that would work for deer down to squirrel. I am not opposed to owning multiple knives, in fact I do, I just want some recommendations on field dressing knives.

I really like the Mora, boning and bird and trout knife. I may have to get them all and see which is the best. I have also thought about grinding down some knives I already have into the size and shape of the bird and trout knife. I have a carbon steel knife that might work great for that.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Game processing knife
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2012, 12:34:26 PM »
the only issue you'll run into with "shaping" and grinding down an already made knife is making your edge and being able to keep it over the long haul. sharpening an edge isnt hard... making an level edge out of a 45degree edge of steel isnt.

Although that does sound like a really cool DIY project.