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The US tradition of hunting goes back to the time that Northern America was first discovered. Whether the first intrepid explorers to land on her magnificent shores where Vikings, sailors from China, Africa or Europe is largely irrelevant to this story. One can be sure that whoever visited the US first, Christopher Columbus was the one who staked his claim to this new territory and paved the way for the multinational country the US has become today. Another certainty is that hunting knives go far back into the history of the US where these tools were used to kill animals for survival.
Several hundred years have passed and the quality of hunting knives have improved vastly due to new technology. Hunting animals is no longer necessary for survival except for the few people who live off the grid. Hunting has, however, remained a time-honored tradition in the US. To support this tradition or sport, the making of hunting knives has become an avid specialty. Whether one thinks of the making of hunting knives as a specialty, a hobby or an art, the vast variety of hunting knives available is proof that the passion and interest in this sport is alive and well. Before going into their uses, let us look at some history behind the creation and development of the hunting knife.
Some Background History to The Evolution of Hunting Knives
The Bowie knife was first designed by Rezin Bowie, brother of James Bowie, in the early 1800s. This famous fixed blade hunting knife was first shaped like a large butcher’s knife but has gone through several modifications over time. Having become famous when James Bowie first used it to defend himself at the notorious Sandbar Fight near Nachez in 1827 when he killed his attacker, this hunting knife has remained an old favorite with many hunters since that time. The Bowie hunting knife enjoyed enormous popularity at the time as it proved to be an excellent tool for hunting, trapping and skinning game.
Another popular hunting knife is the Puma, first manufactured in Solingen, Germany during 1769, predating the Bowie knife by 58 years. This company has built its reputation on making high-quality pocket knives as well as fixed-blade knives. These are commonly used for hunting, when camping, for sport and other general-use purposes.
Well-known hunting knife brands are abundant. Elk Ridge, Kershaw, Boker and others have become popular hunting choices. In more recent years, the popularity of brands such as 12 Survivors Gear and ABKT Tac, American Hunter Knives, Anglesey Knives and others have challenged the traditional brand names to rise in popularity. These modern hunting knife brands have, in fact, become the first choice of many outdoorsmen seeking the finest of high-quality hunting knives to engage in their favorite sport.
Hunting Knives as an Essential Part of Hunting Gear
Every hunter or outdoorsman worth their salt understands the value of a good hunting knife. They know that one is needed in a tight spot for protection, for example. Others just enjoy their ‘boy’s toys’ and purchase hunting knives for their simple beauty and elegant designs. These hunters form a group of hobbyists, purchasing hunting knives for collection purposes while professional hunters are more serious about this sport.
More likely, the seasoned or professional hunter will purchase a different hunting knife for each task to be performed after a hunt. Depending on personal preferences, the hunter will select specific hunting knives for butchering, skinning and gutting an animal, caping, deboning and hunting – not necessarily in that order. The evolution of hunting knives enjoys a long and illustrious history to bring a variety of these tools and weapons to the public today.
The Many Uses of the Illustrious Hunting Knife
Hunting knife designs have been so well-honed over time that there are many choices in respect of blade thicknesses, blade shape, handle sizes, shapes, grips and the materials used to make these hunting knives. Before discussing hunting knife characteristics, we are going to take a look at why their designs have altered so drastically since the large, thin-bladed butcher knife design created by Bowie almost two centuries ago.
The Gutting Hunting Knife
Gutting game is also known as field dressing. This is the process of removing innards (organs) so that the meat does not spoil. The gutting hunting knife and gutting hook are a good combination to have to make this job a lot easier. A good example of a gutting knife can be found here. This Knife Blanks SM02 branded gutting hunting knife comes in a four-inch stainless steel blade with a brass guard and has proven to be a popular choice with customers. Several other excellent examples of these knives can be seen here. These are available in Damascus steel, and come in variations with finger guards, sheaths, lanyard holes, full tangs, thumb ridges or more. All are fixed blades designed to make the gutting of game a seamless process for the experienced hunter.
Hunting Knives Designed for Skinning
Hunting knives are also specifically designed for skinning game. This particular knife has been well-designed to cut with precision through the animal’s hide so that the muscles and tissues of the abdomen are not damaged. An example of this skinning knife with its thin, curved blade can be viewed here. This particular Ka-Bar hunting knife comes with a leather hand grip and a 3 7/8” stainless steel blade with additional thumb ridges for easier handling. Extras include a belt sheath manufactured from leather and a brass guard on the handle. A further example of Mossy Oak 048206 Prohunter Skinning Knife shows the variety of designs available for these knives.
The Deboning Hunting Knife
Once a hunter has prepared the game meat through skinning, a fixed blade deboning knife will help to carefully separate the meat from the bones. Deboning hunting knives are typically manufactured with a long slim blade and handle grip. This facilitates the deboning process, making this tricky chore that much easier for the hunter.
The Butcher Hunting Knife
The butcher knife needs to be able to slice through the game meat like butter. A long 7” blade with an upturned tip assists in doing just that. Forschner Knives of Switzerland have created a butcher knife for hunters with a black Fibrox handle grip and fixed blade made from stainless steel for durability to handle the toughest jobs. Where the serious hunter wants to extend his skills, caping is the final step in this sport, one which few pursue due to the skill required.
The Caping Hunting Knife
Caping hunting knives come in a variety of fixed blade designs. These knives are designed differently to handle the caping of different prey more effectively. Caping is aimed at the creation and preservation of a hunting trophy and involves the neck and head of the animal to be skinned. In this process, the animal’s skin from its neck, chest and shoulders first needs to be cut from the meat. This is where specialized caping knives come into play. An example of a buffalo caping knife can be viewed here, with a stag caping hunting knife, which can be seen here. If one follows the links, the differences in these designs are obvious and intriguing.
Folding Hunting Knives
Not all hunting knives come with fixed blades. Folding blade hunting knives are another option available to hunters. Some of these come with various blades that hunters can use when indulging in their favorite sport. Although these folding knives are more compact and easier to carry, they do have a drawback. They are not as durable as their fixed blade cousin and they are more problematic to keep clean. Many examples of these single or multipurpose folding hunting knives are available here.
More Hunting Knife Characteristics
Hunters can purchase specialized hunting kits as an all-in-one camping or hunting solution for their next great outdoor adventure. The camping knife has remained a popular choice for many hunters over the decades and is a useful tool due to its multi-purpose cutting features. This hunting knife is typically designed with a drop point, which describes its appearance well. Several clip point designs and skinner knives are also commonly used in hunting, with these products having been described. Other specialty hunting knives include the buck knife and the boar hunting knife. Some hunters prefer to make do with one hunting knife and use this for everything on their trips.
Additional hunting knife features include ergonomically designed handle grips that prevent slippages and hand guards to prevent injury due to slips when handling game. Knife sheaths help to protect the knife and the owner from damage or accidents and most hunting knife blades are smooth with a few having serrated edges. Hunting knife blades are also manufactured in a variety of different metals such as stainless steel or Damascus steel. The handles of these knives can be manufactured with anything from wood to bone or synthetic materials.
Hunting in the US and across the globe has remained a tradition for as long as mankind has lived on earth. Hunting as a professional or amateur sport or hobby has remained a favorite of the US population for over a century and will continue to inspire many outdoorsmen to kit up with the right equipment to handle their game once killed. Choosing the right hunting knives will enable hunters to enjoy their sport far more than being caught with inadequate tools. This is why Knife Country USA has dedicated themselves to sourcing the best hunting knives from around the world for its avid customers and will continue to support hunters and hunting in every way possible.
Browse Through the Huge Selection of Knives at Knife Country
Knife Country, USA is one of the most reliable dealers in the knife and tool industry. Having a flourished inventory, which includes more than 30,000 models of knives, camping gear, backpacks, flashlights and survival equipment; Knife Country USA gives you a huge variety of options to choose from. The online store has a huge selection of premium outdoor accessories and survival gear, manufactured and supplied by some of the elite brands across the globe. You can find an array of folding knives, fixed blade knives, machetes, security equipment, fire starting gear, and other EDC essentials at Knife Country. A superb megastore with an expanding product line, you can always trust Knife Country for quality and variety! Call us today if you need further assistance as we are here Monday through Friday for help.