What knife for a new­bie?

Sporting Shooter - - Experts -

Q What knives do you rec­om­mend for some­body new to deer stalk­ing? A

DOM HOLTAM replies: I started out with a fold­ing Buck knife that I still have and use reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially for skin­ning be­cause of the shape of the blade. But I gen­er­ally pre­fer a fixed blade these days, as they are stronger, eas­ier to clean and avail­able with longer blades.

There are var­i­ous shapes (I like a drop point) and lots of dif­fer­ent types of steel. Don’t worry too much but avoid car­bon steel un­less you are scrupu­lous about clean­ing and oil­ing.

You don’t have to spend a for­tune and there is a lot to be said for blaze-or­ange plas­tic han­dles, es­pe­cially in long grass at dusk! You can get de­cent blades for un­der £50, and £100 would buy you some­thing nice. Casstrom have some good spe­cial­ist op­tions, as do Cutco. I cer­tainly wouldn’t blow £300 on a top-of-therange cus­tom blade just yet, as what you like to use to start with might not be what you want as you get more ex­pe­ri­enced and your tech­nique de­vel­ops. Plus, if you plan to butcher your own meat, it’s well worth get­ting a cou­ple of spe­cial­ist blades, es­pe­cially for bon­ing out joints. Spe­cial­ists such as Weschen­felder of­fer good op­tions that won’t break the bank.

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