What knife for a newbie?
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.