Hunting is a very diverse sport and game from vary in size from a small quail to a large deer. Because there is such a variation in game species it is not surprising that there needs to be a range of knives to suit different purposes.
That said, there are general purpose hunting
knives. Long established and reliable hunting knife such as the Buck 110 or similar Kershaw and Forge de Laguiole models are excellent for general purpose hunting and camp tasks. This picture shows the technique for using a general purpose knife for gutting.
Specialist knives can make difficult or unsavoury tasks less arduous. The following examples of specialist knives are not the only ones on the market, but they deserve some discussion here.
This style of o field dress a game animal you make a small hole in the abdomen. Then with the knife blade up, you run it from belly to brisket with two fingers held ahead of the point to avoid piercing the entrails. The guthook is designed to take the difficulty out of this task. The guthook is a special feature ground into the blade of the knife. The previously described abdomen task now becomes a zipper-like stroke. There are a couple of drawbacks, they can be tricky to sharpen, the hook can clog with hair if pulling against the direction of the hair and the hook point can catch on other things.
These knives originate in Europe where on a driven shoot a variety of game can be encountered. Deer, fox boar or rabbit can be taken on the same day along with birds. Some of the classic European guns have side-by-side shotgun with a rifle barrel underneath known as a drilling mix from the German word for three ‘drei’ as a combination gun. It follows that hunting knives have been adapted to serve a variety of game. Manufacturer such as Boker, Puma and Fox have a fine reputation in this style of knife. The main blade is a spear point
which locks. The second blade is a saw with screwdriver and cap lifter/bottle opener. The third blade is curved with an extremely blunt tip for gutting. Another feature often found is a ‘bird’ or ‘button’ hook which is inserted into the anus of game birds, given a half twist then withdrawn removing the entrails without opening the body cavity. As is common with most European knives a corkscrew is on the back. Seldom seen outside continental Europe because of their high cost, the Jager knife is a very attractive folder. The accompanying picture shows the simple action required in gutting with a Jager knife.
Bird hunter Knife.
As the name suggests the bird hunter is a special purpose knife for game birds. The first blade is often a clip point but can be spear point. The second ‘blade’ is the all important vent-hook. This allows the hunter to quickly field dress game birds. The ‘bird’ or ‘button’ hook is inserted into the anus of game birds, given a half twist then
withdrawn removing the entrails without opening the body cavity. This helps keep down the risk of spoilage so you can wait until the end of the day’s shoot to thoroughly clean your bag.The bird knife is a useful tool for all game bird hunters.