The work begins, the minute you punch your tag and I used to feel overwhelmed when I had a bull on the ground. Field dressing was a task that I dreaded, it can be messy and time consuming causing your back to ache for days. For me, field dressing a big bull elk has become a much easier task as I have taken up the gutless method which is quick and really easy.
All this talk of field dressing leads me to this week’s Tech Tuesday blog. The selection of a high quality knife is of the utmost importance when taking on the task of field dressing a big game animal. In the past, I have used replaceable blade knives because it seemed like a good option to always have a sharp knife when you need it but there are drawbacks to that train of thought. First, the blades are often too sharp, causing you to cut accidental holes in capes, or yourself, and the blades are flimsy and break very easily. The last thing I want to do is reach inside the cavity of an animal to remove the heart and break off my knife blade inside which I have seen happen on numerous occasions. Not to mention the blades become expensive to replace.
Doing some experimentation with knives, I want to introduce you to the Buck Knives Open Season Series with a S30V blade. Why is the blade important? Well because the type of steel on a blade will dictate how long it will stay sharp.
The steel is the key to your knife staying sharp and the S30V is built to stay sharp. This year, I processed an entire bull elk without my knife dulling. I had no fear when reaching inside the body cavity to remove the heart of my knife blade snapping in half.
If you don’t know how to sharpen a Buck knife, simply send it in to Buck Knives and for a small fee they will gladly restore the edge. I also recently discovered the Buck Flip Stick. Weighing in at less than 2 ounces, you can take it anywhere for field expedient sharpening if it is needed.
The Open Season Series offers a caper, skinner, small game, and folding knife so that you can choose the knife that is right for your application. I chose the 3 ½” small fixed blade caper knife to carry with me afield this year. The beautiful handle is made of Rosewood Dymondwood and is small enough for me to easily control the knife, yet big enough to remove hind quarters on a bull elk. It even comes with a leather sheath that you can thread through your belt.
With a forever warranty, if you break your knife, send it in and they will repair or replace it. Forever. The series ranges in price from $125.00-$140.00 and is proudly made in the USA. Check them out at Cabelas.com.