Can o' worms

karstic

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I would like to buy a knife for skinning/ dressing small game upland birds and waterfowl. I'm tired of cleaning my Leatherman and my serrated Spyderco is too difficult to work with. I want to stick with a fixed blade. What are the pro's and con's of a wood v. synthetic handle? I was considering the AG Russell Bird and Trout Knife. Does anyone own one, how do you like it. Thanks.


(Edited by karstic at 7:55 am on July 18, 2001)
 

Speckmisser

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Hey Karstic,

What else are you planning to skin?  

For small game, quail, and ducks, I use a plain old Schrade pen knife.  It'll dismantle a squirrel or a quail in short fashion, and I can fold it right up and drop it back in my pocket.  I carry it every day and everywhere.

I also have a lock blade (I think it's a Case) with a 2.5" drop point blade which I use for skinning almost everything else, including deer.  I've been through so many skinning knives, and it always comes back to the lock blade for the majority of work, then to a heavier sheath knife when I need to do some heavy cutting.  

That AG Russell does look nice, though.  I've ordered several knives from them, and the service is always quick and correct.  I just bought my girlfriend an AG Russell Gentleman's Skinner for deer.  It's got the small blade, and an incredible balance.  When I held it, I could practically feel it taking the hide off a deer.  And it's small enough to use for other game too.
 

wildlifedesigner

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I like the Buck Zipper with the rubber handle. It has a nice sturdy blade and is not to costly around 50.00. I like the rubber because I feel I get a better grip and its cheaper than the wooden handle version.
 

karstic

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Speck,

Other skinning chores would include deer, I hope, but I think I would need ;) a larger knife than the Bird and Trout.
 

Speckmisser

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Karstic,

It's really about what you get used to.  The Bird and Trout is kind of a thin blade, so it might not be the best for large game, but then again...  

If you have the AG Russell catalog or website handy, take a look at their little "Woodswalker" knife.  It's a relatively tiny blade, but the design looks really perfect for most work skinning and gutting.  Of course, at $20 without the sheath, it's real cheap...so I can't vouch for the quality of the blade.  The Gentleman's Skinner is another great choice (I think I mentioned that one earlier), but it's ten times the price of the Woodswalker.  

I find it easiest to skin and gut with a small blade that I can cover with my finger (for control in places where I can't see what I'm cutting).  Then I use the heavier sheath knife for separating meat and bones...and occasionally cutting through joints.  

Wildlife Designer mentioned the Buck Zipper.  My little brother, who skins about 10 or more deer every season swears by his Zipper knife.  I haven't used one, but the zipper blade idea makes sense, and seems like a really easy way to remove skin and open the body cavity without puncturing organs.  
 


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