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Although trying for years with deer different sizes gut hooks most mine on the smaller size, have never had a decent gut hook knife... For some reason most hooks seem to small... Once ya start to carefully rip cut, mine seem to slip off or if I try to keep it deeper, end up nicking the guts...
Am sure there is a knack for doing it right with the right size hook, but hasn't really worked well for me... The one that seemed to work for me best was a little aluminum type ring thingy that attached to your finger, but have seem to have lost it... Seen over on the knife thread TREESTANDWOLF praised the Outdoor Edge hooked skinner, and I have a similar Outdoor Edge model "Wild Skin" I'd like to try someday, but thought I'd ask opinions...
Buck zipper, the cabelas Alaskan guide would be a great option. Or the buck cross lock. Using these my fist cut cuts the skin, then the second cut cuts the abdominal muscles.
I have a Buck Crosslock, is what I use now, but that hook is still small... How big is too big, that is why I'm looking forward to trying the Outdoor Edge Wild Skin only weighs 2.82 oz, Ill likely carry next season...
I use a bench made grizzly creek and love it. Just have to keep it clean. It’s a folding knife with a separate fold out gut hook. I gut probably 12-15 deer a year with it between me and family/friends and never wish I had a different knife.
I mostly use a Buck Crosslock with saw/gut hook that works extremely well or a small orange plastic gut hook when I don't have the Crosslock. You maybe interested in the larger Wyoming knife that has a larger hook.
I was gifted an Outdoor Edge knife saw combo in a nice leather sheath (I think it's called the Cody Pack) about 25 years ago by a good friend's dad prior to a hunt. The knife has a gut hook and has field dressed almost every deer I've killed the last 25 years. I have a bunch of other nice knives I like to carry but that combo is always in my pack and gets the nod.
I will take a pic this eve and attempt to post tomorrow.
I’ve never seen the need for a gut hook. Have alway used 2 opposite hand fingers to guide the blade. I’ve never cared to carry a fixed blade knife. I have several folding knives including the Buck Crosslock which I find the most uncomfortable to grip during heavy work. Loss of grip strength due to age & arthritis. I recently purchased an Outdoor Edge flip & zip mainly because I was looking for a more substantial grip. Large comftable rubberized grip feel good in my hand. Will be interesting see how the zip blade preforms or if I’ll still prefer to use fingers.
I like the gut hook on the original Wyoming Knife.
The Cutco hunting knife has a good size guthook on it.
No better (faster) way to run up the legs, up to the brisket, etc., when breaking down an elk, or any other large game, IMHO.
I carry it as a "backup" to my Browning folding knife (which also has a guthook, but much smaller), and use it almost exclusively for that purpose only.
I really never "gut" but use a "zipper" blade rather than the traditional hook, which never seemed to work very well for my uses. I use them to make a dorsal hide cut and cut down the legs for gutless/deboning. Makes things fast and clean, cuts from inside out. Chops up less hair and makes less mess that gets on the meat. The "standard" blade on it I use for skinning after the initial cuts.
One I'm using now is an outdoor edge flip n zip, which the zipper blade works pretty well. My buddy uses the swing blade model but both are essentially the same idea. It's as good as I can find right now but the skinning blade isn't the best blade material, disappointing actually. But it gets the job done.
Used to have a Browning folder with a zip blade that worked better than anything I've used, but snapped the skinning blade getting too aggressive on a spine taking off a head. Could never find another one until just a while ago I saw Browning offer another that looks just like the one I used. The zipper blade LOOKS identical and I might just give that one a try. That thing was like a straight razor with a rounded safety end/guide.
I'm a tool whore. Just use that knife to skin on the ground, makes fast clean work. Use a 5" straight flex victorinox boning knife to break down and debone. And also always carry a havalon piranta knife in the kill kit for caping and what ifs. Don't use it that much but it weighs next to nothing and handy when you need it. Every tool has a job it does, and does best.
I too am like Basil, never cared for a gut hook, get it started and slide two fingers along. I rarely if ever knick the guts. The new Outdoor Edge replaceable knife with gut hook doesn't seem to bad. Shawn
Here is my Outdoor Edge knife/saw combo I mentioned above. I really like the rubberized handles on both.
The knife takes and holds a great edge and the saw has come in handy many times for some trimming.
Hope the pic comes through and is sized appropriately. I'm posting from my phone and sometimes it's sketchy.
My wife got me a set like this one last year for Christmas. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.
Frank, that is a dandy set!
How do you sharpen the hook?
Ambush, I use a ceramic rod. It only takes a few swipes once in a great while. I think it stays fairly sharp because it's only cutting hair and hide.
^^^^ Thanks. I have a folding Gerber with a gut hook that worked good till it got dull. I tried a diamond stick but the diameter was too small and it didn't want to come back to super sharp. Only used for bears which have thin skin and thick fur.
Aside from the finger hook blade I liked these 3 are the knives I own and used but not real satisfied with... Have gutted 10 times as many deer without a gut hook before gut hooks became popular, so this is really not about how to use a knife to field dress a deer,am trying to find a decent gut hook blade that actually works easily… Notice how small the hook is on the Buck Camo Crosslock… The Outdoor Edge Flipn’ Baze looked like it worked good on the TV commercials at the time for splitting hides, but I found it to be a little awkward, and couldn't get the real hang if it... Guess if I skinned 50 deer a year I'd get the hang of it, but usually only kill one a year now days and don’t group hunt anymore where we'd cut up a bunch at a time and get pretty fast and comfortable with a knife...
The yellow trapper hook was about useless...
I just got this one but obviously have yet to use it. Looks like it will work well. Nice big gut hook and I like the T-handle.
Perry, that looks like a winner. I really like the size of the gut hook. Let us know how you like the T handle please. I'm not sure if I could skin with a T handle after years of using a conventional handle so I'll be curious as to your experience. Thanks, Jim.
Ah geeze, another knife to buy...8^) Now ya have me thinking about one of these T-handle type hooker skinners...8^)
Think I'm going to try one of these three photoed with the bigger hooks this year... The bottom orange High Desert is a kind of a generic knife from a cheap butcher set... It weighs in at 3.25 oz, a little bulky for me to pack afield but okay once the deer is home...
The black middle is an Outdoor Edge Skinner from another butcher set and weighs in at 4.3 oz, a little heavy and bulky for me to carry afield...
Although I've never used it, I really like the top orange Outdoor Edge Wild Skin which is smaller and only weighs 2.82 oz, and feels good in hand... Am not planning on batoning it for survival or anything but scratch my head when you put it in it's sheath and bumps the weight up to 4.3 oz... How what seems like a very lightweight sheath weighs an ounce and a half I don't understand... Am trying to keep my daypack as light as possible...
The two Outdoor Edges look to have about the same size hooks although the blades are different in size... Hmmm, wonder if I can make a really thin plastic or Kydex sheath for it to keep from cutting inside the pack, not planning on holstering it from my belt...
Here's a photo of the Wild Skin and the not so lightweight sheath along with one of my Browning Speed Load weighs in at 4.62 oz without blade nor sheath... Add the sheath and a few spare blades weighs 6.49 oz... I'd kinda like to try it's gut hook...
Jim- I used an Outdoor Edge Whitetail Skinner for years until I lost it. This one is very similar although the blade is a bit wider/deeper. I really like the T-handle and think it is much easier to grip as opposed to a conventional handle. Looking forward to using this Fall!
Perry, I'll have to give a T handle a try. Thanks my friend.
No problem- good luck. That’s another great thing about Bowsite............
Been using this Buck knife for over 20 years.
Received this the other day, anybody used one?