Essential Hunting Knife Designs

No hunt is too wild. No location too extreme. Trust your hunt to your blade. No matter where adventure takes you, rely on your steel. Hunting is not a game for the faint-hearted. It takes special skills, discipline, and knowledge. It’s man’s most primordial experience - that took him from the hunted to the Hunter. Here, we look at the huntsmen’s most effective tool that took them to the top of the food chain - the Hunting Knife.

So how do you choose your most reliable blade when getting up before sunrise and venturing into the wilderness planning a spring bear hunt? There’s something macho and imposing about carrying a hunting knife and many of us are tempted to wield an edge that resembles the one Rambo would carry. But hold on tough guy, there are plenty of menacing-looking dependable hunting knives out there. 

While OTF knives and automatic knives have evolved with advancement in engineering, - the fixed blade full tang hunting knife stayed rooted to its ancient roots. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t evolved with time. The early bronze knives have given way to titanic steel hunting knives with intricate design and architecture. So, let’s take a focused look at man’s most ancient tool/weapon. 

Camping Knives: This your all-purpose hunting knife that can pretty much do whatever you throw at it. From hacking branches to splitting kindling, batoning firewood to preparing game - your camping knife will do it all. This is the hunting knife recommended for all beginners, amateurs and enthusiasts. 

Tekina - A first-grade pro camping knife favorite with bushcrafters

Bowie Knives - This is the most iconic of all hunting knives. Designed by Col. James Bowie, a Bowie knife is actually any large sheath knife. A Bowie can slice, chop, shred, hack, piece - literally, able to cut through anything you need cut on a hunting trip. Besides hunting a Bowie knife can aid in self-defense when you’re in the wild. 

Boning Knives  - This is a full tang fixed knife for extreme huntsmen. This is also a butcher’s go-to knife. In the wild, if you’re not using a boning knife, you’re be missing out on some of the tastiest morsels. A classic boning knife holds a long flexible blade . The flexibility of the blade allows the metal to easily follow the contours of the bone or the fillet of a fish.

You’d think these fine workhorses, favorite of woodsmen, are all just menacing cutters with a similar build. Not true. Once you get intimate with your most reliable survival companion, you’ll notice the intricate details and differences in style, build, blades and handle. 

The anatomy of hunting knives vary depending on the purpose they’re built for. The blade, handle, steel, weight, shape, size - the entire quality and construction changes drastically. For example, a deer hunting knife has to have a quality blade above anything else. A starter hunting knife I’d usually carry would be a 4.5" S30V full tang steel blade with a 420HC gut hook ring. For a more serious game hunt, however, I tend to slip in my sheath a large buffalo horn hunter. This can take a bull down with its saber-style Tru-Sharp steel blade, that goes perfectly with a robust natural handle. 

However, in everyday life, if you decide to go about your backyard or kitchen wielding a hunting knife (as I do), then you’re better off carrying a smaller dagger. Here’s my top choice for an EDC hunting knife.