Your buddies talk a big talk about their hunting feats. “You see that big deer I snagged last night? It’s a monster!” I’m sure it’s very impressive when listening to them say it in person. Hell, they probably even showed you the dead deer they snagged!
What are they planning on doing with that deer? Are they going to send it to a taxidermist, who’s going to stuff it? Are they just going to leave it somewhere to rot? Hopefully not; that’s illegal in some parts of the United States!
What they should do with that deer is what the Native Americans (and any self-respecting hunter, for that matter) would’ve done. Skin it, save the pelt, and take the meat home to your young. Mother Nature herself would want us to treat hunting with these amount of grace and compassion. Death is never pretty, but it serves its purpose if you can provide for those you love.
If you didn’t take this approach before, it’s a good time to start now!
But you’ll need a good skinning knife.
What Are Skinning Knives?
First things first, we need to make a point clear. Skinning knives are not the same thing as hunting daggers. Yes, the term “hunting knife” can be used interchangeably with “skinning knife,” but that doesn’t mean that it’s the same thing as a hunting dagger. I know this sounds a little confusing, but it’s a simple concept to get down once you hear (or read) about it!
Hunting daggers are used strictly to assist in killing wild game during hunts. They are considered weapons more than tools, and are to only be used if absolutely necessary. It’s actually preferred that you get your prey killed with one shot of your rifle, as the death would then be much more humane due to the lack of suffering on the animal’s part. Hunters aim to kill, not to torture!
Hunting knives, on the other hand, are often used after the game is already dead. They are treated as tools, and come in several styles; each with their own purpose. Machetes are often used to cut brush or other limbs that are obstructing the hunter’s path. Alternatively, hatchets are used to chop at more wooden obstructions blocking your path.
And then there’s skinning knives. These hunting knives are used for both slicing the already dead creature’s skin and cutting the meat off its body. They can be used on any game ranging from fish to birds to even deer or larger mammals. Granted, you’ll likely need to do some research before purchasing a skinning knife, as each blade on the market is specifically designed for a different kind of prey.
Why Can’t I Just Use a Normal Knife To Skin Dead Game?
Because that would be a very bad idea, my friend.
I know what you’re thinking. “How is it a bad idea? The animal is already dead. It shouldn’t matter what kind of knife I use at this point!” Yes, technically the tools you use to skin your prey matter only to you and God. But you have to think about practicality. If you kill a deer for the purpose of harvesting some fresh venison for your family, do you honestly think a kitchen knife is going to get you a clean cut? Contrary to what slasher movies may boldly claim, these type of knives are most certainly NOT sharp enough to slice through flesh without any struggle.
No no, you need a blade that is specifically made to cut through fresh meat. Thankfully, skinning knives come in a sorts of shapes and sizes. They can be big like a butcher’s cleaver, or they can be pocket-sized for those who skin on the go.The blades can be straight, or they can be curved. The options are endless!
Gotcha, Skinning Knives Are They Way To Go
Excellent! It’s good to see another hunter who is willing to give skinning the old college try. If you’re new to this sort of thing, there’s plenty of articles and videos on the internet that can help you out. Additionally, there are articles online that can assist you in buying some pretty good skinning knives if you’re confused about which brand to get.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been new to this before.
We got your back!