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View Full Version : So, you're skinning out your deer and your knife is dull......



goodsteel
11-06-2013, 11:26 AM
It's happened to all of us. We're skinning a deer, and the darn knife gets dull halfway through the job, and we end up just muscling our way through the job, mangling meat as we go.
There is no sharpening stone, steel nothing. You probably just rolled the edge of your knife over, but it doesn't matter if you don't have anything to straighten it!

I'll give you a little tip that works so well, you might just prefer it to many other sharpening systems. It's usually with you, and mere feet away from the deer you are wrestling with.

Simply walk over to your truck, roll the window down half way, and use the edge of the glass as a ceramic sharpening edge. It works really really well.

This trick was taught to me by one of my best friends. He is paralyzed from the waste down, and his truck is his life. I gave him a spyderco endura years ago as a birthday gift. He used to have me sharpen it (I'm a trained knifemaker and sharpening things is what I do). but then he learned this trick and showed it to me.
Been using it for about 2 years now, and I can honestly endorse it as an excellent alternative!

I actually prefer the edge that this method puts on the knife, for butchering deer. It gives it a lot of "bite".
Give it a try! I guarantee that you will wonder why you never heard or thought of this before.

Hopefully, this will get some of you fellers out of a jam this year at deer camp.

Good hunting!!!

s mac
11-06-2013, 11:39 AM
Sounds brilliant.

w5pv
11-06-2013, 11:48 AM
I always carry an aluminum oxide gear hone in my pocket.To me they are one of the best hones around for sharping,honing burrs and the like.Here at the house I have a medium grit and fine grit that is 2" wide.The pocket one is 1/4"x4"x1".I think I bought these from Morton Hones.

Djones
11-06-2013, 11:49 AM
you can use your leather belt as a strop too

goodsteel
11-06-2013, 11:55 AM
I always carry an aluminum oxide gear hone in my pocket.To me they are one of the best hones around for sharping,honing burrs and the like.Here at the house I have a medium grit and fine grit that is 2" wide.The pocket one is 1/4"x4"x1".I think I bought these from Morton Hones.

I carry a Smiths carbide, ceramic, and diamond pocket knife sharpener. It works amazingly well until I get to skinning my deer and realize I left it in my other pants.
Stuff happens. You don't need a sharpener to get to the woods and shoot a deer. However, if you don't have a truck you are in pretty big trouble. That truck probably has a window.
Trust me, just remember this trick. You WILL need it someday.
Like I said, I used to make knives and I have a kit of fine stones that I try to remember to take to camp with me.......and yet, I'm giving you this advice.
Hmmm, I must have forgot once or twice eh?

Three44s
11-06-2013, 11:56 AM
Turn your ceramic coffee cup upside down ......... it works as well.

Good tip Tim!!


Three 44s

dk17hmr
11-06-2013, 11:58 AM
Havalon Piranta is what I use for everything on critters, except when butchering where I use a couple larger knives. The piranta has replacement blades and when they get dull I change them out.... one blade gets through a whole elk for skinning and quartering as well as some meat cutting.

Smoke4320
11-06-2013, 12:01 PM
Great Tip... would have never thought of that

cbrick
11-06-2013, 12:06 PM
Dull knife? Be my luck I would show up with three sets of stones and forget the knife. :mrgreen:

The top knife in the photo is the Beretta Loveless drop-point hunter I got for a pig hunt with Glen Fryxell a few years ago.

86681

Rick

goodsteel
11-06-2013, 12:10 PM
you can use your leather belt as a strop too
I have done that in the past. The problem is that a razor edge doesn't bite like an edge that was dressed with a steel, or a ceramic rod. The strop is good for dusting that ultra fine edge, but if its used any more than a little, it will roll the edge over.
Try this: roll an old shirt up into a ball and cut it with a really well stropped edge. Note the effort that was expended, and the number of layers that were cut.
Now, sharpen that same knife really well with a steel or a ceramic rod, and repeat the test. It might surprise you.

goodsteel
11-06-2013, 12:13 PM
Turn your ceramic coffee cup upside down ......... it works as well.

Good tip Tim!!


Three 44s

Oh that's goooood......

w5pv
11-06-2013, 12:20 PM
Good tips

whelenshooter
11-06-2013, 01:35 PM
Never would have thought of that and there have been times when this would have been useful...now if I can just remember it the next time!

Thanks, David

RugerFan
11-06-2013, 02:14 PM
Havalon Piranta is what I use for everything on critters, except when butchering where I use a couple larger knives. The piranta has replacement blades and when they get dull I change them out.... one blade gets through a whole elk for skinning and quartering as well as some meat cutting.

I do the same. Its very light ands minimal weight to the pack. Thats important when hiking in the mountains. If the blade gets dull, just change it out and keep going.

merlin101
11-06-2013, 03:28 PM
Great tips, assuming you remember your knife and have a window handy! Thats normally not a problem but one day I was alone with a deer and no knife I went back to the truck hopeing the knife was on the seat. No luck but I did find one single edge razor blade:p

Larry Gibson
11-06-2013, 03:31 PM
With the name "goodsteel" I'd think a dull knife was impossible!....thanks for the tip, I learned something quite useful. One problem though; out west where I hunt the PU is several miles away with a couple large canyons in between.......:cry:....or I have the jeep and it doesn't have roll down windows........:cry:......and I don't carry a ceramic coffee cup out there with me........;)....I do carry a good steel with me in my pack to touch up the edge, especially if the game is elk.........good tips and useful anyways........:drinks:


Larry Gibson

1Shirt
11-06-2013, 03:50 PM
Good tips. My suggestion is to always have two knifes with you, both sharp! One on the belt, the other a good folding knife with two or three sharp blades in your pocket. Anybody who has ever hunted Africa has seen skinners sharpen their knifes on just about any rock that they can find, and they do a great job, but you don't want to lend them your $150.00 prize belt knife.
1Shirt!

John Allen
11-06-2013, 04:00 PM
That's a good tip Tim

smokeywolf
11-06-2013, 04:05 PM
Tim, I think you mentioned the truck window trick a year or so back. I had forgotten about it. Maybe now I'll remember. Maybe.

smokeywolf

starmac
11-06-2013, 04:07 PM
Another vote for the havalon, you just never have a dull knife, when you need one.

HNSB
11-06-2013, 04:19 PM
Knife? Aw ****.
I've been doing it with my bare hands.

A knife sounds like it would be way easier.

Swede44mag
11-06-2013, 04:29 PM
We stopped many years ago to assist a person that hit a deer with their car.
The deer was mangled and so was the front of the car. My cousin asked the driver if he was going to keep the deer.
The driver said no so we waited for the HI way patrol to come by my cousin got a road kill tag the HI way patrol officer asked him why he hadn’t gutted out the deer.
My cousin said he didn’t have a knife so I let him use my folding Buck pocket knife it was sharp to start with but got dull quickly.
My cousin started to gripe about my *** Buck knife I told him it was better than what he did not have in his pocket.
If I had only known the window trick we could have went to his house a whole lot sooner.

Thanks for the tip.

M-Tecs
11-06-2013, 04:32 PM
Starting with a sharp knife gutting and skinning a single deer shouldn't dull the knife significantly. If it does the steel/heat-treatment is of poor quality or the knife had an improper angle on it initially. If it dulls fast it's generally too fine of an angle.

My S30V, D2 and 1095 blades are generally good for two to three deer before I touch them up. I use a convex grind at 20 degrees per side.

So far this year I have gutted and skinned two deer with a Buck S30V blade without touch up and it will still easily shave the hair on my arm.

I have always started with a shaving edge on my knives but since I started using the Wicked Edge system http://wickededgeusa.com/ my blades are incredibly sharp and with the convex edge incredibly long lasting. I purchased it for my broadheads but it also works better than anything I have ever seen on knives.

Different types of grinds here http://www.ragweedforge.com/grind.html & http://zknives.com/knives/articles/knifeedgetypes.shtml

RoyEllis
11-06-2013, 04:36 PM
Or you can skin 'em my way. Cut around the neck, around each leg @ hock then fasten hoist to tree limb & around neck. Peel skin at nap of neck up, slip a golf ball under the hide far enough to gather hide around it like a pouch, tie 1/4" nylon rope tightly around hide pouch. Hoist deer head first up in air, tie nylon rope to truck bumper & drive off...peels hide off like a sock & keeps 95% of the hair off yer meat.:bigsmyl2: Lots faster too, I can skin a deer that way in under 5 minutes, do a bunch of them every fall helping a buddy at his processing store.

M-Tecs
11-06-2013, 04:53 PM
Some friends of mine are using the Everlast "The Claw" Skinning Tool. Works great for skinning and no balls, ropes or trucks required.
http://dravesarchery.com/everlast-the-claw-skinning-tool.html

I just ordered one. I have skinned around three hundred deer most hanging from a gambrel by the hind legs and a dozen or so on the ground. After watching my friends skinning by hanging from the neck and using the claw I am switching. You only have to cut around the neck, forelegs and brisket. The advantage is almost no hair on the meat.

starmac
11-06-2013, 05:09 PM
Wonder what the indians and mountain men did. lol Skinning a deer can sure get complicated these days. lol

That claw reminds me of the catfish skinning pliers we always used.

osteodoc08
11-06-2013, 05:14 PM
Excellent tips guys.

BTW- my EDC is a Kershaw Scallion. Love it for what it is.

My hunting knife my fiancÚ gave me last year for my birthday. A Buck Ergohunter pro. Skinned quite a few without losing an edge.

white eagle
11-06-2013, 05:56 PM
Thanks for the heads up Tim
and thank your friend

Rangefinder
11-06-2013, 06:06 PM
Wonder what the indians and mountain men did. lol Skinning a deer can sure get complicated these days. lol

Wanna try something interesting, try dressing out a deer with a napped flint knife. Did that once, and not by preference. Did the age-old mistake of stopping to 'water a bush' and had my Kershaw slip off my belt. Several miles later I dropped a nice doe alongside a creek bed. I reached for my knife to bleed her out and start dressing... and well, you know where it was. After fuming a few minutes and contemplating how bad I didn't want to waste the last little bit of daylight back-tracking and then have to pack out in the dark I got the idea to have a look in the creek a little--sure enough, there were pieces of jasper. Took a little looking to find one big enough, but I found one about the size of a flat golf ball, napped one side down to an edge pretty quick, and got down to business. It fit in the crook of my index finger well enough that it actually dressed out that doe about as quick as I coulda hoped for with my knife. What's funny is that I went out with my boy for a few hours after his elk monday morning so I was going through all my stuff sunday evening--guess what I found mixed in with all my other c-rap: that AND the little pinch-skinner that I'd saved from the experience. Guess what is sitting here right on the computer desk: BOTH. :D

8676086761

MT Gianni
11-06-2013, 06:14 PM
I rarely skin before I cut things as temps usually allow us to hang meat with the skin on. That is a great sharpening trick to know.

fishhawk
11-06-2013, 06:15 PM
It seems the truck is always miles away when I need it when I'm out moose hunting. I always have a "overnight" pack with me on my back when out in the Canadian bush with sharpening stone included.

CastingFool
11-06-2013, 09:19 PM
I carry two knives for cleaning out a deer, plus a spare in my pack. then, I always carry a pocket knife. If I have to gut one deer out, that knifr gets to see Dr. Stone afterwards.

300savage
11-06-2013, 10:04 PM
i also always have a spare knife of some sort, and the back of one blade can be used as a steel to put a good skinning edge back on the other in a few strokes.

quilbilly
11-06-2013, 11:11 PM
Hope you don't mind that I passed this along to people in a totally different community with proper accreditation, of course.

Dan Cash
11-06-2013, 11:21 PM
My vote goes to my flint blade. Re chip the edge and good for another buffalo or so. Great tip, Tim, I try not to hunt away from my truck.;

goodsteel
11-06-2013, 11:59 PM
Well, everybodies a little different in the way that their hunt play's out. The way we hunt here in Ar, usually goes like this:
We shoot the deer, and tag it.
We load it on the fourwheeler, and drive it back to camp (where the trucks are at).
We skin it there.

So for us, even though the truck is far away from where the shot was taken, it seems it's always close by where the skinning is taking place. I realize this may only apply to us southerners, where the deer run like rabbits and are about the same size LOL!


Or you can skin 'em my way. Cut around the neck, around each leg @ hock then fasten hoist to tree limb & around neck. Peel skin at nap of neck up, slip a golf ball under the hide far enough to gather hide around it like a pouch, tie 1/4" nylon rope tightly around hide pouch. Hoist deer head first up in air, tie nylon rope to truck bumper & drive off...peels hide off like a sock & keeps 95% of the hair off yer meat. Lots faster too, I can skin a deer that way in under 5 minutes, do a bunch of them every fall helping a buddy at his processing store.
I actually just saw this done for the first time this year. You aint kidding! 10 minutes and that deer was skun out and tucked in the cooler.

They actually had a pretty nice setup there at deer camp. It was a concrete slab with an eye bolt sunk in the very center for the nylon rope. just off the side of the slab was a 15' boom made of steel with a pulley at the top, and a hand crank winch at the bottom.
They just put the noose around the deer's neck, and cranked it up till it's feet were off the ground. Then we ringed the neck, and started it peeling till we could get the golf ball under the skin. Then we just picked up the nylon rope and put the small noose around the ball. The guy on the crank went to crankin and before you could say "hush my puppies" that deer was way up in the air, and the skin was in a pile on the slab. Then Freddie scissor fingers went at it, and next thing I knew there was a bucket full of carcass and a cooler full of meat! It was almost too easy!

btroj
11-07-2013, 12:02 AM
Good tip Tim.

How did you dull the knife in the first place? Did you sharpen it before going?

BNE
11-07-2013, 12:42 AM
I had not heard of that one. Thanks.

lead chucker
11-07-2013, 01:06 AM
So let me get this strait. First roll window down then shoot deer. Then roll window half way up and then sharpen knife. Ok got it. HA HA HA. That's a great idea you learn all kind of good stuff here.

realllynow
11-07-2013, 01:11 AM
ive been looking for a easy way to get a great edge on a blade.
thank you for the tip man.

freebullet
11-07-2013, 01:28 AM
I use the gatco standard stone kit, fine gets you to a nice 400grit edge. That let's you pick the bevel angle from 11-30 degrees. I added the fine diamond(600 grit) & the fine ceramic(1200 grit). It works quick & accurate, holds the edege for dressing & butchering several deer. All fits in a little case. I would highly recommend it.

As fer skinin deers. Well, I use my truck. Youtube it.

TXGunNut
11-07-2013, 01:40 AM
I can verify that the window trick does work. I prefer the 2nd knife trick but it's good to have a backup plan. I prefer to skin with one knife and butcher with another. Hunting in the south we generally have to get meat in the cooler within a matter of hours after the kill, no time for hand fatigue from dull knives.

waksupi
11-07-2013, 03:31 AM
So let me get this strait. First roll window down then shoot deer. Then roll window half way up and then sharpen knife. Ok got it. HA HA HA. That's a great idea you learn all kind of good stuff here.

The way they close hunting season on the reservation here, is to take all of the window cranks out of the pick ups.

Some of the posters either need a new knife, or to learn how to sharpen them. With my old Camillus double blade lock back Trapper model, I have dressed an elk, and two deer, which included splitting the brisket on all three. You could still shave with it. Good enough knife, that I bought another for a spare. Should sell it, the first one will out last me!

badguybuster
11-09-2013, 08:33 AM
Well ****. Now I gotta go try it

goodsteel
11-09-2013, 08:43 AM
Please report the results.

EMC45
11-09-2013, 09:34 AM
Last year's 10 point was gutted with my Spyderco Endura 50-50. It was dull from using it at work all day. Wish I knew this then. Have used the coffee cup trick and it does work.

Three44s
11-11-2013, 12:31 AM
You don't have to have your truck handy ......... the way Wardens show up unexpected .......... just borrow his window ......... and if he gets a little testy about that ....... then tell him it's the window or his coffee cup a gettin' bloody!!

One thing about the ceramic cup ...... a broken one with the handle still attached was what was first suggested to me ....... I did not have a broken one though.

Best regards .......

Three 44s

Ghost101
11-13-2013, 02:26 AM
Great info Tim, I will try this in the morn. Have to be careful here as to which blade I take out. Is it the correct length, does it have a lock, Oh can't take a fixed blade out in public nonono.

Ghost101

mark2935
11-13-2013, 06:55 PM
auto glass and coffee cups, great info.

There is a certain type of light bulb with a ceramic filament approx. 2" long, fits well in the pocket and works a good edge.

Mark#35

Crosbyman
11-13-2013, 07:00 PM
That type of light bulb is a high pressure sodium. The ceramic part varies in length with wattage. A 1000 watt lamp has one about 7 or 8 inches as I remember. Works like a steel.

paul h
11-14-2013, 09:44 PM
I carry several knives and a few sharpeners. Most often the truck is several hours to several days away. When you hunt remote, you don't forget the really important stuff.

GaryN
11-15-2013, 02:33 AM
I hate using folders on animals because the lock mechanism gets all full of critter parts. I always carry two knives just in case one gets dull. I like a Helle laminated knife. They are made of good steel. I don't gut them. I do the gutless method. I am usually so far back in that I just carry out what I'm going to eat.