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A Step By Step Guide On How To Use A Hunting Knife

Anyone who lives around places where hunting is done for food will definitely understand how important hunting knives are. A proper hunting knife is versatile enough to perform any work that the hunter does or even more.


Hunting knives are useful in cases of human attacks, to cut pieces of wood used in lighting fire, and most importantly to field dress, skin, and cut the hunted animal. Outdoor knives are shaped differently to perform different functions during the hunting process. This article will guide you on how to use a hunting knife.

How To Field Dress Using A Hunting Knife

Field dressing involves removing the internal organs of a hunted game in order to maintain the meat quality. Immediately after killing any kind of animal, the hunter needs to remove the innards and organs. This can be done using a good-quality hunting knife.

  • Assemble all the needed tools and be mentally prepared to field dress. The tools should include a sharp hunting knife and if possible a pair of latex gloves. Remove any jewelry in case you have them on.
  • Find out where the arrow or broadhead you used to kill the animal is. In case you don't trace it, carefully look for it when field dressing.
  • Lay the carcass on its side or back, kneel behind it and cut the coring ring around the anus. Slide your hunting knife into the pelvic canal, retrace the coring ring, and cut the membrane attached. Be careful not to puncture the colon of the carcass. The meat can be tainted by the content inside that colon
  • Spread the hind legs of the carcass and ask someone to help you keep them apart. In case you are alone, use a piece of wood under the rib cage to keep the legs apart. There is also an option of tying the legs on a tree for easy working.
  • Make your first incision by grabbing the skin in between the hind legs, then making a shallow slit which should be approximately 1inch through the skin. If your carcass is a male, carefully remove its genitalia.
  • Starting from your first incision, cut the belly open from the pelvic bone up to the breastbone area. Use your index and middle finger to separate the organs from the hide. Make sure your hunting knife is well held while doing the separation to avoid puncturing the organs.
  • Cut the diaphragm area all the way to the spine and separate it into two.
  • Using your hand, grab the windpipe tightly and pull it towards yourself. Using your flexible hunting knife, cut off the windpipe free.
  • Carefully remove the internal organs which include the liver, lungs, bladder, intestines, stomach, and intestines with one long and strong pull. If the entrails don't come out easily, use your pocket knife to cut any tissue connecting the entrails to the carcass.
  • Turn your carcass over and spread its legs against the group for the blood to drain.


How To Use A Hunting Knife In Skinning

After field dressing, the carcass needs to be skinned. Let us look at the whole process of skinning your dead animal using a hunting knife.

  • Hang your animal with the head touching the ground. This position prevents the carcass from swinging as you work on it. The animal should be positioned at the level of your eyes. You can also place it down with its belly facing upwards. Most preferably on a slope.
  • Carefully remove the genitals if the carcass is male and remove the udder in females. Use a sharp hunting knife to do the cutting.
  • Remove the musk glands at the knees of the carcass.
  • Split the animal's skin from the throat to the tail. Do it using a shallow cut to avoid piercing the stomach. The hunting knife should be inserted underneath the skin care on both sides to prevent hair from getting in contact with the meat. Slit the animal right from the bottom of the ham all through the knee area.
  • Make the skin around the knee loose and cut it all the way to the joints. Peel the loosened skin in the hind legs up to the tail area.
  • Do the peeling using your hands with the aid of your hunting knife where possible. Continue with the process until the whole skin is removed from the carcass.

It is very important to clean your hunting knife after finishing the whole process of field dressing and skinning your animal.


How To Clean Your Hunting Knife

Hunting knives can be cleaned using several methods.

  • Removing blood from the hunting knife. The blood should be wiped off both from the blade and the handle. You can use a wet cloth or just a dry piece of cloth in case you cannot access water. The blood should not dry on the blade or handle since the stains can be very stubborn to remove. Hydrogen peroxide is known to be very effective in removing blood traces
  • Removing grime and grease. It is advisable to use a combination of hot water and soap to grease your hunting knife. Using hot water is advantageous since it will remove any present fat. Dry the knife to prevent any cases of corrosion.
  • Cleaning the gunk and link. As you clean your folding knife to remove the two substances, it is crucial to be careful to avoid any possible accident. Your hunting knife should be lubricated regularly to avoid the accumulation of the gunk and link. Removing the gunk and link will also make the opening and closing of the folding knife easy.



Hunting for the first time can be a bit challenging. Having a hunting knife is one thing but using it is another task. The steps discussed above will guide any new user. It is also crucial to note that hunting knives are not strong enough to cut bigger bones, they simply dress and skin dead animals. From the different types of hunting knives available, choose what suits you best.


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Article source: A Step By Step Guide On How To Use A Hunting Knife - Shieldon