Before your hunting season starts each season, you likely restock your hunting pack with the proper decoys, deer calls, head lamps, hunting knives and other pack must-haves. To be prepared for a successful hunting trip, we always carry rain gear, gloves, game bags, and a first aid kit; and daily restock our non-scented snacks and water bottles.
All of the items are important, but the one that most often gets overlooked is the hunting knife. It needs routine maintenance to keep it as sharp as possible to ensure a clean, safe cut when harvesting an animal. Here are a few tips on ensuring your cut is accurate to get the best results.
- Check and recheck the blade after every harvest to ensure the blade doesn’t have any nicks or cuts. This can tear a surface or make a rough cut causing possible waste or unnecessary damage and loss. Before getting started, have a sharpening stone. You can use a ceramic or diamond stone if you are a little more experienced, but a whetstone is best for a beginner.
- Know your blade angle. How you cut matters as much as the blade you use.
- Hunting knives or pocket knives are 25-30 degrees
- Razors are 12-18 degrees
- Boning knives are 18-25 degrees
- Use the right grit.
- A medium or fine grit can be used for knives made out of harder steel.
- A blade made from softer metal requires you to work with a coarse grit to ensure you don’t leave the edge rough. This will cause the blade to wear down faster.
- Don’t delay when your blade needs sharpening. Dull knives are hard to work with in the field which makes them very dangerous. If you’ve harvested an animal already this season, you may already be in need of sharpening your blades to make a cleaner cut. We recommend sharpening after each harvest.
For more information on improving your next hunt, check out our educational videos, or visit the Raised Outdoors online store. Get a Membership and save up to 45% off each purchase, and receive exclusive access to additional hunting tips.