The Best Knife for Deer Hunting

Posted by in Knives

As an avid hunter and collector of edged weaponry, I have had my hands on a sharp piece of steel or two in my days under the sun.  I’ve used custom made fixed blade hunters, and mass produced skinners.  However, one knife stands head and shoulders above the rest as an optimal piece of kit for skinning, gutting and processing deer, The AG Russell Deer Hunter, available from

I’ve used this knife in the field over several seasons and have field dressed, skinned, and processed multiple whitetail deer with it.

The knife is available in AUS – 8, D2, and VG-10 steels with about a $14 up charge for the latter two steels.  I have the knife in AUS-8 and have had no problems with sharpness.  The blade will take and hold a razor edge, as long as you know good knife sharpening techniques.  If you feel strongly about D2 or VG-10 steel, pay the extra $14 bucks.  Performance is likely to be similar.

The knife has a molded composite handle that fits well in the hand.  The handle is molded directly onto the blade, so you don’t have to worry about the handle becoming loose over time.  The diamond pattern cut into the handle offers excellent slip resistance, even when your hands are covered in blood and grease.  The blade is thinner than you might expect but this does not affect stiffness.  The blade is reminiscent of a high end chef’s knife more than a field knife.  It is ground thin to the blade and point which makes cutting through skin, muscle, and connective tissue quite easy.

The sheath is the same composite material as the handle, or at least it seems to be; and it uses a nifty locking scheme to hold the knife in the sheath.  The sheath has a lobster claw swivel at the point end that easily clips to the belt loop on your pants.  The knife is released when you grip the handle of the knife and press the release button with your knife hand thumb.  I’ve carried it in this manner in heavy brush for years and never had it get loose or fall out of the sheath.  The other bonus is if you happen to fall, the blade is not going to cut through the sheath.  It will most likely swivel flat under you MAYBE leaving a bruise at most.

I know that all sounds great and it is, but there is one thing this knife won’t likely do.  If you are a hunter who always splits the deer’s pelvis, then this knife is not the tool for the job, but few knives are.  That is better left to a field saw or a hunter’s axe, like the Gransfor Bruks Hunter’s Axe, but that is another topic entirely.

All in all, the AG Russell Deer Hunter is a fine piece of kit that will fit the bill for anyone looking for a great deer processing knife.