Marti Davis shares her recommendations for 7 pieces of cutlery to keep in your bag of tricks.
Avid outdoors enthusiasts need quality knives in their bag of tricks. Whether it’s for skinning deer, cutting meet, filleting fish or cutting line, you’ll love the following 7 pieces of cutlery.
Whether you fish or hunt, a good fillet knife is something you need to have in your wild-game cutlery kit. I have the Mister Twister electric fillet knife ($38.36) that I use for filleting fish. An electric fillet knife can make cleaning large quantities of fish go a lot quicker. My husband and I tag team fish filleting; he usually fillets them out with the electric knife and then I use a fixed-blade fillet knife for cutting the ribs out.
Fillet knifes aren’t just for cleaning fish. I also use the fixed blade for filleting the silver skin and membrane off my venison. My dad has had the same fillet knife for as long as I can remember. It’s an old wooden handle Rapala in a leather sheath similar to this current Rapala model ($16.49 to $34.49).
The Deer Cutting Knife from Deer Dummy ($29.99) is a knife like professional meat cutters use. It’s great for those do-it-yourselfers who process their own venison. The knife has enough flex in the blade to get in tight to bone out meat, along with making all the cuts you want.
These Gerber Take-A-Part 8-inch Game Shears ($15) have been in my cutlery kit for several years. They work great for cutting up game birds, as well as cutting through the leg bones on squirrels and rabbits. I like the take-a-part design of the Gerber that allows for easy cleaning. In fact, I usually just take mine apart and throw them in the utensil holder of the dishwasher. I keep a pair of these in my kitchen and in my outdoors cutlery kit.
I’ve been using this Havalon Piranta-EDGE ($46.99) for the past 3 years, and love it. There are multiple reasons I like this knife for gutting and skinning deer or breasting out a wild turkey. The blaze orange handle makes it easy to see or find if you lay it down. It comes with 12 replacement blades. So, if it starts getting dull you, just replace the blade and keep going. The blades are stainless steel and measure 2¾- inches long. Overall length is 7¼-inches. I like this size knife for gutting, because it’s not too big, which makes it safer when I’m up to my elbows in the chest cavity of a deer, cutting the windpipe.
The Gerber E-Z Saw ($19) has been in my deer hunting pack for close to 10 years. When gutting a deer, I split the pelvic bone and the rib cage to open up the cavity wider. This little saw is great for easily cutting through the bones.
Small, folding knife
When it comes to small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, I like using a small, folding pocketknife. In fact, I use the Outdoor Edge Mini Grip ($17.99) to skin out my furbearers during trapping season. This handy little folder has a rubberized Kraton handle with an AUS-8 stainless 2.2-inch blade. For ease of opening, it utilizes a double-sided thumb stud. It’s also available in 3 colors: black, blaze orange and pink. I have the easy-to-see blaze orange.
I keep a multi-tool in the toolbox of my ATV and in my hunting pack. They just come in handy. I prefer the Leatherman Skeletool ($75). There are many options for multi-tools out there. I like one that has at least needle-nose pliers and a knife blade, as well as straight and Phillips-head screwdrivers.
Here is a list of the other items I have in my outdoors cutlery kit.
Quart and gallon Ziploc bags
Anti-bacterial hand wipes