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  #1951  
Old 12-19-2023, 06:43 AM
Pathfinder76 Pathfinder76 is offline
 
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You lost me at Magnacut being almost as good at edge retention as S30V.
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  #1952  
Old 12-19-2023, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fishnguy View Post
Thanks for the report, Dean! Much appreciated. Crazy that it has been two years!

Can’t say it is all that surprising in regard to the edge retention. There is no magic about D2, regardless of the heat treatment, like any other steel. Funny that I just wrote about it a few days before your post. You can’t cheat chemistry and physics (ie, mix of elements to provide certain physical properties). Again, if by some magic, someone managed to turn D2 into S30V, in this example, S30V wouldn’t cost 3-4 times the price of D2 (or whatever the coefficient is). S30V is superior to D2 in every aspect. Unless ease of sharpening is also considered to be a factor, then D2 wins - just because the better a steel holds the edge, the harder it is to sharpen it (generally and broadly speaking). So one needs to consider what their priorities are. An average knife purchased from the store is likely to give up edge sooner than a custom knife made from D2 though. This is also true for likely most store bought and custom made knives made from the same steel, which I also talked about in that other post.

It really is about priorities though. Starting with if a guy wants to spend money on such a knife in the first place, lol. Because really, one can do just fine with an average (or less) store-bought knife, as we all did, I am sure. Frankly, this is just fun and a cool hobby, which I was out of (haha), and is relatively inexpensive unless you start collecting/hoarding because then it can get out of hand quickly.

As for priorities…. If one values being able to touch up a blade quickly in the field, likely an average steel or even below average is a great choice. That, of course, would come at the cost of edge retention because the two are basically the same thing working the opposite way, generally speaking - one action wears out the edge, while the other restores it, so there is got to be the same amount of work put each way, generally speaking. Note that I keep saying “generally speaking” because there will be differences in efforts required to sharpen steels with similar properties, depending on their chemical compositions and, I guess, “grain structure”; of course abrasives used affect the sharpening process as well. But all things being equal, that statement holds true: you have to put more work into bringing a sharp edge to a knife that holds it better. At the same time, you can buy a knife of significantly improved toughness if you do not care how long your knife holds an edge (relatively speaking, of course, because everyone cares about edge retention to some degree - it is a knife, after all). The best thing to do would probably be picking a well balanced steel that can hold a decent edge, but is also plenty tough and, preferably, stain resistant or stainless. If we are talking about custom knives, steel availability should also be considered, as well as ability of the maker to work with that steel. The latter seems trivial, but it is crucially important because, heat treatment aside, some steels are very hard to grind without overheating, for example, some require more than your average belts, it has to be cost effective, etc. For “regular” store-bought knives, options are more limited, so you make do with what’s available, but one still can make a better choice at any given price point if the purpose of the knife is strictly defined and the steel that it is made from is identifiable (which isn’t always the case, especially for the lower priced knives). To note here, better choice is not a given even when the required properties are well defined simply due to various heat treatment of production knives, overheated edges, etc, but it happens and it cannot be avoided; even highest priced production knives can have these issues.

The “well balanced” is purely determined by the task: chopping wood vs cutting cardboard vs field dressing an animal all require that balance to be different. MagnaCut is one of the most balanced steels for the tasks that all-around knives are generally used for. It is not a magic steel either however. For example, Dean’s S30V blade is still likely to hold the edge longer while performing the same tasks. Unless those tasks put enough stress on the blade when Dean’s blade would fail and MagnaCut would still keep working. So why is MagnaCut is a great choice? Again, let’s talk about priories. First thing here is to determine what the knife is going to be used for. Is it an all around type knife? Is it a knife that will be used purely to field dress an animal? Is it going to go camping with you as well, where you may get bored by the fire one evening and start carving or shaving a stick/log? Maybe you are going to have it in your vehicle or pocket for every day use to poke around, snap some heavy duty zip ties, cut cardboard that may have some staples in it (not recommended for any knife, lol)? So that should affect the choice of steel. Again, most people do pretty well with basically any knife they buy; when it breaks or whatever, they buy another one.

So why MagnaCut? MagnaCut is very tough for stainless steel, but it also has a respectable edge retention provided its toughness. The edge retention is somewhere between D2 and S30V, but can be increased by increasing the hardness. Even at the highest hardness, it is still tougher than either of the aforementioned steels, as well as most others, but should have edge retention equivalent to or higher than an average S30V blade. Provided its stainless properties, it is a no brainer choice over D2 and most other non-stainless steels, exceptions apply and are talked about below. MagnaCut is also a better choice than most other stainless steels for the very same reasons; and, really, not many other steels have significantly better edge retention than MagnaCut without sacrificing toughness significantly. I also, however, at some point discussed in this thread (or I think I did) that edge retention and toughness are not mutually exclusive and the edge retention can be greatly affected by the toughness of the blade. For example, if your edge chips, the theoretical edge retention is completely irrelevant. Therefore, MagnaCut is really a great choice for a an all around knife.

Here is another and more specific example of priorities and how my thought process went. I was going to have a knife made in MagnaCut (I think I said that two years ago now in this thread that if I were to have a knife made, it would be from that steel). I contacted Dan Crotts about making a semi skinner and he didn’t use MaganCut back then. I said I’d wait and so I did. I saw him dropping a knife on one of the websites made of MagnaCut and reached out to him again. Long story short, communication was very difficult with late replies and then he stopped replying altogether (that was like after two or so emails, lol). So I went on my own search for someone who would make me the knife in MagnaCut. I had a few guys on my mind right away. I also know that not many makers would simply copy someone else’s design, but I wanted to improve some things anyway (or so I think, lol). I made a sketch and reached out to a guy from Texas, named Stuart Davenport, who said he will make the knife for me based on my sketch. The steel of choice was MaganCut, of course, and so it was agreed. I then started thinking though… and here is where it led me, lol.

What is the most important property (and balance of properties) of a hunting knife used purely for field dressing various game because that is what I wanted? To me, it is clearly edge retention, provided there is sufficient toughness to the steel. At the same time, that steel doesn’t have to be overly tough. However, I wanted the knife to be a real slicer as well with perfect edge geometry and grind. That eliminated the “super steels” like S90V, S110V, etc because I wouldn’t trust any of them to keep such a delicate edge from chipping and shattering. While stainless steel would be ideal, I couldn’t think of anything better than MagnaCut for my purpose. Yet, stainless wasn’t necessarily a priority high on the list. So I went to tool steels. CPM 15V and Z-Max would be at risk of having the same issue as the steels already mentioned while “theoretical” edge retention would be superior. Long story short, CPM 10V ended up being the steel of choice: one of the highest edge retention properties, tough enough for the task (tougher than D2 and S30V, to keep the same example going), and some stain resistance (similar to D2, but D2 gets a slight edge here). What I wanted ended up being hard to find though, but with the help of some fellas on another forum, a bar with the desired thickness was located and purchased by the maker. The upper limit of the desired thickness was 0.1” and the bar I found was 0.093” (the lower limit was set at 0.06”), so it is pretty thin stuff. Stuart offered to make me a knife from K390 that he already had with the same thickness, but once 10V was found the choice was set at that. I also considered Vanadis 8 just because it is a bit tougher yet, but gives up some edge retention in return, of course, but that is a unicorn of the steel anyway and I could not locate a bar anywhere (looked in the US and Europe as well, which would probably make it price prohibitive anyway).

So the bar was found. Stuart worked with me through this entire dilemma, lol, and provided lots of input into the decision making. His suggestion was also CPM 10V over MagnaCut, which is what his personal hunting knife is made of as well. At this point, the design changed because initially I wanted a hollow grind, but I thought full flat grind would be more appropriate due to the thickness of the blade. Stuart agreed with that as well. His grinds are super slick, so I knew the edge geometry would still be on point (hence the choice of the maker). He surely didn’t disappoint bringing the edge to a mere 0.004” before sharpening. Essentially, it would cut before even bringing an apex. To quote him, after I laughed hearing 0.004”, “it will shave if I put a strop to it” (not the exact quote, but something along the lines, just laughing).

I think this is getting to be quite long now, but yeah, there was quite a bit of thought put into this whole thing. I also asked for jimping, but Stuart rounded the spine as well and that brought that extra notch to the comfort level.

Handle choice was another dilemma for me. I knew I wanted micarta and went back and forth with the choices. The final product carries Westinghouse micarta scales with red G10 liners. These are secured in place via epoxy, as well as stainless steel corby bolts, so those scales are there to stay no matter what, pretty much.

The last thin to note, I guess, is that the blade was heat treated in house to 65HRC and went through cryo and triple temper. Stuart is on top of the game in heat treatment department, so there is nothing there that I can even come close to suggesting because I am completely out of my element here beyond the basics, lol. We only agreed on the desired hardness to aim for and he executed that perfectly.

It was sharpened by Stuart to 15 degrees per side (he also asked me to what grid I wanted it to be sharpened to, to which I replied 600 is just fine, but he went a little further playing around, so the hair pops when the knife comes out sheath without touching it, lol).

Having written all this, I realize now that I cannot take any pictures in good light at the moment, lol. So these will have to do.







Came with a letter, a band aid, which I thought was funny, and his business card:



Last thing I just thought of (reading Dean’s and Coil’s posts in regard to edge retention), I can skin and quarter (and partially debone) elk with the Outdoor Edge Swingblade, which is made of AUS-8 steel, I believe, and while it won’t shave after, I can still comfortably do at least another deer with the same knife without touch ups -> it will still be sharp enough. So it all probably comes down to how we do things as well. Having said that, this knife clearly wasn’t something I needed because I did just fine with what I already had. But here we are… I expect this one to last a few animals before needing a touch up. Even at 15 degrees per side.

Needless to say, dealing with Stuart was a complete pleasure and I would recommend him to anyone. I am glad I reached out to him. The first email sent was on Sept 9. The knife arrived today. You probably got the gist that there was a lot of back and forth in between that, can’t say didn’t result in any moving forward because it did and very much so, but a lot of decisions were made in between that didn’t involve the actual work on the blade.

Nice knife. I like the design!
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  #1953  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:03 AM
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Congrats on your new knife! Glad you found what you were looking for in terms of steel. Looks like a great skinning knife.
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  #1954  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:13 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
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Originally Posted by Pathfinder76 View Post
You lost me at Magnacut being almost as good at edge retention as S30V.
No good? Better, worse?

Edit: it appears edge retention can actually be identical because your “average” production s30V knife will have hardness of 60-61HRC, at best; MagnaCut at 64-65HRC would have almost identical edge retention (I would want mine at 63-64, probably). Your average S30V knife’s hardness circled:


Last edited by fishnguy; 12-19-2023 at 08:23 AM.
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  #1955  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:18 AM
Dom4 Dom4 is offline
 
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That's a very nice knife. I really like the way those red inlays pop with that handle. Should be an awesome skinning and field dressing knife there.
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  #1956  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:21 AM
Pathfinder76 Pathfinder76 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by fishnguy View Post
No good? Better, worse?
In my experience Magnacut, for a hunting knife, retains its edge better than S30V.
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  #1957  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:24 AM
fishnguy fishnguy is online now
 
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^ I edited my post, haha.
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  #1958  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:37 AM
Pathfinder76 Pathfinder76 is offline
 
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I would think that use then might have more to do with it. It’s impossible to get an apples to apples comparison under field conditions.
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  #1959  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:39 AM
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All I will say is that when you debone an animal COMPLETELY, as Pathfinder does, there is a helluva pile of contact with bone, definitely bringing toughness into the equation.

I think some claims regarding edge retention are in the realm of fantasy.

But when I look at Pathfinder’s use of a knife, it as hard as you can get while not being abusive.

His experience vis a vis Magnacut and S30V make sense.

It’s all good fun, and shows exactly why this knife stuff is so interesting.

Multiple variables at play, and blade geometry is as big a factor as the rest.


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  #1960  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:50 AM
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My experience mirros Pathfinders with regards to magnacut/s30vn but i am also comparing factory s30vn to custom magnacut...
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  #1961  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:54 AM
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My magnacut knife sailed through skinning half a doe like it was butter. My buddy’s magnacut knife went through the other side like butter too. Hee hee.
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  #1962  
Old 12-19-2023, 09:07 AM
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My Magnacut also makes short work of thinly rolled trees. I kid you not. No sweat. lol.




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  #1963  
Old 12-19-2023, 11:39 AM
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What we are talking about here regarding edge retention is “theoretical”. Taking two different knives made from two different steels and comparing edge retention is not exactly practical. The only true way to compare edge retention is to compare identical designs made from different (properly) heat treated steels sharpened to the same standard and tested on the same media, and I am likely not currently thinking of something else at the moment that needs to be eliminated. Otherwise, all you are comparing is edge retention of two different knives where steel may not even be the determining factor.

Consider the following “steel comparison guide”, for example. Pretty sure I posted it here before:

https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/...8-rope.793481/

Are they really comparing steels? Not really. For example, Phil Wilson’s knife in 10V, which they determined to be the best in their test, holds the edge more than twice as well as the next best knife in their test made from the same steel. Heat treat aside (Phil’s knife is harder at 64.5 compared to 63 of the other knife), you should also notice the difference in geometry, which is crucial: Phil’s knife is 0.004” behind the edge vs 0.012” for the other knife vs 0.020” for next best in the same steel (Spyderco at 63HRC). The two latter actually tested almost identically, but Phil’s knife is in another universe, according to their test.

Then take a look at S30V we are discussing here. The best they have is some custom knife at 61HRC testing slightly better (but likely identical, really) than Spyderco in S90V and Benchmade in S110V. That shouldn’t be the case though because both S90V and S110V are superior steels as far as edge retention is concerned. I mean they were designed to be so. But then again, you would notice the geometry of the S30V custom being superior, the knife measuring at 0.006” behind the edge vs 0.018” for the two other knives. Their next best S30V knife tested significantly worse (more than twice as bad) and that was Spyderco Military. Note, however, it still tested significantly better than Dozier in D2.

Also, note how they are ranking S30V in their categories. They actually have S30V in the same category as VG10 and AUS8, lol. The answer here is simple: as they note, that particular knife had hardness of 58.5HRC. And that is the likely answer to the issue at hand here. In my post above, I said that your “average” production knife made of S30V will have hardness of 60-61HRC, at best. And I mean this is the best case scenario, likely only true for some higher priced knives/brands, as well as some most experienced makers. The real “average” knife will be much softer - ie, the example of 58.5 in this test and likely the true real world - and will not hold the edge nearly as well as it should. Does this mean S30V is a poor choice of steel? Well, not really (though I personally would not choose it for any application because there are better alternatives), it is a good steel. This simply tells you that production knives may really suck, lol, and they never use any steel properties to their full potential. “Never” is a hyperbole and I do not like it, but it is likely close to truth in this case, so I am comfortable using it.

As another example of production knives being of poor quality regardless of the price, note Chris Reeve Sebenza testing significantly worse than Fiddleback Forge Kephart made from the same steel. And I mean kephart, which is an all around medium to hard duty knife, designed to be able to chop wood if necessary, vs a (not so, in this case, lol) “slice-y” Sebenza. And the handmade kephart was probably slightly cheaper, if I had to guess.

So, what I am trying to say here is that all these experiences of one production knife being better than another while it should be the other way around, etc are completely valid and true. To add to the complexity, some companies will make a knife in S30V, for example, or some other steel, just because there is market for it (and look at us, we can do it too!), but heat treat for that steel may be very particular and unforgiving, resulting in inferior knives every time. Because they will always go on the safer/softer side of things, that would further deteriorate the properties of the steel. Essentially, buying a knife made from a theoretically inferior steel by the same company may be a better option. Whether that is the case with S30V or some other particular steel, I have no idea; this is just to provide an example.

So yeah, it isn’t exactly a valid comparison of various steels and their (optimal) properties. As the examples above indicate, blade geometry plays a significant role, likely just as much as heat treatment itself, if not more (see Phil’s knife in 10V vs others, or the handmade S30V knife vs production).

The best we can do here is for Pathfinder to compare his Crotts semi skinners in S30V and D2 because he has them both and can sharpen them precisely the same on his Wicked Edge. And that still won’t tell us the entire story because we know nothing of the heat treatment process and the resulting hardness of the knives. If I had to guess, his D2 would likely come close if not “exactly” to the ideal, while S30V would leave quite a bit off the most desirable result. But that is just my guess.

And yes, as sns mentioned in his post above, and I as stressed several times prior, toughness is a very real characteristic that can have a tremendous effect on the sharpness of the knife. The damage to the edge doesn’t have to be visible to the naked eye. Microchipping that will occur on hard contact with bone will drastically reduce the sharpness of your knife.

If this wasn’t long enough, I will probably make another post later, lol.
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  #1964  
Old 12-19-2023, 11:45 AM
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"The damage to the edge doesn’t have to be visible to the naked eye. Microchipping that will occur on hard contact with bone will drastically reduce the sharpness of your knife."

This right here is basically impossible to quantify, yet I think affects things greatly.
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  #1965  
Old 12-19-2023, 02:23 PM
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Beautiful knife!
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  #1966  
Old 12-19-2023, 02:25 PM
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Hey All,

Just got photos from Clint of the two knives that I ordered from him and I can’t wait to see them in person. I think they look awesome. Now just to find an animal at this time of year to test them on.

They look awesome!
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  #1967  
Old 12-19-2023, 04:29 PM
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They look awesome!
Thank you! The suspense waiting for them is killing me. HAHA
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  #1968  
Old 12-19-2023, 05:51 PM
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Thank you! The suspense waiting for them is killing me. HAHA
They are gonna live up to it bud! Book it.
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  #1969  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:49 PM
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"The damage to the edge doesn’t have to be visible to the naked eye. Microchipping that will occur on hard contact with bone will drastically reduce the sharpness of your knife."

This right here is basically impossible to quantify, yet I think affects things greatly.
Partially the reason I bought a digital microscope. Little things you can't see easily if at all with the naked eye but you can feel/hear when cutting.

It makes it really nice to be able to examine and edge before/during/after sharpening to see what is really going on.

For instance, this was a small part of the blade on my pocket knife that I could not easily see but I could feel it when slowing cutting paper. If you enlarge it you can see the general wear on the edge as well.


After going from 20° to 15°. The white fuzzies is dust from a kleenex. Same distance and magnification but the bevel takes up a much larger portion of the view.


Is it completely unnecessary? Yes. Is it cool? Heck yes I like that I can keep a visual record of things. If I change something with sharpening and notice a vastly different result for good or bad I can see what and why. Did I mess up the sharpening or did the steel fail under use causing worse performance? Did it hold up better and something I changed lead to less edge damage over time and so on.
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  #1970  
Old 12-19-2023, 08:51 PM
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Very cool. It’s interesting stuff for sure. A lovely rabbit hole.
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  #1971  
Old 12-21-2023, 02:38 PM
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Great looking knife! 15 or 17 degree on that knife!



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  #1972  
Old 12-21-2023, 03:22 PM
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I put 17 degrees on my knives.
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  #1973  
Old 12-21-2023, 05:23 PM
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Just got my hands on it today. Gonna debone a turkey with her tonight.




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  #1974  
Old 12-21-2023, 06:41 PM
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Looks great! How did the knife do with the turkey?


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Just got my hands on it today. Gonna debone a turkey with her tonight.




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  #1975  
Old 12-21-2023, 06:44 PM
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Very well. Felt great in the hand. Looking forward to cleaning some walleye on Boxing Day.
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  #1976  
Old 12-21-2023, 09:46 PM
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Very well. Felt great in the hand. Looking forward to cleaning some walleye on Boxing Day.
Now did you do the gutless method or did you haul it out whole?
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  #1977  
Old 12-22-2023, 03:32 AM
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Knives of Alaska elk hunter.
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  #1978  
Old 12-22-2023, 08:18 AM
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Now did you do the gutless method or did you haul it out whole?
Had to use a SxS to get it outta the bush. Mean azz turkey. Was ugly.
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  #1979  
Old 12-22-2023, 08:33 AM
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Here a pic of the set of knives that will ride in my bag. Truth is the top knife will do it all, and very nicely, but Clint Chisan makes damn nice knives. No need to go stateside I tell you that.


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  #1980  
Old 12-22-2023, 09:14 AM
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Here a pic of the set of knives that will ride in my bag. Truth is the top knife will do it all, and very nicely, but Clint Chisan makes damn nice knives. No need to go stateside I tell you that.


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Very nice set you got there . You seem to be drawn to the greenish colours. Now your only issue will be deciding which knife to use. Maybe bring a coin to toss so you're not sitting there all day

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