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L.L.Bean Small Stacked Leather Hunting Knife

LL Bean Stacked Leather Knife

There are a lot of stacked leather handle hunting knives that are big game size. But when I saw this sized-down version from L. L. Bean, it looked perfect for butchering birds. The handle and heft of this knife fit nicely with the traditional vibe. Laser-sharp right out of the box with good edge retention, I’ve yet to need the sharpening stone. It comes with a premium leather sheath for stowing and is priced right at just $69. 



Benchmade 560 Freek

Benchmade 560


We’re perennial fans of Benchmade knives: high-quality, edge retention, one handed opening, reversible clips on most models. What’s not to like? But here’s what makes the Freek stand out: it’s crazy lightweight. Benchmade has found a way to replace some of the metal components with space-age materials that don’t compromise quality. Unlike other Benchmade models, the Freek’s handle is made of Versaflex which makes it grippy. Why that’s important for birdhunters is pretty simple – it’s stickier in the pocket, not exactly glued in there but seeded. While walking through heavy cover the branches or thick brush aren’t going to be able to pry the Freek from its place. The ability to clean birds back at the truck is always better than cursing the pickpockets afield – $111 click here to learn more.


Benchmade Custom Griptilian Knife

There may be blades more appropriate for breaking down birds, but being able to design your own knife in real-time online makes this Benchmade a must-have. You can choose from 12 different handle colors, three blades, different pocket clips and component colors….. the possibilities seem endless. After you have the knife formatted to your liking you can upload text and graphics to have lasermarked on the blade. (Of course we suggest “Ultimate Upland” and our pointing dog will make perfect additions.) We like the drop-point straight blade with thumb stud in hi-vis orange for starters. The custom order takes at least 3 weeks, so get your order in today. ($125) Click here.


Benchmade Steep Country

Benchmade Steep CountryI’ve lost two knives to briars and saplings snagging the pocket clip. Maddening. I decided this season I would teach the pick pocket coverts a lesson and hunt with a sheathed fix blade. To be honest, I still like the feel of a knife in my pocket, probably because most of my brush pants have a permanent impression from years of carry. But the edge retention, hunter orange santoprene polymer handle, the heft of this Benchmade Steep Country ($98) feels great in the hand. Whether it’s an upland bird or a Ponderosa pine, when I have this knife I feel like I can render it to pieces.


Top Gear for Bird Hunters from SHOT Show 2014

We’re finally back from SHOT and now planning our last hunt of the season. Here’s our round up of some of the great new gear for bird hunters being rolled out this year.

The Syren by Caesar Guerini is a high grade O/U made specifically for women. It’s great to see shotgun makers beginning to take notice of the largest growth segment of our sport and certainly look forward to seeing more women take part in upland hunting.


Some thought went into this Filson Front Loading Shooting Shirt. Filson always has great products for bird hunters, but this breaks the standard mold. And the Seattle-Cut clothing that they are now developing shows that Filson is looking to do some much needed upgrades for performance clothing while still retaining the historic quality of their products.


Wolverine is expanding their lineup of boots for women and continuing to develop new innovation in footwear. The Alert and the Sightline both fall into the category of lightweight, waterproof boots that I like to take to the field.


Benchmade is phasing out their Lone Wolf line and have returned to the hunting segment with Benchmade HUNT. These are beefy blades crafted specifically for hunters. Expect all the same quality and service associated with the Benchmade brand, but now get an edge and a steel that are optimized for butchering game. Check out some of the videos on their YouTube channel.


With onXmaps Hunt it just became a lot easier to attain landowner permission for hunting. OnXmaps will also keep you on the right side of the boundary on public lands and WMAs. We’ll be using it to help plan our next bird hunt.