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.
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I’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.
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The W.R. Case Pheasant Hunter ($120) may look like a collector’s edition but don’t be fooled. The stag handle and fixed blade feel great in hand and are perfect for taking apart birds in the field. When finished filleting, slide it back into the leather sheath, throw it in the truck console and head to the next field.
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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.