Whether you’re a hunting expert or just getting started, knowing how to correctly hold, use, and care for a hunting knife is of great importance. Using a knife improperly can be incredibly dangerous, but by observing the following basic safety tips you will reduce the risk associated your sporting knife.
1. Check Your Equipment. This may come as a surprise to you, but the majority of hunting or sporting knife injuries come from dull blades. Hunting knives with a fixed blade require regular sharpening and maintenance in order to be safe and effective. It’s easier to lose control with a dull knife and can cause greater tissue damage than a hunting knife that’s been properly sharpened. In addition to the blade’s sharpness you should also make sure the handle is secure and the guard is tight.
2. Carry Knives Correctly. Now that you’ve checked your hunting knife and made sure it is working properly, the next thing to address is how to carry it. Fixed blade knives belong in a sheath tight enough to prevent it from falling out and strong enough that jostling won’t cause your sharp knife to cut it’s sheath. When wearing it on your belt, position it in a way so it won’t pierce your leg should you fall on it.
3. Cut Correctly. Always cut away from your body whenever possible. This isn’t always easy to do (when skinning or cleaning large game, for instance), but it should be your goal. If it is not possible, position yourself so the blade is not directed towards any major veins or arteries. Keep the handle clean and dry when possible – this will reduce slippage when using the knife.
A hunting or sporting knife is a great tool, but it can also be dangerous. Follow the above-mentioned tips if you want to get the best and safest performance from your knife.