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Discussion Starter #1
www.havalon.com

Our West Texas outfitter uses these and I wanted to try one.
Now I'm hooked.
Light, and all you do is touch it to the animal and the cutting is effortless.
Thought I'd post it because the one I saw went through three mule deer from start to finish and was still on the same blade.
Good idea
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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That looks pretty cool. Will have to try it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thought you might like that as many animals as you go through.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I have been known to use a utility knife, when knee-deep in pigs. Looks like those blades are better shaped though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea, looks like you can buy different style blades, but it would take me forever to use up the ones it came with.
Its a neat knife
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Alright if you'll buy some Shiner, I'll gut the next hog with it and break it in :D

See ya at the ranch.....
 

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My dad and I, along with a good friend of his, came back from Wisconsin one fall with 8 deer in the trailer. We skinned, quartered and processed all of them over a 2-day period. By the time that was done, I was TIRED of sharpening knives! Now, I will say that skinning 'em doesn't usually dull the blade all that fast, but we bone out the meat, so that can curl an edge over after one, maybe two deer. Trying to skin a deer with a blade that isn't very sharp makes the job harder and more dangerous...I can see where this little tool would be just about perfect for the skinning part of processing. Might need to order one and see how they do on coyotes, too.
 

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What do they cost?

I was just at the SHOT show and there was a guy there selling a scalpel w/a plastic handle. It was sorta like those plastic utility knives w/the blade that slides up into the handle.

But, they were much nicer and seemed almost decent. He was selling them for 3 for $10. He said that he can get 2 elk out of one before he tosses them. (3 deer ain't nothing like 2 elk).
 

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There were several models on that internet site. It looked like they ranged from about $33 to $54 or so, almost, exactly, sorta. I didn;t look through them all. They look more useful than a Stanley utility knife.....for skinning animals, anyway.
 

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I can imagine they would work well, until they quit working. I can't imagine buying and throwing away blades, rather than just sharpening a decent knife.

I don't think it's my idea of a good idea.
 

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I dont see the appeal, I can gut and skin an entire elk without needing to sharpen my knife. I wouldnt use the same knife i use to gut and skin to debone and butcher, I have knives that are better suited. If you are carefull about how you make your cuts, and dont go through a bunch of fur, a decent knife with a good edge shouldnt dull that quickly.
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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I have one of the Havalon's that was given to me a year ago by a hunting buddy. I have been using the same blade for over a year and it is still sharp. The knife comes with about 10 extra blades so I figure these will last me about 10 years. I have used the knife to help skin about six deer and it is still working well. The scalpel type blades, make close work very easy. I keep mine in my hunting pack so I don't have to carry a stone for my regular knife.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I would never have thought such things were a good idea till I started shooting pigs and got tired of sharpening knives. Let me tell you those things dull up a blade in a hurry!

Imagine skinning a critter made out of sandpaper and you get the idea ;)
 

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I knew a doctor, surgeon really, when I lived in Northern Michigan. He used a scalpal exclusively. Gutting, skinning, deboning. I've written to the makers of the X-ACTO craft knife and they may just have what I'm looking for. #2 handle with a variety of replaceable blades. My hands aren't what they used to be and I think this is exactly what I need. If it turns out that the handle doesn't suit my hand just right I'm sure I can make something that does. I love the idea of replaceable blades.
 

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I don't shave with a straight razor, so why not skin deer with incredibly sharp, replaceable blades? Just another example of using the best tool available, really.
 

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I don't shave with a straight razor, so why not skin deer with incredibly sharp, replaceable blades? Just another example of using the best tool available, really.
Well, I wouldnt call replacable blades the best tool available, unless you cant use a wet stone. convenient, sure, but i have never thought it so horrible that i spend 5 minutes touching up my blades, after every other elk, or after 5-6 deer. If any of you have been to a butcher shop, they sure as heck dont use scalpels or any other nonsense, they use qaulity butchering knives, whether it be for skinning or cutting steaks.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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They don't clean pigs that have been wallowing in granite sand, either!
 

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Just a story to illustrate what we sometimes deal with, because one deer isn't necessarily the equivalent of another in this country. A few years back I was hunting in Mason county, which is no only rocky but pretty much covered in granite. Winters here are rarely snowy, and the vegetation has pretty much died by deer season.

Shot a doe up on a small ridge and had to drag her back down a rocky slope, a couple hundred yards. Not too far, really. By the time I made it to the bottom, all the hair was gone off one side! Just hide....

The animals (deer and pigs) get that gritty dust in their fur. Yeah I try not to cut in from the outside, but you gotta start somewhere.... our deer aren't equipped with zippers :D

I found a big increase in the longevity of a knife edge, if I did all of the initial cuts with a carpet or roofing blade in a utility knife. Just that first few cuts kills the edge if you are hunting in those conditions.

Now, pigs, they are a different story. You don't make a few cuts and start to peel them like a deer. You make a few cuts, then you cut every inch of hide off of them! It's all stuck on tight. Yeah you try to not cut through but you do anyway, the hide is pretty thin. So, between the effort of having to chop off every square inch of hide, and the initial cuts through whatever they were wallowing in, and the accidental cuts back through the hide, knives don't last long.

I will fully understand the claim that a good hunting knife can go through several deer before you have to sharpen it. In ideal conditions, I can do that too. But I butcher 8-10-12 animals a year, and frankly if I can find something that works 5% or 10% better, I'm sure going to switch over.

If all I had to skin was 1 or 2 deer a year I wouldn't care. Maybe I'd even enjoy doing it the hard way - after all I bowhunt and handgun hunt too. Use to sharpen all my knives with Arkansas stones but frankly that just gets old the 3rd or 4th time during the season.

Those guides using the knives - that really tells you something. They go through a lot of critters and they aren't going to use something that doesn't work.

Anyway, to each his own.
 

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Well, I wouldnt call replacable blades the best tool available, unless you cant use a wet stone. convenient, sure, but i have never thought it so horrible that i spend 5 minutes touching up my blades, after every other elk, or after 5-6 deer. If any of you have been to a butcher shop, they sure as heck dont use scalpels or any other nonsense, they use qaulity butchering knives, whether it be for skinning or cutting steaks.
I've actually helped process 5 or 6 deer, on several occasions, and even good knives will need to be sharpened more than once when skinning, quartering and deboning that much venison.

On another note, if you ever find yourself working with a taxidermist, ask HIM what he skins the head of a trophy animal with. ;)
 
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