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Best whitetail knife? First impressions of the Bark River Bobcat |


Somebody did their research on the new Bark River Bobcat.

I predict this is going to be a really, really popular hunting knife.

Knives Ship Free Delivers Direct

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer: Knivesshipfree.com is a Survivalcommonsense sponsor. I didn’t get a free knife for this review, and was not paid to write it. KSF had no input in the content of this post.

I have many different hunting knives, because I hunt deer, elk, small game, and (providing I’m lucky in the Mississippi Fish and Game lottery this year), alligator. A swamp hog hunt is on the horizon.

Bark River Knives, bar river bobcat, best deer hunting knife

The Bark River Bobcat has a classic design that is bound to work well.

Point being, my hunting knives are users, and I won’t take along a piece of equipment that can’t be depended on.

The BR Bobcat is a smaller version of the classic BR Drop Point Hunter, and it promises to become one of those go-to whitetail hunting knives. Here are some observations just out of the box.

Specs (Courtesy of Knivesshipfree.com)

  • Overall Length:  7.75″
  • Blade Length:  3.5″
  • Blade Steel:  CPM-154
  • Blade Hardness:  60-61HRC
  • Blade Thickness:  .093″
  • Weight:  3.5oz.
  • Price: Starting at $217.45

Handle: I have large hands, and for a hammer grip, the Bobcat’s handle is almost too small for me. But for a skinning grip –  where the index finger is placed on the spine, and the handle is grasped with the thumb and other three fingers – the handle is perfect. This knife would be comfortable to use for a lengthy session at the skinning shed.

I chose red micarta for the handle material. I got red because it is easily seen if it gets dropped, and micarta because it is apparently bulletproof. Micarta is my first choice for a knife that will be used hard. My experience is that micarta gets almost tacky when wet, and this is important for a knife that will be used for gutting and inside an abdominal cavity.

Bark River Knives, bobcat, tundra, best knives for deer hunting

The Bobcat, top, and my custom Ambush Tundra could be all you need to handle any big game animal.

Point: A drop point is the classic choice for a hunting knife, and the Bobcat’s drop point will work well for the initial spine down, edge up cut that opens up the abdomen. The drop point is also a good choice for the under the tail work prior to field dressing.

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Blade shape: There is a nice curve on the belly of the blade that will help with skinning. The belly does most of the work, but there is also a two-inch straight area for slicing.

Blade Thickness: At .093 inches, the Bob has a thin blade. It will be a great slicer, and cut very well.  For hunting knifes, IMHO, you need a thin blade.

Blade length: My favorite hunting knife blade length is somewhere between four and six inches. My go-to Tundra and Bravo 1.25 LT both have about five inch blades, and they are used heavily during hunting seasons. The 3.5″ Bobcat blade is small enough to be nimble inside the abdominal cavity, but large enough to do the job.

Weight: A light knife gets taken along. A heavy, bulky knife gets left in the truck or at the trailhead. At 3.5 ounces, this knife is barely noticeable on your belt. It can easily go into your fanny pack as a backup to a larger knife.

Sheath: The sturdy leather sheath that comes with the Bobcat is outstanding. It appears to be a smaller version of the superb Jenna Martin sheath that comes with the BR Cub. A comfortable sheath is paramount to knife safety and convenience. If a knife is hard to carry, it gets left behind.

So those are my first impressions. I will go on a spring squirrel hunt soon, and the Bobcat is a prime candidate to go along. And the catfish and crappie will be biting. And I will probably whittle a wiener stick at some point. The Bobcat will be used in the field, and I’ll let you know how it works out.

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