A new do-it-all combo from Timberline Knives can handle all of the necessary chores associated with big game field care, including gutting, skinning, cape removal and blade edge restoration.
In-the-field game care can involve a number of different activities, including: the extraction of the internal viscera (gutting), separation of the hide from the musculature (skinning) and head skin cape removal (trophy work). Many hunters employ a single multi-purpose knife, with either a clip or drop-point pattern blade for all of these chores.
Even though cape removal can be accomplished with a single multi-purpose hunting knife, the use of a more scalpel-like blade pattern will make the assignment easier and provide more efficient use of both time and effort. Since I do all of my own trophy work, in addition to either a fixed-blade or folding hunting knife, I also carry a caping knife. However, since there’s a limit to just how many different pieces of equipment that can be carried on my belt, the caper is all too often forgotten or left behind.
Fortunately, my friends at Timberline Knife and Tool have come up with a solution to the problem of having all the right edged tools for big game gutting, skinning and caping on your person. Designed by Tim Wegner, the founder of Blade-Tech, who created several knives for his own company and other cutlery manufacturers, the Big Game Combo Pack is a lightweight and unique gathering of two lock-blade folders and a edge restoration tool in a single lightweight, belt-carried unit.
The Timberline Simba GHS (Model 6510) is named after the Swahili word meaning “Lion.” This folder is largest of the two knives in the combo and features a 3.4-inch, modified drop-point pattern, D-2 tool steel blade, hardened to 60 HRC. D-2 blade steel has earned a solid reputation as a tough, chip-resistant, upscale blade material for use in hard-working knives. While not classified as stainless steel (it is just one percent under the stainless formulation minimum), nonetheless, the steel is extremely stain resistant and has been referred to as “semi-stainless” by many makers. The blade pattern is a high taper, modified drop-point, with a one-hand opening hole for thumb engagement. Also, there are two short sections of rounded serrations (jimping), one can be used as a thumb rest and the other for forefinger positioning when involved in more detailed work.
The knife also has an auxiliary gutting blade attached externally to the 420 stainless frame liners, which rotates out of a cutout in the handle scale. A small detent holds the gutting blade open and a stud is mounted on the blade to allow easy thumb opening. Frame liners, as well as a liner positioned blade locking mechanism, are mounted into (“pocketed”) the dual layer G-10 handle scales. In keeping with the name of the knife, a series of small lion tracks are cut into the external handle scales. The tracks not only give a distinctive look, but also provide enhanced hand-to-knife contact. The knife also features a handle-mounted, attachment clip, allowing optional left-or-right, tip-or-down positioning when carried by itself.
The companion knife in this combo is the Timberline Chui GHS (Model 6520), so named for the Swahili word for leopard. This knife features as 3.0-inch, high taper grind, drop-point pattern blade, crafted from D-2 tool steel and hardened to 60 HRC for enhanced edge retention. While this knife possesses many of the same features (liner blade lock, G-10 handle scales and left-or-right clip) found on the larger companion Simba folder, however, the overall profile is much slimmer and the blade far more pointed for detailed trophy work.
Teamed with these two folders and contained in the same rugged belt case is a GATCO (Great American Tool Company) sharpener. This edge restoration tool is dual-sided and has a pair of pre-angled carbide tips, as well as a pair of similarly positioned ceramic sharpening rods. Easily employed by simply drawing a dull blade, first through the carbide tips to set the edge, then repeat the procedure using the ceramic rods to smoothly hone the edge. This is the easiest, quickest and most efficient knife sharpener I’ve ever used. And since it’s right in the same belt case as the knives, it’s never left behind.
Timberline Knives has done its homework with this combo set. Designed by a serious hunter who knows what it takes to deal with every aspect of field care¾from basic evisceration, to hide removal and including detailed trophy work. In addition, each of the knives can be carried individually by removal from the case and employing the clip as an attachment mechanism. This is absolutely the best big game field care combo I’ve ever seen. It’s lightweight, versatile and fully functional. For more information, contact: Timberline Knife and Tool at 7223 Boston State Rd., Harrisburg, NY 14075, (800) 548-7427, or go to www.gatcosharpeners.com.– Durwood Hollis