Nothing puts a knife through its paces like field dressing game. You put in the legwork, you got your animal, and now its time for the really hard stuff- and the bigger the animal, the bigger the task. It's been a while, but in the past we've dressed animals as large as moose and caped Dall sheep using basic drop point knives, and it was a chore, no two ways about it. As our son gets old enough to want to try hunting, we began to look for a knife made for harvesting and found two standouts, both by Gerber.
As the ad copy says, Randy Newberg has harvested more game than us – or anyone we know – so when Gerber puts out a knife with Newberg's name on it, we figure a better mouse trap has just been invented. In this case there are two knives, the DTS and the EBS, the latter being more of a knife system. You can use either for both the open cavity and the gutless method of processing your game. We've never tried gutless, and the method certainly has its pros and cons, but its interesting either way to see Randy work it through to conclusion.
The DTS is a single knife solution with two blades: a large 3.75" main blade with a mild recurve profile, secured by a stout axis lock, and a small black-anodized serrated Wharncliffe-like tendon tool. The tendon tool is designed for the rough work of dorsal hiding and joint separation, while the extra-thick profile of the main blade will harvest all the meat you wanna eat. The body of the knife is designed for ambidextrous use and different hold styles, with solid rubberized grip zones and reflective labels in case you drop it in the dark. The DTS is clearly a workhorse of a knife, designed to take a beating, and it will do everything you need it to on pretty much any hunting expedition.
On a more specialized bent, the EBS is more appropriately labeled a knife system. The handle comes clipped into a really sweet little case design that also holds three task-specific blades: a longer backstrap blade, a medium general task blade and a shorter serrated and recurved breakdown blade. The case holds the blades quietly and securely for easy transport. The skeletonized handle has tacky grip zones and features a quick-release system for changing out blades that is both easy to use and reliably solid in use.
We're really looking forward to putting both these knives into action and will update as we go. Whether you're looking for a capable about-camp knife that can easily get your game processed when the time comes, or a more specialized tool for frequent use and/or large animals, Gerber has a solution with their Randy Newberg knives. Now we just need to justify a new hunting rifle to the Sheflogger…