Designed by noted outdoor writer and guide J. Wayne Fears, the new Pro-Tool Deer Hunter’s Knife features a 1095 carbon steel, drop-point pattern blade, oil-stained ash hardwood handle scales and a pouch-type leather sheath. This knife is solidly built to handle big game field care under the most demanding situations.
Whether it’s field dressing, skinning, caping, blind building or even general camp chores, a well-made knife has been and continues to be my most valued hunting companion. While the current trend in hunting knives tends to be lock-blade folders, my own choice is more often a fixed-blade. The fact that a fixed-blade knife needs no manual manipulation to be brought into play is a significant consideration when cold weather prevails. Likewise, a fixed-blade knife that features a full length and width tang (extension of the blade, upon which handle scales are mounted) is the ultimate in a strong, proven design.
When the folks at Pro-Tool, the makers of the famous Woodman’s Pal brush axe/machete, announced that they had collaborated with J. Wayne Fears on a deer hunter’s knife, it piqued my interest. I’ve known Wayne Fears for many years, so it didn’t take me long to get him on the telephone. Specifically, I wanted to learn how the knife developed and all about his choice of blade steel, handle scales and sheath design.
According to Wayne, the Deer Hunter’s Knife was an outgrowth of his work with Pro-Tool on a survival knife. Since Wayne had been a deer hunter all of his life, it made sense to also draw on that experience when Pro-Tool developed his signature hunting knife design. According to Wayne, “Several years ago, when the blade-locking mechanism on a folder failed, I inflicted a serious laceration on the back of three fingers. That type of preventable accident tends to leave a distinct impression. Since then, I’ve almost exclusively been a fixed-blade knife user.”