After your rifle, scope and binoculars, one of the stalker’s most important pieces of equipment is a knife. There are hundreds to choose from, ranging from high-end brands down to the cheap ’n cheerful knives. They all get the job done – but that wasn’t enough for professional stalker and game chef Mike Robinson. He wanted to design his own knife specifically for deer.
“I had the opportunity to work with the people who make our chefs’ knives, and we came up with a design that I love.”
The Robinson knife has a unique blade shape that Mike finds very ergonomic. He can lay the knife on his hand with the back of the blade against his finger. “When I’m unzipping a deer I can use my fingers as a guide and it sits the blade at exactly the right level. The handle is tapered towards the blade. That’s for two reasons. First it works well for sticking the deer to bleed it, you can get a good deep stick on a big deer carcass. And second I can use a ‘chef’s pinch’ for fine work like skinning.”
The blade is made of Sandvik 12C27 steel, which takes and holds a good edge but is not too hard to resharpen. The handle is made from G10 and chequered to give a non-slip grip. “This knife is very robust,” says Mike. “We’ve sold a couple of thousand of these over the years and we’ve never had one returned that’s broken.”
Mike has used his own knife for years to dress hundreds of deer. It goes into the dishwasher each time, and it’s still going strong and razor sharp.
The signature feature of Mike’s knife is the .303 case set into the end of the handle. Like the rest of the knife, it’s there for a good reason. “I wanted to stop the knife falling out of the sheath,” Mike explains. “The end of a .303 case is rimmed. There’s a little tab on the sheath that goes over the case and catches on the rim. It means it’s almost impossible to lose the knife.”
The Robinson Deer Knife sells for £250. Find out more at the Robinson Hunting website.