Everyone has that one story. The story that, for them, completely sums up why they are a knife guy. Maybe you had a knife precisely when and where you needed it most. Or, maybe it’s the story of how you got your knife, whether it was handed down, or you stumbled across it. No matter which knife guy or gal you ask, they will always have that story that sticks out in their mind. Or, for some of us, it’s too difficult to choose just one. Sometimes it’s a multitude of different experiences. Either way, there will always be an experience or experiences that made you the knife fanatic that you are today.
Now, I don’t intend to go and get all emotional. But, occasionally, an experience with a knife really can be an emotional one. I’m not trying to get all mushy gushy on you, believe me. But when I think about some of my hunting knife experiences I really do start to swell with pride.
Some of my all-time favorite knife memories come from when I was younger. Every fall my father would take me up into the mountains for either the elk hunt or the deer hunt. It was always a bonding experience. My Dad always had so much to teach me on those trips. Looking back, I always kind of thought of him as the “Yoda” of hunters. He always had a wise word or turn of phrase to help me learn. Providing me with knowledge that extended far beyond the hunt. Things I took home, and began to use in my everyday life. Molding me into the person I am today.
One such memory comes when he was first teaching me about knives. When I was younger, a sharp object was a sharp object. I didn’t know an OTF from a manual. I was just ready to poke things with the pointy end. I usually had my Grandfathers manual clipped in my pocket, ready to pull it out whenever I needed it.
One trip, we were able to take down a pretty impressive buck. I still remember this experience because that is when my Father taught me about respect. Respecting the animal we just took down. Respecting our tools. And respecting other hunters. Every time I pull out my knife, to this day, I think about the respect he instilled in me.
Being a kid, I was curious. So seeing the animal we just killed, I naturally wanted to see it up close. I got next to it, with my dad, and started looking at the animal. It was a hard thing, looking into the eyes of something whose life you took. In a way, it can really change who you are as a person. But I remember my dad telling me “This animal gave its life to use, now it’s up to us to respect that sacrifice, and do our best to honor it”. I pulled out my tiny little pocket knife, ready to go to work. I remember him chuckling and pulling out his much larger hunting knife. It was then that he taught me the difference between knives, and how each one had a purpose. To use one for an unintended purpose was foolhardy and wrong.
To this day, when I pull out a knife, I still think to myself “Is this the purpose of this knife”? I know it may sound ridiculous, but his words on those trips have always stuck with me. And I only hope that I can instill the same kind of wisdom and respect in my children.
So what’s your knife story? What is something that has really made you the knife guy you are today? We always enjoy when you share your experiences with us. Let us know in the comments.