The experts at Buck Knives offer these tips on selecting the best blade for hunting.

Will the knife be used or field-dressing and skinning deer, or to clean and skin small game like rabbits and squirrels? Pick the right knife for the job. For gutting and skinning deer, you could choose a knife like the Buck Ranger Skinner, which has a large, curved-belly style. A thinner clip point design would be better suited to dressing small critters.

Materials matter–quality steel and handle components ensure a knife can be easily sharpened and held and controlled as you work. A rubber handle, like found on Buck Vanguard, ensures a tight, safe fit all the time and especially in wet conditions.

For deer hunters a gut-hook, which lets you open a doe or buck without worry of piercing the paunch and causing a mess, is a good feature. Buck offers several “Zipper” knives with a small, sharp and curved gut-hook on the back of the main blade.

Look and feel should be considered when selecting a knife. Does it feel right in your hand…does the knife meet your fancy…does it have good craftsmanship and quality materials? Look, hand-test several models and buy carefully.