Chris Berry (Big Chris Custom Knives) dropped me a line that he wanted to send me a couple of loaner knives for testing. I was obviously thrilled, and later crestfallen when I missed the mailman Friday and got a notice that I would have to sign for a package at my local Post Office. Since they were closed for the weekend, and I was guiding Monday, I had to wait 4 days to see what Chris had sent me.
I didn’t even wait until I was in the truck to open the box. I used my Leek to cut the tape as I walked across the parking lot. I dropped the box on the driver seat and unwrapped the two knives while standing outside.
The bigger of the two is called the “Wolverine”. I will do a detailed first impression at a later time because I want to focus on my experiences today with the “Bird & Trout” during Tennessee’s dove-season opener.
As you can see from the picture above, the B&T is a wicked-sharp knife. David and I both characterize Big Chris knives as among the “sliciest” we have ever used. They are thinner than some, but that slight “sacrifice” in robustness translates to an incredibly light hand-feel and exceptional balance. The B&T is no exception and has terrific fit-and-finish to boot.
Today was Opening Day for Tennessee’s dove-season. Things kicked off at noon, and so I headed to Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area – a 660 acre public hunting area which has a series of fields that are planted with corn, wheat, and sunflowers in yearly rotation. It is only 2 miles from downtown Knoxville, and you can see the skyline across the river. It is a great place to hike, bike, and in the fall – hunt.
I only had a couple of hours before I would have to pick the kids up from school, so when the first hour was slow with no birds in range I decided to pass the time with a little whittling. The B&T did a great job on a couple of fuzz-sticks, but not long after an approaching weather system got the birds to move a bit. About a half-hour later a bird flew over my head from behind, I raised my 870 and fired. the dove went down into the copse of trees across the field. I trotted over, located and quickly dispatched the not-quite-expired bird.
I decided to end on a 1:1 bird/shot ratio and hiked out, logging my kill at the check station on the way out. I tossed it in the cooler and drove home to dress it quickly before heading to get the kids. Pulling the skin apart to expose the breast, I used the B&T to quickly and nimbly remove the breasts in a couple of cuts. The knife parted the still-warm muscle like a laser.
I have long regarded my Buck 110 as my weapon of choice for dove dissection. I have a new favorite. The leaf-point, full-flat ground, razor-sharp Big Chris Bird and Trout has knocked the Buck from it’s lofty perch. This is as fine a tool as I have ever used for the task. The ergonomics of the canvas micarta scales provide a comfortable grip, and the CPM3V blade is perfect for this application.
If you can’t tell, I am seriously impressed with this knife. I am looking forward to using it further and dread the day I have to send it back. In the mean time, I will continue to bring you updates as I carry the B&T as an EDC knife and attempt to test the “Trout” side of the Bird & Trout equation.