A favorite of early American frontiersman Colonel Jim Bowie, the Bowie knife is a serious piece of pioneer cutlery that has been the trusted knife of many a back country woodsman for nearly two centuries. With a blade ranging from 6 to 12 inches and designed as much for combat as for hunting, the Bowie knife hearkens to a time when a man was often left to protect himself and his rights with his own two hands. Today, the design of the Bowie knife makes it an ideal tool for hunting, fishing and camping, while other knife enthusiasts keep a prized Bowie knife or two in their collection to simply appreciate the impressive aesthetics of the knife and its historical significance.
Bowie Hunting Knife Owners
Understanding a little bit about the history of the Bowie knife will shed a little light on the type of person who owns and uses a tool like this. After being shot at and loosing a brawl in which he attempted to defend himself with his bare hands, Jim Bowie resolved to never again walk without a knife at his side. This turned out to save his skin at the famous Sandbar fight in which he took on several men and was shot, stabbed and beaten severely before emerging triumphant through using this large knife. A few years later, blacksmith James Black presented Bowie with an improved model of the knife and successfully marketing the design to other pioneers based on its connection with the legendary Jim Bowie. While Bowie knife owners are hardly looking for or expecting such trouble in modern society, the same pioneer spirit of self reliance continues to fuel the popularity of the Bowie knife.
Bowie Hunting Knife Uses
Today, the Bowie design is primarily used as a hunting knife. The curved portion near the tip of the blade make it particularly useful for removing the skin of a carcass, while the size of a Bowie knife make it a great knife for cleaning and butchering large game. However, a Bowie knife is designed for nearly all back country uses. As enthusiast Russell Johnson puts it, a Bowie knife is “long enough to use as a sword, sharp enough to use as a razor, wide enough to use as a paddle, and heavy enough to use as a hatchet.
Bowie Hunting Knife Care
Like all tools, Bowie knives require proper care in order to ensure that they will pass the test of time. Regardless of how often a particular knife is used, all hunting knives require a little tender loving care from time to time with some fresh oil and polishing in order to retain their luster and avoid oxidation. However, the most important step in hunting knife care is to be sure that the owner understand how to properly sharpen a Bowie knife blade, as improper sharpening can greatly damage both the sharpness and the lifespan of the blade. So long as the owner treats his tool with the respect and care that it deserves, a good, solid Bowie knife will easily last the owner a lifetime and perhaps even be passed down for generations to come.