By Kristen Monroe, Women’s Outdoor News
Rule number one. Never plan a gear review anticipating a successful hunt. I went out turkey hunting with high hopes; after all, I was with professional outdoorsman Patrick Kalmerton. My goal was to use my new SOG Aura-Hunting knife to field dress a turkey. I must have jinxed my hunt. NEVER plan on a successful hunt, no matter how great your guide and location is.
Even though the thunderstorm brought gobbles out of the gobblers, we could not get them in close enough for a good shot. We tried everything to get the weary bird to come hither, from alternating decoy set ups to changing locations. I did get a few good lessons on calling, and learned about decoy layouts. That meant two things, no smoked turkey for my Cinco de Mayo guests the next day, and no turkey to test my new knife on. In turn, I did the next best thing. The Aura was used to cut up my entire Mother’s Day steak dinner, and also cut up an old grouse from the freezer. I had to leave in a hurry one day and had to freeze a grouse in full feathers.
Things to consider while choosing a knife
After conducting research on how to pick out a good hunting knife, I made some observations about the SOG Aura-Hunting knife. I found that it meets all my requirements for my field dressing. There are a few things to consider while picking a good knife. Over all, it depends on personal preference, and purpose of the knife. Things to consider are knife style, the handle, and tang. The blade size, material and design are also extremely important. My purpose was met right in the name, SOG Aura- Hunting knife. I wanted something strong, durable, and easy to carry.
The Aura felt good in my hand; clearly they had ergonomics in mind while designing this bad boy. The length is 10 inches, and it came in a nylon sheath. The ridges at the top of the blade near the handle (jimping) worked extremely well to prevent the knife from slipping and gave me greater control of the blade.
When picking out a knife, determine if you would rather have a folding or a fixed blade. I sought to find a knife that will be used for cutting up game, mainly deer and turkey. The weight was important since I try to keep my gear bag as light as possible. The overall weight of the Aura was 5.4 ounces. If I was looking for an everyday knife I could put in my pocket, I would have searched for a folding blade oppose to a fixed. Besides a fixed blade being stronger, it also has fewer parts, or things that could go wrong with the knife.
When I hear the word tang I used to think of my favorite orange childhood drink. When I hear “tang” now I think of the most important strength features of a fixed blade. The back portion of the blade that extends into the handle is called the tang. In order for the knife to be tough, the tang needs extend into the handle. The Aura’s tang extends ¾ into the handle, making it darn tough. If the tang does not extend through the handle the knife could break easy, and I need durability with my rough cuts.
When choosing a good hunting knife, pay close attention to the grip. The Aura also checked out in the handle category. It was made of high impact and tough glass-reinforced polymer handle that is over-molded with a more pliable material for non-slip comfort. One of the most unique features was hidden in the handle. A carbide sharpening device was convenient at the end of the handle should you every need a touch up in the field. Heck, you could even sharpen your fishing hooks with this little dandy.
Steak & Grouse Conclusion
I realize you can clean a grouse with your bare hands and eat a steak dinner with a table knife, but let’s face it, I was desperate to let you know how great of a knife this is. It was also kind of fun. Nothing says elegance of eating a fancy Mother’s Day meal with a “Rambo” knife. My husband didn’t marry me for my ladylike qualities at the dinner table … I hope. The knife tore into the steak like no other; maybe I should lose my table knives. It also, took care of the grouse with ease.
Overall, the SOG Aura-Hunting knife checked out meeting all of my expectations. I would recommend this brand to all my friends and relatives. Hopefully I will get to try out the gut hook should I be lucky enough to take a deer this fall. I know one thing for sure; I certainly won’t expect it. But I will try my best.
Blade Length: 5″ x .160″
Overall Length: 10″
Weight: 5.4 oz.
Steel: 7Cr13 Stainless HRC 54-56
Handle: GRN & Rubber
Finish: Satin Polish
Includes: Enclosed Sharpener
Country of Origin: China
Thanks to Women’s Outdoor News for contributing this article. Please introduce this site to the women in your life - http://www.womensoutdoornews.com. Mike P. Guns & Gear Editor