Pat Cascio’s Product Review: CRKT Hunt ‘n Fisch Knife

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about people dying from cancer. We’ve all been touched by this deadly disease; we all know someone who has passed away after a fight with cancer. We keep hearing encouraging reports that “they” are close to finding a cure for cancer, but there are so many different types of cancer that I wonder if we’ll ever get a leg up on it. Still, we all continue to hope and pray.

Just last week, my oldest daughter lost one of her German Shepherds to cancer. It was a fast-moving cancer that two vets said was “common” in German Shepherds, yet I’ve never heard of it, and I’ve been around German Shepherds most of my adult life. The cancer my daughter’s German Shepherd had seemingly took his life in a matter of hours. My daughter was out of town on a business trip and had a dog sitter. The following day, the dog sitter had to go to work, so I checked on my daughter’s two German Shepherds around noon; they were both fine. When my daughter got home at 5:00pm and then came next door to our house for dinner, she asked if I had noticed anything different about Toby– her male who was also a trained service therapy dog. I said, “Nope.” He was fine at noon. After we ate, my daughter went back home and called us. She said Toby almost fell over. It appeared to me that he had a seizure. She rushed him to the vet, who diagnosed Toby with cancer. They told her to rush him to the emergency clinic 13 miles away. My daughter was going to spend the $2,500 on surgery, in hopes of saving Toby, but Toby died as they prepped him for surgery. That’s how fast that sort of cancer moved. The tumor had ruptured, and he literally bled to death within a couple of hours.

All of this brings us to the new Columbia River Knife and Tool  Hunt ‘n Fisch small fixed blade hunting knife, designed by custom knife maker Larry Fischer. I didn’t know Larry, but I was touched by the story of his collaboration with CRKT on his design. Fischer was an avid outdoorsman who took a no-nonsense approach to everything he did. Larry loved to bow hunt and was on the National Board Of Directors for the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Association as well as serving as past president of the Idaho Traditional Bowhunters. Sadly, Larry lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. It took his life in 14 months. If you know anything about this sort of cancer, the survival rate is extremely low. Yet, Fischer fought it as best he could. I also want to mention that 100% of the profits from the Hunt ‘n Fisch design goes to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in memory of Larry Fischer, www.pancan.org!

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If you’ve followed my knife articles over the years, you know that I don’t particularly like small knives, whether fixed blade or folder. I’ve always found that, for the most part, I can usually do more chores with a larger knife than I can with a small knife, but that’s not always the case, and I’m the first to admit it. The Hunt ‘n Fisch has a blade length of only 2.99 inches, although it appears shorter than that for some reason. The blade steel is 8Cr13MoV– a high-tech stainless steel that holds a good edge and is easy to re-sharpen, too. Rockwell on the blade is 56-60, which is a bit hard, but as I mentioned it’s fairly easy to resharpen. The blade is a drop point design with a flat grind, too. The handle material is multi-colored G-10; it’s very eye catching. The overall length of the knife is 7.15-inches, but once again it looks smaller. The knife only weighs 3.6 oz, so it’s light weight. I like the file work on the top of the blade, which is very appealing though it has no served purpose other than to, well, look cool!

I liked the expertly made leather sheath that comes with the Hunt ‘n Fisch. The sheath is designed to slide onto the belt horizontally, and it is comfortable to carry. The handle is easy to access, and the sheath is molded to hold the knife securely, too.

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I tested the Hunt ‘n Fisch for more than a month and a half around my digs. Usually I test a knife for a couple weeks, but there was just “something” about this little fixed blade knife that had me addicted to it. I used it for all manner of chores in the kitchen, working on the pick-up truck and around the homestead, and for trimming blackberry vines, which is a never-ending chore in Western Oregon. Many folks don’t know that blackberries are not native to Oregon, but they sure gained a foothold once they were planted. While it’s nice to have all the free blackberries we want in late summer and early fall, it’s a chore keeping the wicked vines in check. They grow fast. To be sure, all over our area, you can have all the blackberries you care to pick. The vines have wicked thorns that seem to reach out and grab you, but the delightful blackberries are all natural and delicious. My wife loves making blackberry syrup for our pancakes. We always wear heavy, long-sleeve shirts and gloves when we pick blackberries, but we still get scratched from the wicked thorns. However, it’s worth it in the end. It’s free food for the picking!

I don’t see the Hunt ‘n Fisch as a survival-type knife per se. It’s just too small for many of the tasks you might need it for. However, if you hunt, this little knife would come in handy when you are dressing out big game. Unfortunately, this past hunting season, I didn’t get out there and get a deer tag. The deadline slipped away from me, but the Hunt ‘n Fisch would have made a dandy hunting knife to be sure. It is small enough that you can carry it on your belt every single day. You forget you have it there, until you need it. No matter what, a fixed blade knife is always going to be stronger than a folding knife. I don’t care what make a folder is or what type of locking mechanism it has, there is that possibility of the lock failing and the blade closing on your fingers, doing serious damage. That’s not so with a quality fixed blade knife!

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The Hunt ‘n Fisch comes with a lanyard on the butt of the knife; however, it was too short to be of any use, in my humble opinion. Of course, you can easily replace the lanyard with longer 550 paracord if you so desire. I also love the friction grooves on the bottom/front of the handle and along the top/front of the blade that makes for a sure grip even under all sorts of nasty weather and conditions.

To top it all off, the screws holding the G-10 handle scales on the Hunt ‘n Fisch are gold colored and embellished. This knife screams “custom” to my way of thinking.

I’ve saved the best for last, and that is suggested retail price. It’s $99.99, and if you shop around carefully you can usually find CRKT products discounted quite a bit. Now, here’s the bad news: the Hunt ‘n Fisch isn’t on the market as of this moment, however, CRKT expects to have a good supply in stock very shortly. I’d get my order in early. This is going to be a hot seller. We are talking custom quality at a factory price. What’s not to like here? Additionally, as I pointed out earlier, 100% of the profits from the sale of this knife goes to a worth cause– the fight against pancreatic cancer. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by getting one of these dandy little fixed blade knives. You’ll have a fantastic knife, and you’ll be helping in our fight against cancer. How can you lose?

– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio

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