When it comes to blade-tools, a small-game hunter can get by in the field quite nicely with nothing but a quality multi-tool. A folding or sheath knife might be nice for cutting a block of cheese during your lunch break, but in a pinch your multi-tool’s blade will do the job just as effectively.
Brands to Know
Both Leatherman and SOG make high-quality multi-tools, each with their own upsides. Leatherman tools have great locking mechanisms, high-quality files, and excellent corrosion resistance. SOG tools have the best needle-nose pliers on the market.
They can also be customized so that you’re carrying only the blades and tools that you actually use; if it’s been decades since you actually opened a tin can in the field, you can easily remove the can opener and replace it with a tool that better suits your needs – say an extra saw blade, or SOG’s v-notch cutter.
Another benefit of SOG tools is that their bit driver will accept standard ¼ sockets. With a simple adapter, available at any hardware store, you can run all of the bits that you need to service your firearms, outboard engines, etc. Leatherman also has an integrated bit system, but it’s based on a proprietary fitting that’s not widely available.
Not many hunters think to use them, but a good set of poultry shears can make quick work of small game butchering jobs. Nothing is better for breaking down squirrels and rabbits, and the tools are also valuable for severing wings and feet on upland birds and waterfowl. But don’t even bother messing around with low-quality shears. They only lead to heartbreak.
Buy good, or don’t buy at all.
Small Game Utility Kit
You can avoid the annoyance of forgetting any of your essential odds and ends by building a small utility kit that always stays in your game vest or pack. A properly packed kit will not only keep you hunting when conditions turn bad, it might end up keeping you alive when conditions turn really bad.
Every hunter’s kit will look different, because we all hunt different locations with their own peculiar demands. But no matter the scenario, each hunter’s kit should include at least a minimal amount of survival and first aid supplies plus some basic repair materials. Take a look at the kit that’s pictured below and use it as a basic guideline for building a kit that works for own particular location and style of hunting.