What do you do if you’re in the backcountry with a downed animal and you’ve lost or broken your knife? Pick up a stone and get to work!
Long before knives with uniquely hardened, alloyed steels, modern composite handles and special blade designs, edged stone did the job. It still can, and quite well at that.
Of course the art of stone knapping can produce beautiful and highly efficient blades. Knapping such finely crafted knives from stone requires a level of skill that comes with a good deal of practice.
Fortunately, razor sharp blades can be had with minimal knapping expertise. Simply chipping random flakes from a chunk of obsidian or flint can produce any number of sharp edged blades. You can effectively butcher any animal with such flakes, like primitive archer and survival skills expert Billy Berger does here with a deer.
Berger effectively skinned and broke the deer down with nothing more than a few small pieces of stone hammered from a nodule of Tennessee flint.
“With just with a few flakes of stone I was able to quarter and dismember this entire deer,” Berger says at the end. “It’s really a fascinating feeling to knock a few flakes off and actually use the same stone tools that ancient people did, and to see how effective they really are.”
I’ll never give up my knives (and if I did lose or break one, I always carry another), but it’s nice to know that for most of humanity’s existence millions of game animals have been processed with blades lying on the ground, just waiting to be revealed to a hunter in need.
Below is a link to Berger’s instruction on removing sinew from the deer, which he referenced in the video.