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Thread: Are ulu's worth a darn?

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    Default Are ulu's worth a darn?

    Are ulus worth a darn for skinning/processing big game?

    I'm going back to FL in a few weeks and, while there, plan to go on a hunt trip with an old friend from high school (who hunts a lot-deer and hogs mostly). I'm thinking about taking an ulu down as a kind of unique gift, but not if they're uselss on a deer. Does anyone use one regularly on moose/cariboiu/deer etc?

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    If you grew up using an ulu, you would use it on most any animal including fish.
    If you grew up using knives, an ulu would take some getting used to.
    It will definitely make an interesting gift. Several knife co.s offer ulu style knives.
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    A traditional ulu (sharpened on one side only) is an amazing skinning knife. I have a Bristol bay style ulu sharpened for right hand use and have used it on many moose, a few caribou and several black bear and goats. There are many different ulu styles, look into " dancing man" ulus and knives for a good description of the varied styles and uses.
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    My Taxidermists uses them to flesh out larger hides, and works fast with one.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Big difference between well made blades intended for actual use, and those things they sell in tourist shops tho. Those are not worth a darn.
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    I have had the pleasure of working with one of the finest Taxidermists that Alaska has ever had, and he does all of his fleshing with an Ulu. They are worth their weight in gold, in capable hands.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    A traditional ulu (sharpened on one side only) is an amazing skinning knife. I have a Bristol bay style ulu sharpened for right hand use and have used it on many moose, a few caribou and several black bear and goats. There are many different ulu styles, look into " dancing man" ulus and knives for a good description of the varied styles and uses.
    +1

    I have used one that's sharpened on one side only and I agree. It's been great for fleshing work especially. If you cut with the bevel toward the raw side of the hide, the bevel keeps the edge from cutting into the skin, which would cut through hair roots and leave a line on your mount or rug. I never go afield without it.

    Deer hide is pretty thin, especially those Florida deer, so tell your buddy to practice carefully. He should be fine. This summer I videotaped a native woman cleaning a whole stack of reds with an ulu; she was smoking' fast with that thing, both for gutting and filleting.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I really like them. A little unwieldy until you get used to it but far from useless. A great skinning and fleshing knife- very fast.

    I love mine in the kitchen more than the field though. As others mentioned- buy a real one, not one of those knockoff jobs.
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    Any advice on where to get a good one, rather than a tourist toy?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Any advice on where to get a good one, rather than a tourist toy?
    Find someone who makes them and actually uses them.... Real ulus are not manufactured commercially. They're all handmade.
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    Member Team Kabob's Avatar
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    Can you guys post up some pictures of a good ulu? All I've seen is the ones they sell at the tourist spots (some made in China ones too).

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    Its fun to use...
    My uncle makes them and my mom's friend does too.
    I like using them to cut tough eskimo food (steak knives are JUNK on muktuk).
    Its a good gift hand made but the "ulu factory" ones make great Pizza cutters

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Great Northern Knives have the good ones, but they are pricey, like Iofthetaiga stated it's the quality of the steel blade. along with that they have some with high dollar handles fro Dall sheep horn to Musk ox horn. I have a couple made in North Pole theres a guy thats makes them out of saw blades and moose horn handles. A lot of different makes of good quality ones, even saw one with a micarta handle. They are all over town, you'll know the cheap ones when you see them and the price they want for them.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Uluaqs come in many sizes and shapes. Some are small enough to use for sewing; others are large enough to split walrus hides, but most are in between. Many of the native ladies I know use them speedily and effectively to "split" fish, and process game. They are "worth a darn" if you get a well made one with good steel. Our kitchen drawer is full of them, and I made most of them from ax handles and Nicholson hand saw blades. All of them, by the way, are sharpened on both sides. I would not hesitate to skin and cut meat with one, but I personally prefer regular knives for both jobs. However, you have a tremendous amount of pressure bearing down right over the blade when using an uluaq which you do not have with a regular knife.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Chips bride Agnes does great work with them on their tv show. You can make good ones from old hand saws and the handle is already there. I hear Alaska Knifes makes one now.
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    10,000 years of experience is hard to improve on I use one to flesh my sea otters, works very well.
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    I once watched a native lady completely skin a seal in only six minutes. Took me a couple hours. An uluaq, with the attendant skill set, is pretty hard to beat, in my estimation.

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Im sure Stranger can post up some awesome pics of the ulu in action!?!?!

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    Not wanting to start a fight. Knifes have been around for 100's of thousands of years and used all over the worlds by everybody. If you want to buy your friend something he will use, buy him a Knife.
    Let the fun begin. LOL

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    Here's mine. Handle is petrified Steller's sea cow bone. Made here in homer.
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