BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
As is well known to hunters of game animals, it is highly desirable that the game be preliminarily dressed as soon as possible after the kill, this involving removal of the major entrails through an incision in the hide, usually extending from near the crotch to the rib cage. As is also well known, it is desirable that the incision be made in such manner that organs, such as the intestines, not be cut or punctured and that hair not be transferred into the cavity since either may cause tainting or early spoilage of the edible portions of the game. To make an optimum incision requires considerable skill and experience which are not attributes of many hunters, and, as a result, considerable quantities of meat continue to be spoiled. The usual implement employed by hunters is a so-called hunting or sheath knife, having a handle mounted blade sharpened to an edge along one side of its length. When removed from its protective sheath, such knife is extremely dangerous, due to its exposed edge, and many hunters have experienced serious cuts through improper handling thereof. As is also well known, the incision of the hide should preferably be made from its inside surface toward the hair side so that any severed hairs are moved outwardly rather than into the cavity. This requires considerable skill to avoid puncturing or cutting the entrails, particularly the intestines, by the point of the knife as it advances between the inner surface of the hide and the entrails. Additionally, it is difficult to make a straight incision which is important if the hide is to be preserved for its various well know purposes.
The general problems involved, as previously described, have been recognized and knives have been proposed to obviate same. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 1,498,753 to Rendlich discloses the desirability of depressing the entrails away from the inner surface of the hide as the cutting edge advances therealong. Its principle disadvantages probably resided in a dangerous exposed knife blade and the dangers involved in making a push cut. U.S. Pat. No. 1,546,975 to Feller also discloses a depressor similar to that of Redlich but differing in that the projecting knife blade is omitted and the handle reoriented to effect a draw cut rather than a push cut. As a device for cutting the thin skin of roe fish, for which it was designed, it is probably adequate, but as a knife for use in incising thick skin of game animals, it is not all to be desired and understandably so since it was not designed for such purpose or for hunters. For example, a depressor for small fish eggs (roe) is not necessarily optimum for intestines of a large game animal. Additionally, a smooth handle which must be gripped to prevent slippage may be adequate for the light pulling force required to incise thin fish skin but it is not necessarily adequate for incising thick skin of a game animal which requires considerable pulling force. This can better be understood when it is considered that the hands of the hunter may be cold, detracting from his gripping force, or wet, such as by the presence of blood, thus rendering his grip highly slippery. Other disadvantages appear to reside in undue bulk and/or weight and cost of manufacture. This can be better understood when it is considered that a hunter must carry many items in addition to his gun. Normally, he will carry a heavy duty sheath knife which is a multi-purpose implement for skinning or incising game, opening cans, and cutting a myriad of other items. He is reluctant to add a single purpose incising knife to his burden when he has a basic device which would serve that purpose, even though it might not do so in optimum manner. Thus, if a single purpose item is to be added to his equipment it must have sufficient merit to warrant its addition to his equipment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a draw-cut knife for making a longitudinal abdominal incision in an animal through which the entrails may be removed, characterized by a shank having an affixed hook-shaped member with a cutting edge at the inner portion of the bight of the hook and having a novel entrail depressor, in the form of rollers disposed at the free end of the hook. A pulling member is affixed to the end of the shank which receives fingers of the operator, such as the fore finger and middle finger, which, when curled into hook shape, provide a firm grip on the device. The pulling member may be in the form of a pair of adjacent rings or a single ring about which the fingers may be curled and, in a refinement, the pulling member may be pivoted to the end of the shank so that it may be folded to a position adjacent the knife portion providing a compact device which may be readily carried in a pocket of the hunter's clothing. In another refinement the rollers may be detached from the device and replaced with a ball-shaped depressor which is desirable when skinning or caping the hide, rather than incising for evisceration.
Consonant with the foregoing, one of the objects of the invention is to provide a draw-cut hook-shaped incising knife with roller entrail depressors at its free end.
Another object is to provide a ring-shaped pulling member affixed to the shank of the knife which may receive at least one finger of the hunter, but preferably two, which provides a non-slip grip of the device while it is being pulled along the incising path.
Another, but optional object, is to provide a pulling member which is pivoted to the shank which may be folded to a position to minimize the overall dimensions of the device.
Another, but optional object, is to provide a pair of depressors of different form which may be interchangeably attached to the device for a purpose which each best serves.
A further, but optional object, is to provide the device with an inexpensive replaceable knife blade, similar to those commonly employed in safety razors.
Still further objects, advantages, and salient features will become more apparent from the detailed description to follow, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawing to now be briefly described.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
FIG. 1 is an approximately full size side elevation of one form of the invention in its operative position while making an incision in an animal hide;
FIG. 2 is a section taken on line 2--2, FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a section taken on line 3--3, FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation, illustrating a foldable version of the FIG. 1 construction;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged elevation as viewed in the direction of arrow 5, FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a section taken on line 6--6, FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an approximately full size side elevation of another form of the invention;
FIG. 8 illustrates the folded position of the FIG. 7 construction;
FIG. 9 is a central section through a tip portion, such as of the FIG. 1 construction, illustrating an alternative type of depressor employed for skinning or caping;
FIG. 10 is an alternative form of the FIG. 9 construction;
FIG. 11 is a side elevation of another form of the invention, illustrating one manner of use;
FIG. 12 illustrates another manner of use of the FIG. 11 construction;
FIG. 13 is a side elevation, like FIG. 11, a portion being as viewed on line 13--13, in FIG. 14;
FIG. 14 is a section taken on line 14--14, FIG. 13; and
FIG. 9a is an interchangeable roller depressor which may be selectively attached to the FIG. 9 or FIG. 10 construction, employed for eviscerating.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring now to the drawing, and first to FIGS. 1-3, device 10 comprises a shank portion 12 formed on one end of a curved bight portion 14, the shank portion being affixed to a pulling member 16 and the free end of the bight portion having a pair of rollers, 18,18 affixed thereto. As best shown in FIG. 2, rollers 18 are carried by a pin 20 affixed to the end of the bight portion on which they are free to rotate. Pulling member 16 comprises a pair of adjacent rings 22,24, the former adapted to receive a forefinger of the hunter and latter, which is slightly larger in diameter, adapted to receive the middle finger. As will be apparent, the fingers will be curled to hook shape when pulling on the device. The bight portion is provided with a slot 26, best shown in FIG. 3, which receives a cutting blade 28 which is retained therein by a pair of screws 30. The blade is preferably of the throw-away safety razor type which may be replaced at nominal cost.
In the operation of the device so far described, a small incision is made with a knife through the hide adjacent the crotch of the animal and the rollers and bight portion are inserted through same. As the device is pulled toward the rib cage the rollers roll along the inner surface of the hide, depressing and separating the entrails E away from the hide. Since the cutting blade follows the depressor rollers, it will be apparent that it cannot contact and cut the entrails. The pulling force should preferably be in such direction that the components thereof not only maintain the rollers in engagement with uncut hide ahead of the knife, and hence locked to the carcass, but produces an angular cut through the hide as the knife advances along the longitudinal direction of the incision.
Referring now to FIGS. 4 to 6, this construction is the same as that so far described except that shank 12 is secured to pulling member 16 by a pivot pin 32, forming a hinge, which permits the parts to be folded to the dotted position, as shown in FIG. 4.
Referring, now, to FIG. 7, this form of the invention employs the rollers 18, as previously described, but differs in that the cutting blade 28a is an integral part of the bight portion and is curved and disposed symmetrically in the bottom of same rather than angularly as shown in FIG. 1. This arrangement of the cutting blade has been found to be of advantage where the hide is extremely thick. It further differs in that ring 16a is of a size to accept at least two fingers, as indicated in dotted lines. Pivot pin 32a permits the parts to be folded to compact relationship as illustrated in FIG. 8.
Referring now to FIG. 9, the slot 26 may be extended to the end of bight portion 14 and receive therein a flat member 34 having a ball end 18a, member 34 being held in the slot by a screw. FIG. 9a illustrates a member 34a which carries rollers 18, as previously described, which may be interchangeably secured within the slot. Ball end 18a, which is quite small when compared with rollers 18, is of particular utility when skinning and caping. Thus, with two interchangeable tips 34,34a, the knife may be quickly converted from a roller depressor for evisceration, to a small ball depressor for skinning or caping, thus rendering the knife more versatile. It will be apparent that this versatility may otherwise be attained; for example, two separate bight portions may be provided, one with a roller depressor and the other with a ball depressor, each being constructed to be detachably secured to a single pulling member, preferably at a locus as illustrated by the hinge connection of FIG. 4. It will be apparent, however, that this need not be pivoted, as in FIG. 4, and a tongue and slot connection, as illustrated in FIG. 9, may be employed in the locus of the hinge of FIG. 4. While the provision of two bight portions, each carrying a knife blade, but differing as to the depressors or their tips, entails some additional cost of manufacture, it has the advantage that the hunter will carry a spare blade which may be attached to either bight portion.
FIG. 10 illustrates an alternative form of the invention, similar to that of FIGS. 9 and 9a, but differing in that a blade 36, having a convex cutting edge 38, is detachably disposed within a slot in bight portion 14 and secured thereto by screws 30. As shown by dotted lines, blades 28 and 36 may be separate blades and individually employed. This, moreover, is preferable since when blade 28 is employed for eviscerating, blade 36 should be removed to obviate danger of cutting the entrails. When blade 36 is employed for its purpose, however, blade 28 need not be removed, unless desired, since it is disposed in a protected position where it cannot produce an undesired cut. The principal purpose of blade 36 is to effect any cuts, particularly in skinning, which are normally effected by a pocket knife or the like. As will be apparent from the arrow in FIG. 10, the device is still a draw-cut knife, as in the other embodiments, but the forefinger and middle finger are now reversed in rings 22,24. As will also be apparent from the FIG. 10 construction, depressors 18 or 18a of the FIG. 9a and 9 constructions may be omitted when blade 36 is employed.
FIGS. 11 to 14 illustrate another alternative form of the invention, similar to that of FIG. 10, but differing in that blade 36a is disposed in a remote position from blade 28a. As will be apparent from FIG. 11, during the hide incising operation, blade 36a remains outside of the carcass, preventing any possible cutting of the animal entrails. Also, as illustrated in FIG. 12, this arrangement permits a thumb to rest on depressor end 18b during use of blade 36a in the skinning operation. As compared with FIG. 10, this also permits blade 36a to taper to a sharp tip. As best shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 bight 14a is provided with a recess 40 in which the back portion of blade 28a nests, this recess also being so shaped to fit the inner portion of blade 36a, the two blades being formed as an integral unit, as shown. A plate 42 and screws 30a, 30b retain the blades 28a,36a in the bight. A spare blade, carried in a sheath for the device, may be employed as a screw driver for loosening and tightening the screws. Dowel pins 47, engageable in apertures in the blade, may be employed, if desired, to properly locate the blade in the bight.
The construction of FIGS. 11 to 14 is provided with pulling member 16 having rings 22,24, as in FIGS. 1, 4 and 10, but differs in that a thumb abutment 48 and a finger abutment 50 are provided. FIG. 11 illustrates a preferred manner of gripping the device while incising the hide with blade 28a. FIG. 12 illustrates a preferred manner of gripping the device while performing cutting operations with blade 36a, such as skinning and caping. Projection 50 and depressor tip 18b may also be employed for deveining fish. Conveniently, the cutting edge of blade 28a and the cutting edge of blade 36a both point or face the shank and the pulling member 16, so that, when blade 28a is used to incise a hide by pulling the blade along the hide, the knife 36a is free and clear of the entrails of the animal so that they are not cut. The disadvantage of having the knife blades pointing in opposite directions is discussed above in connection with FIG. 10. However, with the embodiment of FIGS. 11-14, this problem is avoided.