Well I was never impressed with them. I have cleaned countless numbers of deer and never so the need for them when they came out. I received one as a gift a couple of years ago, thought I'd give it try. Well it worked great on a half dozen or so deer. I think the design fo them makes a great difference. Mine happens to be a Gerber. Still I would not have gone out and bought one. Biggest problem I have seen in all my years of being around deer hunter is not having a knife with a well honed edge.
theyre great ,so good in fact your mate can buy mine,if he still wants one, i find the hook is fine for the first cut but once your working inside the animal it gets caught and is a real hinderance, its a buck zipper in good nick if hes interested
Well I reckon they're a good asset to a knife. Especially useful for speedy skinning incissions when several animals want skinning, also good for gralloching if the beast has lain for a bit before you gralloch. Lot less chance of gas in the face!
Main drawback is knifes' with gut hook backed blade don't tend to have a sharp point which is better for hamstringing.
I have a Wyoming knife which a friend brought back from America for me and find it very useful. But not for opening the gut cavity. I find it good for running the initial skiining cut from legs to body and the curved part of the blade for actual skinning. It has a replacable blade of surgical steel, which can be thrown away when it bacomes blunt, however the Blade Tech Sharpener does a good job of bringing back an edge to it.
For the Gralloch I use my pocket knife
This week I have used a gut hook ( belonged to a friend) The methog o cutting between two fingers spread about an inch apart and the meathod of puting the index finger over the tip of the blade. I find the latter by far the easiest but thats just my personal preferance.