With fall hunting season in full swing, your hunting, pocket, butchering and tactical knives can face some real abuse. From knives being dropped into the dirt or gravel, whacking into bones, and coming into contact with rock outcroppings used as cutting boards, our favorite blades can become jagged, bent and dangerously dull.

Deepening the initial dressing cut
Breaking the skin with a sharpened field knife
Severing a bone with a sharp knife
Severing a bone with a sharp knife

Whether making the initial field-dressing cut after downing a deer, boning roasts, removing backstraps, or slicing off a 1/4-inch mock tenderloin medallion for Venison Carpaccio (see recipe below!), hairsplitting sharpness of knives makes easy, safe and enjoyable work of harvesting a deer.

Of course, there are a variety of methods and products for sharpening knives, including the time-consuming way I used to sharpen my own, with whetstone and strop. But if you find yourself jockeying between the field, camp and the kitchen throughout the fall hunting season with an assortment of knives but lack of time, I suggest you try the Chef’s Choice Sportsman Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener Xtreme 317 between trips afield.

In addition to being made in the USA, and coming with a 2-year warranty, the deal sealers for me were as follows:

  • Sharpens both straight-edge and serrated blades
  • Ideal for double-bevel and single-bevel style knives
  • Versatility in handling heavier and thicker style knives
  • 100 percent diamond abrasives for sharpening and honing
  • Advanced stropping/polishing disks for microscopically flawless polished edge
  • Guide system ensuring uniform sharpness from tip to bolster

The Chef’s Choice Xtreme 317 was developed specifically with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. I find it to be the ultimate time-saving solution to apply super-sharp edges on virtually all knives, including the heavier and thicker hunting and tactical knives we use for field-dressing and butchering.

After sharpening my knives with the Xtreme 317 and breaking down a deer, I recently carved out a venison shoulder tender, (also known as the mock tender, or petite fillet), to make Venison Carpaccio. The muscle is the second-most-tender muscle in the animal after the prized tenderloins. It is a small, oblong muscle that rests on the shoulder next to the top blade and is part of the chuck primal cut.

The tender is made by separating the teres major muscle from the shoulder along the natural seam. Making the cuts and removing the connective tissue yielded the lean piece of muscle, and my work was a breeze with my Xtreme 317 sharpened knives.

Removing skin to get to the mock tenderloin in the chuck primal cut
Removing skin to get to the mock tenderloin in the chuck primal cut

How to Make Venison Carpaccio


Mock tenderloin sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices




Red onion


Pepper sauce

Whiskey, or a very good red wine.


Method (see photographs and captions below):

Place individual slices between two sheet plastic wrap or parchment paper. Pound thin with a flat faced meat mallet (Don’t be too forceful or you will obliterate the tender cut.) Pull off one side of the plastic wrap and place thin venison on plate.

Garnish with remaining ingredients. To eat, pull bites apart with a dinner fork, scoop up a little bit of each garnish and savor!

Sharpening a double-bevel knife in the Chef’s Choice Xtreme 317
Sharpening a double-bevel knife in the Chef’s Choice Xtreme 317
Slicing 1/4-inch medallions from the mock tenderloin
Slices waiting to be flattened
Slices waiting to be flattened
Gently flatten medallions until you can see through them
Gently flatten medallions until you can see through them
Venison Carpaccio plated and ready to devour
Venison Carpaccio plated and ready to devour

About the Author: Raised a Minnesota farm-girl in a hunting family, Krissie Mason (below) is an outdoorswoman, food enthusiast, and has been reconnecting with her culinary country roots and family hunting traditions of late. She is the brains and brawn behind Scratch + Holler media, and a regular contributor to several outdoor websites. Krissie fully supports a field-to-fork wild food chain, and especially enjoys expanding pantries and stretching wild game palates with her ambitious and delicious wild game recipes.


Images by Krissie Mason

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