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WK Knives

Over the years, there have been many different types and styles of knives available from WK. There have been numerous catalogs issued throughout the decades, all illustrating the knives that were available from WK at that point in time. Both the price of the catalog itself and the prices and types of knives available changed from catalog to catalog, but this just adds to the uniqueness of the knives and the individuality of each piece made.

One of the finer purposes of each catalog was to give a brief history of each knife and an explanation of its origins. This is still done in the catalogs today, but for practical purposes, similar historical shorts and descriptions for each WK Knife will be given in the following paragraphs as well.


The Mountain Man

The mountain man's knife could be anything from a Green River butcher knife to one hand crafted from an old file. In contrast, the sheath for such a knife was specifically designed to meet the man's needs. The sheath was long and envelope-like in style, covering all but the top inch of the knife handle. The belt that was worn over the man's outer garments passed over the main part of the sheath and through the slot at the flap edge of the sheath. This feature enabled the mountain man to wear the knife on the outside of his clothing without the fear of losing it. Sheaths were nearly always decorated with several rows of brass tacks.

6-1/2" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/4" wide, Stag handle.

More Mountain Man pics

Popo Agie/ Little Popo Agie

On the easterly drainage of the Wind River Range, not far north of South Pass, is the Little Popo Agie River. It was at the headwaters of this small river that the Rendezvous of 1829 and 1830 were held. This small river empties into the Popo Agie River, which in turn empties into the Wind River. Near this convergence was also held the Rendezvous of 1838. This area is in west central Wyoming, near the present-day town of Riverton. The knives that bear this name are small and rugged, designed especially for the hunter afield.

Popo Agie: 5-1/2" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/4" wide, Stag handle. Customized with a simulated false edge along the top of the blade. Sheath with liner.
Little Popo Agie: 4-3/4" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/4" wide, Stag handle. 0-1 or D-2 steel, finger grooves filed in some handles, thick guard on older knives.

* a finger grip can be added. (as shown above)
More Popo Agie/ Little Popo Agie pics

The Crow Stabber

The Crow Stabber is an exact copy of an old ethnological knife. Its sheath of smoke-tanned buckskin is decoracted with stained porcupine quills. The knife is entirely encased in its sheath, which is worn hanging from the neck, not on the belt.

This type of knife was popular with the Canadian and High Plains Indians of the United States, and was generally considered a Hudson Bay Company import from Sheffield to England.

We had five knives of this type to consider when choosing out Crow Stabber, a name we arbitrarily selected to describe it. All had the same blade type, but different materials for the handle. One knife was by Sorby & Son, with a water buffalo horn handle and a decorative inlay of brass; another was by Wilkinson Sword, with an ivory handle; and three others were by Jukes Coulson & Company.

7" to 7 1/2" blade, 2" to 2 1/2" wide, 1/4" stock, stag handle.

More Crow Stabber pics

Black Harris

Black Harris, as he was known to his Fur Brigade contemporaries, can best be described by Alfred Jacob Miller, a reowned artist of the Fur Trade Era. Miller states, "Moses Harris was born in Union County, South Carolina. He is of wiry form, made up of bone and muscle, with a face apparently composed of tan leather and whipcord. Finished off with a blue-black tint, as if gun powder had been burnt into his face." Undoubtedly, this description offers insight into his nickname, Black Harris.

No books have been written about Black Harris, but among his associates in the fur trade he was held in high esteem for his ability to accomplish physical feats bordering on the impossible. He is mentioned many times in association with stalwarts of the fur trade such as Fitzgerald, Jedediah Smith, Sublette, Bridger and others.

To alert a caravan to bring supplies to the 1827 Rendezvous, William Sublette chose Black Harris to make an overland trip, on foot, from the Great Salt Lake to St. Louis. They arrived in St. Louis on March 4, having left Salt Lake on January 1, 1927 to cross the mountains and the great high plains in the dead of winter.

In 1830, another trip was necessary for Sublette and several companions to make, and again Sublette chose Black Harris as his travel companion. We offer our Black Harris knife in his memory.

6" blade, 1-1/4" wide, 1/4" stock, Stag handle, made of 0-1 steel.

More Black Harris pics

Cache Valley

Heavy-laden parties traveling through the mountains often had to abandon goods they were carrying with the intent to return later and secure them. Such property was either cached or concealed. This process consisted of digging deep pits, the size of which varied since even wagons were cached, and lowering the goods down into them. The matter of primary importance was the concealment of any work that had been done. That way those that were not entitled to the goods would not know of their whereabouts and how to unearth them. Fires were often built over the cache to remove traces of its existence.

An area northeast of Salt Lake City, traversed by the Bear River in northern Utah and southeast Idaho, is known as Cache Valley. Legend says that Peter Skene Ogden, the Hudson Bay Factor for whom Ogden, Utah is named, cached furs there that a rival, Ashley, is said to have stolen to gain great financial advantage.

Our Cache Valley knife is a great knife for the guide or hunter out in the field, and is small but very rugged. It is for the Cache Valley area and its characteristics that our knife is named.

4-1/4" blade, 1/4" stock, 1" wide, Stag handle.

More Cache Valley pics

Joe Meek

Joe Meek was born in Virginia in 1810. His brother preceded him to the West, where Joe visited in 1828. He signed on as a member of Sublette's fur brigade or 1829, and came with the brigade to the Popo Agie Rendezvous of that year. After this Rendezvous, Joe Meek spent several years trapping and exploring the mountains of the west before he became a member of Joe Walker's party and returned to the 1834 Rendezvous at Ham's Fork.

Joe was famous and reowned among his contemporaries as a hunter and fighter of grizzly bears. On one occasion, to show his disdain for a man and to illustrate his reckless bravery, Joe slapped a grizzly with his ramrod and survived the episode.

Joe married a Nez Perce woman and together they had eight children.

Upon the decline of the fur trade, he helped with wagon trains to Oregon and later played an active and militant part in the formation of that state. After the massacre at the Whitman Mission in Walla-Walla, Joe was sent to Washington to ask for settler's protection. He arrived in Washington in 1848 after a long and eventful journey, and at his urging, Congress passed an act organizing the Oregon Territory, to which President Polk appointed him U.S. Marshall.

Joe Meek died at his farm home near Hellsboro, Oregon on June 20, 1875. The knife we offer in his name is an all around utility knife and an excellent working knife.

5-1/2" blade, 1/4" stock, 1" wide, Stag handle, made with D-2 steel, fighting sheath with liner.

More Joe Meek pics

Old Gabe

Jim Bridger, known as Old Gabe, was generally considered the most able hunter, mountaineer and guide of the Fur Trade West. We can only hope to condense the record of his many adventures in the mountain areas. He was with the Ashley expedition in 1922. There is evidence he may have been part of the party that deserted Hugh Glass after his attack by a grizzly bear. He is also the first known white man to have seen the Great Salt Lake. He was well acquainted with the fur trade areas of the mountains and often found himself in conflict with area Indians. Old Gabe was wounded in the back by a Blackfoot arrow in 1832, which a Missionary surgeon, Dr. Whitman, excised in 1835 with no anesthesia.

Old Gabe was part owner of the Rocky Mountain Fur Co., and also of the firm of Smith, Jackson & Sublette. He founded Fort Bridger in 1843 on the Black Fork of the Green River between Brown's Hole and Ogden's Hole in northeast Utah. This became a way station on the Oregon Trail. Old Gabe was also a guide and an employee of the United States Army. It is in memory of this interesting man that we name one of our rugged general purpose and survival knives, the Old Gabe.

6" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/4" wide, Stag handle, made with D-2 steel, star marking on top of blade.

More Old Gabe pics


Booshway is the backwoodsman's way of pronouncing the French term "bourgeois." The bourgeois was the manager of a fur trading post, and often one of the partners in its operation. This manager was chosen for his administrative ability and was solely responsible for the post's business of furs. He directed trade was both Indians and fur trappers. In social rank, he held himself above all others at the post and controlled his operations with discipline rivaling the military. He had absolute authority over all employees, trading transactions, and over the area that his post encompassed.

The bourgeois, or booshway as the trappers called him, was a most important man in the fur trade and for him we name this toothpick-style knife.

8-1/2" blade, 1-1/4" wide, 3/8" stock.

More Booshway pics

South Pass

South Pass is located near the headwaters of the Sweetwater River, a few miles west of present day Rawlins, Wyoming. It was the most easily accessible overland gateway across the Continental Divide, for both early trappers and later for wagon trains bearing Pioneers intent on settling the western areas. John Colter may have been its discoverer, having crossed it on his 1807 trip to inform the Indians that Fort Raymond had been opened for trade.

The knife we offer of this name is a real rugged and heavy-duty knife for hunting and camp use.

6" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/4" wide, Stag handle, made with 0-1 steel.

More South Pass pics

Wind River

The Wind River is often reown in the experiences of Mountain Men, and it and its tributary creeks abounded in beaver. It drains down the easterly slope of the Wind River Mountains, southeast of Jackson Hole and north of South Pass. It is a rather short river which empties into the Big Horn River, which in turn empties into the Yellowstone River. The Rendezvous of 1838 was held here, near the mouth of Popo Agie.

Our Wind River knife is the same as the South Pass, but larger overall.

7" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-3/8" wide, Stag handle.

More Wind River pics

Big Mo

Our Big Mo knife is copied from an orginal early American knife. The Big Mo that we offer is a great Bowie-type knife, complete with a hand-forged iron blade and guard.

8" blade, 1/4" stock, 2" wide, Stag handle, D-2 steel.

More Big Mo pics

Jedediah Smith

Jedediah Smith was one of the most remarkable men to engage in the American fur trade. He was with the 1823 Ashley party and was wounded in the battle with the Aricaras in upper Missouri. He was a member of Smith, Jackson and Sublette, to whom Ashley sold his fur business. Smith was also at the 1826 Rendezvous near the Great Salt Lake, and from here he led a party of fifteen to explore the Southwest and later arrive in San Diego.

Jedediah Smith continued in the fur trade until 1830 when his partnership of Smith, Jackson and Sublette sold out to the Rocky Mountain Fur Co. In 1831, Smith, Jackson and Sublette sold out to the Santa Fe Trade, but Smith was killed by Indians while searching for water in the Cimarron Desert. His life was full of perilous adventures and carried him over a greater part of the west, from the British boundary to the Mexican provinces, and from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

8-1/2" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/4" wide, Stag or ivory handle, made with 0-1 steel, liner in sheath, 5 stars along top of blade.

More Jedediah Smith pics

Colter's Hell

John Colter was a member of the Lewis & Clark exploratory expedition, and upon its return to the Mandan Villages from the Pacific Coast, Colter left the expedition to join with a band of Mountain Men journeying on a trapping expedition to Yellowstone. The following spring he was traveling down through Missouri when he met Manuel Lisa's up-bound party of trappers. He promptly joined those individuals, and it is during this time with Manual Lisa's party that he explored the vast areas of the Rockies and is credited as being the first white man to see what we now know as Yellowstone Park. When he related to his associates what he had seen there, he was discredited and labeled as a teller of tall tales. However, he may have also been the first white man to see the Big Horn and the Teton Ranges.

The great tar spring at the forks of the Stinking Water River is named "Colter's Hell" for this daring and intrepid man. We gladly name one of our knives for him, keeping the same style as the Jedediah Smith only making it larger overall.

9-1/2" blade, 3/8" stock, 1-1/2" wide, Stag handle, made with 0-1 or D-2 steel, liner in sheath, 4 stars on top of blade.

More Colter's Hell pics

Grand Teton

Many persons regard the Grand Tetons as the most majestic and the most scenic of all the massive mountains in America. Assuredly, no other mountain or locality is more closely associated with the fur trade. To the east is Jackson Hole; to the west is Pierr's Hole; from the southeast flows the Green River; and from the east rise the Snake Rivers. These river valleys, as well as the general area, are reowned as the most lush trapping areas to have been around during the heyday of Rendezvous and fur trade.

One of our most massive knives has been named the Grand Teton, and it is both a real brute of a knife and a beautiful showpiece.

12" blade, 3/8" stock, 1-3/4" wide, rosewood or ivory handle.

More Grand Teton pics

Three Forks

On July 25, 1805, Lewis and Clark's expedition reached the Three Forks of the Missouri. The rivers forming this confluence were named by Lewis and Clark: the Jefferson, the Madison (in honor of Presidents), and the Gallatin (for the Secretary of War). This lush trapping ground in the vicinity northwest of Yellowstone Park. It was here, five years before, that the Shoshone girl, Sacagwea, was captured and taken east to the vicinity of the Mandan villages by the Minnestaress. Sacagwea had then been married to Tousaint Charbonneau, the French engagee who was to accompany the Lewis and Clark expedition. Their relationship made Sacagwea especially key to the expedition, since she was so familiar with the land.

For many years, the Three Forks area proved to be a place of many encounters, both between Indian tribes themselves and between Indians and the white trappers. It is in honor of this location that we offer our large Bowie-type knife, the Three Rivers.

12" blade, 3/8" stock, 2" wide, Rosewood handle, German Silver mounted sheath.

More Three Forks pics


Fur trading posts operated by Hudson's Bay Company were quite successful in America, but because of Indian hostilities, trading forts or posts often left much to be desired. As a result of Indian hostility on the Missouri River, William Ashley and Andrew Henry formed a partnership and embarked on a plan to pack goods overland. This plan was followed until 1839.

These two men had no head traders, no permanent forts nor any Indian trappers. Instead, they employed white men who trapped fur where they could find it, while doing so often fighting with Indians, among themselves, and with rival outfits. Each year, Ashley and Henry brought a large caravan from St. Louis comprised of hundreds of horses and mules laden with goods for these "mountain men" who so rarely returned to any settlements.

In early summer, the caravan would arrive at an appointed place to bring these needed supplies in exchange for the furs that had been trapped during the year. This meeting was the Rendezvous. Many sites of the Rendezvous were near rivers, such as the Green River or Snake River. The 1825 Rendzvous was on Henry's Fork, a tributary of the Green River east of present-day Salt Lake City. One of the last Rendezvous was in 1838, on the Popo Agie River where it empties into the Big Horn River northeast of South Pass.

Honoring these intrepid explorers, fur traders, mountain men, and their annual meeting place, we offer the Rendezvous, another large Bowie-type knife.

12" blade, 3/8" stock, 2" wide, Rosewood or Ivory handle, German Silver mounted sheath.

^Early Rendezvous pre- 1971. This style Rendezvous was then incorporated into the Old Gabe.

v The newest Rendezvous.

More Rendezvous pics

Manuel Lisa

The Spaniard Manual Lisa is perhaps the best known of the early fur traders in the Missouri River area. He engaged in the fur business under the flags of Spain, France, and the United States.

Lisa was up-bound with his party in 1807 when he encountered the down-bound John Colter. Colter had received his discharge from the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806 while on the upper Missouri, but had remained there with two companions to trap beaver. Upon their meeting, Colter joined Lisa's party. At Colter's suggestion, the party constructed Fort Manuel at the confluence of the Big Horn and the Yellowstone Rivers where Colter had done trapping in 1806. From this post, Lisa's men traveled to remote areas to advise Indians of the establishment of the post. On one of these trips Colter discovered what would be later known as Colter's Hell, today recognized as Yellowstone Park.

The War of 1812 caused Lisa the loss of his fur business on the upper Missouri, but he was appointed sub-agent of all Indian tribes found on the upper Missouri, above the Kaw or Kansas River. The British sought to persuade the Indians of the area to engage in a frontier war against the Americans, but Lisa persuaded the tribes on the Missouri to remain at peace and not engage in conflict there or to the east in the Northwest Territory.

After the War of 1812, Lisa was again in the fur trade. This time his outfit was the Missouri Fur Company, whose base was at Fort Lisa on the Missouri River, near present-day Council Bluffs, Iowa. Lisa died several years after establishing this company, in the year 1820.

In honor of one of the greatest fur traders of the 1800's, we offer one of our most utilitarian knives, the Manuel Lisa.

9" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/2" wide, Stag handle.

More Manuel Lisa pics

General Ashley

William H. Ashley was a Virginian who went to St. Louis in 1802, however it seems that he did not engage in the fur trade until around 1822. He was active in the militia of Missouri and became its General in 1822. Ashley was also active in politics and was elected Missouri's first Lieutenant Governor upon its admission as a state in 1820. Ashley also served in Congress from 1831 to 1837. Ashley and Senator Thomas H. Benton were two of the most influential men in Missouri history.

Ashley engaged in the fur trade with Andrew Henry in 1822, during which year they lost both a boat and precious fur cargo. In 1823, his expedition was turned back by the Aricara (or Rees) Indians. However, he did not find success in the fur trade in the years of 1824-1828. During these years his personal fortune was assured. He went to the upper Missouri only four times, but after selling his business to Smith, Jackson and Sublette, he continued in a personal interest of his - financing trappers in the field. While Manuel Lisa may have been the early fur trader, William Ashley was the important man of the trade in the 1820's. He died in 1838.

Perhaps of mention to those who are interested in the fur trade is the group of men that Ashley employed for his expeditions. Many of his men became exceptionally well known in the later years of the fur trade. Some of the men he employed are as follows: Jedediah Smith, David E. Jackson, William L. Sublette, Milton Sublette, Robert Campbell, James Bridger, Thomas Fitzpatrick, James P. Beckworth, and Etienne Provost, the latter for whom Provo, Utah is named.

In General William Ashley's honor we offer a fine English Sheffield-type knife.
10" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/2" wide, Ivory and German Silver handle, German silver mounted sheath.

Measurements for a smaller version can be 8" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-3/8" wide. Both made with D-2 steel.

More General Ashley pics

Blackfoot Dag

This particular copy and style of blade supplied to Hudson's Bay Company by Sorby & Co. and by Jukes Coulson & Co. of Sheffield, England, was greatly favored by the tribes of the Northern High Plains, which are adjacent to the Rocky Mountains. An orginal knife of this type is indeed rare. It seems to have been highly prized by the Blackfeet, Piegans, Bloods, Assiniboins, etc., and was probably most used during the era of the fur trade and buffalo hide days. Its handle was a bear jaw or slab antler, the former being exceptionally rare. The slab antler handle usually had a copper sheet between the slab and the tang and was secured by copper rivets. The sheath was soft smoke-tanned moose or elk leather, entirely enclosed the knife, and was work either around the neck or tied to the belt by leather thongs.

We offer our version of the Blackfoot Dag with a double edge blade and a bear jaw handle, either of black or grizzly bear. The latter is offered on a basis limited by availability.

6" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/2" wide, bear jaw handle.

More Blackfoot Dag pics

Broken Hand

Tom Fitzpatrick came to the United States in 1816 after having been born in Ireland in 1799 and educated there. We first get mention of him when he became a member of the Ashley party in 1822. During his time, he was to become one of the most famous of the mountain men, head of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and an agent of the wild tribes of the plains.

Fitzpatrick was with Smith when South Pass was first crossed by an expedition from the east, thus establishing a route across the Continental Divide traversable by wagons.

Tom Fitzpatrick was sent out from Rendezvous at Pierre's Hole in 1832 to find Sublette's supply pack train. On that trip he encountered hostile Gros Ventres who attacked him by surprise. In his flight to escape them, he lost all his horses, supplies, and equipment...except for his belt knife. Fitzpatrick eluded them for several days by hiding in caves and crevices. He finally escaped the area and sought to make his way back to Pierre's Hole, suffering extreme hardhships and privations. He was finally found by friends, although he was rather emaciated and suffering from starvation. During this great ordeal, his hair turned white and because of an accident concerning the bursting of a gun barrel, his hand was also seriously injured. Because of these two occurrences, he was often referred to as White Hair or Broken Hand, but the later name was the one that became the most common. He died in 1854.

It is in honor of the able-bodied Tom Fitzpatrick that we offer our Broken Hand knife. The knife is a copy of an early knife used by the Eastern Pioneers. A small hole is drilled through the blade and engraving is done around it to represent an eye.

5-1/2" blade, 1/4" stock, 1" wide, Stag handle.
Larger size that was not offered in the catalog has a 6-1/2" blade.

More Broken Hand pics


In his 1807 travels to inform the Indians of Lisa's trading post named Fort Raymond, John Colter discovered the area we now know as Yellowstone Park. During this journey, Colter traveled a circular route across the South Pass and through some areas of the Sweetwater River. This river rises on the east drainage toward the south traverse of the Wind River Range, and empties into the North Platte in the general area of present-day Laramie, Wyoming. To the trappers, fur brigades, explorers and pioneers, the Sweetwater and South Pass were the most important thoroughfares leading to the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and the vast areas beyond.

In honor of this very important river, we offer the Sweetwater knife, a good all-purpose knife for the hunter and outdoorsman.

5" blade, 1/4" stock, 1-1/4" wide, Stag handle, made with D-2 steel.

More Sweetwater pics


The following history and description of the Nessmuk knife, both an orginal and our reproduction, was taken from a sketch written by Jack McPhee. Mr. McPhee settled in the Fairbanks, Alaska area after World War I. He has written about the outdoors for Gun Digest, American West, Outdoor Life and other publications. He has hunted all types of Alaskan game and always relied on his Nessmuk knife. McPhee retired to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.

"Nessmuk, born George Washington Sears, on December 2, 1821, at Oxford Plains, Massachusetts, was a real old-time woodsman who lived to hunt, fish, and camp. He was also a good writer whose stories appeared in Forest and Stream from 1800 until his death in 1890.

A young Indian whose tribal name was Nessmuk, which means wood duck in the Narragansett language, taught him woodcraft when George was a small boy. In later years, when he started writing for publication, he used the name Nessmuk in greatful memory of his Indian teacher of the long ago.

He [Nessmuk, the Indian] developed the Nessmuk hunting knife after trying all the other patterns. Its shape enables its used to rip a deer from vent to chin without taking the knife from the cut. The same long cuts can be made hoof to hoof across the body with one long slash. It is also a good skinning knife and meat cutter.

"I have had my Nessmuk knife since I was a small boy, and regard it as the best I ever had except the smaller knife on the Nessmuk pattern made for me by Walt Kneubuhler."

The Nessmuk we offer is a copy of Jack McPhee's Nessmuk, which was given to him by a friend of the orginal Nessmuk when Jack was just a small boy. The knife is a good all-around work knife and is not highly polished. It has scale handles, Micarta wood, a mountain man-type sheath, and brass spots.

5-1/2" blade, 1/8" stock, 1-1/2" wide, wood handle.

More Nessmuk pics

Simon Kenton

Walt made several knives during his early years in Toledo that were never cataloged.The knife he named Simon Kenton is one of these knives. It is a smaller version of the Sweet Walter knife that Walt invluded in his catalog. Walt also went back to making Simon Kenton knives the last several years that he worked and only marked these knives with a "WK."

4" blade,------

More Simon Kenton pics

Hugh Glass

Our first knowledge of Hugh Glass comes in the year 1823. At this time, he was with the Ashley and Henry expedition. After returning from this campaign, he joined the Andrew Henry party that was setting out for the Yellowstone River. It was on this trip, only five days out, when the oft-told Hugh Glass bear story occurred. Glass was hunting a short distance ahead of the party when he suddenly came upon a bear lying in the sand with her cubs nearby. Before he could shoot, the bear was upon him, mauling him and actually tearing chunks of flesh from his body. The main body of the expedition party came up at this time and dispatched the bear. Glass's condition was such that he was definately expected to die. Henry, the party leader, left two men with Glass to wait with him until he died or until his condition improved enough to move him to the nearest trader's post. The two mean stayed with him for five days and then abandoned him as nearly dead, taking his rifle and accountrements with them. They caught up with the expedition and reported Glass's death. However, Hugh Glass was not dead. He managed to crawl to a spring nearby and existed for several days on the berries that grew around it. His condition somewhat improved and Glass decided to go to Ft. Kiowa, which he eventually reached by crawling at least part of the way. He finally healed from the incident with the bear and lived to make many more sojourns into the fur country. Hugh Glass was killed and scalped by the Aricaras in the winter of 1832-1833.

The knife we offer in the name of Hugh Glass is a lightweight knife, great for field use.

4" blade, 1-5/16" wide, 3/16" stock, wood or micarta handles, made of stainless steel, eye for lanyard hook.

More Hugh Glass pics

Bayou Salade

Where there was fur, there were French engagees and voyagers. In the Colorado Rockies there are three open valleys where game and fur were plentiful, all northerly and a bit westerly of Pike's and Long's Peaks. Now these valleys are known as North, Middle, and South Parks, but by the trappers of the fur trade they were known as New Park, Old Park, and South Park. The latter valley was better known to the trappers as Bayou Salade.

In early French usage of the fur country, the word bayou meant a slack water slough connected by some larger stream. On the south fork of the South Platte River in South Park, Colorado, lie two saline lakes and a salt creek. It was anciently a great resort for buffalo and was thus given the name Bayou Salade by the trappers.

In honor of this venerable area of the Fur Trade, we present this knife, the Bayou Salade. It is designed as a skinning knife and is found to be more than adequate for that purpose. If other uses are to be considered, the knife may have limitations.

4-1/2" blade, 1-5/8" wide, 1/4" stock, Stag handle.

More Bayou Salade pics

Piere Chouteau

Chouteau is the name of a very prominent family in the annals of the Fur Trade. Rene Auguste Chouteau, just a lad in 1764, assisted his stepfather, Piere Laclede, in founding St. Louis. His grandson, Piere Chouteau Jr., was the most illustrious of the family, however, and the head of several fur trading companied throughout his life. Wherever there was fur trading, Chouteau's influence was noted. He became a very wealthy man with financial interests in the fur country as well as in New York, where he was a leading financier. He died in St. Louis on October 6,1865.

There are towns named Chouteau in many western states giving testimony to the prominence of the name Chouteau.

4-1/4" blade, 1" wide, 3/16" stock. Wood, Stag, or Micarta handles. Made with stainless steel. Full tapered tang.

More Piere Choteau pics



The Bastard knife bears the name because of how it originated. This knife was a breed of its own and bore no real resemblance to any of the other knives that Walt crafted. The Bastard was made for a workbench knife to be used every day while crafting other knives, sheaths, etc. Everyone that happened to see this little knife, however, would try to buy it. Thus, in the mid-1970's, Walt began making these knives to sell to waiting collectors. The knife, though, was never included in a catalog.

3-1/2" blade, made of D-2 steel, white paper micarta handle, lanyard loop with leather thong.

More Bastard pics

Early Skinning Knife

David Votaw purchased this knife from a retired gentleman at Friendship, Indiana, in the mid-1980's. The man told stories of many deer that he had skinned with this knife through the years. However, now aging, he couldn't hunt anymore and thought that David might like to own a great WK knife.

David now carries this knife each year when he goes hunting. He claims that it truly is a great old knife and has been used to skin and dress more than a few deer for him. David retired his Joe Meek knife when this one came along.

5-3/8" blade, Stag handle, blade most likely made from an old crosscut saw blade.

More Early Skinning Knives pics.

North Park

The following knife description is taken from Walt's personal ledger:

Small skinning knife--Cobalt chrome steel
1/4" thick stock--German silver guard and ferrule
One pieve antler handle which, due to injury, has malformed to a very good resemblance of an eagle head.
"X" marked on handle.
"IX" marked on back of sheath.

There is no "WK" marking on this knife.

This knife was created in 1975, and is still being made today.

4-3/4" blade, white micarta handle, made from D-2 steel, German silver filed butt cap.

More North Park pics

Skinning Knife

5" blade, 9-5/8" total length, antler handle, made from Olympic steel, German silver guard and ferrules, script "WK" marking on blade.

More Skinning Knife pics

Walt's Personal Non-catalog Knife

4-3/4" blade, 1-1/4" stock, 3/16" wide, micarta handle with lanyard loop, D2 steel, beaded sheath (with Mustard beads)by Dianne Chambers.

More Walt's Personal non-catalog Knife pics

Special Patch Knife

Patch knives were carried mainly on hunting bags and were used as an aide in black powder shooting.

4-1/2" blade, 3/4" wide, 1/8" stock, crown stag handle, carved head on the end of the handle.

More Special Patch Knife pics

Neck Knives

Neck knives were originally designed to fit in sheaths that were made to wear around the neck. Other of these knives were sold and used as small, general-purpose knives. They are very versatile knives. Walt made these knives during the last five years of his life.

4" blade, 1" wide, 1/8" stock, D2 steel, walnut/stag/bone handles, beaded neck sheaths by Dianne Chambers.

More Neck Knives pics

Eskimo Olu Knife

This unique knife was crafted by Eskimos and used to skin seals. Walt only made a few of this knife and the one pictured is from his personal collection. The sheath is marked with "WK" and an anvil.

Northwest Coast Knives

During the last five years of Walt's life, his interest in Northwest Coast Indians really blossomed. He began making knives in styles specific to that area and people, however after he had crafted many of them he would proclaim them too nice to sell and keep them for his own collection. Thus, there are very few of these knives in circulation or in other collections today.

More Northwest Coast pics

Walt's Work Knife

This is an example of one of Walt's knives used on his workbench.

This knife was made in the '30's and given to Dave Votaw by Walt's brother in law after Walt had passed away.

Patch Knives
More Patch Knife pics

copyright 2009 - W.K. Knives, 305 South State Street, Pioneer, OH 43554

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