By: Frank ‘Medicine Wolf’ Springer

By: Frank Medicine Wolf Springer

The one essential that hunters always have needed more than the killing tool itself, has been a cutting instrument to handle not only the gutting and skinning chores when needed- but construction chores from making shelter to the weapon building itself.

Basalt, obsidian, flint and chert were smashed, smacked and napped into the blades necessary for those cutting tools for tens of thousands of years.  And despite the pleasure of my own and that of many others of like mind who have learned the ancient skills of making cutting instruments out of these stones, let’s face it- nothing is actually better than a steel knife made of modern materials, by a very skilled person who loves that trade as much they love their family.

White River Knives teamed up with the legendary knife maker Jerry Fisk to produce a knife to last a lifetime: to be handed down through the family as a most treasured possession… from hunter to hunter for ages to come.  This Fisk design of the Sendero Classic is how I see a blade to be of greatest use.  Not a “clip” blade, but a bit shallow as a total “drop point” blade….for me—perfect! But, before I go any farther into the blade and handle aspect of this knife, let’s talk very briefly about a most important issue: how you tote this sheath knife around.


American manufactured as White River Knives are, they have put this particular knife in a very well made and finished traditional classic premium leather American made cow hide sheath.  Beautiful bold white stitching frames the brown leather with a chromed snap that holds the security strap snugly over the smoothly curved finger guard hilt.  This knife is NOT going to fall out of this sheath and become lost due to a design flaw- the sheath is a perfect fit and a classically beautiful match to their Sendero. In our world where folder knives or “production run” sheath knives are slugged into a stiff ballistic cloth sheaths, the Sendero is made to be worn as much as art work as a functional tool. Like the frame on a picture—this classy sheath certainly completes the package. Any hunter who views the knife in this sheath will understand the gentleman or lady carrying it on their belt is not run-of-the mill either.  They say “clothes make the man” well…wearing this sheath certainly won’t hurt a hunter’s image in camp or field.


Blade…’stone washed’ has allowed the full length hidden tang blade to have a smartly finished look…more like a combat veteran’s smoothly polished cavalry saber than a star-bright dandy’s dress sword at the battalion dance. When you look at the 0.13” thick blade- you see the class of a collectible, with utility from the mind of a man who makes his blades like the art of a Mona Lisa and the heart and usefulness of Attila the Hun!

This 2000 lb Bison was quickly and easily dressed using the Sendero Classic.

This 2000 lb Bison was quickly and easily dressed using the Sendero Classic.

High carbon CMP S30V steel at a Rockwell hardness of 59 allows tremendous edge holding ability while easily being retouched to a razor sharp edge.  At 4.5” of blade length to the 4.65” of Linen Micarta handle the proportions lend a lovely balance that lies easily in the hand.  At 4.4 ounces in this 9.15” overall length knife,  the ease of handling made the skinning of a 2000 pound American Buffalo a much more friendly chore than I have experienced in working over the hanging weight of 188,000 pounds of these ponderous beasts in the past 10 years of guiding. When you’re working out in -20F and the snow is blowing sideways at 30 miles per hours… the last thing a guy needs is to have a knife in his hand that makes his job harder. Sendero by White River is NOT that knife.  

Author with the results of using the Sendero Classic on this 2000lb Bison. Job well done.

Author with the results of using the Sendero Classic on this 2000lb Bison. Job well done.

I am looking forward to passing this knife along to my grandson when I’ve come to that inevitable conclusion in life…and by the spark in his eye: my grandson is looking forward to owning it then also.  By then the sheath will be blood stained and family history will be readable in every spot…but the blade will still be as graceful and sharp and perfectly balanced then-  as now.  

Go online to White River Knives to see where this knife is now available, and the different handle options.  This is not a knife offered at a meager price—but art and function are worth what you pay for them—and this Sendero is a heritage item worth absolutely every penny! Be the one who begins the tradition of a White River Knives Sendero as your family heirloom; your great great grandchildren will remember for it!