What knife and carry for an ambush predator?

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Feb 14, 2010
G'day BOD

:) Not Australia for sure. Maybe in crocodile country. Otherwise the only land predator I can think of is the dingo. Not so for Sunderland :eek:

Don't forget about our drop bears :lmao:


Kind regards


Jun 16, 2008
North East
I was reading a book recently about Spencer Chapman and his exploits in malaya in which he mentioned watching a tiger cross the trail he was walking on some way ahead of him. His opinion was that a healthy tiger as this one was, was of no threat to him and that its the diseased or old animals that were the real threat.

I would go with two weapons, one to attempt fending them off (something big, noisy or bright) and a knife for a last ditch attempt at dissuading them from making you their lunch. To be honest though I think if it got to the stage where you need a knife you're pretty much done for, although I would still be carrying one!

Take all of the above with a pinch of salt though as the most ferocious creature I've ever been face to face with is a badger. :rolleyes:


Life member
Jan 14, 2007
A big un!

Seriously, I would not even try to fight big predators with edged weapons. I guess getting to know about them would help you minimise the encounters.

Become the hunter, not the hunted. Try to stalk them with a camera, after getting professional training. Not before! Even then, maybe take along the barefoot bushman...



Dec 10, 2009
the only effective defence against poisonous snakes or dangerous animals is to put someone who grew up there with the dangers and knows what to look for in front of you. if you get attacked by a leopard or a tiger its pretty much curtains, especially leopards because they're natural prey is mostly primates so they know how to kill humans efficiently. you're only hope is to spot them early and scarper


New Member
May 3, 2010
Google Earth
140+dB personal alarm next to the ear of any large mammal will disorientate and/or deafen. A sound knowledge of anatomy would make any last ditch knife defense more effective, the knife would have to be a Fairbairn Sykes Commando. Sigh, I sound like a weekend Ninja!
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Have you considered kevlar? Otherwise, well, you're the intruder, you knew the risks, and you knew how to avoid them when you chose not to. The animal is just doing what's right. Killing the creature is out of order, even for your own protection. I think you should die happy in the knowledge that you've provided a decent meal.

Beer Monster

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 25, 2004
With the gnu!

The first paw picture is longer than it is wide and it looks as if the claws were not retracted. Why is that?

Well spotted - lion tracks are generally longer than they are wide and exception is when they move across muddy ground (see photo below) - they tend to splay their toes out a bit to get better purchase producing a rounder track.

Leopard tracks are round in shape - one of the best ways of telling the difference between smaller lion and big leopard is the shape of the track. Never seen a Tiger track so can't comment there. You can also tell the difference between male and female from the shape of the main pad. It is "squared off" on the sides its a female if its "rounded" then its a male.

The prints in the photo are in quite deep fine dust so the front toes are showing the fur "peaks" that sheath the claws (rather than the claws themselves) - there is also a little bit of drag due to the deep dust. Sorry .... bringing your thread off of center!

I know exactly where you are coming from though - I feel slightly naked when out walking with out the rifle. Bumped into lion on quite a few occasions without it and it certainly gets the heart rate up! And yes I admit on one occasion I did get my little pocket knife out!

I'd still suggest a taser or bear banger (or anything that makes a loud "alien to environment" noise - even an air horn) if you can get it. My advice would be to avoid wounding the animal if at all possible although if its on top of you your instincts will take over you will fight with what ever is to hand (knife, stick, stone, steely glare).

I've "stopped" a fair few aggressively approaching/inquisitive (delete as applicable!) buffalo simply by cocking the rifle - the alien metallic noise is enough to sow seeds of doubt in their mind.

Generally speaking big cats are at their most dangerous when feeding, mating, with cubs or when you surprise them. If you can avoid these situations then they will run away when you get too near. I'm no expert though and I've no idea about Tigers - my only point of reference is African cats!

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Tiger print. Typical cat just scaled up. Orientation NE


If I am with others there will be noise.

When I am on my own I don't natter to myself so tend to be quiet and so sometimes see animals.

If I can spot the tiger or leopard then I would feel reasonable confident that things will be okay. He's rumbled and should move off elsewhere. I'd make a racket to shift him andI would have 22" of cold Dayak steel in one hand and pepper spray in the other.

It's the ambush from behind where there would be little hope. Parang in sheath - awkward to get out, pepper spray stuck in pocket, cat trying to bit my neck. Don't think a Fox whistle is feasible when a 150kg animal has just tackled you and you are down

Other that getting the spray out and enveloping us in a cloud of capsicum, which might not be possible, I'd like one last ditch option to try to get him to EFF OFF!

Beer Monster

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 25, 2004
With the gnu!
Other that getting the spray out and enveloping us in a cloud of capsicum, which might not be possible, I'd like one last ditch option to try to get him to EFF OFF!

I think in this situation my only course of action would be to fill my pants and hope the smell put it off! :)


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 8, 2009
Warrington, UK
Perhaps you should take up Ninjitsu or aiki ju-jitsu? thus if attacked by anything other then a pirate you can ninja them with your skills.


Oct 25, 2009
I guess that in few occasion it is possible to fight with a large animal with a knife having any possibilities to save your own life, sometimes it's maybe possible as per this article i.e. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1023312/posts
Answering the original question, I'd said a bowie knife 6" or 7" blade, blade thickness 4-5 mm, i.e. a Ka-Bar USMC 1217

or a dagger as the Randall (F) or Boker Applegate Fairbairn

In my opinion, I would choice the Ka-Bar USMC.

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
I suppose in an attempt at a serious answer to the "carry" question would be a large fighting knife - probably bigger than those above, with a guard, carried inverted in a kydex sheath on one rucksack strap (assuming you are wearing such a thing). Thats the only way I can think of to have a knife large enough to be effective and accessible to both hands as requested.

Honestly, looking at that Tiger vid, I don't think it would make much difference


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