The 5″ hilt of this hand forged knife was brought back from the woods by one of my dogs. Its from a Kentucky white tail buck. It was just a fairly small chunk brought back during matting season, so I am fairly sure it was snapped off during rut. The bolster is lead free pewter, poured in place.
The blade started off as a 1/4 inch thick piece of 1075 high carbon spring steel. It was forged over a coal and coke fire. After forging and finishing, it comes in at just under 1/4 inch. It was thrice normalized, quenched in almond oil, and then drawn / tempered twice to an estimated 55 on the Rockwell hardness scale.