It's not a hunting knife.. worthless as a skinner or any other butchering job... but for defense work ? sure!.. Micarta gets very hard to hold with blood on it... some good old Hickory would work well !!..
But build it!! and show us the finished results!! nice project!!
Ya know the Mtn men carried and used common butcher knives.. the fabled Green River was such a knife.. or the ones I've seen were.. the big heavy Bowie's were more of a Southern thing the way I read it..
I like the Chicago Cutlery knives but they are real hard to sharpen and won't hold an edge, I like plain old High Carbon steel knives the kind that turn black if ya don't keep em cleaned and cared for.. they may dull pretty quick but they sharpen real fast...
I would probably suggest making the lines flow a little bit more. Radius the corner between the tang and blade with a 3/4" IR (Inside Radius) to limit the chance of shock-cracking there. The tip of the blade is quite sharp and it will snag on just about anything. If you curve the tip upwards and then along the back you will gain strength in the blade-shape. Finally - the blade itself is too flat. Throw a curve into it (either concave or convex - your choice) so that the blade wouldn't need to be re-worked (sharpened) after every use ...
Actually Oak is my preferred handle material,but I didn't have enough.I'm basically building it out of leftovers anyway.I've got this "trick" involving an old toaster oven and Vaseline that makes it look like mahogany!waterproofs it as well.
I have to stick with the tip design,it worked out real well on my Tn.toothpick,its 3/8" thick anyway so there's no worry about it breaking.