Time to pick the perfect present for the outdoor-oriented guy or gal on your gift list is ticking away.
Christmas is fast approaching and time to pick the perfect present for the outdoor-oriented guy or gal on your gift list is ticking away. Sometimes this can be a tough chore, since a lot of anglers and hunters buy what they need when they need it and can be pretty selective about specific styles, brands and types of gear. I’ve got a few ideas for new products as well as several general suggestions for items that are always needed and appreciated that may help shoppers.
If you’re shopping for a target shooter or hunter, they always need ammunition, and many shells and even reloading components have been in short supply since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down manufacturing for so long. Supply is improving, but prices are elevated and the selection is somewhat limited, so check local shops or go online if necessary to find just the right rifle, handgun or shotgun shells at the best price — and better buy a couple of boxes.
Every shooter needs targets. Sighting in hunting guns, target practice or just plinking with the .22 all require paper targets. The old black-and-white bullseye circles are still available, but now there are vividly colored targets that show a bright fluorescent dot where the bullet strikes that can be seen easily from afar. They even come with multiple peel-off dots to cover holes so the target can be used for an extended outing, and even some of the entire targets are peel and stick so no pins or staples are needed.
If there are backyard or gravel pit skeet and trap shotgunners on your list, how about a box of clay targets, often called pigeons or birds, for a gift? Summer practice offers a chance for family and friends to improve wingshooting skills and enjoy some friendly competition. A hand thrower costs only $10 or $15, and a mechanical thrower that handles multiple clay targets can be purchased for $50 and up, depending on features. Perhaps a whole setup would be a great gift for an entire family that enjoys shooting.
Any fishermen on Santa’s route will need a few new flies, lures or bass plugs to replace the ones lost or beat up with overuse. Also, how about a new landing net, a smaller one for stream fishing or a larger boat net? The newer models no longer use string, nylon or fiber for the net. A rubberized synthetic material is easier on fish being released since it doesn’t disturb their protective body slime. Fish and hooks are far less likely to tangle on the thicker, heavier net material as well.
Any waterfowler would be overjoyed to receive a box of six goose or duck decoys from a fairly new company called SX Decoys. This isn’t an inexpensive purchase, but I can vouch from experience that these are the most realistic, durable decoys I’ve ever used. Each set of a half-dozen full-szed decoys can be had painted or fully-flocked, and comes with a set of motion stakes and a set of square metal-based motion stands for windy days and a protective travel bag for each decoy. Better not let birds land in the decoy spread, since it’s hard to tell the live ones from the lifelike fakes. By the way, SZ offers turkey decoys that look like they might gobble.
It’s a simple fact that everybody shoots more accurately from a rest. Rifle, shotgun or handgun, if the target is moving or approaching at a stop and go pace like deer, bear, and turkey often do, holding steady for several minutes is very difficult. I practice with a monopod and carry a collapsible lightweight model made by BOG for many hunting outings. Now there’s a new option going on my Yule wish list. It’s called a Deathgrip, a tripod support with a top mechanism that solidly holds in place any long gun or handgun. It’s available in aluminum or carbon fiber, with a mounting head for camera, optics or firearms that rotates 360 degrees and tilts 180 degrees. There are twist-lock legs for fast height and level adjustments and rubber feet with removable anchor spikes. Any hunter, shooter, photographer or spotting scope user would love to find the Bog Pod Deathgrip under the tree.
As a couple of final thoughts, a new hunting or fishing license will be needed a week after Christmas. It’s a great stocking stuffer. A subscription to a favorite outdoor magazine or perhaps a book on a favorite hobby or sports pastime will help pass a few cold winter nights.
Finally, if all else fails, a gift certificate to a favorite local hunt and fish store or one of the big-name national sporting goods outlets allows the recipient to select just what they want.
Here’s hoping Santa finds your chimney and you’re on his “nice” list. Have a safe, healthy holiday.