by Cole Daniels
Christmas is less than two weeks away and if you still have a hunter on your list, I have some great gift ideas that won’t break the bank. In fact, some are priced as low as $15 but none more than $40. You can make your favorite hunter (or maybe just an in-law) giddy for less than the price of a haircut. Before reading further, rest assured these are all products that I use personally and none of them have been provided for me by the manufacturer, nor have I been paid for the endorsement. They are simply things I would recommend to anyone who can’t figure out what to buy the hunter in his or her life.
Gloves are something you buy for any hunter. We are always losing them or drying them out. A hunter can never have enough quality gloves. Even if your hunter usually wears blaze orange, always buy camo gloves. No state has a blaze orange requirement for gloves and camo works for bow hunters, gun hunters, turkey hunters, and anyone else. Camo is always appreciated. Waterproof is a necessity, but look for breathable. Gore-Tex or comparable will provide waterproofing without getting a hunter’s hands clammy. When it comes to insulation, I’m all about Thinsulate. It is warmer and thinner than standard “Insulated” gloves. Look for the Thinsulate name. Remember, we’re not going skiing. Big, bulky ski style gloves are no good for pulling the trigger or releasing an arrow. Look for snug fitting gloves. You can find gloves like this at just about any quality outdoor retailer for between $25 and $40. This pair from Cabelas would be perfect.
Most hunters expose themselves to cold weather at some point. A hat is necessary equipment for everyone. But unlike gloves, a lot of hunters have their own style when it comes to hats. Baseball style, beanies, boonies, and everything in between can be found on a hunter’s head. You’re going to have to do a little research on what your hunter likes to wear. If he or she is a firearms only hunter, they are going to want a blaze orange hat. If they like to duck hunt or bow hunt, a camo hat is going to be appropriate. Again, I would opt for Gore-Tex or comparable and if you’re looking for a warm hat for a northern hunter, Thinsulate is awesome. A lot of bow hunters like fleece hats due to their warmth, small size, snug fit, and quiet materials. A hat with these traits can be found at any retailer from $10 to $40. If you know a hunter or any outdoorsman who seemingly has everything, might I suggest a Stormy Kromer cap? It may be the only Made In The USA gift they get all year. A Stormy Kromer may not be as technologically advanced as the latest Gore-Tex hat to come off the line, but they are classic cool.
Heartland Bowhunter DVD
This video is obviously for deer hunters only. If your deer hunter likes to watch hunting shows(just about all of us do), this is, in my opinion, the best hunting show on television. The visuals are incredible. The production qualities mimic those of big-budget network driven programming. The great thing about this gift idea is it fits just about any budget. The 4 DVD set is $40. There is another 5 DVD set for $50 but the additional DVD you get in the 5 video set isn’t as good as the others in my opinion. Of course, you can just buy one season if your budget is lower. Season 3 is my favorite and it can be purchased for under $18.
Calls have been used by duck and turkey hunters for eons. Calling is becoming increasingly popular among deer hunters. I started using the Flex Tone Bone Collector call this fall. It is easy to use and mimics a wide variety of deer sounds. You can find this at just about any outdoor retailer or online for about $20. For a turkey hunter, look for a mid-range pot call. Pot calls are nice for advanced callers but easy for beginners to learn. Don’t go for cheap. Cheap calls sound, feel, and look cheap. If your budget is under $25, go with a nice pair of gloves or a gift card and let them pick out a call on their own. Unless your duck hunter is just getting started, I would also pass on a call. Serious duck hunters are serious about their calls.
The Thermacell could be the most revolutionary product ever made for deer, turkey, and duck hunters. This handy little device is powered by a small fuel cell and keeps bugs at bay for hours. If your hunter only pursues pheasants or grouse, they probably won’t have much use for it. However, anyone who sits still in the woods or marsh when mosquitoes are still around will love a Thermacell. Everyday they don’t have to swat bugs while hunting, they will think of you! You can find a Thermacell unit in stores or online from $15 to $25.
Have a great holiday season, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukah, or any other celebration. Gift giving is fun. But remember it is all about being together. And don’t forget to work some wild game into the feast. The hunter will be proud to share and non-hunters will get a chance to try something new.