When picking a Christmas present for sportsmen and women, skip novelty finds like a camo-clad tie or bobble-head buck and invest in a gift worth giving. The perfect present is one that gets used, not one that ends up in the bottom of a drawer or, worse, on next-year’s garage sale table. From stocking-sized shooting accessories to field-ready finds for the hunter, this list should kick-start the holiday shopping season and serve as inspiration for a wish list of your own.
Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL Tent
Pay attention, campers, because if there’s a Big Agnes or Large Marge in your life, there’s enough room in the Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL for both you and her. Or you and three of your thinner hunting buddies. At just a touch more than six pounds packed, this four-person tent provides 57 square feet of floor space, and the three-season design is great for backcountry elk hunts or high-country scouting missions. It sheds weight thanks to the half-mesh body, lightweight nylon shell, and rugged, yet air-light, aluminum poles. A full nylon fly stakes out to offer a 13½-square-foot vestibule for storing packs, gear, and stinky boots.
Remember that funny story about your buddy that got lost on the way to his stand? Give him a little dig while making sure it doesn’t happen again by stuffing his stocking with a handy and versatile Brite-Strike Apal. The heavy-duty adhesive backing sticks on just about anything—treestands, blinds, tents, and outhouses. The bright light is visible from up to ¼ mile away and features a run time of more than 35 hours. Tactile activation button switches between steady-on and fast or slow strobe. Also great for marking blood trails or sticking to your buddy’s back so you can see him next time he spends the predawn wandering the woods.
Price: $10 for 2
Bushnell Legend HD
Binoculars are kind of like women’s shoes in that you’re always shopping for another pair. Upgrade your old discount-store specials with a company that knows a thing or two about optics for hunters—Bushnell. Their Legend HD, like these 10x42s, is built for outdoorsmen with a lightweight, magnesium frame. Inside, the ED Prime glass features ultrawide band coating for true, high-definition viewing during the low light of prime time. The company’s proprietary Rainguard HD coating on the exterior glass is ultraslick, so rain and dew rolls right off, leaving a clear, clean view of the woods.
Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013
If you think buck fever is bad, just imagine what happens to your heart—and your shooting—when an elephant is bearing down. Now you can find out during an exciting round of Cabela's Dangerous Hunts. OK, maybe a video game isn’t the same as facing down Africa’s Big 5, but with dual heartbeat monitors and a motion-sensing infrared camera, the new Top Shot Fearmaster controller does add another dimension to this popular game series. Even the animals are smarter, with artificial intelligence software that learns as you play to put you in ever-advancing challenges as you make your way through the game.
Cabela's Pinnacle Shooting Bench
Looks like those boys at Cabela’s got a little more than just a happy ending last time they went for a massage. Their frequent visits also inspired this shooting bench. Just like a professional massage chair, the Pinnacle shooting bench features a padded, adjustable bench that leans forward just slightly at just the right angle to comfortably rest the shooter against an ergonomic sternum pad. This not only takes a lot of the weight off the back and legs, it also helps reduce felt recoil from the heaviest of calibers. Ruggedly built from tough ABS plastic with a powder-coated steel frame, the Pinnacle Shooting Bench folds up compactly to easily fit in the back of the truck.
If the Mayans were right, you might want to have your favorite prepper open this gift a few days early. By December 25, it might be too late to use the three-day supply of Camp Chef’s Grab-n-Go meals. It feeds a family of four with pre-prepared, ready-to-heat dishes of creamy chicken, beef and noodles, and cheesy lasagna. The bucket also includes a single-burner stove, three-quart pot, skillet, and multi-purpose cup. Just don’t forget to stuff the stocking with a few butane cartridges, which aren’t included. Otherwise, you’ll be eating cold food come the apocalypse.
You never know when disaster can strike, so you always want to be prepared for it, and what better way to gather your bearings than with the DeLorme inReach? This pocket-size, ultra tough, two-way satellite communication device can be used alone, or paired with an iPhone or iPad. The inReach also features a two-way S.O.S. signal, meaning your signal will be confirmed upon and ensures help is on the way.
Galco Culling Belt
Just the name of this product is cool enough to make us want one. Conjuring up images of elephant hunting in the early days of Africa, this Havana brown leather and cotton canvas duck ammo belt would be right at home on a Big Five safari, a driven whitetail hunt, or a showdown with a sounder of hogs. Truly, Galco’s Culling Belt shines anywhere you might need quick access to 20 additional rounds. Designed to accommodate cartridges from the venerable .375 H&H to the thumping .500 Nitro Express, and nearly every cartridge in between, there isn’t any reason you couldn’t slide it chock-full of small-gauge shotgun shells to make a statement at your local trap league. The safari-embossed leather center panel and brass buckle melds fashion to function.
Hornady 366 Loader
Sick of your shooter whining about the rising cost of factory ammunition these days, or do you just want to relegate him or her to the basement so you can watch some Real Housewives without complaint? You can do both this holiday season. Kick-start a new hobby and save dollars in the process with this die-cast progressive shotshell reloader from Hornady. With automatic indexing, each pull of the handle initiates another step in the reloading process, going from empty hull to loaded shell in just a few seconds and one single stroke. Easy-empty shot and powder tubes and nearly idiot-proof primer tube makes for simple and speedy shotgun shell loading.
Leatherman touts its OHT as the first one-hand-operable multi-tool. Rather than choose between one-handed pliers and one-handed blades, every part of the OHT can be used with just one hand, including the spring-loaded pliers that make the tool even easier and comfortable to use. The OHT also features a stainless steel body and is available in desert tan or black.
We’re not suggesting you wrap some snotty kid up and stick him underneath the tree. Rather, stuff a hunter’s stocking with a bottle of the most interestingly named hunting product to come along in years. Nose Jammer reportedly does just what it says. It jams up a deer’s, elk’s, or other big-game animal’s sense of smell, helping the hunter go undetected long enough to get a shot. It does this with an overwhelming blast of natural occurring vanillin, an organic substance found in foliage. Though you can get it in body wash and deodorant, we suggest the 6-ounce bottle of Field Spray.
Primos Control Freak Kit
You know why your mom bought you cologne every year for Christmas? Because you stunk then and you stink now. So, unless you want yet another bottle of Aqua Velva, add a Control Freak scent-elimination kit to your Christmas list. It contains everything you need to stay odor-free on your hunts: soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, antiperspirant, and a 16-ounce spray bottle of Control Freak spray for your boots, packs, decoys, and other hunting accessories.
Prois Pro-Edition Pullover
Christmas isn’t just about boys and their toys. The ladies need a little something to look forward to other than a special delivery from Santa. This great-looking and great-fitting pullover from Prois is crafted from three-layer, Pro-Edition fabric, blending a soft, tricot shell with warm fleece and breeze-blocking laminate. Warm, lightweight, and comfortable, the Pro-Edition Pullover is the perfect layering garment. Prois’ proprietary pockets across the upper back accommodate chemical-style handwarmers for added protection from the cold. Available in both Realtree AP and Max-1 camouflage.
Seirus Soundtouch Glove Liner
What did we do in the treestand before smartphones? Oh, yeah, actually learned some woodsmanship. Well, now you can Google it without losing feeling in your fingers. These warm, lightweight Seirus liner gloves feature SoundTouch technology that lets you operate a smartphone, or any touchscreen, without removing the gloves. Play “Word With Friends,” update your Facebook status, or get a fix of Bieber fever all from the comfort of your stand. Ultralight Dynamax fibers insulate like heavier fabric without the bulk or loss of dexterity.
We’ve heard of getting a lump of coal for Christmas, but how about a hunk of rubber? Sounds good to us if it’s one of these recycled rubber shooting rests from In-Range Supplies. The company makes range safety products from ballistic rubber, which also happens to be excellent material for an all-weather shooting rest. Rot-, sun-, and water-resistant, they’re perfect for outdoor ranges. Well-designed cutouts offer three different shooting heights, and, most importantly, the Sight Bloc works with bolt guns and AR-style modern sporting rifles with extended magazines.
No deceiving or dirty-minded play on words here, this product is just what it says it is: a hook for your skulls. Hang your antlered European mounts or bear, cougar, and hog skulls easily, without fiddling with baling twine, piano wire, or other retrofitted materials or drilling unsightly screws into your trophy. The Skull Hooker couldn’t be easier to use: simply mount the plate to the wall and hook your skull. The swiveling mount lets you angle your head to show its best side. Also adjusts vertically to fit nearly any species.
Price: $40 and up
Tinks #69 40th Anniversary
Only hunters, and maybe a few fetish fans, would be happy to get a stocking full of pee for Christmas. If you’re the latter, we can’t help you, but for the former, may we suggest a bottle of the classic Tink’s #69. The original “Doe-in-Rut Buck Lure” is celebrating its 40th anniversary of leading horny bucks to their deaths and is available for a limited time in a timeless glass bottle and special anniversary packaging. For the ultimate in gift giving, pair this with Tink’s Scent Bomb bottle hung from the Christmas tree.
Price: $11.95 and up
Tri-Tronics Sport Junior
Even man’s best friend needs a gift to open on Christmas morning, though truth be told, he’d probably prefer a fat bone to the full-featured, Tri-Tronics Sport Junior electronic training collar. But then the best gift isn’t always the one at the top of your list, and Fido will come to love the Sport Junior because strapping it on means it’s time to go hunting. With seven adjustable levels of stimulation, quarter-mile range, and a user-friendly transmitter interface, this e-collar will make your life easier in the field or on the training grounds.
Wildgame Innovations L08
Trying to pick a trophy out of Santa’s herd can be difficult, but with the L08 detection-free trail camera, you’ll find out if Blixen really is a Booner after all. Or hang it from the tree to catch anyone sneaking a peek before Christmas morning. The 60 LightsOut LEDs illuminate out to 70 feet without alerting game or the grandkids, and FlexTime+ technology shoots time-lapse images to watch the chimney at dawn, dusk, or anytime you choose. Adjustable body fits any size Christmas tree.