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Petersen's Hunting 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Petersen's Hunting 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Nowadays, the Christmas season damn near starts in September. The jingle bells roll out before winter snows arrive. Why? Retailers and manufacturers want you to buy more stuff. After all, what would the holiday season be without the thoughtless bargain-chasing herds of Black Friday shoppers?

If you're like the crew here at HUNTING, you just want to cut through the clutter of holiday deals and in-your-face advertising and find the gifts that will have an impact. For the hunter in your life, these items really need to have one of three purposes: hunting, shooting, and/or eating game meat. That's it. Nothing more. It's simple.

So check out the following hunting buys, and hopefully you can save yourself from wrestling a jacked-up soccer mom for the last half-off flat screen. Good luck.

Bushnell | Trophy Cam HD Wireless

Trail cams that text images to your cell have been exciting, but user-friendly data plans have been their bane. By working with AT&T to set up a prepaid 30-day data plan, Bushnell made it simple. Thumbnail images arrive via text and hi-res images can be accessed via the Internet. Of course, the camera is packed with features, but all you really care about are the late-night texts. You can figure out how to explain those to the wife. Price: $600

Cabela's | Commercial Grade Meat Grinder

Once you're considering giving the gift of the Cabela's Commercial Grade Meat Grinder, you know the hunter in your life is ready to take it to the next level — like the wears-a-butcher's-coat-to-bed level. Featuring a large-capacity meat tray with an enlarged throat to ensure optimal performance, this food-grade 304 stainless-steel machine can do it all. The motor is tough and the grinder is much tougher. This thing can handle all the game meat you can stuff into it. Price: $350

CanCooker | CanCooker Jr.

Unwrap the CanCooker Jr. this Christmas and you can finally put away the crockpot and leave the dutch oven at home. The CanCooker Jr. converts liquid in the bottom of its two-gallon container into steam that creates a natural convection, preventing the meat from being boiled and losing flavor and nutrients. The Jr. is light (weighing in at three pounds) and portable (only seven inches tall) and can go just about anywhere you might need. This year, give the gift of savory steam-cooked meat. Price: $60

Federal Premium | Champion Fresh Fire

Where's the rimfire ammo? It's a question that lasts all year and probably isn't going away any time soon. Get your hands on a Champion Fresh Fire .22 pack, and you can provide a solid answer this holiday season. The 325 36-grain copper-plated hollowpoint cartridges come in a nitrogen-sealed can that will play to the doomsday prepper in all of us. This might just be another gimmick to sell the already in-demand .22, but these plink-ready packs are more than useful at the range or buried in the backyard. Price: $18

FoxPro | FoxGrip

The difference between success and failure can be that moment when you're fiddling with your remote and that coyote turns tail and runs. Well, no need to worry about that issue any more. The FoxGrip is a pistol grip add-on that fits most AR rifles and allows hunters to send commands to e-callers by simply pressing a well-placed button. You can switch between two preset calls, a toggle Mute on/off, and a toggle Auxiliary on/off. Price: $90

Hornady | RAPiD Safe

Be careful on this one. It's a great gift, sure, but we guarantee you're going to want one, too. It's safe to say (pun intended) that this offering from Hornady is the future of personal firearm storage. It weighs in at 16 pounds featuring 16-gauge steel with a .25-inch steel dual locking lug system. It can be accessed with a Radio Frequency Identification device (RFID), which allows for hands-free access with a swipe of a keycard, bracelet, or key fob. It also has a keypad should you be feeling traditional. Keep this little number in your truck while on the road or at your bedside and you'll never go wrong. Price: $275

Hi Mountain | Seasonings Salami Kit

Smart hunters process their own meat. They take pride in turning efforts in the field into the perfectly seasoned final product. Any such lover of wild protein will dig Hi Mountain's salami kit. With the right amounts of salt, sugar, mustard seed, garlic powder, and other spices, Hi Mountain has created the easiest sausage kit in the business. You bring the game meat to the party and this salami kit will help do the rest. Price: $21

Slumberjack | Rail Hauler 2500

After your tag has been filled and the real work begins, the Rail Hauler 2500 will be the gift that keeps on giving. You can load up to 200 pounds on the 2500's lightweight aluminum frame, and 'wrap-around wings ' plus vertical straps combine to hold everything in place. You can also easily stow your rifle for long hikes, leaving your hands free to glass or aid in the climb. Add in the trendy Kryptek camo pattern and you've got a winner. Price: $280

Under Armour | Zone 2.0

What do you get the hunter that has everything? Well, chances are if you're shopping for a gear junky, there aren't a ton of options. No worries. A pair of new shades are never a bad thing. Enter the Under Armour Zone 2.0. With their ArmourFusion frames and Multiflection lens coating, these tough-to-break, one-size-fits-all glasses can take whatever beating hunting season requires. Go ahead: Give the gift of sexy shades. Price: $105

Zeiss | Conquest HD5

There's no way any hunter can resist falling in love with the Conquest HD5 riflescope. The ultimate in Zeiss quality and price, the HD5 features a 5X variable magnification, ballistic lockable turrets, and the amazingly simple Rapid-Z ballistic reticle. Its low profile and precision adjustments complete the package. The long-range hunter in your family will be forever indebted if you spring for one of these fine scopes. It will be a killer Christmas, indeed. Price: $850

Cabela's | Instinct Backcountry Hybrid

Any hunter's wish list likely includes a set of layered outerwear options. Cabela's Instinct Backcountry Hybrid is a versatile, lightweight choice with all-weather protection for almost any country. The nylon shell is water-resistant and quiet, allowing the layers to work together in unison. Start with the jacket, pants, and vest on cold mornings, and shed any of the layers, compress it, and pack it way if it gets warm. The compression also works when wrapping. Pretty slick. Price: $160 (Jacket); $140 (Vest); $160 (Pants);

SPOT | Gen3

Those looking for a critical, life-saving line of communication while adventuring off the grid, consider the SPOT Gen3, a simple one-touch GPS locator/tracker/messenger. Using 100 percent satellite technology, it tracks your movements and relays them back to a website where others can see your real-time progress. It also sends out prepared text messages/emails to a contact list to let them know you are fine, you need help, or you simply need more supplies. In an emergency, it also features an SOS button that will send out a distress signal with your exact coordinates to rescuers. Price: $149.95

Wolverine | Ramsay Hunting Boot

Styled after the quintessential upland boot of the last 50 years, the Wolverine Ramsay is every bit as well made as its predecessors. Made with an ultracomfortable Vibram rubber outsole and EVA molded footbed, the Ramsay is a fully waterproof hunting boot that protects your feet when you're pounding out the miles. We took it deer, grouse and turkey hunting in Michigan, and there's not one of those genres it can't manhandle. It also features stylishly cut leather and stitching, making it at home in the workplace or at your favorite pub on Friday night. Price: $175

ATN | X-Sight HD Riflescope

Now that the watchphone is a legitimate reality in today's world, it's no wonder space-age technologies have entered the world of hunting. The ATN X-Sight HD Riflescope is a prime example. A computer-powered riflescope with day or night modes, the X-Sight HD has full video recording capabilities, WiFi and Smooth Zoom, and a Obsidian Core computer that produces 1080p high resolution imaging. The scope also comes standard with Micro USB, Micro HDMI and Micro SD card ports. In addition to all that, the X-Sight HD also comes with GPS Geotagging, which allows you to mark waypoints on a map as you go. The scope also has a built-in compass and WiFi, which allows you to connect a smartphone or tablet to the scope. The 3 to 12 power zoom works electronically, while an internal image stabilizer makes easy work of spotting and holding animals steady in the scope. Price: $629

Umarex | Browning Gold Pellet Rifle

If you're ready to upgrade from the Red Ryder BB gun of your youth, it's time to check out the lineup at Umarex. The Browning Gold synthetic stock pellet rifle is available in .177 and .22 calibers, and it comes with a 3-9x40 scope. A raised cheekpiece and Monte Carlo stock are accompanied by a two-stage, 4-pound trigger for improved shooting and accuracy. The Browning Gold also comes with a rifled, 14-inch barrel that cracks and has a cocking effort of 38 pounds. Who says a pellet rifle has to be built like a child's toy? Price: $355

ThermaCell | Heated Insoles ProFLEX

The worst part about those little shake-and-go footwarmer pouches is they're either too hot or don't work at all. Save your freezing feet with the Heated Insoles ProFLEX from ThermaCell. Just place the soles in your boot or waders and then adjust the temp accordingly with the included remote. The rechargeable batteries are good for five hours, so no more sweaty socks that turn your feet into icicles. Price: $179.99

Mathews | NO CAM HTR

Mathews recently announced its newest bow, the NO CAM HTR, just in time for the holiday season. The new NO CAM Technology utilizes two circular and concentric string tracks to create a balanced system with a radically smooth draw cycle and straight and level nock travel for superior accuracy. The NO CAM HTR features shorter, more rigid quad limbs, a less-reflexed riser, twin Harmonic Stabilizers and the Mathews patented Focus Grip. RockMods come standard on the HTR and are available in 65-, 75- and 85-percent letoff. The bow comes in five finishes, including the new Stone Tactical and Lost Camo OT. Price: $1,099

Mission | Craze

Let's not forget about the youngsters and beginning bowhunters on your holiday gift list. They'll need a starter setup that not only makes bowhunting more accessible, but one that will actually make them an effective hunter in the field. Luckily Mission Archery has this covered with the Craze. Neither you nor the recipient will regret the choice. With an impressive IBO speed rating of 306 fps, the Craze combines adjustability with lethality for an ideal starter bow or effective option for even the most veteran of bowhunters. With a 28-inch axle-to-axle length and 7 ½-inch brace height the Craze is one of the quietest and smoothest drawing bows on the market for the price. Mission achieves this by offering a wide range of adjustability on the Craze's dual cam system with the ability to adjust draw weights from 15 to 70 pounds and draw lengths from 19 to 30 inches, all with an 80 percent let-off. Be sure to get them started on the right foot by selecting either one of Mission's Basic, Bow Hunter, or Pro Hunter outfitting packages which include a rest, quiver, sight and stabilizer (depending on the chosen package) to accompany the bow. The Craze is also available in a wide variety of standard camo finishes and Mission's 'Splash ' finishes. Price: $399

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