April 21, 2020
Over the past year, we’ve tested a lot of gear in the field. Here are our picks that would make the best gift for Father’s Day this year.
MANSCAPED: The Perfect Package 3.0
Keeping clean, and comfortable, on extended backcountry hunts can be a challenge, particularly for those of us who bear a more than passing resemblance to sasquatch. This personal grooming kit helps hunters prep for the backcountry with a specially designed shaver, along with some soothing balm and deodorant for maximum comfort in the field. Add MANSCAPED's replenishment plan for replacement blade delivery to dad's door every three months. Use promo code OUTDOORS for 20 percent off, free shipping and two free gifts (a travel bag and no-chafe boxers valued at over $50). manscaped. com
Leupold Performance Eyewear
Leupold knows quality optics, and now that extends to glasses as well with their Performance Eyewear line. One of several styles, the Packout features ANSI Z87.1+ Ballistic rated lenses that are treated with scratch-resistant and hydrophobic coatings for comfort and protection in any condition. We’re also big fans of the Katmai, which takes polarization to a new level. $190; leupold.com
Bear & Son Cutlery Small Hunter Series
The family tradition of made-in-U.S.A. knives continues with these classic sized and shaped hunting knives that hearken to the days of trailblazers, woodsmen and woodswomen. Featuring a 3-inch clip-point blade made of high-carbon stainless steel or Damascus steel, these have the handiness of an EDC general-purpose knife, yet deftness to cut in hard-to-reach places. Rosewood or India stag handle, with nickel silver finger guard for additional control and safety. 6 3/8-inch overall. Handmade leather sheath. $61-$167; bearandsoncutlery.com
Skullhooker Table Mount
Out of wall space? Display your European mounts and trophy skulls on any table, shelf or other flat surface. The powder-coated steel design is strong enough to support most mid-sized game, including deer, antelope, bear and lion skulls. Easy to use – simply slip the universal, adjustable mounting prong inside the skull’s natural occipital hole – no drilling or hardware required. $60; skullhooker.com
Browning Performance Rimfire Ammo
The most economical of the Browning Performance Rimfire family, these 36-grain hollow-points now come in a handy 800-round pack. This ammo, which features copper-plated bullets, produces muzzle velocity of 1,280 fps, so you’re looking at consistent performance for target shooting on the range, hunting small game or plinking. Designed for accuracy and reliable performance across multiple firearm platforms, it comes in two convenient 400-round inner packs. $35; browningammo.com
Pelican Ruck Cases
Hunters have a lot of stuff to tote. Keep smaller gear organized in these tough, weather-resistant Pelican Ruck 20 cases, which defend against hazards such as dust and dirt. Secure latches and full-coverage gasket seal out moisture with an IP86 weatherproof rating. Inside, a handy, rubber gear hammock keeps contents organized and secures small items to keep them from rattling around. We use ours to store field-dressing supplies such as a knife, kill tag, zip-ties, rubber gloves and more. $45; pelican.com
Alps Outdoorz Bino Harness X
There's a literal pile of bino harnesses on the market – some of them good, some of them worthless. Count this one among the former. We strapped on during most of our hunts last fall and fell in love the with comfortable, convenient design. It’s bombproof too, securing our favorite set of optics and protecting them in a padded case, but keeping them quickly accessible. We’re also big fans of Realtree’s Excape camo, which blends in well out West. $55; alpsbrands.com
DryShod ViperStop Snake Boots
Snake season is upon us, and we’re spending a lot of time quarantining in the woods. These slip-on boots add an extra two inches of height to the penetration-resistant rubber shell to keep even the most aggressive snake at bay. An interior lining is made from microdot mesh that helps wick moisture and perspiration from the feet and legs for cool comfort on those hot days in the field. Molded outsoles and removable EVA sock liners add extra layers of cushioning from hard and rough surfaces. $190; dryshodusa.com
Meat! Jerky Gun
Making jerky and other meat sticks at home isn’t just fun and easy, it’s a great way to ensure you’re getting the most from your deer, elk and other venison. A jerky gun makes it easy. Just grind your meat, season it with a pre-packaged seasoning mix or one of your own creation and shoot it into strips or sticks. Then just cook it in the oven, dehydrator or smoker. This quality tool holds up to 1.5 pounds of ground meat and comes with two nozzles – one flat and one round. $30; madewithmeat.com
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.