Sportsman's Wish List: 24 Great Holiday Gifts for Hunters | Field & Stream

Sportsman's Wish List: 24 Great Holiday Gifts for Hunters

If you have hunter's on your holiday shopping list, you want to get them stuff they want and/or need. What you don't want after they tear off the wrapping paper is a polite smile and a luke-warm thank you followed by a kind request for the receipt. Put any one of these gift items under the tree this year and you'll get nothing but beaming smiles in return.

hunting gifts

S.O.G. Bladelight
$85

This one took Best of the Best honors, and my opinion of it now is even higher. It's a big lockback folder with a powerful LED flashlight in the handle, and is extraordinarily handy. The stainless blade is just under 4 inches long, and the flashlight has a max output of 35 lumens with a running time of 260 minutes. It weighs only 4.3 ounces, and has a real-world price of $85.

There are no bugs on it anywhere, and you'll wonder how you got along without it. --David E. Petzal

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hunting gifts

Thermacell Heated Insoles
$129.99

While they may seem a little gimmicky, as most items of clothing with a remote control are, these heated boot inserts from Thermacell are a great present for the hunter in your family.

Rechargeable batteries in the insole provide about 5 hours of juice per charge and the remote control offers two heat settings and an off switch. This means you can keep them off while walking to your stand, and then crank up the heat when you sit.

While not by any means ideal for someone on a long, rugged hunt away from power sources, they're great for the bowhunter who sits for a few hours in the morning and wants to walk back to the truck with feet that can actually still send signals to the brain. And they're great for early morning snow shoveling too.

The insoles come in sizes that will fit a woman's shoe size 4.5 all the way up to a man's size 13. --Dave Maccar

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Be sure to check out our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide, too.



hunting gifts

Under Armour Women's Ridge Reaper Hunting Jacket and Pants
$199.99; $179.99

Shotguns editor Phil Bourjaily is always kind enough to listen to my anti-pink spiel when the topic arises, but I'm sure there is some benefit to the ever-present pink logos, zippers, and contrast-stitching on women's camo--no one is going to put on the wrong jacket unless you get dressed in the dark.

Color choices aside, there are some very thoughtful details on the Ridge Reaper hunting jacket, like the drawstring-waist, un-floppy pull cords on the slightly billed hood, and an extra-long zipper on the forearm of the sleeve. These features keep the garment closer to the body in spots where heat can escape and ensure that it won't make noise as you move in the woods. This is definitely a spendy item, but you are paying for fabric technology, which allows this jacket to be thin and lightweight, yet warm, plus moisture-wicking, waterproof, and scent-controlled. Bonus: If your wife, daughter, or girlfriend is a hunter with a Pinterest account, I guarantee they have already saved this product to some sort of wish list.

The same fabric makes the Ridge Reaper pants warm and sturdy. I like that I can move in them yet they don't feel like pajamas, and they have a pretty contemporary fit for a hunting pant--and by that I mean that the waistband does not sit above my belly button, yet I can still crouch down without gapping in the back. If you are going to gift either of these items to the outdoorswoman in your life, don't assume that this gear runs a little big, as I do with most other brands. Under Armour bases their fit on athletic wear, so double check the size chart before you buy. --Kristyn Brady

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hunting gifts

Garmin Fenex Watch
$399

The new Garmin Fenex (with a long "e", like "Phoenix") is a watch even James Bond might love. This rugged, waterproof digital watch sports an altimeter, barometer and a digital compass in addition to its full-featured GPS capabilities. With the Fenex strapped on your wrist you can create routes, record up to 1,000 waypoints, track logs, navigate to coordinates or along a track, waypoint or any other bearing.

In addition, the Fenex's TracBack function allows you to go back along a tracklog to your car, campsite or home. The Fenex boasts a large, backlit display, a mineral glass lens and an everything-proof polyurethane band. --Chad Love

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hunting gifts

Snow Peak Mini Hozuki backpack lantern
$39.95

As soon as I saw the Mini Hozuki lantern, I pictured a few of them sitting on a picnic table illuminating a camp dinner just after dark. I have found that eating with a headlamp on my forehead not only feels silly, but it isn't greatly effective: You look down at the plate to shine a light on it, then you look at your dinner companion and shine the light right in his eyes. If you place the headlamp on the table, you have to angle it just so.

The silicone hood around this little LED globe softens the light to a glow, and the fun Candle Mode responds to wind and sound to simulate a flickering flame. Adjust the light to one of three different brightness settings, then hold it in hand like a flashlight, or hang one from a backpack, tent ceiling, or tree branch using the magnetized loop. Three AAA batteries will power the LED for 40 to 180 hours, depending on the brightness setting, and the snowflake logo on top blinks red when the batteries are low. Sure, there are more basic ways to light your campsite, but none are quite as cute. --Kristyn Brady

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hunting gifts

Cabela's Northern Flight One-Strap Waders
starting at $229 (in Max-4 and Duckblind)

Your waterfowler who has everything doesn't have these new waders yet. Cabela's one-strap waders are kind of the neoprene taken on the Jennifer Beals/off-the-shoulder-Flashdance look (if you can remember back to the 80s) except in this case, there's a reason for it: traditional two-strap waders often put a big plastic buckle right on your shoulder pocket, right where you want your gun butt to go when you raise the gun. The single strap can go over your right or left shoulder leaving your shooting shoulder unblocked.

I found that the strap together with the adjustable side gussets kept these waders up where they belonged with no problem. Cabela's has always made great waders, regardless of how many straps they have. These are thick 5mm neoprene and have boots insulated with 1200 grams of Thinsulate. They have a handwarmer pocket, a clear inside cell phone pocket, a storm-flapped key pocket and eight shell loops._ --Phil Bourjaily_

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hunting gifts

Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42 Binoculars
$999

Here is a gift for someone who has been very, very, very good. The Conquest HD is Zeiss' newest line, which includes the same glass in 8x42. Conquests are light, compact, have excellent ergonomics and good, simple hardware. But above all they are HD, which means High Definition, and Zeiss is not kidding about that.

I took a Conquest with me to Maine on a whitetail hunt, and can report that it distinguished itself in dark, in storm, in sunlight fair. In fact, one evening, they showed me very clearly that a deer at which I was looking had no antlers, and that I should not shoot it. I had been ogling this animal through a Zeiss riflescope, and had no clue. That's how good the Conquest is. A lifetime investment for the serious hunter with a real world price of $999._ --David E. Petzal_

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hunting gifts

Awhile back, Shotguns Editor, Phil Bourjaily, turned me on to Templeton Rye, which is distilled in his home state of Iowa. He told me I should buy a bottle--that is, if I was lucky enough to find one. Being a small batch whiskey, Templeton isn't as easy to find as Jack or Beam. Fortunately, the spirits shop in my neighborhood also got the lead on Templeton and regularly has it in stock. If you can find a bottle, pick one up for the whiskey fan in your family. This stuff is great neat or on the rocks--and it also makes one hell of an Old Fashioned and Manhattan.

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hunting gifts

Cabela's Special Edition Custom Classic Rifles
$1700 - $2,200

What do you get the hunter who has all the rifles he needs? You get him the rifle he wants, which must be accurate and reliable, of course, but above all, should be a thing beauty--because a thing of beauty, as you know, is a joy forever.

Cabela's Special Edition Sako 85 Finn Bear, Winchester M1886, M1894, and M70 Lightweight, Sporter, and Safari are all classic guns with proven performance, but most of all, they are drop-dead gorgeous, with deluxe-grade finishes. They are special. The gun you need brings you joy when it does the job. The gun you want-- any of these guns--will make you feel good all over every time you look at or run a cloth over it. --Dave Hurteau

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hunting gifts

Mechanix Camo Gloves
M-Pact: $36.99; Winter Armor: $32.99

Ever since I worked as a bike mechanic I've been a fan of Mechanix gloves. Their products got their start as hand protection for NASCAR mechanics that allowed their hands to feel enough to handle tools and small parts.

Once Mechanix started offering their original gloves in Mossy Oak, they became a staple for my deer pack and turkey vest.

Recently, I got to try out a couple of their other models, now offered in a Mossy Oak pattern, and they don't disappoint. The M-Pact glove has a rubberized grip on the thumb, trigger finger, and palm that make handling a firearm feel as natural as it can while gloved. There are also panels of foam in the palm that absorb shock and vibration while working with tools, which helps stave off hand fatigue. They're well made with rubber knuckles that will protect against any bangs or scrapes. They're a bit stiff when brand new, but after you wear them a bit, they break right in.

Mechanix Winter Armor are nice warm gloves for moderately low temperatures that don't make me feel like I'm wearing mittens. I hate bulky cold weather gloves, and these are the slimmest I've worn, while still providing padding, protection, and insulation. A recent snow-and sleet-filled nor' easter gave me a chance to try them out and they are perfect cold-weather gloves if you're staying active. And if you're sitting, they're just fine for 20 - 30 degree weather._ --Dave Maccar_

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hunting gifts

Reconyx "HC600 Hyperfire"
$549

Sure, there are less-expensive cameras on the market that take nice photos. But after years of comparing those economy models with Reconyx, I'm convinced they simply aren't in the same league. The HC600 is Reconyx's latest offering; a model that sports a "No-Glow" high output infrared system that won't spook game. The unit runs on 12 AA batteries that can power the camera for many months, and the 1/5 second trigger speed is the fastest out there. Another impression: For such a high-performance product, Reconyx cameras are extremely user-friendly. More important, when you want to not only capture an animal, but get multiple shots of him, this is the unit you use. --Scott Bestul

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hunting gifts

Engel Portable Fridge/Freezer
$868 (for the 34-quart size)

If you're looking for a rugged and portable fridge/freezer to take on your hunting, fishing and camping trips, this Engel fills the bill perfectly. I've been using the 34-quart version in conjunction with one of the company's excellent regular coolers on all my road trips this fall, and it's performed brilliantly.

I simply keep it plugged in to my vehicle's 12-volt outlet and it keeps everything I stuff into it cold without having to deal with ice. And if I want to freeze my birds all I have to do is turn the knob. The unit's super-efficient swing motor/compressor draws very little battery power, and it can also run on AC as well. And if there's no power available, the Engel makes a fine regular cooler as well. The sturdy metal case keeps everything together. Sizes from 13 to 60 quarts. --Chad Love

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hunting gifts

Fishpond Westwater Pouch
$29.95

Like most ladies, I carry my daily necessities (along with tons of just-in-case type clutter) in a handbag, but a day on the boat or in the field when it's raining requires a different storage solution. Part of fishpond's newest collection of water resistant luggage and accessories, the Westwater pouch has a roll-top dry bag design that offers complete protection from water and a thin layer of removable padding for small electronics and valuables.

It is just big enough to fit my camera, which is chunky for a point-and-shoot but definitely smaller than a DSLR, and if I'm only planning on taking photos with my smartphone, this extra-small dry bag is definitely roomy enough for the few things I actually need from my purse. Slide it onto your belt through the loop on the back, or clip it to the outside of a backpack with a carabiner. If you are looking to store a larger camera or lenses, check out the molded Westwater Boat Bag. --Kristyn Brady

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hunting gifts

Winchester Rackmaster Slugs
about $8.50/5 rounds

Does the deer hunter on your list shoot a rifled or smoothbore deer shotgun? Don't know? Play it safe and give them Rackmaster slugs. The Rackmaster is a traditional full-bore Foster slug with an attachment called WinGlide that helps stabilize it in flight. The result is an accurate slug that still puts a full-bore, .729 hole (.615" in 20 gauge) in a deer.

At SHOT Show the year Rackmasters came out, the Winchester folks rented a range and had all kinds of targets set up including golfballs at a measured 100 yards. First shot with a rifled gun and a Rackmaster at a golf ball and it disappeared, although I don't know if I hooked it, sliced it, or hit it straight down the fairway. Rackmasters come in 2 ¾ and 3-inch 12 gauge and 2 ¾-inch 20 gauge. --Phil Bourjaily

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hunting gifts

["Afield: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish"](http://www.welcomebooks.com/ afield)

Without question, this was my favorite new cookbook of the year. Author Jesse Griffiths delivers killer recipes for just about every critter you'll find in the wild (for example, [Teal in a Jar](/articles/ hunting/2012/10/recipes-four-new-wild-game-cookbooks?page=0%2C1]=)), as well as essays about the outdoors and easy-to-follow clinics on butchering and dressing game. This is a book that belongs on the shelf of the Wild Chef in your family. --Colin Kearns

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hunting gifts

Lone Wolf Wide Flip-Top Climber Combo
$480

If the hunter in your life goes out and buys his own climbing stand, he's apt to try to save a few bucks, figuring he doesn't need the absolute best. But c'mon, he deserves it. So get him Lone Wolf's newest climber. It weighs only 21 pounds and folds down to the width of a pizza box for transport.

Its cable-locking mechanism is simple, quiet, and allows for micro-adjustments. The sit-and-climb system makes for easy climbing and the seat folds up for more room when standing. The Flip-Top is rock-solid on the tree and includes an integral bow holder. It ain't cheap, but that's where you come in. --Dave Hurteau

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hunting gifts

Filson Dog Chest Protector
$50

A hard-charging hunting dog's chest can take a beating in the field. Corn stubble, thorns, plum thickets and other vegetation can bruise, poke, scratch or lacerate as a dog runs over and through cover. The Filson Dog Chest Protector is constructed of a double layer of Filson's famous Tin Cloth, and the open-back design helps keep dogs from overheating when the temperature rises. I've been using one since quail season started and it works beautifully as advertised. --Chad Love

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hunting gifts

**Camo Marshmallow Shooter **
$19.99

O.K., there's not much of a practical application to this one (maybe it will help you practice your stalking technique), but I bet a marshmallow pump-gun war will become a new Christmas morning tradition at my house. Or I might dream up some kind of hot-cocoa-related carnival game.

This model holds 25 "rounds" of miniature marshmallows, which the gun launches up to 30 feet. I'll buy one for each of my two brothers and the double-barrel model for myself, so I can take them both on at the same time. When 'mallows are flying, it's not so bad to get stuck in the crossfire. --Kristyn Brady

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hunting gifts

Gun Digest Book of the Remington 870
$32.99

With over 10,000,0000 made, there's a good chance the shotgunner on your list owns at least one Remington 870 (for instance, I have four). Give them "The Book of the Remington 870." Author Nick Hahn tells the story of America's Shotgun from its development and introduction in 1950 on through the present day. Hahn describes the gun and the countless variations made over the course of the last 62 years.

An 870, after all, can be used for everything from doves to deer to domicile defense and versions for those three purposes and many more have been offered to the public. It is more of an appreciation of the 870 than a definitive, exhaustive work although the early chapter on the development of the gun is fascinating. Did you know, for instance, that one reason the 870 is so trim is that the 12 gauge was made on a 16 gauge Model 11-48 frame?

However, the book is primarily illustrated with 870 ads and pages of Remington catalogs past, making this book an absolute pleasure for any 870 owner to leaf through. --Phil Bourjaily

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hunting gifts

Golden Island Jerky

Sure, homemade jerky is and always will be the best. But there are some small-operation jerky meisters out there who are drying and preserving the next best thing to homemade. The folks at Golden Island Jerky are doing just that. They blend Asian flavors with their pork and beef jerkies. My favorite is the Honey Chipotle Pork. It'd be a great stocking stuffer. --Colin Kearns

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hunting gifts

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Package
$349.99

The Infinite Edge is the perfect gift for the new bow hunter, male or female, young or old. This new compound takes the recent trend of increased adjustability to the limit, with an industry-first draw-weight range of 5 to 70 pounds. (In fact, with the limb bolts backed all the way out, you don't even need a press to work on the bow.)

The draw length adjustability is likewise impressive, from 13 to 30 inches, with no need to change cams or mods. Lightweight and handy, the bow weight is just 3.1 pounds and measures 31 inches from axle to axle. The accessory package includes a 3-Pin Apex Sight, Hostage XL Arrow Rest, Octane DeadLock Lite Quiver, tube peep sight, and a BCY String Loop. --Dave Hurteau

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hunting gifts

Winchester SX3 Black Shadow
$999 - $1,069

The new Winchester SX3 Black Shadow makes the perfect stocking stuffer--well, most of the gun will be sticking out the stocking top but the lucky recipient won't mind at all. The Black Shadow is a budget version of the popular Super X3. Inside it's the same reliable gas semiuato. Outside it has a slightly different finish on the metal and it lacks the sticky DuraTouch coating on the stock found on other X3s but those changes are reflected in a lower price tag, too.

The X3 has very few parts to clean and it goes a long time between cleanings anyway. Despite its light 7 pound weight in 12 gauge it is one of the softer-shooting gas guns around. The safety reverses easily for left-handers, the gun comes with shims so you can adjust stock fit, and it is available in 3-inch 12 and 20 ($999) and 3 ½-inch 12 gauge ($1069). All in all, it's one of the better buys in a semiauto you'll find. --Phil Bourjaily

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hunting gifts

Cabela's Sausage Stuffer

David Draper inspired me [back in August](/blogs/ wild-chef/2012/08/five-tips-better-wild-game-sausage). He [did it again](/blogs/wild-chef/2012/08/food-fight-friday- sausage-2-ways) just a week later. And [again in October](/blogs/ wild-chef/2012/10/deep-fried-summer-sausage-0). I want to learn how to make sausage—as well as some other types of charcuterie. For this to happen, first I’ll need more venison in my freezer (which, I hope, to solve the week after Thanksgiving) as well as a few new toys in my kitchen, starting with a sausage stuffer. Since I’m new to the game, something simple and inexpensive, like this model from Cabela’s, would be a perfect starter. And what’s great about a gift like this is that it’s the kind that keeps on giving—free sausage for the year! Or, at least until your freezer’s empty. —Colin Kearns

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hunting gifts

WARN Cordless PullzAll
$489

As we hunters so often say, the real work begins when the animal is down. Dragging your critter out of the woods, loading it into the truck, hanging the carcass for aging can all be physically demanding, especially for older hunters. So lift some of your loved one's burden with this 24-volt, cordless, handheld winch, which lifts or pulls up to 1,000 pounds. Attach it to a tree to pull a heavy buck up a steep incline.

Hook it to a heavy-duty strap near the cab of your truck to haul your trophy into the bed. Use it to hoist your animal for cooling and butchering. The PullzAll has both forward and reverse and comes with two rechargeable NiMH battery packs and a charger. --Dave Hurteau

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