Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016: 18 Ideas for Dads Who Hunt and Fish
If your dad likes to hunt, fish, or camp, we’ve got you covered.
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With all the gear and gadgets out there, finding the perfect Father’s Day gift can be near maddening. So, to make your life easier, the Field & Stream editors put their heads together and came up with 18 new, old favorite, and unexpected gift ideas that your dad—whether he’s a weekend adventurer or a backcountry fanatic—is sure to love.
And to make the hunt for the perfect gift even more painless, we’ve partnered with Bringhub so you can buy each item without having to leave this page. All you have to do is click the shopping-cart icon in the top right of each photograph, then a small window should appear where you can read more product details and add the item to your shopping cart. Easy, right?
Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman $80
You can think of the 4-in-1 Woodsman as a camper’s Leatherman. It’s a tool that encompasses a saw, hatchet, mallet, and stake puller. The 15-inch saw blade, which stores in the tool’s handle and is held tight by a locking cam and tension compensator, can saw wood up to four inches in diameter. Slipping off the hatchet’s safety sheath reveals a sturdy 5-inch blade that actually can chop wood. I’ve used the mallet to pound tent stakes in dry, rocky ground and have removed the stakes easily with the built-in stake puller. It’s too big and bulky for backpackers, but fits nicely in a truck. —Slaton L. White
SOG Seal Pup $40
The SOG Seal Strike is a survival knife with a full-tang 4.9-inch fixed blade set into a glass-reinforced nylon handle. The partially serrated blade is ideal for camp chores, but is rugged enough for hard duty if needed. Just one problem: it retails for nearly $120. Not to worry: The far-more-affordable Seal Pup can fill the breach with nearly the same functionality but at a fraction of the cost. The Seal Pup also has a partially serrated fixed blade that is powder-coated for low-reflection and corrosion resistance. The lightweight, glass-reinforced Zytel handle features a raised diamond pattern for secure gripping in inclement weather, and the knife carries conveniently in a multi-mounting nylon sheath. You’ll find it can handle almost any demand put on it in outdoor or survival situations. —SLW
Realtree Manual Meat Tenderizer and Jerky Slicer $150
Dad can up his butchering game with a slick, multi-function meat slicer. This hand-crank model cleanly cuts uniform slices from deer steaks, elk chops, or even goose breasts, turning them the perfect size for homemade jerky. Swap in the extra set of choppers and he can make cubed cutlets for chicken-fried steak or turn tough pieces of game meat into cutlets. Because both sets of stainless steel blades are easily removable, the whole unit, which is made from cast-aluminum with a food-grade coating, cleans up quickly—something Dad will really appreciate. —David Draper
Berkley Skinny Cutter 110+ Jerkbait $8
Does Dad love the crushing blow of a smallmouth or a walleye trashing a jerkbait as much as we do? Then he’ll love Berkley’s new Skinny Cutter. Although the company has introduced an entire new line of revamped hardbaits for 2016, the Skinny Cutter has already proven to be a favorite. This bait suspends beautifully, and its slim profile adds a bit of finesse, which comes in handy in clear water. The Skinny Cutter will dive to 7 feet, and the subtle finishes add an incredibly lifelike look underwater. —Joe Cermele
Big & J BB2 $20
If your daddy is like this daddy, he spends a good chunk of money each summer on mineral licks and bait sites for his deer herd. Though I’m on the fence as to how much you can actually affect antler growth with a mineral lick, you can definitely position deer where you want them for a trail camera and—where legal—a bow shot in the coming months.
I haven’t personally used BB2 yet, but I do have serious and trusted hunting buddies with no sponsorship dollars on the line who will gladly shell out the extra money for this stuff. They swear deer find it and clean it up within days. It’s expensive, but you can always mix it with shelled corn to make it go further. It’s made of all-natural ingredients and has 18-percent digestible protein. Last week, I toured the plant where BB2 (and other Big & J products) are made, and danged if it doesn’t smell really good in there. I’ll be trying this stuff in the weeks ahead. —Will Brantley
Hi-Mountain Snackin’ Sticks Kit $20
Stop bugging Dad for Slim Jims at the gas station and hook him up with everything he needs to make a big batch of meat snacks instead. Hi-Mountain kits make the job easier by nailing down just the right spice/cure blends and packing them together with enough collagen casings to make 20 pounds of sticks. Just add ground game meat from the freezer along with a little pork fat and spend a few minutes mixing it all together. The stuffing part of the process is a two-man job, so these kits have the added benefit of building in some fatherly bonding time. There are several flavors available, including hot Jalapeno and Spicy Lime. —DD
Swiss Army Victorinox Cadet Alox $38
The Swiss Army Victorinox Cadet Alox is a fresh take on the classic red pocketknife your old man probably had as a kid. But nostalgia isn’t the Victorinox’s sole appeal: it’s sleek and durable, with a silver aluminum handle and minimalistic design. And though not an ideal hunting knife, with a compact 3¼-inch blade, screw driver, file, and bottle opener, it’ll come in handy more often than the big folder your pops keeps stashed in his field pack. —JR Sullivan
Columbia PFG Super Tamiami Long Sleeve Shirt $64
It’s a fact: as dads age, they develop an affinity for cable news, early bedtimes, yard work—and Columbia PFG fishing shirts. The last of these is entirely understandable: the shirts are lightweight, breathable, water-resistant, and look just as good on the boat as in a favorite seaside haunt. Up your dad’s swag by picking up the new Super Tamiami long-sleeve design, which features antimicrobial-treated polyester fabric, UPF 40 of sun protection, and tabs at the elbow to secure rolled sleeves. —JRS
Camp Chef 14-inch Deluxe Dutch $85
The cast iron Dutch oven is one of those tools, like the original Model 70, that does its job to perfection. From slow-roasted meats to a favorite fruit cobbler, the Dutch oven never fails to deliver. Camp Chef’s up-to-date take on this camp icon is the pre-seasoned 14-inch Deluxe Dutch oven, with a nearly 12-quart capacity (that’s a lot of stew!). But Camp Chef has added versatility—the lid (which contains a built-in thermometer notch) can be flipped over to double as a skillet for eggs, bacon, and pancakes. At 28 pounds, you won’t pack it into camp on your back, but for the truck-camping hunter or angler, this Dutch oven is the key to a hearty meal at the end of a long day. —SLW
Midland-T75-VP3-XTalker Handheld Radios $90
I kept one of these radios clipped to my turkey vest much of the season, not only to touch base with my wife while she was hunting, but also to chat with Gammie, who was usually across the river in camp, babysitting my 2-year-old son. These radios are sold in a pack of two and include a desk charging station, as well as USB cables and ports. They’re rugged and reliable compared with other handheld radios that I’ve tried within the same price range.
Though it says they’ll charge in three hours, I found five hours to be more realistic. Regardless, so long as you’re not reading the Bible over the air, the charge lasts for days. The radios supposedly have a 38-mile range in good conditions. Though I can’t vouch for that, they’re absolutely clear enough to understand a toddler saying “Daddy pooted,” from the bottom of a Kentucky holler a full mile from camp. Makes me wonder what Gammie’s teaching the boy when I’m away. Specs: Rechargeable 2-way radios, 50 channels, Weather scan, water-resistant —WB
First Lite Llano Shirt $100
I’ve been wearing First Lite merino wool base layers for four seasons now, and as far as I’m concerned, they are some of the best hunting clothing out there. The First Lite Llano Shirt is incredibly lightweight and comfortable against your skin. Paired with a fleece pullover, it’ll keep you warm on cool mornings. By itself, it wicks away moisture so well that a camo cotton t-shirt simply doesn’t compare for hot, early-season hunts. Drench it with sweat, and it’ll dry crust-free. Hell, it’ll barely even stink. I wore this very shirt and a pair of First Lite merino wool boxers for a full week during an extended backcountry elk hunt last fall in Colorado. When we finally got back to civilization, I peeled them off and tried to hand them to my buddy. “Smell this. It’s amazing. I could still wear it to dinner tonight.”
He passed on the sniff test, but took my word for it. You should, too. This is legit stuff. —WB
Slumberjack Borderland sleeping bag $130
Founded in 1957, Slumberjack sleeping bags were avidly sought out by outdoorsmen because they delivered a lot of performance for not a lot of money. But around 2000, the company, part of a large conglomerate, “went to sleep.” Now under new ownership, the brand has been resurrected, and a perfect example of where it’s headed is the new Borderland sleeping bag.
The full-length dual-zipper design helps improve ventilation and comfort, and the right zipper extends around the footbox, which makes getting in and out of the bag faster and easier. Both zippers, by the way, have also been tweaked to avoid catching fabric, a truly annoying feature of far too many sleeping bags. Layered, offset, quilt construction helps prevent cold spots, and the draft tubes along each zipper keep out cold air. Warmth is provided by a proprietary Slumberjack synthetic and is good to -20 degrees F. An internal chest pocket that keeps personal items—a flashlight comes readily to mind—close at hand is a nice touch as well. —SLW
Orvis Lightweight Drift Vest $149
Even in summer, spend enough time on the stream and chances are you’ll find yourself in need of layers—especially as water temps dip at night and later in the season. The Orvis Lightweight Drift Vest is tailored for such occasions, with warm but never bulky lining, and wind- and water-resistant polyester fabric. The vest is insulated enough to maintain core body temp but light enough so that it won’t leave you sweating, and shivering, should you be wading or hiking between holes.— JRS
Weber Original 22″ Charcoal Grill $150
Nothing reinforces the notion that you were raised right like appreciating the classics over the newest whiz-bang contraption. And nothing is more classic than a Weber Kettle. The original 22-incher can tackle almost any outdoor cooking job—from searing deer steaks to slow-smoking an elk backstrap. More than 350 square inches of cooking space is enough to feed the entire family. The plated steel grill even hinges out of the way to add more coals without the threat of frying a finger. —DD
Costa Rafael Sunglasses Starting at $169
Costa’s 580p lenses have been proven fish spotters for years, and matched with the new Rafael frames, they’re even deadlier. My favorite of Costa’s 2016 offerings, the Rafael features arms that are extra-wide at the temples. This not only makes them fit very comfortably and securely, but it also helps block out even more sunlight. Translation: you see more fish. I’ve worn them doing everything from spotting sipping trout to hunting pike in the shallows, and they’ve yet to fail me regardless of sky conditions. Available in a plethora of frame and lens options, a pair of Rafaels will definitely keep Dad stylish and on the bite. —JC
Pflueger Patriarch Fly Reel Starting at $199
Pflueger has been a trusted name in fly reels since the dawn of their Medalist. Though the company is still producing the classics, the newly redesigned Patriarch is a nod to the modern fly angler looking for a no-nonsense reel that can handle any fish he wants to chase. Available in weights 3 through 12, the new Patriarch boasts a fully sealed carbon drag and drive bearing, which lets it play well in both salt- and freshwater. We’ve already had a 9-weight on some monster stripers, and can confirm that this machined aluminum tank can take some abuse, and has the strength to best true beasts. —JC
Camp Chef Propane Camp Stove/Oven $200
On this year’s Father’s Day campout, do breakfast in bed Dad-style, with a sticky batch of cinnamon rolls delivered right to the old man in his sleeping bag. A camp oven is far from overkill, and necessary for other baked goods, such as fresh biscuits and even a hot mini-pizzas. The internal 3,000-btu element heats the oven up to 400 degrees to bake, roast, or broil, while two top burners fire at 7,500-btus each—all from a single, standard 1-pound propane cylinder. All that heat, and space, is enough to prepare full, multi-course meals at the campsite—no more beanie-weenies or sloppy stew-from-a-can. Push-button ignition for maximum, instant-start reliability. —DD
Big Agnes Tumble 2 mtnGLO $270
“Light” in regards to a tent usually refers to weight. At a hair over 5 pounds, the three-season, two-person Tumble 2 mtnGLO backpack tent is certainly that. But “light,” to Big Agnes, also means illumination because this tent uses a series of LED lights embedded in the tent seams to help you sort gear and get out of the tent at night without fumbling for a flashlight. The interior lighting system is courtesy of a patent-pending mtnGLO tent light technology system developed by Big Agnes. A convenient push-button controller offers three settings: on, off, and 50-percent brightness. The LED lights are durable enough to withstand repeated pitchings and stuffings. Other features include double doors and vestibule, storm flaps, and media pockets for iPhones and iPads. The hub pole design allows for quick and easy tent setup. —SLW