The Deer Hunter’s Holiday Gift Guide

Gear, clothing, tools, and other accessories guaranteed to put a smile on the face of your favorite venison fan this season

As deer-hunting seasons wind down, the holiday shopping season begins. We know how hard it can be to find a unique gift for the hunter in your life, so to help, we did some serious brainstorming while sitting in our treestands this fall and came up with a list of ideas that anyone who loves to chase deer would be happy to receive. From fairly inexpensive, to gifts that cost a few Benjamins, there’s likely something on this list that will make the 2019 holidays one of the best for deer hunters.

Buck Knives Pursuit

Buck Knives Pursuit
Buck Knives Pursuit • Price: $55 to $75Buck Knives

For over 100 years Buck Knives has produced blades for specific hunting and fishing tasks, pocketknives, and general-purpose knives like the legendary 110 Folding Hunter. The company continues to innovate from its Post Falls, Idaho headquarters, and in 2019, it introduced the Pursuit series. Available in either fixed or folding versions, and with standard or gut hook blades, every Pursuit is made with 420HC steel and sharpened with Buck’s proprietary Edge2x process, which they say makes the edge the sharpest it can be out of the box. The contoured handle has a non-slip grip making it easy to use in messy situations, and Buck backs each knife with its Forever Warranty. These knives are a terrific value for anyone that knows the importance of carrying a reliable knife into the field.

Sitka Merino Core Lightweight Half Zip

Sitka Merino Core Lightweight Half Zip
Sitka Merino Core Lightweight Half Zip • Price: $140Sitka

If you're struggling with what gift to give a hunter for the holidays, give the gift of layers. For that, few companies do it better than Sitka. The company's Merino Core Lightweight Half Zip is one piece with universal appeal. Whether someone hunts whitetails from a treestand or runs down elk in the mountains, this shirt is a terrific addition to anyone's layering system. Worn next to skin, this shirt is soft and warm thanks to the merino wool blend that helps wick away moisture. Sitka also treats the fabric with its proprietary odor control solution that stops foul-smelling bacteria and fungi from forming. Lastly, the shirt has an athletic cut, but not a superhero-tight fit. There is enough stretch and loose fabric that it shouldn't interfere with anyone's freedom of movement.

Browning Dark OPS HD APEX Trail Camera

Browning Dark OPS HD APEX trailcamera
Browning Dark OPS HD APEX trailcamera • Price: $150Browning

While Browning has a loyal following when it comes to firearms, firearms-related products, and possibly even clothing, there likely aren't many hunters that consider the brand a leader when it comes to trail cameras. That perspective is slowly changing, especially after the company introduced the Dark OPS HD Apex trail camera this year. If you know someone trying to get better intel on a deer they've been following for years, the Dark OPS is one of the best gifts they can find under the Christmas tree. It features a .22 second trigger speed, infrared flash, the ability to capture 18MP images or 1600x900 video, and it can accommodate up to a 512GB SD card. With an 80-foot detection range and overall size of just 4-inches tall and 3-inches wide, it might just be the most undetectable trailcamera available. But the coolest feature is the Illuma-Smart technology, which Browning says lets the camera decide how much flash power to put into each image, depending on the distance to subjects, so you don't get images that are too bright or too dark.

Pelican 1535 Air Case

Pelican 1535 Air Case
Pelican 1535 Air Case • Price: $350Pelican

Years ago, I stashed some fairly expensive camera gear into a soft-sided case inside my duffel bag, but when I arrived at my destination, none of my gear worked. I learned my lesson and since then I protect everything I can't afford to lose inside a hard-sided case. While the hunter or angler in your life might not have to worry about high-end Nikon lenses or the like, they probably travel with high-end binoculars, range finders, scopes, or other expensive accouterments that are hard to replace. Even a simple case, like the Pelican 1535 Air Case, can prevent disaster. The great thing about the 1535 isn't that it's virtually indestructible or that it comes with dividers, wheels, or a luggage handle, it's that the dimensions fall just within the allowable size for carry-on luggage, which means it could quite possibly never land in a baggage handler's hands.

Sponsored Content: LaCrosse Atlas Mossy Oak Break-Up 400G Boots

LaCrosse Atlas Mossy Oak Break-up 400G Boots
LaCrosse Atlas Mossy Oak Break-up 400G Boots • Price: $180LaCrosse

Tough and durable, comfortable and supportive, the Atlas will take your hunt farther. A molded rubber toe cap ensures extra protection in front while the heel is outfitted with a DuraFit molded rubber heel cup. It delivers more durability, a secure fit and better stability on uneven terrain. Our LXG rubber compound creates an outsole with superior traction and grip whether on wet or dry ground and InfiniTrac outsole lugs adapt to the terrain for even more stability. Every Atlas boot has Dry-Core® waterproof lining to keep your feet dry in the wettest conditions. PrimaLoft® insulation is also added to increase warmth and comfort. These are premium hunting boots built for wherever the hunt takes you.

CVA Paramount muzzleloader

CVA Paramount muzzleloader
CVA Paramount muzzleloader • Price: $1,000CVA

One of the most talked about guns of 2019, the CVA Paramount, isn’t really a modern rifle at all, but it certainly does shoot like one. This .45 caliber boomstick includes features found on many rifles aimed to please the long-range shooting crowd, like a muzzle velocity of 2,200 fps, and a lethal range that stretches to 300 yards. But the features that set this model apart from others rest in the stock, with adjustments for both length of pull and cheek height—not something you typically find on primitive or modern muzzleloaders. If you’re gift shopping for a muzzleloader aficionado, he or she may notice the lack of a ramrod under the barrel, but don’t fret, CVA designed a rod that is easy to stash on a belt or in a pack that makes reloading fast and easy. Also, remember the federal government doesn’t classify muzzleloaders as firearms and a 4473 (background check) isn’t required. Translation: you can likely order, ship, deliver, and gift a smokepole to your favorite late-season hunter. However, as always, it’s in your best interest to check all federal, local, and especially state laws before ordering.

Maven B.5 18x56 Binoculars

Maven B.5 18x56 Binoculars
Maven B.5 18x56 Binoculars • Price: $1,550Maven

If you know someone that regularly hunts the Western region of the U.S., or a hunter that's planning their first foray into the Rocky Mountains to look for something like big mule deer, having quality optics that can magnify objects at extreme distances is a must. That said, get them a pair of Maven's new B.5 18x56 binoculars and they'll love you for life. Made with the same fluorite glass Maven uses for its S series spotting scopes, these binos are perfect for viewing game at long ranges or during low light and make an excellent spotting scope substitute on top of a tripod. While it's a hefty chunk of change to spend on a gift, the B.5s are an incredible value for the price, and because Maven offers a lifetime no-fault warranty, this pair might just be the last pair anyone needs to own.

Sitka Fanatic Pack

Sitka Fanatic Pack
Sitka Fanatic Pack • Price: $200Sitka

Even in suburban or lightly-hunted areas where deer might be accustomed to unnatural sounds, whenever you're hunting from a treestand or blind, the name of the game is: get in and get out as quietly as possible to avoid spooking game. Depending on the load someone is carrying, that might be easier said than done. If you hunt with someone who sounds like a one-man-band walking in the dark, you might consider gifting them the Fanatic pack from Sitka. It's lightweight, has more than enough pockets and storage for gear, and an overall capacity just under 2,200 cubic inches. But the best features make the pack practically inaudible. The outside of the pack is covered with Berber fleece and cinched down with silent Jacket Winged Compression Straps and No Loose Buckles. There are also Silent Secure side pockets and a quick-draw top lid closure, and it's all covered with a water-repellent finish. It's everything any hunter needs to become a silent deer ninja.

Athlon Optics Ares ETR 4.5-30x56 rifle scope

Athlon Optics Ares ETR 4.5-30x56 rifle scope
Athlon Optics Ares ETR 4.5-30x56 rifle scope • Price: $1,200Athlon

Acting on direct customer feedback, rifle scope manufacturer Athlon announced earlier this year it was adding the Ares ETR to its family. It's built on a 34mm one-piece tube and features a 110 MOA total elevation adjustment and a crisp view through extra-low dispersion lenses. There are stainless-steel turrets for easy up and down or left and right adjustments, and a locking windage turret prevents accidental adjustments in the field. What's more, because magnification ranges from 4.5x all the way up to a whopping 30x, long-range shooters can have a field day on the range and the ability to reach out with shots unattainable with many less-powerful scopes. If there's a hunter or shooter in your life that's been looking to upgrade the glass on top of their rifle, or someone wants to begin building their skills as a long-range shooter, the Ares ETR is a quality optic at a great price.

Find more gifts in our Ultimate Outdoorsman's Gift Guide.

Stanley Master Unbreakable Trigger-action Mug

Stanley Master Unbreakable Trigger-action Mug
Stanley Master Unbreakable Trigger-action Mug • Price: $50Stanley

Some of my earliest outdoor memories as a kid are of my grandfather carrying around an old, green-tinted, hammered metal Stanley vacuum thermos. He filled it with coffee and took it camping, outside when he did chores, and in his garage "shop" where he'd tinker on anything from tiny fixes to outboard motors. I took my first sip of coffee from its chrome cap that doubled as a cup. Sometime later, I mistakenly used the same cup to collect nightcrawlers. He got a good chuckle out of that. These days, Stanley continues to produce mugs, flasks, and vacuum-sealed canteens that hunters and anglers know will keep their hot liquids hot, and their cold liquids cold. The Master Unbreakable Trigger-action Mug is one good example. Built for any environment, the company says you can drop one off a cliff and it won't show a scratch. Available in different volumes, the 16-ounce model is perfect for sipping truck-stop coffee while driving, and because it has a watertight seal, you don't need to worry about spilling it. If you really want to go the extra mile to show your favorite deer hunter how much they mean this holiday, fill the mug with Starbucks VIA instant coffee, or even a gift card or two to their favorite caffeinated watering hole.

Dunlop Snugboot

Dunlop
Dunlop Snugboot • Price: $150 to $180Dunlop

Already a noted footwear brand in the agriculture, fishing, gas and oil, and mining industries, Dunlop Protective Footwear is now making a name for itself in the outdoors with the unveiling of their new Snugboot. Built with the company's proprietary Purotex and Purofort technologies, Dunlop says the boot upper is breathable and lightweight thanks to millions of evenly distributed microscopic air pockets. But the brand says the boot's signature feature is its ability to wick away sweat and easily fit around a foot better than any other mud boot on the market. If you know a deer hunter that's fanatical about scent control or often has to work through moist, sloppy conditions to reach a treestand or ground blind, a properly fitted Snugboot can help them do it all, comfortably.

Hunter Safety System Reflective Treestand Lifeline

Hunter Safety System Reflective Treestand Lifeline
Hunter Safety System Reflective Treestand Lifeline • Price: $150 to $180Hunter Safety System

Years ago, I watched my dad fall 17 feet from his treestand. During his ascent, the ladder unexpectedly popped off the tree, he lost his grip and footing, crashed to the ground, and lay motionless until I was able to climb down and sprint to his side. Thankfully, he was fine, but we learned a valuable lesson and since then we never climb or descend any treestand without a lifeline. For that, I highly recommend the Reflective Treestand Lifelines from Hunter Safety System. They are easy to find in the dark and when connected properly, they prevent anyone getting in or out of a treestand from falling. Each rope can reach up to 30 feet high, and the cowbell-shaped dampener muffles any sounds that might spook deer. If you're concerned with preventing treestand falls, which happen to be one of the most frequent types of hunting injuries, the Lifeline is a solid gold investment.

Wildgame Innovations
Wildgame Innovations Shadow Micro Cam Lightsout • Price: $100Wildgame innovations

If James Bond was a deer hunter, then the new Micro Cam Lightsout from Wildgame Innovations would be something Q would slide into the glove box of his Aston Martin. Sizing in at just 3x3x2 inches, it just might be the most concealable trail camera on the market. With 42 invisible black LEDs that can illuminate the landscape up to 75 feet away, a 16-megapixel camera that also captures 720p video, and a trigger speed that’s less than ½ a second, it proves you can have a fully-featured trail camera in a tiny package. Making the unit even more attractive is the magnetic mounting ball that allows the camera to swivel and aim in any direction, and inconspicuously mount to things like fence posts, looking down from a treestand, or anywhere else someone needs more than a standard horizontal view of the landscape.

Tractor Supply Company Ridgecut Work Pants

Tractor Supply Company
Tractor Supply Company Ridgecut Work Pants • Price: $35Tractor Supply Company

You’re probably asking yourself, “What the heck do work pants have to do with deer hunting?” But hear me out. A successful deer season depends on several factors like treestand locations, open shooting lanes, food plots if you’re so inclined, scouting (especially if you hunt deer in the West), and a host of other activities that fall under the same umbrella as “chores.” That’s where a durable pair of canvas pants, like the Ridgecut from Tractor Supply Company, shine. Unlike traditional canvas pants, these have added stretch material to make moving around easier, and with five regular pockets and one utility pocket on the leg, you can carry tools, hardware, hand pruners, or anything else someone might need to help them prepare for hunting season next fall.

Millennium M360 Revolution Hang-on Treestand

Millennium Treestands
Millennium M360 Revolution Hang-on Treestand • Price: $350Millennium Treestands

When it comes to treestands, every hunter judges things differently. Some like a fully enclosed chair to prevent falls, while others feel it gets in the way of their shot. Some like extra wide ladder platforms, while others prefer climbers because they're almost invisible. Personally, I put a high price on safety and comfort, and the Millennium M360 offers both in spades. This hang-on stand has a generous 40-inch platform and perimeter bar for hunters to prop up their feet. But the key feature is the 360-degree rotating chair that makes it easy to take a shot at any angle. It's a great treestand for both archery and gun hunters and there are several accessories, like a rifle rest, to make life comfortable and safe when someone is high off the ground.

Millennium M250 Aluminum Climbing Sticks

Millennium Treestands
Millennium M250 Aluminum Climbing Sticks • Price: $175Millennium Treestands

After you gift the Millennium M360 treestand to your favorite hunter, he or she is going to need a way to get in and out. For that, there's no better compliment than Millennium's M250 climbing sticks. Each 32-inch long stick straps around a tree, there are no moving or metal-on-metal contacts that might make noise, and the traction on the footpegs ensures no slippery steps going up or coming down. Together, a 4-pack can reach to just over 10 feet high, though someone could add additional sticks to climb higher. These are also a terrific option if someone is worried about theft. Just remove one or two of the lower sticks when you leave and it's almost impossible for a would-be thief to swipe the stand.

First Lite Sawbuck Brush Pants

First Lite
First Lite Sawbuck Brush Pants • Price: $150 to $160First Lite

In a relatively short amount of time, First Lite has become a clothing company hunters worldwide trust for durable and functional attire, and the Sawbuck Brush Pant is just one more example of how quality fabrics and real-life, practical features can turn a pair of trousers into hunting pants someone will reach for time and time again. They have two-layer reinforced nylon panels for walking through dense brush, four-way stretch fabric in the rear and waist to make it easier to maneuver, and the legs have an articulated fit and built-in stretch that doesn’t hinder movements. First Lite also coated the pants with its DWR finish so each pair is ready for any type of weather. They’re also backed by the company’s lifetime warranty.