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Christmas List for Sportsmen


As a Sportsman my wife asks me annually what I want for Christmas. I often simply point to the Cabela’s catalog and give page numbers. Hopefully by now she knows my size, so that is not something I ever feel the need to remind her. There are few things within the hallowed pages of a Cabela’s catalog that I won’t like. That being said, there are some pieces of equipment that all sportsmen can use and would love to have in their arsenal.  Below is a list of items to consider for this year’s shopping list.

 Range Finder: All archers know the importance of using a good quality range finder. But having one that will calibrate the angle of the hunter is so crucial that many more shots are made with the use of this technology. Of affordable and quality range finders, for my money I prefer the Bushnell G-Force1300 This range finder is light, high quality and performs the ARC adjustments instantly. Couple this with the rifle mode and this is one of the best all around range finders on the market. The range finder comes with calibrations for bullet drop based on caliber and bullet weight letting the hunter know immediately what the bullet drop is thereby advising where to aim.

Game Camera – All hunters who use game cameras can attest that we never have enough game cameras. And there are many, many quality game cameras on the market. Some things to consider when purchasing one is the options they carry. My favorite is the long battery life. Several offer battery life in excess of 6 months, others as long as one year. Bushnell, Reconyx, Spypoint, Wildgame, Cuddyback and others all offer excellent cameras.

Therma-Cell Products: As I have said before, Thermacell has revolutionized the hunting industry with their products. Their mosquito repellant is a game changer for early season deer and turkey hunting. It is amazing how well this product works at repelling mosquitoes. And if you have ever hunted in the lowcountry of South Carolina, you know that our mosquitoes are a different species all together from anywhere else. This is a MUST for all hunters in the Carolinas and Georgia.

Thermacell Heated Insoles. I was introduced to these at last year’s Archery Trade Association’s annual trade show. I knew I had to try these and I can say, that along with their repellent, these heated insoles are definitely a game changer for outdoorsmen. These remote controlled heaters keep your feet feeing perfect regardless of the ambient temperature outside. These are well worth their money.

Clothing: Purchasing hunting clothes can be a heated debate for many hunters. Some are solidly in the camp of Realtree others will wear nothing else but Mossy Oak or some other brand. But regardless of the pattern on the clothes is the material they are made from. Having hot weather camouflage is paramount for early season hunting. I often wear my warm season clothes for well over half of the season. It has to be light weight and durable. Underarmor leads the way in quality hot weather gear.

For colder weather, its hard to beat the Cabela’s Microtex material. It’s quiet, durable and easy to layer for all conditions. The affordable price makes this a purchase that will last for decades under normal wear. But for high quality, and durability nothing beats Sitka gear clothing. While its expensive by anyone standards, Sitka has set the bar for all to follow in quality hunting clothing.

Boots: All hunters need good water proof rubber boots. Muck is the best, so get these. Enough said.

Binoculars I often talk to southern hunters who seldom if ever use binoculars. Believing them to be tools reserved for western hunters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Good binoculars are a must for all hunters. Clear glass, easy focal adjustments, and light weight are all necessary elements. The old saying is true, get the best you can afford. But don’t go cheap. I have drank this kool-aid too often and bought inferior binoculars only to be so disappointed that I basically threw the money away. Bushnell, Zeiss, and Nikon all make good affordable binoculars. In southern woods, a 7×40 or a good 8×40 are all good sizes to consider.

Books: When the weather is bad, and hunting season is a few months away, reading good hunting material always ignites the fire from within. Some authors to consider are, there are many excellent authors and books available both in print and electronic versions. Some authors to consider are; Jim Casada, Gene Hill, Greg Miller, and for those wanting to enjoy more of the essence of hunting there is my book, Times Well Spent: Ramblings From a Sportsman’s Life available at Amazon.com.

Decoys:  What waterfowl hunter has enough decoys? I don’t believe that person exists. I recently came into some decoys that might be the best I have ever used. Fowl Foolers decoys are cork wrapped in burlap decoys with a very realistic painting and rubberized head. These come in many different species and positions. Hardwood keels keep the decoys floating in the correct position. Durable, lifelike and dependable they will not sink regardless of how many pellets may hit them.

There are countless items to add to this list, but these are a few that all hunters can always use. Build your list and share it with your loved ones so they are not searching too long or hard for that one item you desperately need.