Tag Archives: Christmas Gifts

2018 AHT Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again! Alright you procrastinating gift giver, get off of your duff and log on to the world wide web and make that purchase of something the outdoorsman in your life is going to be happy about this holiday season.

A friendly reminder to look at the former gift guides done on this site as a number of the gifts are still relevant! Click here to access all that have been on this site in recent years!

Without further ado, here is the 2018 version of the A Hunters Tales Holiday Gift Guide!

Get ‘em a Hooker – Skull Hooker

A couple of skull hookers in use (including the Kansas 11-pointer without his nose!).

This is a gift I was first introduced to by AHT contributor (who owes our readers a piece or two about his hunting success in 2018 … yes, he was successful again!) Greg Johnston. The skull hooker keeps your European mount stable and presents your trophy with artistic flare. Let me tell you what else it does: it keeps your Euro from taking a nose-first dive into a concrete floor after you “have to move it a tad.” Yes, I was the idiot that broke the sinus bones off of a pretty 11-point buck I killed in Kansas several years ago. The skull hooker wasn’t around then, but I’m thankful it is now!

I’ve Got Buck Fever!

This one comes with a story. We were sitting around deer camp last month, swapping stories about seasons gone by, when we found a bottle of doe urine that was, as best as we could recall, at least 12 years old. Of course, we had to open it and see what aroma remained. It was nasty!

The idea of synthetic scents is intriguing to me, primarily to combat that very situation. Conceivably, a synthetic scent should not change its chemical makeup over time and carry its intended scent for the long haul.

Think of it this way, have you ever pulled that bottle of Brut off the dresser from 1987 and seen if the scent remains the same? I have. And it does. But I still resist the urge to wear it the way I did when my hair was feathered and impressing teenage girls was my intent!

Image borrowed from Buck Fever Synthetics

Buck Fever has a long list of products designed for specific uses, all with expected use and shelf lives that exceed their original counterparts. There are a number of elements of the theory behind Buck Fever’s products. I recommend visiting their site to learn more about their products.

They also have scent elimination products!

I’m eager to try some of these scents on a special product I’m working on that I HOPE will make the 2019 Gift Guide (more to come, if my field research works!).

Archery Target

You’d think stopping arrows would have engineering limitations, but believe it or not, the world of layered targets, and more specifically self-healing layered targets, has come a long way in the last decade. The prices are still a little bit high,but most of the newer targets on the market will last a number of years. Essentially, you’re investing in a target that will handle hundreds of thousands of shots.

A number of great options are available from great target makers like Rinehart, Dead Bullseye and Bulldog Targets. A quick search on Google can land you in the right spot to compare sizes and prices!

Head Lamps Always Win

The hunter in your life probably already has one. It doesn’t matter. Buy them another – I promise he or she will not mind. I really like the Cabela’s brand pictured here (it’s actually a Cabela’s licensed product made by Princeton). It has adjustable brightness that allows you to control your beam based on the situation. I’ve never had to change the batteries in mine and, if needed, the brightest beam is very, very bright! It’s a tad pricey, but a great investment.

Deer Tour T-Shirt

Image borrowed from Legendary Whitetails

If your outdoorsman is cool, they know about The Hunting Public. If they’re not cool, tell them about the boys from the newly popular online hunting show (available on YouTube). They also have a “Tour T-Shirt” from Legendary Whitetails that shows the group’s main characters in caricature riding in a car that has created a persona of its own (the Smurf). Sadly, the shirts were designed before Ted became a hit on the show – I’m betting he makes the 2019 Deer Tour T-shirt!

Cooking Thermometer

Cooking wild game is part of the fun of being an outdoorsman, rounding out the whole “field to fork” cycle that hunters enjoy. There are a number of options available, but consider getting your outdoorsman a new digital cooking thermometer. Several now offer Bluetooth technology allowing you to keep track of your temperatures remotely from your mobile device. They’re very handy and make a great gift.

Capture the moment with a Tactacam

Image borrowed from Tactacam.com

Memorializing your hunts, especially the successful ones, has never been more popular. The Tactacam is a video camera that can be mounted onto your weapon, or body, in order to capture the moments that matter most. If you’re considering the camera, also consider the respective mounts your hunter will need to take the camera to the field. Several retailers now sell the Tactacam, including the ever-popular duo of Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.

Gift Cards

A reminder for 2018!!! Wondering which gift certificates to get for your hunter? A reminder that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are now part of the same ownership and gift certificates at either retailer are interchangeable. That stated, a gift card also makes a great gift!

4th Annual AHT Gift Guide for Hunters

Being recognized as an avid outdoorsman by those who know you comes with it the responsibility of serving as the gift idea source for any of my friends and family shopping for the hunter on their list.

It’s a role I take great pride.

And for the last four holiday seasons, I’ve been able to convince those shoppers to go beyond the “it’s the thought that counts” and buy something their hunter or huntress will appreciate – and for goodness sake use!

With that, I give to you the 2012 edition of the AHT Gift Guide, a collection of products that I think make great additions to the accoutrement pile of your favorite hunter.

Havalon Piranta Series Knives
Knives are not new to our list, but this is a new style.

Havalon's Piranta Series Knives come in a few different colors

Havalon’s Piranta Series Knives come in a few different colors

These razor-blade precision knives are lightweight and make for a fantastic wingmate when skinning downed game. Having one in your hand when you’re caping an animal prior to taking it to the taxidermist cuts time and energy and makes life downright easier. These are available at most outdoor stores and typically run $40.

Extra Juice for that Phone
Having a phone alongside you in the stand has become a must for most outdoorsmen.

The popular mophie, which I use while hunting

The popular mophie, which I use while hunting

In addition to the increased safety (always have it where you can reach it if you were dangling by a safety harness) a phone provides, it’s a great communication tool so that you can connect with your hunting buddies. It also allows you to stay in contact with work if you happen to be (a-hem) out sick that day. The problem is you don’t see too many stands with a cell tower plopped next to them, meaning poorer signals often times drain your phone’s battery life. Thus, having an extra power source for your phone can be a handy resource. Among the more popular is the mophie charger shown in the picture. When charged, it can often times double your battery life from the stand. There are plenty of others available (make sure you buy the one right for your hunter’s phone), and the price for these typically run $80. You can find them at most department stores with electronic sections, or at your popular online retailers.

Keep your Gloves on to Text
One of my favorite hunting cartoons I saw this year was of two hunters complaining via text message that they’re not seeing any deer with deer running in front of them while they’re staring at their phone screen!

Gloves made to help you keep typing on your touch phone without taking your gloves off!

Gloves made to help you keep typing on your touch phone without taking your gloves off!

Often times I picture me and my hunting buddies as those hunters! That said, my buddy Jason helped me learn about a pair of thin layered gloves by Red Head that have metallic-like tipped thumb and index fingers to allow you to type on your touch phone while you text. They work! And they’re not too pricey at $14. You need to buy this particular pair at Bass Pro Shops, which owns the Red Head brand.

Safety Harness
This is another return gift to our list, but that’s because safety harnesses have come a long way in recent years with their overall comfort and ease of use.

The Spider system

The Spider system

While still pricey for many models, the newer designs allow you go comfortably wear outer layers over top of the harness and still achieve maximum comfort. Among the more popular designs this year are the Live Wire systems by Spider. These typically range in price from $110-$140 and come in popular sizes from youth to big fella. Dick’s, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, Academy Sports and Bass Pro Shops (among many others) all carry several models.

How far is that from here?
If your hunting giftee was seen kicking up dust and cussing like a sailor this archery season, it could be because he or she missed a deer by misjudging the distance of a shot. It happens. A lot.

A popular model among the higher priced variety of rangefinders

A popular model among the higher priced variety of rangefinders

The price on range finders has come down significantly in recent years and there are a number of affordable, and very effective models now on the market. In a discussion recently amongst hunting buddies, we all agreed that it might be one of the most “necessary” pieces of equipment we take hunting with us these days. And it makes for a nice gambling tool to see how far different things are from your inlaws picture window if things get a little boring around the holiday dinner! New models have different margins for errors and long-distance capabilities, and are available for anywhere from $80 to several hundred dollars. Do a little research online to find the best fit for your wallet.

McAlister does it right
Among my favorite outdoor purchases in 2012 forced me to include it into the Gift Guide.

The heavy jac from McAlister

The heavy jac from McAlister

McAlister makes a waterproof hunting jac / shirt that I personally field tested in cold, wind and rain in 2012. And I’m pleased to say it passed easily. I ended up purchasing both the lightweight and heavyweight versions of the shirt for different hunting conditions. They’re extremely comfortable and have several pockets for phones, shells, etc. They are typically $75-$100 each depending on weight of insulation and available at places like Mack’s Prairie Wings or several online retailers.

The ol’ standbys
Try as I may, I decided to go against my conventional gut and include a couple of items that have been on the AHT Gift Guide the last several years. Why? Because they shouldn’t be overlooked as a gift for a hunter if he or she doesn’t already have one. They’re becoming (or in one case have become) great tools to help enhance the hunting experience.

Rarely do I, or any of my hunting buddies, go afield without some video recording device in tow. While I personally carry a Kodak Zi8 most of the time, there are a number of popular models available.

The Hero 2 by GoPro

The Hero 2 by GoPro

The GoPro HD Hero 2 has to be one to consider thanks to its quality and durability. As I write this, the Hero 3 also has made its way to the shelves of most retailers. They typically run $200 (Hero 2) to $300 (Hero 3) but offer a few updates in the newer version to make it worth considering.

Finally, I’m not sure we’ll ever take the idea of a trail camera off of our gift guide list! Their functionality continues to rise at the same rate their price continues to drop.

The Truth Cam 35 Ultra by Primos

The Truth Cam 35 Ultra by Primos

You can buy a fantastic trail camera with great battery life for under $100. That seems almost unheard of when thinking back just a few short years ago when the 35mm film versions were several hundred dollars. If your hunter doesn’t have one, it’s a great toy to buy him or her.

And if you don’t feel like spending more than $10, consider hand warmers, gloves or a nice bottle of scent eliminator. They may not be flashy ideas, but I’ll bet they get used. For past gift guides, click here.

Happy Holidays all!