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Tag Archives: Gift Guide

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!

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3rd Annual AHT Holiday Gift Guide for Sportsmen

If you’re shopping for a sportsman, it can be difficult thumbing through the way-too-many Christmas catalogs that come from the big-box hunting retailers (Note: you know which stores they are – the ones that repackage the same catalog and send it once a week to your door. I joke, but I still go through each one!).

Well, here’s hoping we can make it a little easier for the shopper. And if you’re the one being shopped for, just send this post to your shopper!

Touch of Outdoors
Remington Country, U.S.A. (Remington’s new, updated online store) has several items to accessorize your favorite outdoorsman. The site is loaded with great gift ideas. A couple possibilities with class include cuff links made from the brass of a Remington shell, as well as Remington money clips.

The new store also has several assembled gift boxes to choose from that include accoutrements such as cleaning equipment, knives, hats, etc. Those come in a number of price ranges (from $20-$80). There also is a gift box targeted (pun intended) at women.

Through Dec. 19, orders of a certain price get 15% off at checkout.

Compact Video Camera
This is the third year in a row that the compact video camera has made the holiday gift guide. And if your hunter does not-yet have one, he or she wants one. I promise. They take video, they double as a still camera. They are compact enough to tuck into a coat or pant pocket, and they take phenomenal HD-quality video.

And here’s the best news: They have come down in price over the last several years. In fact, I found this price for a Koday PLAYTOUCH digital video camera while doing a little searching for a friend. The great price is probably a sign of a new model coming next year, but this camera seems like a winner to me.

And if it’s headed to your favorite sportsman, remember to add a flexible tripod to make their life easier afield.

Trail camera
Much like video cameras, trail cameras have come out of the stratosphere with respect to price. Now, even if your hunter has 1-2 trail cameras, there is always room for another.

Several retailers have “get in the door” pricing on several cameras this year. There are pros and cons to buying any brand, but most do a respectable job based on the price point they’re selling at.

Blue Book of Gun Values
Most hunters who own more than one gun has an interest in the values of their own inventory, as well as some of the guns they would like to own down the road.

The best book I’ve found for this is the Blue Book of Gun Values. There are plenty of others, but this annual digest has an enormous list of gun values and breaks them down by the condition of the weapon. While it’s not necessary to get the updated version each year, it is nice to refresh with an updated version of the digest every five years or so.

A non-gamer’s video game
I am not a “gamer.” I don’t mind playing a little Wii bowling or tennis from time to time, but it’s been 20 years since I mastered the code to go straight to fight Mike Tyson in Punch Out on Nintendo.

That said, I’m more intrigued than ever by the new line of hunting “simulations” that are available across all gaming platforms. And since we have a Wii in our house, I think I could see myself playing the new Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012 from time to time.

My hunch is most avid outdoorsmen wouldn’t mind giving it a shot in the offseason.

A gun kit
Does your hunter double as a “Do It Yourselfer”? If so, how about purchasing a black-powder kit and allow him to build the gun that he will hunt with next season?

There are a few common brands that are affordable ($300ish) that essentially provide all the parts for a hunter to assemble a tack-driving nostalgic muzzleloading gun.

There are pistols too.

New floor mats for the truck!
Chances are, his or hers are dirty. And there are a number of aftermarket brands that make great, custom-fit floor mats that keep the dirt, grime and mud out of your truck’s floorboards. They range in prices, but they pay for themselves by keeping your truck clean.

Yeti Cooler
Looking to spend a little more dough on your loved one? A YETI cooler could be a perfect gift. Ranging in price ($250-$800) based on size, these coolers are about as good as it gets for keeping colds cold and hots hot. They have an unmatched amount of insulation and are molded to keep things from leaking.

They are really nice!

Big Rack Shedz
A neat little touch for any hunter, these miniature shed antlers are designed to hang from a rearview mirror. They are under $15.

The company also makes miniature European mounts of several animals that can stick to a dash.

Flaunt that you’re a hunter!


Last-Minute Gift Ideas For Your Hunter!

Christmas shopping can be a little bit like deer hunting. You can spend weeks afield without finding the right deer, much like you can waste several hours in stores seeking the right gifts. As my 2010 hunting season can atest – sometimes it only takes a few hours to get the job done.

With that, I suppose it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts! I mean, there are still two solid afternoons to buy gifts. For those of you looking for ideas on the go, here are a few that can help make the hunter in your life very happy this year.

Socks … and I mean really good socks
Very few items you take hunting with you can be more important than a quality, warm pair of hunting socks. They’re easy to purchase, but here’s one where you can get what you pay for.

Warm socks are vital to a happy day afield in those cold November and December days

I hunt mostly with a wool/cotton combination and wear only one pair (no matter the temperature).

A quality sock will keep your feet warm (when coupled with the appropriate boot) at all conditions. Most quality socks run anywhere from $12-$16 per pair. And you can find them at any sporting goods store.

Boots … And I mean good boots
I purchased a pair of Irish Setter RutMaster boots with the ExoFlex system after doing a lot of shopping (trying on) earlier this fall. They’ve been a comfortable, warm boot for some of the cold conditions I’ve hunted.

Irish Setter RutMaster boots

There are other quality boots out there. I also have a couple pair of Muck boots that I like wearing. If your hunter is worried about scent control, be sure to focus your attention on rubber boots. Prices vary by level of Thinsulate insulation and manufacturer. A good 800 gr boot will run a shade more than $100 in most cases. The particular boot I referenced is usually $139. It’s expensive, but a hunter’s wheels are the root to having a positive hunt.

A handheld video camera to document all the partying at camp … I mean, all the hunting afield
I’ve talked in the past about how much I enjoy my Kodak Zi8 when I’m hunting. It’s a great little camera that captures HD quality video and takes pretty good photos to boot.

The Zi8

There are several manufacturers who make similar cameras (Flip being the most popular), but it is worth noting that Kodak is the only manufacturer I’m aware of that actively markets to outdoorsmen.

The Rochester, N.Y., company has a couple models that are designed for sportsmen. They look a lot like the Zi8 I purchased before they started doing that and I’m not sure I’d trade my camera for another now that I have gotten used to it. It fits on my hip in a case and has been a blast the last two hunting seasons. The price on these also varies, but be prepared to spend $150-$200.

A knife sharperner
This is another quality gift that is worth mentioning as a possibility each year. These range in quality, functionality and price. Chef’s Choice makes a wide array of sharpeners.

A popular Chef's Choice model

There are several out there, including a Cabela’s licensed brand that is very similar to the Chef’s Choice.

If you spend a little more than bottom dollar, you can get one that sharpens both straight edge and surrated. This makes a great sharpener for those kitchen knives too. The biggest difference is the number of stages the sharpener will run a knife through. Most are 2-4 stages. The price range of sharpeners is between $35 and $200. A good one can be purchased for $50.

The ‘uh oh, I forgot to shop and need the greatest gift to give’ idea
If you’re in the mood to wow your hunter and looking to find an awesome gift OR you have a future hunter that you’d like to provide a legacy for, giving a lifetime license could be the perfect gift.

Most states now sell Lifetime Licenses for residents and they can be pricey (most lifetime hunting licenses are $500 for adults), but pay huge dividends for a lifelong hunter. It’s a purchase I made years ago and have since made for my daughter. Many states offer a very attractive price to buy for young kids (sometimes infants under 1 year old).

Check with your local state department of natural resources or game commission for more information. All I’ve ever checked into could be purchased online.

Have a great holiday!
Kurt