On the Outdoors: Gift suggestions for the outdoor enthusiast on your Christmas list

Dear Santa,

Every outdoor enthusiast needs more stuff. And that in itself is enough to make shopping for that special, although often absent, sportsman or woman easy. But it’s not because he or she already has everything, or at least it seems so. So let’s go shopping.

For the deer hunter think about a range finder. These pocket size gadgets quickly and accurately provide the exact yardage to a target. Bow hunters live by yardage and gun hunters are learning to depend on the same data. Even golfers are using range finders to help them select the right club. Prices range from less than $100 to $400 and like most modern marvels, you get what you pay for.

Rifle scopes

Serious rifle shooters are drooling over the new scopes that offer features which take the guess work out of shooting at varied distances. To buy the right one take a shot, but be sure the scope can be exchanged for the perfect model.

And most target shooters can use a lead sled or shooting platform for sighting in rifles and scopes.

If the hunter on your shopping list is a female, you are in luck because clothing manufacturers are now sewing outdoor clothing lines just for women which fit curves and needs. Every outdoor-oriented catalog and retail outlet has ladies clothing in all the best camo patterns. Hunting may not be a style contest but it is nice to be comfortable and less likely to trip over baggy hand-me-downs.

Duck hunters

If he is a duck and goose hunter he wants a ground blind. How do I know? Trust me. If $200 sounds like a lot just take a look at his pile of waterfowl gear. See what I mean? Ground blinds, or lay-out blinds as they are often called, are the hottest thing going this year so a decent one should be easy to find.

He’ll also appreciate neoprene gloves for retrieving decoys, a waterproof cap and everyone likes clip-on LED lights that attach to the bill of a cap.

The secret to buying clothing for hunters is to sneak a look at the hangers (usually chairs and idle exercise equipment) where he deposits wet gear. Check tags and condition to see what might need replaced, understanding that tattered and comfortable can be easily confused.

Snooping technique

Another secretive method of snooping is to check the outdoor catalogs he’s been studying. Look for folded page corners and circled items. Another trick is to ask what his hunting buddies are hoping for this holiday. Hunting buddies always have the same gear and gadgets. It’s a no brainer.

Fishermen are a bit tougher to buy for. Your best bet is to simply ask what he wants because there’s no use buying things that won’t see the light of day. Bird feeders are always welcome, along with a small stash of wild bird feed. So are informative videos (CDs), books, magazine subscriptions, gift cards and maps.

Stocking stuffers include boot socks, boot waterproofing, knife sharpener, duffle bag, sun glasses, small parts boxes, multi tool, hand cream, small first aid kit, flashlight, one pint stainless thermos, soft lunch cooler, ear plugs and sun screen. And don’t forget a pocket camera.

Don’t spend over $150 and keep it small. And too, enroll him or her in a digital photography night class.

About the Author

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian. More Stories by Mike Tontimonia

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