Here are some top gift ideas for the hunter and backcountry adventurer in your life. With candy canes and gum drops dancing in your head, it’s never too early to start scheming and dreaming of Christmas.
Hearing protection is crucial because once you lose it — it never regenerates. Whether you’re sighting in your slug gun at the range or putting a stalk on game animals, consider this set of ear pro from Walker’s. They’re electronic, which means you don’t have to sacrifice hearing ambient noise and twigs snapping pinpointing your game.
If you’re like me and muffs mess with your cheekweld, these should be on your Christmas list. They’re also Bluetooth compatible, so you can listen to the tunes on the range, answer a phone call and hear range commands while plinking away.
MSRP: $120 – $160
Headlamps and sharp knives are crucial pieces of a hunter’s kit. These blades from Havalon come with packs of replaceable blades. If you find yourself field skinning an elk and need a fresh, sharp blade, simply pop off the old blade, pull out the replacement blade and shazam — you’re back in business.
The Havalon Piranta is a must have for your pack. This could make a perfect stocking stuffer for the hunter in your life. I’ve used the similar version of the Gerber Vital Pocket Folder and experienced several blades pop off in the middle of skinning an animal. I’d recommend the Havalon over the Gerber. It’s worth the extra $10.
Every backcountry adventurer and hunter knows that it’s imperative to get a good night’s rest. This Klymit KSB 20 Down Sleeping Bag is hard to beat for the price tag. The 650-fill power down will keep you warm and toasty on those frosty nights out in the field.
I’ve taken this bag on several trips and have been impressed and, most importantly, remained warm. I’m always cold while sleeping, but this bag stood up to the test during chilly camping conditions in central Wisconsin. Don’t just take my word for it, this bag also won Outside 2016 Gear of the Year.
As a bonus — whenever you go into the backcountry, consider taking one of Klymit’s LiteWater Dinghy’s along. It packs down to very little, and it easily converts into a dry bag to store gear while crossing deep waters.
I’ve never been more grateful for a piece of gear as when my buddies and I were on a backcountry black bear hunt in Idaho. The only way to retrieve the bear was across the mighty Selway River. Trust me. This piece of kit is worth its weight in gold.
MSRP: $189 (sleeping bag) $169 (LiteWater Dinghy)
Hailed as one of the best new shotguns of 2017, I’d been eyeing a Winchester SX4 since its introduction. For an early fall pheasant and quail hunt in Southern Illinois, my dad and I headed afield with the SX4 Compact. It’s slim ergonomics and lighter overall weight made it a perfect companion for hiking through miles of brush flushing birds.
The overall balance of the light 12-gauge comes with shims that can be easily screwed in to lengthen the overall length of pull. The SX4 is a departure from classic looks as its safety and bolt tab release are large and rectangular. This is Winchester’s modern take on an autoloader and so far, I’ve been impressed with its performance. Its satin walnut finish is beautiful, and the over-sized bolt release and safety are intuitive.
Pulling it straight from the box, it smoked several pheasants, chukars, and quail on a frigid November morning. Not everyone can swing the price of a shotgun for Christmas, but if you’re in the market for a new 12-gauge — add this to your list.
This isn’t the newest offering Benelli has, but it’s a time-proven model. For all you wingshooters out there that have dreams and aspirations of traveling to Argentina for a dove hunt, you can start practicing with a shotgun some of the most world-renowned outfitters use.
Several buddies of mine that have hunted doves in Argentina have raved about the Benelli Montefeltros that helped them pile the doves sky-high. I can’t think of a better proving ground than dove hunting in Argentina, where these models swallowed thousands upon thousands of shells with very little maintenance.
It’s a lofty gift, but it’ll be a scattergun that will keep giving and shooting for generations to come. Think of it as a long-term investment.
We reviewed this rifle earlier in the year, when Clay took it out to help eradicate the Prairie Dog population in Utah.
J.P Sauer & Sohn rifles have a long-standing tradition of high-quality German engineering. If you’re looking for a bolt-action to add to your collection, this one is hard to beat. With their flagship rifles costing thousands of dollars, it’s refreshing to see an offering that the everyman can afford.
The Bushnell Elite 7x26mm is a great option for a lightweight set of quality binos. They boast a RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating, fully-multicoated lens, and long eye relief. They weigh in at 12.2 ounces and would be a worthy addition to any hunter’s pack.
I’ve had a set of these for two years and often grab this pair over other high-quality binos. For a couple hundred bucks you can’t go wrong!
As a kid, you probably cringed and begrudgingly thanked Grandma for that pair of socks you received, however, any hunter would be ecstatic to open up their stocking Christmas morning for a pair of these.
These Smart Wool socks are made from 100 percent merino wool and worth every single penny. Their comfortable cushioning and shock absorption will have you wishing you had a pair for each day of the week. Actually, that may not be a bad idea. Get a pair for every day of the week!
MSRP: $12 — $25