The holidays are the perfect time to fill the holes you discovered in your kit during the hunting season this year. These are some of the tools I found myself reaching for again and again this season. Use these to ignite your imagination for your own list or to shop for the hunters in your life.
These range in price from about $20 to about $1000, but they’re listed in order of how much I loved them this season.
KuduPoint Broadheads $42
I’ve been using KuduPoint Broadheads for three years and I can’t imagine using anything else. I’ve killed deer, antelope, coyote and turkey with them. The best thing about them is that they fly exactly like a field point. I’ve shot them on four different sets of arrows, two compound bows and a crossbow and they always fly exactly like my field points without any additional tuning. It’s amazing.
Kudu’s are also easy to sharpen and they lay flat in your pack. There are no removable parts, nothing to come loose. They’re just ready to use again and again.
SIG Kilo 1000 Rangefinder $170
I’ve got the slightly older version of this SIG KILO1000 rangefinder. Mine is 4x20mm, whereas the current models are 5x20mm. I’ve previously owned a 7x rangefinder from another manufacturer, and this is far superior.
The optics are excellent and there is not any colored tint to the image like I’ve seen from many other manufacturers. The 5x magnification is terrific for archery hunting because you get a much larger field of view which makes it easier to acquire the target in the viewer, and it still works very well for average rifle work. It’s lightweight and not too costly. If you have a SIG BDX scope, get the BDX model to share ballistics with your scope. You’ll find the non-BDX versions for sale at major retailers for about $170.
Kestrel Glassing Systems Weightless Monopod $99
This is the best tool I’ve used all year. It works as a monopod to stabilize your binoculars while glassing, but it uses an integrated pulley to balance the weight of the binoculars and make them weightlessly float up and down and in every direction.
Cast Iron Skillet $21
As a gift, you can’t go wrong with cast iron cookware — and it’s incredibly affordable. If your hunter doesn’t own a skillet, yet, then a great choice is a 12″ skillet, like this one from Camp Chef. I use it on the stove, in the oven, in the smoker, and at camp. My second two favorites are an 8″ skillet and a flat-bottom dutch oven.
InReach GPS Messager $250+
If you’re like me, you’ll reach a point where your wife or your mom worrying about you alone in the mountains threatens to either end your hunting or end your relationship. Fortunately, the Garmin InReach can help alleviate the problem. It lets you send messages to loved ones even when you’re outside cellular coverage, and it includes a map location of where you were when you sent the message. You can also use it to call for emergency rescue. When your relationship is on the line, the InReach may be the solution. I found mine on sale at Costco.
HydraPak Water Bladder $25
I’ve had bad experiences with water bladders leaking all my water away on a long hike. I’ve had their lids jam, and I’ve had mold grow in the corners of the bag. However, the plusses are so great that I keep on trying them out. For the last four years I’ve been using HydraPak bladders and I’ve had only positive experiences. There’s no lid to jam, they turn completely inside out and are dishwasher safe. You’ll find them on sale for under $25. Pro Tip: store them in the freezer to keep mold away.
Torino Tungsten Carbide Knife $199
This is the latest knife from Sandrin Knives of Italy. We’ve talked about Sandrin before on GunsAmerica. They are 100% tungsten carbide, which is extremely hard and they stay sharp so much longer than any other knife that they are completely incomparable.
I’ve used one of their older folding models to gut and completely butcher a black bear, two deer, and an elk all without sharpening the blade. And it still slices paper like it was brand new.
The new Torino folder has G10 scales and the new recoil lock. It’s available for order now at Sandrin Knives.
Danner Pronghorn Boots $175 (on sale now)
Having foot problems are the quickest way to end a hunt. Danner Pronghorns are some of the best hunting boots available and they stand out from the crowd simply because they fit feet well. I used to sell boots at Cabela’s and I sold dozens of pairs of Pronghorns.
Unlike many boots, Pronghorns are shaped like a foot with room in the toebox and the width to truly fit most people’s feet. The biggest feature of these boots is that the sole’s heel is very wide. That makes them stable and reduces the pressure on your feet. I’ve been wearing these for nearly four years and they’re one of the only shoes I’ve owned that lets me stand on my feet for hours and hours without feeling fatigued.
Meat Ginder $200+
A meat grinder expands the kinds of food a hunter can make. I love roasts and steaks and stews, but it’s nice to have breakfast sausage and burger and other easily eaten meats, too.
Grinders vary greatly in cost and quality. Power equals speed in a grinder, so a bigger motor — like 3/4 horsepower — costs more. You’ll also pay more for quality brands like Cabela’s and LEM. For hunters, I’d recommend against the kind that mounts to your Kitchen-aid mixer or the hand turned kind. I’ve just purchased the STX Turboforce II grinder. It’s a bit of a gamble, but it was well-reviewed on Amazon and the price was unbeatable. I’ll have a review up once I’ve used it more, but so far so good.
For the Hunter Who Has It All: Henry’s .410 Axe $970
Some folks have everything they need and there’s not much you can give that they need. So why not give them something they definitely don’t need, like the lever action .410 Axe from Henry.
This gun is totally unnecessary and incredibly fun. It’s won’t make you a better hunter or a better shooter, but it’ll put a smile on your face every time you use it. If your freezer is already full of quail for the season, take this along next time to increase the challenge when pursuing small game. Shoot it like a pistol or from the hip. Everyone who shoots it grins from ear to ear. Be sure to buy the holster, too.
Got some other ideas for must have gifts for hunters? Please share in the comments, and have a happy holiday!