Procrastination is one of the most common habits at Christmas time, especially for men. Some of us get on the ball and get our Christmas shopping completed early, but most of us wait until we absolutely have to open our wallets, fight the crowds and get it done.

Sending a child for a week of conservation camp is a great way to help ensure the future of the hunting and fishing arts and makes an excellent and appreciated gift.

“Conservation camp instills knowledge of not only hunting and fishing, but nature, boating, swimming and other outdoor pursuits in a safe environment,” said Laura Burford, assistant director of the information and education division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “This year, the weekly camp fee includes a junior sportsman’s license.”

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife became involved in youth conservation camping in 1946. Camp John Currie on Kentucky Lake opened in 1949, Camp Earl Wallace on Lake Cumberland in 1951 and Camp Webb on Grayson Lake in 1969. These camps average roughly 4,500 campers each year. Campers may also earn their hunter safety certification while enjoying fun pursuits such as fishing, archery, safely using rifles and shotguns and boating. You may register a child for camp beginning Dec. 20 at

Those who want to give a special gift may sponsor a camper. You may read the letters of these children who want to attend conservation camp, but don’t have the means, at the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation website at

For the first time, outdoors and nature enthusiasts may purchase the 2013 Kentucky Afield calendar for $7.50. The only way to receive a 2013 calendar now is to purchase it separately from a Kentucky Afield magazine subscription. The calendar makes a useful gift for the outdoors enthusiast as it contains hunting season dates, useful outdoor tips and great photography.

Another appreciated gift is a year-long subscription to the award winning magazine, Kentucky Afield, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

For only $10, you’ll receive four issues of the magazine that provides the inside information on current developments affecting the outdoors in Kentucky, articles about new places to hunt and fish plus techniques for success when you get there. You also receive with your subscription the 2014 Kentucky Afield calendar next December. By investing just $8 more, you’ll receive a two-year subscription that includes eight issues of the magazine and the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Kentucky Afield calendar.

You may buy the calendar and a magazine subscription from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at or by calling 1-800-858-1549.

Internationally renowned wildlife artist Rick Hill painted an exact replica with the same dimensions of the 11-pound, 15-ounce world record smallmouth bass caught by Leitchfield’s David Hayes from Dale Hollow Lake in 1955. You may purchase a print of Hill’s painting of this famous fish from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The foundation also offers two other Rick Hill prints for sale. One print depicts the three black bass species: the largemouth, the smallmouth and the spotted or Kentucky bass. The other print, Still Water Buck, portrays a nice buck drinking from a cattail-lined pond.

The proceeds from the sale of these prints support conservation education in Kentucky. Another gift idea from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a license plate featuring Rick Hill’s painting of the world record smallmouth. For more information on purchasing a Rick Hill print or license plate, visit the foundation’s website at

The Kentucky Afield Store at offers official Kentucky Afield merchandise such as the popular and useful Deer Processing DVD. You may also purchase the “Kentucky Afield” Fishing DVD, a collection of some of the best fishing segments on the Emmy award winning “Kentucky Afield” television show.

The store also has four different types of caps for sale: one with a largemouth bass in between Kentucky Afield, the other three with the “Kentucky Afield” television show logo in tan, camo and blaze orange.

Outdoors enthusiasts always need their annual hunting or fishing license. The resident sportsman’s license covers most of the permits a hunter and angler needs and saves $50 over purchasing these licenses and permits separately.

You may purchase gift licenses in the sporting goods section of most department stores, fishing or hunting related stores, online at or by calling 1-877-598-2401. You need the birth date and social security number of the recipient of your gift license before purchasing.

The easiest way to purchase any of these items is with a new Kentucky Fish and Wildlife gift certificate. It works just like those from restaurants or department stores. You can use this gift certificate to buy licenses, merchandise from the Kentucky Afield Store, a subscription to Kentucky Afield magazine or a calendar, passes to Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area or a user permit for Peabody Wildlife Management Area. The gift certificate lasts for five years and is available online at

Use any of these ideas for a gift for the outdoors enthusiast on your list. Unlike socks, robes, after shave or ties, these gifts will be enthusiastically received.

Image courtesy Kentucky Fish and Wildlife

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