Let’s face it, it takes a lot of gear to hunt waterfowl, and it has to be tough enough to withstand the constant wear and tear that comes from marsh and field hunting. The holidays are right around the corner. If you’re wondering about the perfect gift to give the waterfowl hunter in your life, here are a few suggestions. You can’t go wrong with any of these items— from stocking stuffers to gifts to place under the tree, these eleven items are sure to please. All of these items are tough and have been tested extensively in various waterfowl hunting applications and conditions.
The Hangman Bird Carrying System is a new and innovative product that is perfect for carrying ducks and geese out of the field. It has two patented nine-inch aluminum clips that ensure you will not lose your birds. They lock into place. You just slide them in and they will stay there until you remove them. I always carry two in my blind bag. It is also a great way to keep your limits separated while in the blind or on a field hunt making it easy to ensure you will be in compliance with the law if checked by the game warden. It’s really amazing that you can fit so many birds into the Hangman without the risk of losing them. You can add extra clips to the rings on either side of the neoprene shoulder strap and it easily allows you to carry over ten ducks and seven geese on one carrier. I did a review on the Hangman back in November, you can read it here.
You can’t go wrong with HEVI-Shot’s HEVI-Metal ammunition. I would suggest three-inch number 2s for ducks and three to three-and-a-half-inch BBs for geese. The high-density, high-energy shells use a trademarked Pattern-Density Technology that puts 20% more lethal pellets on the target at 40 yards than any steel ammunition currently on the market. I have found that HEVI-Metal patterns beautifully at forty to fifty yards and really knocks birds out of the sky. Each shell is a half charge of iron shot pellets, with a second charge of tungsten iron shot and is a reasonably priced alternative to HEVI-Shot. I have personally found that I encounter fewer cripples and more lethal shots on ducks and geese when using HEVI-Metal in comparison to other brands of shells on the market. HEVI-Metal makes a great holiday gift for any waterfowl hunter and truly provides a huge value for the price.
HEVI-Shot’s Speedball ammunition out-patterns any other shell of its kind on the market. They are a little more expensive than the HEVI-Metal but are lethal at a greater range of sixty yards. HEVI-Shot’s Speedball is similar to HEVI-Shot’s HEVI-Metal loads as it has a layering of shot. A layer of copper-encased steel pellets sits at the base of the shell, topped by a layer of HEVI-Shot. The benefits are more velocity without increasing chamber pressure. You get a higher pellet count in a 30-inch circle than you get with regular HEVI-Shot and it just about matches the lethal energy of HEVI-Shot out to 60 yards. Speedball comes out of the box at a velocity of 1650 FPS and packs one heck of a punch. HEVI-Shot’s Speedball would make the perfect stocking stuffer for the waterfowl hunter in your life.
The Yentzen Duck Call was the first-ever patented double reed duck call, and it has a rich history. The Yentzen was designed and patented in 1959 by James “Cowboy” Fernandez. It is as beautiful and consistent today as it was in 1959 and is a great choice for any serious waterfowl hunter. They are made of black walnut and have that unmistakably true duck sound. Each of the Sure Shot calls comes with a lifetime guarantee, with a price that is hard to beat. When I started hunting ducks in the early seventies my first call was a Sure Shot call; they just sound great.
Another great choice for that avid Waterfowler is the Sure Shot Honker Goose Call. They are inexpensive, well designed and they hold up well in harsh conditions. Each call is tuned to give it that unmistakable resonating deep sound of the Canadian Honker. The Canadian Honker Goose Call is very forgiving and makes a great choice for the seasoned hunter or the new hunter learning to call geese. The Sure Shot Honker Goose Call is made of a high grade plastic and will give years of service while hunting in the field. All of the Sure-Shot Game Calls are backed by a lifetime Guarantee and provide a really super value for the money.
Sure Shot’s best selling call is the Sure Shot Special Mallard Duck Call, and it’s no wonder as it really brings in the ducks. Each Sure Shot Special Mallard call features a true double reed design, a sure quack reed system that will not stick or lock, and the sure quack trough system that gives each call that unmistakable sure shot duck call sound. Each call is constructed of a high grade plastic that is able to withstand the harshest waterfowl hunting conditions. These calls are also tuned and tested in the sure shot factory by professional waterfowlers to ensure that consistently true duck sound. This call, like all of the sure shot game calls, is well-priced and comes with their lifetime guarantee.
Hodgman is one of the oldest and best known wader manufactures in the United States. The company started in 1838 in Framingham, Massachusetts and has been making some of the best waders on the market since its founding. Hodgman offers several lines of waterfowl hunting waders, but my personal favorite are the Dura-Mag 1600 Chest Waders. The Hodgman Dura-Mag waders really offer the ultimate in comfort, warmth and durability in a neoprene waterfowl hunting wader. They come with a fleece lining, reinforced knees and seat, 12 shotgun shell holders, and a really nice hand warming system. All of the Hodgman Dura-Mag 1600s come with the Real Tree Max-4 wetland camo pattern and a comfortable and easy to adjust neoprene and webbing suspenders system. They are super tough and warm, the perfect combination for the avid waterfowl hunter. Hodgman Dura-Mag 1600’s waders make the perfect Holiday gift to place under the tree.
M2D Camo Waterfowl Hunting Vest ($99.99)
M2D stands for “Made to Deceive” and this camouflage does just that; it is astonishing how well this pattern blends into almost any environment. The M2D pattern is perfect for field and marsh hunting and it seems to actually blend in to your surroundings in both high and low lighting. The M2D Camo Waterfowl Hunting Vest has four individual duck call pockets, two goose call pockets, two shell holder pockets, a detachable seat cushion, a lined and waterproof game pouch and two felt lined hand warmer pockets. The vest itself is very warm and is the perfect addition to wear over your waders. It is really gratifying to have enough pockets that are easy to get to when you’re hunting. The M2D Waterfowl Hunting vest gives you that extra storage space you need while waterfowl hunting at an affordable price. Any avid waterfowl hunter would be happy to receive the M2D Camo Waterfowl Hunting Vest as a gift for the holidays.
Hard Core’s newest addition to the Hardcore line is the Magnum Mallard Floater decoy. Designed to provide years of use, even in harshest conditions, these decoys are tough. The relaxed posture and paint scheme is ultra realistic and comes with a three year paint guarantee, among other decoy brands they truly stand out. The new Hardcore Magnum Mallards have a weighted attached keel, with finger hole and line adjuster and are pre-rigged with a Texas style rig and 36 inches of line. Each decoy is 18 inches long and they ride extremely well in both calm and rough water. The new Hardcore Magnum Mallard decoys are available in a six pack, and are very competitively priced. All of Hardcore’s products are made by waterfowlers, for waterfowlers, and the new magnum mallard is no exception. Any serious waterfowler would be delighted to add these to their spread, and they make a great choice for the holidays.
As the holidays approach, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for the hunter who has everything, you should take a look at HEVI-Shot’s new casual apparel line. HEVI-Shot‘s casual clothing line is a great choice for the waterfowl hunter, perfect for running around town or lying around the house after a successful hunt. Baseball caps, hoodies, long-sleeved and short-sleeved t-shirts all emblazoned with the ultra-cool HEVI-Shot logo. This new clothing line is sure to turn heads and is a great way to show off your waterfowl hunting passion all year around.
Every waterfowler has a lot of equipment that they must haul to and from the blind, boat or wherever they hunt. The Avery Floating Blind Bag has over 1000 cubic inches of storage space and it is water tight. It can carry and float up to 12 boxes of three-inch 12 gauge shotgun shells with ease. The flotation pads built into the side of the bag ensure you will never lose you equipment by accidentally dropping it in the water. The Avery bag has a spacious main compartment and nine storage pockets which gives plenty of room to store additional equipment the waterfowler needs on a hunt. The bag comes in several wetland camo patterns including, marsh grass and buck brush, and has a tough adjustable shoulder strap for added ease in carrying it from the truck to the blind. The floating blind bag from Avery Outdoors is a great choice to give for the holidays.
Hangman image courtesy Andy McDaniels/Hangman, all other images courtesy respective manufacturers