From stocking stuffers to bigger investments, these 10 gift ideas will warm the heart of any deer hunter in your family.
Lacrosse 4X Alpha Hunting Boot – $140
Durability and comfort are rarely combined so well as they are with this boot. It has with four layers of cushioning built for all-day comfort. First, a thick layer of polyurethane is insulated underfoot and won’t compress over time. Under that is a layer of neoprene for added cushion and even more insulation. Next up is a layer of blown rubber for added stability and support. Finally, an extra-thick layer of EVA foam in the heel absorbs impact.
The boots come with either 3.5 or 7 millimeters of neoprene and the option of a snakeboot is available in the 3.5-millimeter model. It is fully waterproof as well. I have walked many miles in this boot and I am surprised at how comfortable it is, when you consider how tough it needs to be to ward off the thorns and barbed wire I encounter in my hunting.
Tree Stand Buddy – $129
With the Tree Stand Buddy system, hunters can have multiple hunting locations ready to use while only owning one lock-on-style treestand! The cutting-edge design of Tree Stand Buddy offers a two-piece bracket system that safely installs most lock-on treestands to almost any tree. The stand bracket attaches to most single- and double-post lock-on stands. The accompanying tree bracket is installed on the tree at the desired height. Smart hunters can install multiple receivers throughout their hunting areas and then simply move their treestand to another location whenever weather conditions or game activity dictates.
The system also allows hunters to use the bracket to hoist their stand up the tree with a rope rather than climbing the tree holding a stand. This safety feature helps reduce the risk of fall or injury.
Hunters Choice Bale Blind – $699
Popping up a hub-style blind at the last minute can spook deer, but a blind that looks like a round bale of hay can easily put them at ease. I have seen deer feeding within a few feet of these blinds the first day they were placed. The Hunters Choice Bale Blind is strong, lightweight, easy to move, and can be left outside all season long under the harshest of conditions. The strong metal frame is built to withstand heavy snow loads and strong winds. The durable hand-sewn natural cover has the toughness to take on several seasons and can easily be removed in just a few minutes for fast and simple off-season storage. The only drawback is the time invested. It takes over an hour to assemble it, so you do not want to move it much. Two guys can easily load it onto a trailer.
H-Tac 750 Flashlight -$99
The days of hauling big Maglites with D-cell batteries have been long gone for some time now, but the lighting options keep improving with brighter lights in smaller packages. The 750-lumen H-Tac is a good example of this trend. This versatile, rugged flashlight is constructed of high-quality, aircraft-grade aluminum with a black anodized finish for added protection and grip. In addition, the soft-touch feature in the push-button tail cap is easily activated while wearing gloves and triggers the three beam modes: ultra-bright, low beam, and tactical strobe. It uses lithium batteries, which are a little spendy, but they provide 1.5 hours of use on full brightness.
WildEars Hearing Protection and Enhancement – $999
This nifty gadget is a significant investment, but protecting your hearing is worth it. Imagine being able to protect your hearing from the damaging blast of a gunshot, but still being able to hear a deer walking in the distance. The Tactical Series was designed specifically for shooters who need reliable mobile hearing protection when working through extensive tactical training courses, but who also require the audible enhancement of being able to hear a rangemanster or range timer. It also has obvious applications for the deer hunter.
The Tactical Series features two digital programs and is loaded with the most advanced digital hearing enhancement and protection technology available to shooters and sportsmen. You’ll also enjoy conversing with other shooters at normal levels without needing to remove your WildEars.
Eastmans’ MRS Reference Book – $49
If you’re looking to hunt out West and don’t know where to start, the Eastmans’ Area Research Book unlocks the secrets of all 11 Western states. Hunting time is at a premium for all of us in the fall, especially if you’re traveling out of state, so get on the fast track to your trophy and the best areas to hunt. The Eastmans’ MRS (Members Research Section) is all under one cover as the ultimate, How-To research guide. At your fingertips you’ll find 368 pages of in-depth hunt unit analysis for every western state, culminating over 2,000 research hours.
Every serious hunter who wants to take a western trip should invest in this book. It will point you in the right direction and save you hours of research work on your own. A limited number of print quantities are available.
Travel Case for Bowhunters – $249
More and more bowhunters are taking to the friendly skies as they travel around the world to bowhunt big game. Plano’s new Field Locker Compound Bow Case is watertight and dustproof. Secure sealing with premium Dry-Loc gaskets coupled with exacting measurements ensure your bow, arrows, and accessories inside will not be affected by hostile elements or environments. Plano’s pledge to protection continues with a high-performance Pressure Release Valve, which equalizes pressure divergence caused by altitude or temperature.
Havalon Titan Combo Knife – $69 to $79
Havalon knives have long been known for their super sharp exchangeable blades, but the new Titan combo offers one traditional blade and one scalpel blade. The Jim Shockey Signature Series knife still uses Havalon’s famous proprietary 60A Quik-Change Havalon Piranta scalpel blades, the favorite of hunters and guides across North America because they’re so incredibly sharp. But the Titan also has a non-replaceable folding Cryo hardened AUS8 blade that lets you put muscle into your work. Both blades lock open. This combination gives you the unmatched sharpness of a Havalon blade and the strength of a traditional folder all in one tool. Best of all, they’re priced competitively to make the Havalon the only knife you’ll ever need.
The Titan has a rugged military-grade polymer handle in black or orange for only $69.99. The new aluminum handle Havalon Titan-Pro sells for $79.99.
Covert Verizon or AT&T Cellular Game Camera – $420
The AT&T or Verizon Network Ready Code Black camera texts photos to your cell phone and/or email address. This technology allows you to see what is going on without having to go to the camera and pull the SD card. The 60 invisible flash LEDs are undetectable and have a flash range of 60-plus feet. The Code Black is great for scouting wildlife and also for security purposes. Of course the camera must be placed where there is cell phone signal.
With these cameras you can avoid human scent and intrusion in your hunting area because you do not have to visit the camera’s location except to change batteries, and the 12 AA batteries last for months. Imagine getting a text with a photo of a trespasser on your property in time to call the authorities and have the violator arrested. You can pattern bucks before you hunt by looking at the photos as they come in.
You do not need to add the expense of another number and a full data plan to your cell phone bill for this camera, you can pay as you go. About $25 will get you through a three-month scouting and hunting season.
Hawk Hunting XLPOR Treestand – $179
Fidgety hunters do not see many deer. Especially for long vigils in a treestand, it’s hard to overestimate the value of a comfortable stand. The XLPOR has taken comfort to new heights with the tractor seat that provides back and spine support. You really have to sit in this stand to grasp how comfortable it is.
Teflon washers at all the joints eliminate squeaks and the quick connect mounting system is easy to install. Extra mounting brackets are available so you can leave them in the trees and just move the stand itself quickly and easily.
The aluminum stand is covered with a textured powdercoating and weighs only 11.5 pounds.
Follow Bernie’s bowhunting adventures on his blog, bowhuntingroad.com.