By Luke Clayton
For the past 26 years, around the first week of December, I have compiled a list of sometimes hard to find but always very useful gifts for sportsmen/sportswomen. Those of us that enjoy the outdoors often use items that are not readily available. My goal with this weeks column is to give you some ideas that will help you find that “just right ” gift for the outdoor folks on your shopping list. For more information on these gift ideas, visit the web sites. There is still plenty of time to get the gifts ordered and shipped before Christmas!
ELECTRIC SMOKER I have a Smokin Tex Electric Smoker www.smokintex.com that I’ve used on a very regular basis for the past eight years. I depend upon my unit for everything from making jerky to slow smoking wild hog and venison hams. Cooking meat with a Smokin Tex is extremely easy. It only takes a few ounces of wood in the smoke box and the thermostat allows precise temperature control. These units are extremely well built and last for years. Several size units are available, they are all top quality, the only difference is the amount of meat that each will handle.
ARCHERY EQUIPMENT Darton Archery www.dartonarchery.com has been building quality bows since 1950 and today, offers a wide variety of compound and crossbows. Their compounds are some of the fastest; easy to shoot bows on the market and the company is a leader in producing very rugged, accurate crossbows. If you are looking for a bow for a youngster, take a close look at the Darton line. These youth bows are designed to easily adjusted to fit the young shooter as he or her grows.
HUNTING BLINDS Snap Lock Hunting Blinds www.snaplockhuntingblinds.com offers lightweight blinds that snap together in a matter of minutes. I’ve used my Snap Lock for the past year and enjoy having an easy to transport blind with solid walls and a roof. The panels weigh about 15 pounds each and can easily be transported into tough to get to areas. I have one of my blinds set up in a grove of oaks in a very remote area that would be next to impossible to transport a fully assembled blind into. These blinds are economically priced, especially when one factors in the cost of building materials for a wooden blind.
FRISCO SPICES www.friscospices.com Most hunters and fishermen enjoy putting the fruits of their outings to good use. Frisco Spices offers everything for the outdoor cook/butcher. Here, you will find everything from spices for making jerky, sausage and curing meats to meat grinders and just about everything in between. The owner, Mike Pullen is also a storehouse of knowledge for anything related to sausage making, meat curing, or preserving foods.
SUN OPTICS USA www.sunopticsusa.com There was a time when quality sporting optics were very costly and the more economically priced products were often a ticket to frustration. No longer, today if one shops wisely, very rugged and reliable riflescopes and binoculars can be purchased at a fraction of the price of a couple decades ago. Sun Optics offers a full line of optics. I use their scopes and binoculars and have found them to hold up extremely well.
AIR RIFLES Air rifles of today are vastly different from the guns many of us grew up shooting. Airforce Airguns www.airforceairguns.com make an awesome line of air guns that are very accurate and hard-hitting. These rifles are filled to pressures of 3,000 psi via a pressure tank and are very effective on small game and pests or, target shooting. To purchase a full line of air guns and air gun supplies, visit www.rlairgunsupply.com . When shopping for cast lead bullets for air rifles, muzzleloaders, pistols or center fire rifles, visit www.hunterssupply.com.
GAME CALLS Cass Creek www.casscreek.com offers a wide variety of electronic game calls that I’ve used for years. Some of the calls are “pocket size” and perfectly mimic the sound of feeding wild hogs, turkey, or sounds such as injured rabbit or woodpecker to bring in predators. Cass Creek also offers The Waggler, which is a unit that sets up in front of the hunter and produces not only sound, but a tail that ‘waggles’ as well as scent to bring coyotes or cats in close.
A guided fishing or hunting trip also makes a great gift, but care must be taken to insure the outing is tailored to suit the individual. Most fishermen would enjoy a guided trip for stripers, catfish or crappie where all they had to be concerned with is catching fish, rather than towing and launching the boat and finding the fish. Through the years, I have had the pleasure of fishing and writing about countless guides. Feel free to contact me email@example.com if you might need direction in finding the right guide for your fisherman. Make sure and let me know what species will be of most interest and make sure and mention the lake they might wish to fish. Now is a great time to plan a late season deer hunt or possibly combo hunt for deer and hogs.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you choose the perfect gift for your outdoor person. Of course, you can always give them a gift card to a sporting goods store but that’s not nearly as personal as surprising them with something that they might not be able to find on the shelves.
Listen to Outdoors with Luke Clayton on radio stations from Nebraska to Texas or online anytime at www.catfishradio.com.