Those of us that hunt and fish and love spending time in the outdoors can be a bit difficult to shop for. For a bit over a quarter-century, I have written my annual “Christmas Gifts” column where I highlight some gifts sure to please most any outdoor person. Some of the gifts have become “standards”, such as a Smokin Tex electric smoker that I consider a must have for anyone that enjoys cooking fish and game or, domestic meats. But each year I add some new items that I think the outdoor types on your shopping list might enjoy. So, here’s this year’s list. I will include the web site where you can go and learn more about each item.
ELECTRIC SMOKER For the past 12 years, I have used my Smokin Tex model 1400 electric smoker to prepare literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of pounds of tasty smoked game meats, hams and sausages. My smoker makes outdoor cooking fun and easy. On many occasions, I let my Smokin Tex do the work of transforming wild hog or venison hams into tender BBR during the evening hours while I sleep. Every outdoors person needs one! www.smokintex.com
GAME ALERT by Hogman Outdoors www.hogmanoutdoors.com. If you hunt hogs at night, you definitely need a Game Alert. The unit attached via magnets to your feeder. Its sole purpose it to alert the hunter when hogs arrive. When the small red light comes on, it’s time to get the bow or rifle into position and make the shot. The Game Alert makes night hunting much more enjoyable. Just watch for the indicator light to come on when the hogs show up!
PHOTON XT DIGITAL SCOPE I’ve used my Photon XT to harvest several wild hogs and use it for all my night hog hunting. With a price tag of less than $500, I’ve found it the ideal unit for shooting hogs at night, offered at a very reasonable price. The Photon XT doubles as a day scope but even on the darkest of nights, it lights the hogs and predators up. Check it out at www.sightmark.com
AIRFORCE AIRGUN’S “Texan” big bore air rifle– Air rifles aren’t what they were a few decades ago. Airforce Airguns www.airforceairguns.com came out with the first production big bore air rifle a few years ago and today the Texas remains the most powerful production air rifle available. The .45 caliber charged with 3,000 psi. air pressure and loaded with the 350 grain Hunters Supply bullet develops 500 foot pounds of energy, plenty to cleanly harvest the biggest game animal in North America.
PROFESSIONAL QUALITY CATFISH AND CRAPPIE RODS AND ACCESSORIES – Pro Angler Tackle (www.proanglertackle.com) makes some of the best fishing rods and accessories on the market. Check out the website to order the perfect fishing rod for the angler on your shopping list.
OUTDOOR COOKING SUPPLIES Butcher Packer Supply www.butcher-packer.com is my one stop shop for all my outdoor cooking needs. Butcher Packer offers a large variety of sausage making kits, spices, cures and jerky seasonings as well as meat grinders, sausage stuffers, knives and everything else needed for processing game meat at home.
CATFISH BUBBLEGUM If you have a catfisherman on your shopping list, what could be better than a “no stink” catfish bait that actually catches fish. Catfish guide Bradley Doyle came out with his “no stink” catfish bait over a year ago and it’s really caught on with catfish anglers. Visit the website at www.catfishbubblegum.com.
FIELD LOCKER BOW CASE Every bow hunters needs a tough case that is “airline proof” to insure his bow is undamaged when traveling. The “Field Locker” by Plano more than fills the bill! It even has wheels! Whether your sportsman is flying cross-continent or driving into the back country for a one day hunt, the Field Locker compound bow case is designed for exceptional protection and durability. Check it out and all the other fine gun and bow cases at www.planomolding.com
THE ELEMINATOR AND “THE REMOTE” Karl Harmon with Ultramatic Feeders www.ultramaticfeeders.com always stays on the cutting edge with outdoor products. A few years ago, he introduced The Eleminator that mounts to the one-quarter inch shaft of a feeder motor and replaces the standard spinner plate. Working on centrifugal force, the Eleminator opens only when the motor is spinning, distributing corn and closes tightly when corn is dispensed, sealing off access to pesky raccoons or squirrels. THE REMOTE is a little unit that allows the hunter to dispense corn with the touch of a button. This helps pull game back to the feeding station.
GOOD READING Fur and Fangs in a relatively new, glossy magazine devoted to predator and hog hunting. Written, published and edited by a dedicated team of experienced outdoors professionals, Fur and Fangs is a must read for hunters. Visit www.furandfangs.com /subscribe
My book, KILL TO GRILL, the Ultimate Guide to hunting and cooking wild hogs is available through Amazon. Once on the website, just search “Kill to Grill.”
OUTDOOR APP I discovered a most useful outdoor app for my smart phone a few months ago. It’s called HUNTSTAND. It’s free at the App store and offers an awesome GPS tracking program as well as many other free features. This one might be difficult to wrap and put under the Christmas tree but you can always let your outdoors person know how to find it. For more information, www.huntstand.com.
Listen to “Outdoors with Luke Clayton and Friends” weekends on radio stations from Nebraska to Texas or anytime online at www.catfishradio.com.