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Twelve Christmas suggestions for the Outdoorsmen in your life

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A few of the more industrious ones among us have already finished their Christmas shopping.  Some have not yet started. Most of us are in the middle of the hustle and bustle.  If you have an avid outdoorsmen on your list here are a few suggestions that always work.

1. A good outdoor watch will certainly be used. I can’t really hunt or fish without a watch.  At different times of the day I want to be at a certain honey hole when fish have gone on a bite before.  Legal shooting times need to be adhered to closely.  Solar time tables can be used more effectively if you fish by a watch. I don’t ever look at the time on my phone. I watch the time on my wrist.

2. A boot dryer sure beats trying to dry boots by a campfire or heater. Many good boots have been burned and ruined by placing them too close to the fire. Occasionally, I go over the top of my hip waders.  It’s not easy to get the foot section dry since the boots are so long.  Solution? Drop them over your electric boot dryers and forget them. They will dry slowly and not burn.

3. How about a new pair of hunting boots?  Boots do eventually wear out.  Don’t go cheap on this gift.  Cheap boots that don’t fit well will do you no good.  Blisters are no fun. Good leather or Kevlar boots will cost at least $100.

4.  A good rain suit is a great gift.  With all the rain this fall I used my rain gear often. Sometimes rain gear can also be used as a wind breaker. Local angler, Bobby Whiteside, says a good rain suit is one of the most essential pieces of equipment for a serious fisherman. Cheap plastic suits usually last one trip.  Buy a good one and it will keep you dry and also serve as the perfect wind block.

5. How about binoculars? Good optics are a must for serious big game hunters.  The price range on binoculars is extremely broad.  You can get a pair for $19.95 or spend thousands. Cheap binoculars work well in good light but in dim pre-dawn or after sunset the good ones are in a league of their own.  They just pick up more light giving you good vision almost until pitch dark.

6. Flashlight. One of the simplest gifts I ever received I use most.  It’s a little high-intensity flashlight with a sheath that slides on my belt.  I never have to dig it out of my hunting coat or vest. I always know right where it is on my belt.  It’s perfect for finding your way through the cactus to deer blinds.  A good one with a sheath can be purchased for less than $15.

7. Membership and subscriptions to outdoor organizations and magazines are always welcomed gifts. A paid membership to Ducks Unlimited or the National Rifle Association serves a vital cause and provides benefits to the member, including a monthly magazine. A subscription to Texas Parks and Wildlife or Texas Highways is a first class gift.  These are beautiful magazines. 

8. Most of us hunters have lots of camo shirts, pants and coats. But we love camo.  We won’t wear pink.  Another piece of camo clothing never brings the same reaction as a new tie.  It’s always welcomed.

9. Polarized sunglasses, especially for fishermen, are not an option.  They’re essential.  Polarized glasses isolate the eyes from harsh glare and damaging UV light. To be able to see underwater grass lines, stumps, rocks or other cover that fish hangout near is vital to fishing success. It always amazes me how many people try to fish in regular sunshades. I often say, “Cast toward that grass line edge.” The usual reply is, “What grass line?”  That’s how effective noral sunglasses are for fishing.  They’re useless.

10. Any fisherman is always happy to receive a new spool of line. Fishing line, especially monofilament line, needs to be changed regularly.  Some professional bass anglers change line every day in a tournament. That’s not necessary for most anglers but line that has been on a reel for several years will be brittle and weak. A big 2,500 yard spool of your fisherman’s favorite will be a hit. Guaranteed! I hope my grandson took the hint of a big spool of 10-pound test monofilament for me.

11. If your hunter walks any distance to a deer stand or duck blind he might like a nice sling so that the rifle or shotgun can be carried on the shoulder. They can be bought as a simple leather strap or a colorful, embroidered cloth sling.

12. Most hunters and fishermen have a good knife but most of us still have lots of kid in us and kids love knives. The more the better. Sheathed hunting knives, pocket knives, and fillet knives are always well received. If your fisherman doesn’t have an electric fillet knife he is really missing a vital tool. The electric knife takes a lot of the work out of filleting fish.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666