It’s never too early to start putting together your Christmas list.
Game & Fish put together a gathering of great new and proven products that we have used and know would make great Christmas gifts.
Carbon Express’ PileDriver 390
Crossbow technology has continued to up the ante each year, and Carbon Express is following suite with their PileDriver 390. The crossbow weighs in at just 7.2 pounds and shoots a screaming 390 feet per second. The PileDriver 390 has a slim and light stock design with an adjustable foregrip and buttstock, and measure only 14.5 inches axle-to-axle when cocked. Pair that with anti-dry fire technology, aluminum rail, compression molded limbs, alloy cams, and a Quiet Crank Cocking Winch—this is your must-have crossbow to take afield this winter. $399 | Carbonexpresscrosswbow.com
onX Hunt Maps
Finding property line boundaries, land owner contact information, or public land to hunt no longer has to be a daunting task. onX Hunt has done the hard work for you and has created the most extensive maps on the market. New this year, the onX Hunt team has created six new features including onX Hunt’s new Topo Basemap that shows every trail and 2-track in the U.S., Randy Newberg’s Roadless Layer that highlights areas furthest from roads, and Historic Wildfire Layers to show areas hit by wildfires so you know where new growth is emerging. Other layers include Prairie Dog towns, USFS Timber Cuts, and Boone and Crockett Records to show you trophy records by species and counties for all 50 states. The easy user interface maps are available on your smartphone, handheld GPS, tablet, or computer. Onxmaps.com
Magic Chef’s 10 Tray Food Dehydrator
Every hunter knows that a pile of homemade jerky is an easy, and favorite, stocking stuffer for friends and family. For the tastiest jerky you need the right equipment. Magic Chef has the dehydrator for the job with 10 non-stick trays and over 1,700 square inches of drying space. The RealTree camo covered food dehydrator has a built-in temperature control that ranges from 100 to 160 degrees and a rear mounted fan for even air circulation. The clear viewing door allows you to view your mouth-watering treats as you wait impatiently for your jerky to reach desired dryness. $169.99 | mcappliance.com
Ravin’s R15 Crossbow
Featuring HeliCoil technology, the Ravin R15 boasts deadly accuracy and speeds of 425 fps, in a compact crossbow that measures just 6 inches axle to axle when fully drawn. The Frictionless Flight System provides vane clearance and a quiet shot, while the Trac-Trigger ensures a safe, balanced draw. The Predator-camouflaged R15 comes fully-assembled and pre-tuned with a 100-yard illuminated scope, six Ravin arrows, six 100-grain field points, a quiver with mounting bracket, Versa-Draw cocking handle and built-in sling mounts.
$2,049 | ravincrossbows.com
Lowrance got the message. There is a big group of anglers out there who want the latest technology and a big bright screen without paying thousands of dollars. Yeah, seems pretty obvious, but Lowrance is actually doing it. They’ve taken the Hook series with their best features — how about CHIRP, DownScan and, yes, SideScan? — in a 9-inch screen for under $700? That’s an impressive package. Lowrance is also making a number of variations in the new Hook2 line — 12 options in fact — that let you pick the screen size, features and accompanying price. You can get the top of the line 12-inch-screen with the above benefits for $1,499. Or pick the entry-level option, a $89 CHIRP-only machine. Within those extremes there are 10 other options. These machines are made to be more budget-friendly to more anglers, so you won’t see any touch-screen options. You’ll have to look into the Elites or HDS line for them. Still, we’re expecting that the Hook2’s will be super-popular.Lowrance.com
Work Sharp’s Combo Knife Sharpener
This is a plug-in electric sharper that is very compact. Hang it over the tool bench and break it out before hunting, fishing or camping trips to give you a great edge on all your knives. Run your blade through the two belts and a ceramic honing rod and you’re good to go. Sharpens serrated, too. worksharp.com. $49.95 | worksharp.com
Luminox’s Recon Team Leader
Game & Fish Editor John Geiger admits he’s kind of addicted to his iPhone, so when he started wearing a watch again, the first think he noticed was that it was great to not have to press a button (after he finds it) in the dark. The watch glows up to 25 years in any light condition, they are always visible. It’s also got a lot of little number that only a skydiver or Navy SEAL could love, but they sure look cool. $795 | luminox.com
Bushnell’s Trophy Cam HD 24MB
Bushnell puts time into making sure their cams are easy to set up. There are five preset setup options to choose from, or you could go custom on all the settings. we like a photo and a video with each trigger and used that pre-set setup option. The images were tack-sharp, especially since this is a super-high-resolution 24MB camera.
The cam also boasts a fast 0.2-second trigger speed, and an oft-overlooked quick reset speed, so it’s quickly ready for the next shot. We’ve reviewed Bushnell cams in the past, and found them to be durable and reliable.
Expect long battery life from this cam. Another benefit is a free one-month subscription to DeerLab, a web-based system that helps you organize and track deer sightings and bring in various other factors, like weather and wind direction.
It’s a great way to pattern your biggest bucks. $229 | bushnell.com
Yeti’s Rambler Mug
There is something about a YETI cup. What is it? We really don’t know, but they are just cool, and rugged and make a cup of coffee a very satisfying thing. Now they’ve got a new one that you probably haven’t heard about yet. It’s a 14-ounce mug in the Rambler line. Plus, there are four colors, two blue-ish, one black and the Olive Green, pictured. $24 | yeti.com
My Charge’s Adventure Ultra
This is a streamlined power source that has a max power output of 45 watts, enough to run a fan or recharge a drone battery. It can also be used with new laptops, like the 12-inch Macbooks. It weighs about 1 pound and measures 1.2×5.8×4.1 inches. $129 | mycharge.com
Skull Hooker’s Big & Little Hookers
These guys bring mounting options to a whole new level. If you can make a Euro mount, you can have a beautiful hanging head for less than $60 or so, and maybe less. The Big Hooker ($59) for elk, mulies and big heads, and the Little Hooker ($35) for most whitetail and antelope, are easy to assemble and they look great. skullhooker.com
Cabela’s 61 Collection
If you’re headed out on a plane, it’s crucial to have wheels on the bottom of your bags. Cabela’s has some rugged luggage that looks good on the tarmac or pickup. The 61 Collection accompanied Geiger to South Africa and back, and all across this country while standing up to all sorts of bumps and scrapes along the way. 28 x16x13.5 inches. 11 pounds. There is a carry-on version as well for short trips. $269-$299 | cabelas.com
Rumpl’s Down Puffy
Yes, that’s the actual name, Down Puffy. But we must say, it is incredibly comfy and “Down Puffy” is a pretty good description. It’s made for the road and can be smashed down into its 7×7-inch travel bag and easily stowed. Take it out in the truck or in the tent for a serious comfy rest. Grey duck down. Nylon shell. 1.4 pounds, which seems like a lot for a blanket, but you might thank us. $149 | rumpl.com
Savage’s Model 24
Rarely is a gun a good gift. They are just very personal items. But this would be a great gift for any young hunter. This break-action single shot gives you the option of .22LR or .22WMR in the top barrel and 410 below. It takes down quickly and weighs just over 6 pounds. Small game, upland birds, it’s just a versatile piece of equipment that any kid would love to see under the tree. $500 | savagearms.com
Abu Garcia’s Revo X
Tested recently at Lake El Salto in Mexico, Abu’s new addition to the Revo line of low-profile baitcasters, blends performance and style at an affordable price. The lightweight alloy frame, 7 stainless steel ball bearings (plus one roller bearing), high-quality brake and drag systems, and other ergonomic features make this feel like a much more expensive reel. The reel performed more than reliably while fighting El Salto’s aggressive lunker bass weighing 5 pounds and up. Bass anglers can be picky about brand and model of their reels, but the Revo X will give any angler all they need in a tough on-the-water performer. $99.95 | abugarcia.com