December 22, 2015
As a kid growing up years ago in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Sears & Roebuck Christmas Wish Book was one of the most eagerly anticipated pieces of mail to be delivered into the family mailbox every fall.
When it came, yours truly would spend hours and hours studying its pages, dutifully folding corners and putting stars next to items that I wished for on Christmas morning.
Hey, that's before highlighters came into being – and certainly before Internet wish lists that could be forwarded on – otherwise, the big guy in the red suit would have known EXACTLY what I wanted to find its way south by way of his sleigh.
These days, even as an adult, I'll admit that I still get excited about the appearance of Christmas.
Not to mention the catalogues that now take the place of the old Sears Wishbook, namely catalogs from the likes of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and Mack's Prairie Wings to name a few.
And true to form, I still highlight items, dog-ear page corners and strategically leave my hunting and fishing wish books where Mrs. Claus can easily find them.
All of which got me to thinking here recently: I wonder what some of the Outdoor Channel television show hunting personalities I get to work with each year are wishing for come this Christmas Day?
So, I asked them. And despite the extremely busy nature of the holiday season – from spending time with families to wrapping up a fall and early winter of filming activities to finishing details on the travel and work plans for next month's ATA Archery Trade Show and the SHOT Show – I got back a smattering of responses.
For many, this year's Christmas wishes center upon time spent with family and friends and the hope for spending a quiet day reflecting on the many blessings that life has brought along.
Blessings like newborn children, something that Crush TV's Lee and Tiffany Lakosky of Iowa are celebrating this year with the arrival of their first child, baby boy Cameron.
Ditto for Pat and Nicole Reeve, co-hosts of Driven with Pat & Nicole, who welcomed their baby boy, Cash, into the world earlier this year, a youngster who joined a clan of older children in the family.
And don't forget the sight of watching big kids grow up to become even bigger, even adults – just ask David and Karen Holder, co-hosts of Raised Hunting along with their sons, Warren and Easton, about all of that.
Or better yet, see one of their episodes chronicling the time that their family spends in the Iowa woods each year chasing whitetails.
But some gifts, like those on Mark Drury's wish list for this December, are a bit more tangible.
Farm equipment, that's what's on Drury's list for 2015, something that is hardly surprising given that the co-host of THIRTEEN is one of the most intense white-tailed deer hunters and property managers that anyone can find.
"If I had to pick one thing, it would be a new bean drill," laughed Drury.
Before adding with a smile: "But I'm not going to get it."
In fact, I think he may have already had some discussions with Mrs. Claus about that!
But what Drury is certain of getting this year is some more great family time with his wife, Tracy, daughter and show co-host, Taylor, co-host and brother, Terry, co-host and nephew, Matt, and the rest of his family.
"My favorite Christmas memories are generally every Christmas Day when the entire Drury side of our family gets together," said Drury in all seriousness.
"That's over 50 people with all of the nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren," he added.
"It's great to see everyone after a long and hard season (of hunting and filming)."
Indeed, it is.
For Kandi Kisky, co-host of the Whitetail Freaks television show along with her husband Don, she admits that it will be hard for Santa to fit her desired gifts – aside from more great quality time spent with her family – under the tree this year.
"Yeah, I guess I'd put a couple of big bucks we're chasing on my wish list," laughed Kisky. "They're named Flamethrower – I missed him earlier this year – and Dumpster.
"If Santa would leave those two presents under my tree, I'd be very happy!"
With the pun intended, who else but a died-in-the-wool serious deer hunter would want jolly old St. Nick to bring a Dumpster fire for the holiday, one made by a big antlered Flamethrower?!?
For Michael Hunsucker, co-host of the Heartland Bowhunter show, finding some farm equipment that can help plant a tree is on his wish list this year.
Even if he has to apologize to the jolly old elk for the difficulty in fitting it all into the sleigh. But hey, gift certificates to the local dealership, now they're easy to secure, right?
"I'd guess I'd like some farm equipment," said Hunsucker. "Specifically, I'd like a Bobcat T250 for work around the farm. And maybe a four-row planter for planting corn and soybean food plots."
Sounds like Hunsucker is in cahoots with Drury on that one!
In all seriousness, as one of the lead guys helping to film and produce one of Outdoor Channel's top hunting shows, Hunsucker also wouldn't mind seeing some camera equipment and hunting gear under his tree come December 25th.
"In terms of camera equipment, I hope Santa brings me a Sony A7rII and a RED Raven," hinted Hunsucker with a laugh.
Santa, are you listening?
"And for new hunting gear, maybe a new Bowtech bow, although I guess I'll have to stay tuned for its release at the 2016 ATA Show next month," he added. "And maybe a Redneck Silent Stalker soft-sided blind and stand, a pair of Bushnell Legend L Series binoculars and a Trophy Ridge React Pro 7 sight."
Got all of that jolly old St. Nick?
These Outdoor Channel show hosts and hunting personalities are sure hoping so.
While maybe even putting in a wish for a big buck or bull in the waning days of this upcoming season.
Even if it takes a Flamethrower and a Dumpster to accomplish it all!