December 22, 2017
You have scant hours to get a last-minute Christmas gift for your favorite hunter or angler and you're stuck figuring out what to get and where to get it. What would you do?
It's three days before Christmas and, if you have a hunter or angler on your list, you might think it's a daunting task to wrap up something great.
Yes, we sportsmen and women can be picky with our gear, but that doesn't mean we're impossibly difficult to please. In fact, there are plenty of great gift options out there that are easy to find as the countdown to Christmas clicks on.
Here are some last-minute ideas from the editors at Game & Fish that are can't-miss gifts for the outdoors-sports enthusiast:
Hooks 'n Bullets
You can't go wrong with a box of shells, lures or flies, but it's best to know the gift-getter's preferences before you make a selection. And, if you're close to an outdoors-sports retailer like Cabela's or Academy Sports + Outdoors, even better. The large selection of gear at these stores can help you put together at mix-and-match box of items that will be appreciated.
Bargain Bins (Don't Laugh)
I can't count the number of times I've picked up some hidden treasures in the bargain box at the Walmart near me in Lilburn, Ga. For real! One time, I walked away with eight Cotton Cordell Super Spot lipless crankbaits for a buck and a half each, and all in my fave color, chrome/black back. Half went to a friend as a gift, and the ones I kept are still catching bass. Lesson here is don't overlook the bargain bins. You never know what you might find.
This is an easy in-and-out gift that matched with a greeting card is always a safe bet. Sure, it's kinda lazy, but it will be used — and probably pretty quickly. With the prevalence of gift cards for sale at so many retail stores, you can get cards for Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's without stepping foot in either store.
For the Fly Guy
Yep, flies make a very good gift, assuming you know what the person you're buying for fishes for (trout, satwater, steelhead, bluegill, etc). They come in small units, are relatively cheap, don't spoil, and don't take up a lot of space. And if you accidentally buy a trout guy an extra Wulff or Adams, he's cool with it because he can always use the extras.
For the Bass Guy
Off-set worm hooks are a safe choice, especially for anglers who use soft-plastic baits. And, really, all bass anglers are going to use off-set hooks some time. Throw in a spool of 10- or 12-pound mono (tell the angler to re-spool before hitting the water this spring). And another thing, a couple of packs of a soft-plastic stick bait, like Berkley's General, will catch fish year-round.
'Yeti' Never Fails
Basically, anything with "Yeti" on it is going to be well-received as a gift for any occasion. With Yeti's expansion of small, lower-price-point products, there's much from which to choose. And you can buy them at many retail stores. The Yeti Rambler, which holds 14 ounces of hot or cold liquid, runs $24, and is one of many drinkables under $100. The popular 30-ounce Rambler is listed at $34.99 online.
Most avid hunters and anglers have more than enough flashlights lying around here and there. That doesn't mean we don't want another, especially if it's a cool flashlight with high lumens and portable size. You can spend a good bit, like $200 on a beautiful, multi-functional SureFire P2X Fury Intellibeam, or quite a bit less like $30 on the fit-in-your-hand Cyclops Revo 700, Multitools are great as gifts, but there's also a lot of cheap stuff out there on shelves that aren't very durable. Check this Game & Fish review of new multitools for more info.
A hunter who uses a ThermaCell bug-repellant system will appreciate more butane reloads (a 12-pack of butane cartridges costs $34.99). If they don't have a ThermaCell, get 'em one. The popular ThremaCell portable repeller runs $24.99-$34.99 is a great gift for someone who usually lathers on bug goop.
Think about the Basics
If you're still stuck on what to get last-minute, take a deep breath and don't worry. Hunters and anglers go through lots of associated gear that needs to be replaced constantly, making for plenty of gift options. Hunters and anglers could use a mondo pack of batteries. All gun hunters are going to need gun oil. Other choices: Bungee cords, lightweight wool socks (Smartwool is a good place to start), a box of disposable hand warmers, lightweight camo gloves.
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