By Pete Rogers
Sportsmen and women always face a dilemma when it comes to seasonal purchases. More so, our spouses and friends have a difficult time trying to decide what to get that guy or gal for Christmas. Every year, manufacturers and designers develop products that make hunting and shooting more effective and more fun for their customers.
Below is a list of the top ten items I would recommend for sportsmen and women looking for items to put on their Christmas list.
1. Walls 10X Hunting Clothing
Every hunter is always in need of excellent clothing and camouflage. Of all the brands available, one has reemerged as a real player. I say reemerged because 10X Brand by Walls, is reinventing itself and is reemerging as a top brand of camouflage clothing in the industry. Specifically their new warm weather gear is without question the best I have personally tried. Living in South Carolina, our deer game season begins in extremely hot weather often in triple digits. The new 10X Ultra-Lite warm weather pants and shirts are the coolest, lightest and most durable I have personally ever tested. Plus, the price point places them in the heart of most markets. For those who hunt in extreme hot weather the 10X brand warm weather clothing is a must have.
2. Sitka Gear
While we are on Camouflage clothing, for those who are looking for clothing that is closer to gear, Sitka brand clothing is matching their slogan as well as anyone. “Turning clothing into gear” is about as accurate as it gets. The design of Sitka brand clothing is unmatched. From integrated knee pads, to shaped pants for tree stand sitting and layers designed to fit together for all temperature extremes. Sitka brand clothing is a lifetime purchase and will carry you through many seasons.
3. Vortex Optics Diamondback Or Vulture Binoculars
All hunters need quality optics. Vortex optics has emerged on the scene as a quality glass within a great price point. From binoculars, spotting scopes and rifle scopes, Vortex optics make a great gift for any sportsman or woman. The Diamondback and Vulture are excellent choices of binoculars within a great price point.
4. Rick Young Outdoors – Ultralight Bino Harness
The absolute one item that should be on everyone’s list is a binocular harness. Rick Young, of Rick Young Outdoors has designed a binocular harness that trumps everything out there. His “Ultralight Bino Harness” is one that when you see it, the thought immediately comes to mind. “Why didn’t I think of this?” it is so simple, so light, so versatile, and so inexpensive everyone should own several. Rick Young Outdoors Ultralight Bino Harness, is not just a typical harness, it is so versatile it can be used for a variety of purposes. Full single point adjustments, light weight this is without question the best harness available on the market today.
5. Nikon Monarch 5 Rifle Scope
Hunters agree that when it comes to their rifle, it is only as good as the scope that sits atop. There are many great scopes to choose from, but the Nikon Monarch 5 – 3-15×50 with Custom XR Turret is one of the greatest combinations available today. The range of adjustability, and the custom turret is the perfect combination for all shooters. Whether you are a long range shooter out to a thousand yards, or one that keeps shots inside 300. The custom turret is a great asset to eliminate ‘hold over’. You can dial it in and hold true. And at under a thousand dollars, this is a great choice for your firearms.
6. Benchmade Steep Country Knives
Killing game is only part of hunting. All sportsmen and women know the real work begins after the game is down. A quality knife is essential to making the work of cleaning, caping, quartering game as easy as possible. IT can be argues that there is no ‘one knife’ that can do all of this, but Benchmade has come very close. Their hunt series of knives and especially their “Steep Country” knives are about as good as it gets to having one knife to do it all.
7. Alps Outdoorz
Backpacks are vital gear for all backcountry hunting. Whether you are setting up spike camps or long day hunts, a quality backpack is one piece of gear that can make your hunt as comfortable as possible. Alps Outdoorz has been creating packs for a variety of purposes. Their new Extreme line is one of the toughest and best designed pack on the market. A personal favorite is the Pathfinder. This modular pack can be used as a large fanny pack, or with one zipper add 1500 cubic inches of a pack complete with gun/bow holder. Other great packs include their Traverse X and Crossfire X are great choices for those longer days afield.
8. Bushnell Trophy Cam HD
Arguably the game camera has revolutionized the way people hunt. From herd surveys, to patterning bucks and bulls, the use of game cameras has changed the way people hunt. The Bushnell Trophy Cam HD in total blackout is a great choice for a game camera. Its price point, small size and efficient functionality make the Trophy Cam HD an excellent option. Personal experience has over 14 months on a single set of batteries! Couple this with a large SD card and you can leave areas undisturbed for extended periods of time without worrying if the camera is working. When it comes to game cameras, there are a lot to choose from, but you cannot go wrong with the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD.
9. Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance
Living in the south, nothing can describe the hordes of mosquitoes that infiltrate our swamps, and woods. The ThermaCell Mosquito Repellent Appliance has revolutionized the way we hunt. Some have said this is THE most important invention in the hunting industry since the repeating rifle. It would be hard to argue this, if you have ever tried to hunt without it in the early season of deer or during spring turkey hunting in the south. Bear hunters agree that the ThermaCell system has changed the way they hunt. By keeping mosquitoes and black flies at bay, it’s like they are not even there.
10. Hunters Safety Systems
Even after all of the data, all of the stories of success, I am still amazed at the number of hunters who climb into stands without a safety harness. Hunters Safety Systems has made it excuse proof. Their vests are so comfortable, easy to use and with their lifeline accessories, there is no reason not to be connected from the ground up to the tree and back down. If you have a loved one that hunts from a deer stand, insist they use a harness.