Christmas gifts for hunters

Christmas is tomorrow, and I expect most people have completed their shopping.  However, if you still have an outdoor person on your gift exchange list, last-minute gifts are not difficult to find.

A hunting and fishing license for next year makes an excellent gift for the sportsman or woman on any Christmas gift exchange list.  I don’t know how many times I purchased one for my father when I was in my youth, and quite often it was on the day before Christmas.

In early 2017, the cottontail rabbit, raccoon, ruffed grouse, squirrel and varying hare seasons don’t go out until Feb. 28.

Long underwear makes a nice gift for the one who likes to hunt and fish in cold weather. This is something the outdoors person will always be in need of. The lifetime for long underwear (tops and/or bottoms) is about three or four hunting seasons.

People who hunt and fish are always in need of gloves. Most hunters cannot have enough quality gloves. During wet and cold weather, most hunters and anglers are either losing their gloves or drying them out. Waterproof gloves are quite often a necessity, but look for gloves that are breathable.

Camo is usually appreciated, but some hunters prefer blaze orange. Remember hunters are not going skiing. The bulky ski gloves are not good for squeezing a trigger or releasing an arrow. Look for snug-fitting gloves.

In West Virginia, most hunters are exposed to cold weather, especially in Randolph County. Hats are necessary equipment for anyone who likes to be outdoors for any purpose during the winter months. Unlike gloves, an individual hunter prefers to pick his own style of hat.

Baseball style, beanies, boonies and anything in between can be found on a hunter’s head. If the sportsperson is only a firearms hunter, they will most likely prefer a solid blaze orange or blaze orange camo hat. I lost count of how many hunting hats I have had over the years.

Calls that are used by duck and turkey hunters are something to be considered. I have often said during the spring gobbler season, the real sport in that game is to be able to call the bird to come to the hunter. A new turkey call would certainly be appreciated by the spring gobbler enthusiast on your gift exchange list. Keep in mind that it is unlawful to hunt turkeys with an electronic call. This is also true for bear, deer and wild boar. Electronic calls are legal for hunting coyotes, crows and foxes.

While it may sound just a little corny or trite, packs of paper targets are inexpensive and do make nice Christmas presents for people who enjoy target shooting. I don’t know how many times I have tried to go out target shooting and didn’t have any targets in the house. This is when I ended up shooting at tin cans. When it comes to sighting in a rifle that has a telescopic sight, paper targets are hard to beat.

If the hunter or shooter is a hand-loader or re-loader, then consider reloading components as a gift. Reloading bullets, powder, primers and virgin brass casings are readily available at just about any sporting goods store that sells firearms and ammunition.

Other ideas to consider for the angler, hunter or target shooter include gun cleaning kits or supplies, heavy thermo socks, hand warmers, outdoor flannel shirts, topographical maps and small binoculars. To make a long story short, people who enjoy hunting and fishing are not one bit hard to please.

Have a very Merry Christmas and/or Holiday Season. Keep in mind, if you go out for any social gathering for pleasure, don’t enjoy too much of a good thing. Remember what the West Virginia State Police are constantly saying, “Over the limit, under arrest.”