Gift ideas for the hunter

Last week, I threw around some Christmas shopping ideas for anglers. So in this week’s column, I’m going to do the same thing for hunters.
While hunting is not for everybody, it is part of the culture in Northwestern Ontario–and for good reason. We have more public land that anybody can hunt than most places.
Across southern Ontario and much of the U.S., by comparison, hunters that do not have private property to hunt may never be able to find a place to go.
We have excellent opportunities for small game, waterfowl, and big-game animals in one of the most scenic parts of Canada.
When we think about hunting, we all think about the weapon-a gun or archery gear. But there are a bunch of tools, accessories, and apparel that can help make the experience in the outdoors better.
If you have a hunter on your Christmas list, here are a few ideas to keep them happy!
On my website, I get more interest in my trail camera galleries than any of the other content that I put up. I also share a lot of trail camera photos on my social media pages and people seem to like them more than anything else.
Trail cameras are fun because you never know what you’re going to get a picture of. They are designed for deer hunters to get an idea of the animals that might be living in the areas that you hunt, or as a scouting tool.
Over the years, I’ve gotten pictures of just about every animal that lives in our woods–from moose to bears, wolves to owls.
Trail cameras also can be used as a security tool around your property.
Much like anglers need quality clothing to stay on the water, hunters should have quality gear because during the fall and early winter, we are faced with all kinds of nasty weather.
Head-to-toe apparel is important. Stocking-stuffers like hats, gloves, and socks always are needed. During the big-game seasons, hunters need to wear a blaze orange vest and hat (we can never have too many of these orange pieces of clothing).
When it comes to outerwear, hunters can go two ways. For those who like to sit in a ground blind or tree stand (also great gift ideas), heavy clothing is best because you can sit in the cold for many hours.
For hunters who like to do more walking, lighter, more breathable clothing is better.
The same thing goes for boots. For the sitter, you want to get a pair of 1200g insulated boots. For the walker or for early-season hunting, uninsulated or 400g boots are better.
Knives last for years and are a great gift because they can carry a lot of sentimental value. There also is something about a new knife that is razor sharp (they are such a pleasure to use).
There are different types of knives that hunters use and we can never have too many of them!
Finally, a good headlamp or flashlight will get years of use. I feel like flashlights are one of those things that we have a hard time buying for ourselves, but I can tell you I use flashlights a bunch during the hunting season, as well as during the ice-fishing season.
Many times we will stay out in the woods or on the ice until after dark, so having a head lamp to wear while we pack things up is always so handy!
Get one that takes ‘AA’ batteries–the ones that take odd-sized batteries are not convenient!
Happy shopping.

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