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We started out with 15 Best Gift Ideas for Hunters, but we just couldn’t stop — there are so many great gift ideas for hunters — so we added 10 more hunter gifts for 2016.
*Note: Update for 2017: As it turns out, we couldn’t stop with just 10 more gifts for hunters either . . . so we created a massive new guide to the 45 Best Gifts for Hunters 2017. Of course, these gifts below are still great, but we’re particularly proud of our 45 picks for 2017. . . .
For starters, hunters need gear that spans different kinds of hunting in different weather for different animals in different parts of the great outdoors. Sure, there’s plenty of overlap, but there’s so much opportunity, too.
And here’s a guarantee: When your hunter is outside in the cold or in the sunshine — with the horizon looking full of promise in the morning — they will remember that your hunter gift was from you as they put it to use. Every time. The hunters we know seem a bit more connected to life and relationships than other guys who don’t step outside alone in the dark, in the woods, to get out after it. Just saying. Hunters remember hunter gifts more than any other kinds.
10 More Best Hunter Gifts 2016
1. Hats & Caps
Most hunters wear a hat, and some hunters wear different hats for different situations. A baseball cap with a brim can be handy to help shade your eyes when the sun is on the horizon while a stocking cap or beanie that covers your ears is critical for cold winter hunts. As for camo or hunter orange, that often depends on the type of hunting and even the location. In locations with heavy rifle hunter traffic, it’s always smart to wear orange. If you know your hunter, you can likely pick out a new hat they’ll want to try. These hunter gift hats will get you started:
The best go-to hunting jackets are usually light, waterproof (or resistant), and made from rugged, quiet fabrics. Why are they light? So active hunters can layer warmer clothes underneath and shed layers as the day or activity heats up. Of course, for cold-weather hunting from stands or blinds, a heavy jacket is always a smart hunter gift.
Under Armour Hunting Gear — jackets, pants, base layers and more for active hunters, men or women, athletic fits, sortable by kind of hunting
3. Upland Vest
Bird hunters need a good shooting vest, which gives you easy access to shotgun shells as well as a rear pocket for carrying birds. Heck, there’s more to it than that, though — while a shooting vest is utilitarian, it’s also part of the tradition, an element of a uniform, and that tradition alone makes it a great hunter gift. A vest reminds a hunter to put on their game face and pay attention — something is going to take flight soon. We’ve known bird dogs that get excited when they see a shotgun, and the smartest ones recognize vests, too.
Finding the right best glove for any given moment in a day is wicked hard. The heavy cold-weather gloves are too hot when the day warms up while thin gloves threaten to delay shots due to numb fingers. And grip? Critical. A nice soft fleece or wool can make holding a rifle a constant challenge. The best hunter gift gloves have unencumbered trigger fingers but also grippy materials. Fortunately, it’s hard to go wrong with gloves as a hunter gift — hunters will choose different gloves for different tasks. Even surgical gloves or waterproof neoprene are handy for dressing out animals in the field — latex for warm weather and neoprene for frigid temps.
Rifle hunters need to be able to find the best round of ammunition for their particular rifle because different bullet types and sizes from different manufacturers perform differently. Unless your hunter is shooting hundreds of rounds a year, it’s hard to know exactly how well a particularly round performs. A shooting sled holds a rifle very steady and will save your hunter a lot of time, as well as build confidence in particular rounds at particular distances. One of the best hunter gifts for deer and elk rifle hunters.
If your hunter has a high-quality scope already . . . it’s best to stay away from scopes. But many deer and elk hunters have cheap or really old scopes — and they would love any replacement that is a step up. Better scopes won’t fog at the wrong time, and they’ll deliver clearer, brighter images. Some even help with judging distances. You might have to ask a hunting buddy if you don’t know if your hunter needs a new scope, but these scopes make great hunter gifts at a reasonable price for optics.
When you get off the beaten path, there’s sticks and sharp rocks. A hunter is going to get cut, if not by the hazards of the woods then maybe by his own knife or a buddies while handling big game. It happens. Worse can happen, though, and a good first-aid kit will include a manual to help a buddy provide emergency medical care. Bottom line? A light first-aid kit should be in every hunter’s pack, and while we consider first-aid kits one of the most important hunter gifts ever, they’re just as important for camping and hiking, too.
Animals move around a lot, but they also establish patterns. What about big bucks? It’s hard to know where they are when they move at night. Elk? Same thing. Especially in western states that have seen elk herds decimated by wolves, if you want to find where the bulls are at, a game camera is critical. We have some buddies who set up four cameras every year because the elk just aren’t in the same places every year. As for everything else, game camera owners get surprised with photos of bear, raccoons, foxes, and other hunters. All good stuff. A game camera is one of the best hunter gifts ever invented!
Some pieces of gear are signifiers — items that remind a man who he is, what he cares about. They have the power to turn his mind away from the stresses of everyday life. A camo lunchbox cooler speaks of the great outdoors and reminds a guy that it is a tool that enables adventure. Fill a camo cooler with sandwiches, and suddenly the whole day opens up. Sure, a non-hunter might scoff at this idea, but it’s the same for other people with other things. Ever have a pair of boots that reminded you to get out on the town? Hit the trails? Go have fun in the snow? Objects can bring meaning — even camo coolers. We kid you not.
While some animals depend on their sense of smell, some have astounding eyesight and can spot the slightest unnatural movement. Good hunters will naturally use a bush or tree or clump of tall grass to break up their silhouettes and obscure themselves from sharp-eyed critters. A lightweight pop-up blind can extend the areas where a hunter can hunt, letting them set up near trails and natural funnels without perfect cover. Odds are, your hunter knows a place where a blind would be handy, making pop-up blinds one of the more interesting hunter gifts available today.