Clayton: Christmas gifts for the sportsman and woman

By Luke Clayton
Outdoors men and women can be challenging to shop for. Luke was hunting out in West Texas last week with Larry Weishuhn and Jeff Rice for deer and javelina. While on the hunt, he did a bit of collaborating and made a list of gift ideas.
Luke Clayton

It’s once again time to think about Christmas gifts for sportsmen/women on your shopping list. I can guarantee you that those of us that love spending time in the outdoors would relish a gift that we can use in our outdoor lifestyle but choosing the perfect gift can be a daunting task.

First, it’s obviously important to decide what type of gift will work best. For fishermen, there is a vast array of baits, rod and reels, and a myriad of accessories to make their time on the water more enjoyable, likewise with the hunter on your shopping list. If your outdoors person enjoys the entire outdoor experience, your choice of gifts is almost overwhelming.

Hopefully, these tips from someone who spends a great deal of time in the outdoors will help you choose the perfect gift. 

• ELECTRIC SMOKER: Most of us that hunt or fish also enjoy turning the fruits of our outings into tasty meals. There is a plethora of smokers on the market. For many years, I have used my Smokin Tex. It’s not the cheapest smoker on the market, but I believe it’s the best and built to last a lifetime. On many occasions, I’ve let my Smokin Tex do the work of transforming wild hog or venison hams into tender BBQ during the evening hours while I sleep. Every outdoors person needs one!  www.smokintex.com

• AIR RIFLE: Hunting with big bore air rifles has become more popular each year since Texas Parks and Wildlife Department made them legal for hunting big game. But, there are many sportsmen that have yet to learn about the PCP air rifles, some of which shoot not only bullets but arrows or bolts as well. For several years, I have hunted with my .45-caliber Texan by Airforce Airguns. This is an awesome bullet shooter that I’ve used to harvest whitetail deer, wild hogs and several exotics. If you are interested in an air gun that shoots both bullets and arrows, consider the Seneca .50-caliber Dragon Claw. A buddy of mine used mine to harvest a javelina just this past week and animals as large as Cape buffalo have been taken with the Dragon Claw. Visit www.pyramydair.com to check out a wide assortment of air guns and supplies.

• DIGITAL SCOPE: I’ve been using digital scopes for several years and love the versatility I get from one scope. I’m currently hunting with the Wraith by Sightmark. The Wraith is an excellent day scope and when the sun sets, it does double duty on hogs and predators. At a price point around $500, the Wraith is an excellent bargain. Check it out at www.sightmark.com

• OUTDOOR COOKING SUPPLIES: Butcher Packer Supply (www.butcher-packer.com) is my one-stop shop for all my outdoor cooking needs. Butcher Packer offers a large variety of sausage-making kits, spices, cures and jerky seasonings as well as meat grinders, sausage stuffers, knives and everything else needed for processing game meat at home.

• MECHANICAL FROG TOPWATER LURE: This mechanical frog works on spring action, which is activated by the pull of the fishing line. This new and improved top water bait is just out on the market. Check it out at www.22-five.com.

• THE ELIMINATOR AND “THE REMOTE”: Karl Harmon with Ultramatic Feeders (www.ultramaticfeeders.com) always stays on the cutting edge with outdoor products. A few years ago, he introduced The Eliminator that mounts to the one-quarter-inch shaft of a feeder motor and replaces the standard spinner plate. Working on centrifugal force, the Eliminator opens only when the motor is spinning, distributing corn and closes tightly when corn is dispensed, sealing off access to pesky raccoons or squirrels. THE REMOTE is a little unit that allows the hunter to dispense corn with the touch of a button. This helps pull game back to the feeder.  

• BOOK ON HOG HUNTING: My book, "Kill to Grill, the Ultimate Guide to Hunting and Cooking Wild Hogs," is available through www.catfishradio.org. It’s a relatively quick read but contains some sound advice on hunting techniques, making ham and sausage at home from wild pork, and recipes.

• BOW, RIFLE OR SHOTGUN: If the hunter on your list has been dropping hints about a new rifle, bow or shotgun, rest assured he or she is very particular about exactly what they want. Do a bit of quizzing about the exact model they have in mind. When choosing a bow, it’s best to deal with a pro shop, and let the person on your gift list actually go to the shop and pick out the bow that is best suited. Too many factors are involved to just go out and buy just any bow. If your hunter is wanting a new rifle, chances are very good that he knows the exact model and caliber so a bit of quizzing is in order. You might even get one of his friends to do a bit of detective work for you and determine the exact firearm. 

• GUIDED FISHING OR HUNTING TRIP: Most any outdoors person enjoys an occasional guided fishing or hunting trip. Costs vary greatly depending upon services. Having been an active outdoors writer for the past three decades, you can imagine the connections I have. As a Christmas gift to you, I offer my services, free of charge to help you find a guide or outfitter that will fill the bill for the hunter/angler on your list. Just email me at lukeclayton1950@gmail.com. I promise to respond quickly and do my best to connect you with someone that will insure that your gift will be a memorable outing.

Listen to “Outdoors with Luke Clayton” and friends each week on radio stations across the state or anytime at www.catfishradio.org