Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Hunters use a whole range of tools, gadgets, accessories, and any other items they think might even marginally improve their success while braving the outdoors. The outdoorsman market is saturated with all kinds of new and adapting technology, whether proven or not. As with any rapidly evolving market, it’s profoundly difficult to keep your thumb on what is and is not useful for a hunter to have, especially if you’re not actively following the trends. It’s no wonder that many find shopping for that perfect Christmas gift for the beloved hunter in their family difficult. Here’s a good place to start so that this year’s gift won’t be making a trip across the return counter.
Range Finder ($-$$$)
While most avid hunters will maintain that having a range finder is absolutely paramount to any successful season, it is still an item that commonly alludes even the most enthusiastic sportsmen. A Range Finder is a device that measures the distance between the subject and person using the device. They’re frequently used for sighting in rifles or longer-range firearms to give the shooter an accurate idea of the distance between them and their target. This information is critical for understanding how far the projectile will drop before reaching the target. Any hunter using a scoped rifle will need to fine tune their aim at the distance they believe they will encounter what it is they’re hunting. The most accurate rifle and scope are still useless if not for proper ranging. A range finder will not only make this possible but is also a great tool for anyone sitting in their favorite stand, platform, or blind, wondering how far their target will be when they appear.
Despite a lack of variation in appearance, range finders vary widely in their price. This is due to some hard to spot differences in specifications that make for very different products. The increase in price usually yields some features that are highly desirable for adept hunters. More expensive range finders will typically boast a range up to 1000-2000 yards while the lesser expensive models come in around 500-1000 yards. While it may be easy to dismiss the need for measuring a distance greater than a thousand yards, the more expensive models also tend to have compatibility with tripods, angle compensation, anti-flare lenses, and are waterproof. However, the entry level range finders are still very accurate within their acceptable range and the technology has gotten much more compact as time continues. Bottom line, most range finders are useful for their intended purpose and only advanced hunters and marksmen will have a need for the additional features of a more expensive model.
Primos Double Bull Surround View Blind 360 ($$$)
For many hunters, blinds are integral to their experience and success. Blinds come in many shapes, sizes, and forms. In fact, about the only thing they have in common is their purpose to conceal a hunter from the hunted. One such type of blind is the tried-and-true ground blind. While ground blinds themselves also vary in form, they are most typically pop-up, tent like assemblies rather than plywood structures. Of all the ground blinds you could buy your beloved hunter this year, the best is the highly coveted Primos Double Bull.
The Primos Double Bull features “360 Surround View”, allowing the hunter to see from all angles within the blind. In a traditional ground blind, your visibility is limited to any windows you open or unzip often times making it difficult to hear or see from any number of angles and sides of the blind. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing that you have a target close by but are unable to either see or get into the correct angle. The Primos Double Bull eliminates this problem entirely thanks to its one-way see-through walls. Check out this video to see a great demonstration of this technology at an outdoors show. If there was ever such a thing as magic, it sure appears to be this ground blind.
Now the hunter in your family can finally see everything from within the comfort of their blind; all while being perfectly concealed from that which they are hunting. The blind is also large enough to allow for multiple hunters, great for any father-son bonding time or even if your hunter just wants to show off to their friend.
Thermal Base Layers ($-$$)
Most ironically, modern hunting camo didn’t make its appearance until the early 1980’s. Previously, the best camo a hunter could get their hands on was anything army issued. Heavy cotton garb that took more space and wasn’t a great match for the environments most hunters found themselves in. New camo patterns have made significant strides in concealing their wearers and wicking moisture away. Since then, the market for outdoor wear and sportswear have grown in dramatic fashion. What used to be a cotton-only dominated marketplace has transformed into a multi-fabric, 1.1-billion-dollar industry.
The single most important piece of clothing a hunter can wear to stay warm is their base layer. With the market boom in hunting apparel, the technology has gotten substantially better as well. No longer are the days that hunters have to pile on endless layers of cotton made clothing in order to maintain body heat. Thermals are typically dry-fit and polyester mixes. They’re lightweight, skin-tight, breathable, and best of all, they don’t itch. Thermals act to insulate the body and prevent any losses in heat that may otherwise escape and reduce body temperature. As compared to their cotton counterparts, thermals are significantly more compact and lightweight making them ideal not only for packing but for keeping hunters from becoming too bulky from all the additional clothing.
Scent Crusher Ozone Bag ($$)
Many different species of wild game rely on their sense of smell to evade predators and hunters alike. Members of the deer family are believed to have nearly 300 million olfactory receptors while humans only 5 million of these receptors. For reference, with a mere 220 million receptors, German Shepherds are capable of detecting scents over a mile away and up to 40 ft underground. Suffice it to say, getting your natural scent and odor under control is critical to any successful hunting. While most hunters are familiar with sprays that aim to reduce these scents, there are significantly more effective and robust alternatives out there. '
One such alternative is the Scent Crusher Ozone Bag. Simply put, the technology utilizes ozone particles to oxidize other molecules, neutralizing odors into scentless oxygen. It’s as easy as placing your clothes into the bag and setting a timer. At the end of the timer, your clothes are odor free and nearly undetectable in the right hunting conditions. They also make for great travel bags for overnight trips and air travel. Rather than having to purchase scent kill and other odor protections for every hunting season, the Scent Crusher Ozone Bag will be a one-time purchase.
Knick Knacks ($)
Although not always in body, a hunter is always hunting. Before and after a hunt, hunters are always thinking about and planning their next excursion. For many hunting isn’t just an activity or weekend hobby, it’s a lifestyle that requires an abundance of effort and hard work. For this reason, nothing makes them more excited than small things in life that remind them about their past and upcoming adventures. The subtle nods pay homage to the stories, success, and memories they have. It’s as simple as the smell of candle reminiscent of the cabin, a turkey magnet on the fridge, or even a deer antler toilet paper holder. Sips of coffee always seems to taste better when they’re from a “World’s Best Hunter” mug. Whatever it is, even the most inexpensive novelty or trinket can bring a warm sense of accomplishment and spark the eagerness lying within every hunter.