WHO: LAKOTASAFECOMPANY.COM WHERE: WINTER GARDEN, FL
It’s that time of year when shoppers will be picking up gifts for family and friends.
At the end of this article, our Editor will list his top picks for that special Christmas present for your father, mother, son, daughter, grandchildren or just a gift for yourself.
Vortex Diamondback 10×42 HD
1. All-Purpose Binoculars
Every hunter needs a good set of binoculars, and the new Vortex Diamondback HD 10×42 ($280) is a sweet set that won’t break the bank. With a nice rubber armored ergonomic feel and only weighing in at 21.3 ounces, the Diamondbacks are a joy to carry and use in the field. The lenses are multi-coated to increase light transmission, and the multi-layer coating on the prisms help provide clear and crisp images. The Diamondbacks are also tripod compatible, and they come with the Vortex Glasspack harness included ($30 value) so the hunter always has a secure way to carry and store their binos.
2. A Handy Phone Skope
Nearly every hunter nowadays heads into the field with two things in tow: optics of some sort and a smart phone. Luckily, there will be no need to tell people of the one that got away when you can show them a picture. For years the folks at Phone Skope have been making cases that go on a smartphone, making it easy to attach to optics, so hunters can bring home great pictures. Most of the cases retail for around ($58), and they make them for nearly any optic or phone you can imagine.
Yeti Loadout Go Box
3. A Tough Gear Case
One thing hunters always seem to have plenty of is expensive gear. Many times that gear includes small items like optics, cameras, GPS units and more, and having a secure way to carry all of that stuff can often be troublesome. Your shoppers already know about Yeti coolers, and now Yeti has decided to address the issue mentioned above with its Loadout Go Box ($250). With measurements of approximately 20.5x15x11 inches, the nearly indestructible Go Box has plenty of room to securely carry a hunter’s most prized gear to and from the field.
4. A Functional Multi-Tool
Hunters and outdoorsmen never know what problems may arise in the field, and one of the best ways to be prepared is to have a quality multi-tool. The name Leatherman has for years been a huge player in this space and with great products like the Rebar ($70), it is easy to see why. Weighing 6.7 ounces, measuring 4 inches long and made from stainless steel, the Rebar puts 17 tools at a hunter’s fingertips, ready to take on nearly any task they can throw at it.
5. A Really Good Knife
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One product that a hunter should never be without is a quality knife. The Bugout ($140) from Benchmade is a great hunting blade or everyday carry for any hunter or outdoorsman or woman. With an attractive blue handle and classic drop point blade made from S30V steel, this knife is both stylish and ultra effective as a cutting tool. Weighing a mere 1.85 ounces with closed length of 4.22 inches, this knife is barely noticeable in the pocket. However, it opens to a nice 7.46-inch-long length when ready to use. The bugout also comes standard with Benchmade’s Axis locking mechanism and has a nice clip to keep it in place when carried in a pocket.
Sig Sauer Kilo 1400 BDX 6x20mm
6. A Trustworthy Rangefinder
Every hunter needs a rangefinder, and it is hard to go wrong with any option from the Sig Sauer line. The Kilo 1400 BDX 6x20mmis a great value at only $300. Weighing only 5 ounces, measuring 3.9x 2.9 inches, and ranging reflective targets out to 1,600 yards and deer to 750 yards, this little gem does a lot, without adding bulk in the field. The Kilo 1400 has Line of Sight mode (LOS), Angle Modified Range (AMR) as well as Applied Ballistics Ultralight (ABU), which shows ballistic data in MIL or MOA. Lastly, it is covered with Sig Sauer’s Infinite Guarantee.
Rugid Xtreme 48-inch Rifle Case
7. A Durable Case
An often-overlooked item by hunters is a great gun case to protect our firearm while being transported to and from the field. The Rugid Xtreme 48-inch rifle case ($140) will fill this void nicely. Made from a durable 500d waterproof pvc exterior and a 7/8-inch foam padding, the case will protect your gun from being knocked around. Not only is it waterproof, but it also floats. On the outside of the case is a waterproof pocket big enough for a wallet, cell phone or other small items. On the back, there are two tie down straps for securing the case to an ATV/UTV or anywhere else a hunter sees the need.
Garmin GPSMAP 66i
8. A Reliable GPS
If your shopper isn’t opposed to spending a little more cash, a great new product to consider is the new GPSMAP 66i ($600) from Garmin. This is not only a top-of-the-line GPS, but it’s also a satellite messenger. The 66i comes preloaded with Garmin TopoActive mapping for North and Central America. In addition, the hunter will be able to keep in touch with his or her loved ones from anywhere through two-way messaging. For easy texting, simply Bluetooth the device to a smart phone and text as normal. If an emergency ever arises, the hunter has the option of the SOS button, which will alert emergency services to their exact location.
Worksharp Guided Field Sharpener
9. An Always-Useful Knife Sharpener
Between field-dressing, butchering and general-use chores, hunters are constantly dulling their knives. Problem is, it’s always been difficult to sharpen a knife in the field without negatively affecting the blade. Enter the Worksharp Guided Field Sharpener ($30). The guides on this sharpener help keep the blade angle correct throughout the process. This little tool has a lot on board, with two diamond plates (220 grit coarse, 600 grit fine), a three-position ceramic rod with coarse grit, fine grit and fish hook honing side, and last but not least ,a leather strop. Overall, it is just a great piece for any outdoorsman to have in their kit.
Double Bull Surroundview 360
10. An Invisibility Cloak
OK, a ground blind is not exactly a cloak, but every hunter deserves one of these, because they are just that cool. It will only take one look once you step inside to understand what I mean. The Double Bull Surroundview 360 ($500) is one of the most innovative products to hit the hunting market in years. Walls are constructed with one-way see-through material, meaning you can see all around your blind with no blind spots, but the animals cannot see in. The dimensions of the blind are 60x60x70 inches and it weighs 23 pounds with the bag. Shooting is done via the 180-degree full front window or through five shoot-through ports. The windows have silent slide closure for quiet opening and closing.
Browning BXR Deer Ammunition
11. Accurate Ammo
Before any of us head into the field, we need some good ammunition. Browning Ammunition has some great offerings in their BXR DEER ($25-30) line. The BXR deer is designed for use on deer- and antelope-sized game. The matrix tip is great for downrange velocity, high energy and rapid expansion. It’s currently available in .243 win, .270 Win, .270 WSM, .30-06, 30-30, .300 win mag, .300 WSM, .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7MM Rem Mag and 7MM-08 Rem. Browning also has ammunition for those after bigger or smaller game as well.
Carbon Express Maxima Red SD12.
12. Consistent Arrows
Speaking of ammo, bowhunters can always use some as well. The new Maxima Red SD ($110) from Carbon Express is both stylish and functional. Each Maxima red SD is laser checked to 1/10,000th of an inch, and they are weight sorted to +/-1.0 grains. One unique feature is these arrows have a stiffer front end to keep the front of the arrow from flexing too drastically, helping broadheads shoot more consistently. The Maxima Red SD arrows have a .203 inside diameter, which helps reduce wind drift, and they are available in spines of 250 (8.3gpi), 350 (9.4 gpi) and 450 (11.1 gpi).
Related: Making a Case for Cases
Rage Hypodermic NC
13. Super-Sharp Broadheads
Most every bowhunter knows about Rage Broadheads, but they may not know about the new Hypodermic NC ($50). With a machined stainless steel ferrule, Hybrid hypodermic tip, two-blade design and 2-inch cutting diameter, the NC looks similar to the Rage from years past but with one exciting new feature. The NC stands for No Collar blade lock, where the blades simply lock up into place and do not need to be held in place with any sort of a collar. Once the blades have been deployed, they simply slide back up and clicked into place and they are ready to go.When it comes to specific archery gear like arrows and broadheads, be sure your shopper knows the exact specs of the hunter they’re buying for, to make sure the purchase makes sense with their existing setup. Otherwise, you’ll need to have a good return policy!
Rinehart Targets 1/3 Scale Woodland Elk
14. A Lifelike 3-D Target
3-D targets, especially the big ones like elk, moose and caribou, can be expensive. The folks at Rinehart Targets made it possible to bring a bull elk to everyone’s backyard with the 1/3 Scale Woodland Elk ($200). Their claim is the target is anatomically reduced to 1/3 the scale of a 600-pound bull elk, making 20-yard shots equivalent to 60-yard shots in the field. I am not sure if that is the case, but this target has a realistic look and is fun to shoot. It’s made from a Solid FX self-healing foam and has a replaceable foam insert. The target measures 38×44 inches.
Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .9 Medical Kit
15. A Life-Saving Med Kit
Regardless of style of hunting, every one of us should carry some sort of a medical kit in the field. Having the right kit can make easy work of first aid needs; having the wrong kit can be a disaster. The Ultralight/Watertight .9 Medical Kit ($39) from Adventure Medical Kits provides hunters with the things they need in the field, in a convenient, small package — it only weighs 12 ounces and measures 10×7.5×3 inches. Within its contents you can clean and close wounds, combat stomach illness, do emergency repairs with included duct tape, manage pain, stabilize fractures and sprains, stop bleeding, stop blisters before they start and have easy access to bandages — and it’s all contained within two-stage waterproof bags.
16. A Comfortable Pack
When going back and forth to the stand or hunting location, every hunter needs a good way to tote all of their gear. The Tenzing Flex ($100) is a great 650-cubic-inch fanny pack that’s big enough to carry what you need for a simple day afield, but not too big to wear you down. The adjustable shoulder harness and padded waist belt fit most torso sizes and are totally customizable. The fabric is a noiseless, very soft tricot to keep things quiet in the woods. Three storage compartments are easily within arm’s reach, while four compression straps can handle a fair amount of additional gear. Three interior organizational compartments help the hunter keep his or her gear organized and within reach. Weighing in at just 1.5 pounds, a hunter may forget he or she is even wearing it.
Midland X-Talker T71VP3 Two Way Radio
17. A Wide-Ranging Radio
If keeping in touch with hunting partners is a consideration, try showing shoppers the X-Talker T71VP3 Two Way Radio ($80) from Midland. Midland has long been making quality two-way radios for outdoor enthusiasts, and this model is no exception. With 36 channels and 121 privacy codes, each group is sure to be able to find a private line. On top of that, the 38-mile range should make keeping contact within reasonable distance a snap. The T71VP3 also has NOAA weather alert and weather scan technology to keep you up to date on the latest forecast. Another great feature for hunters is silent operation to keep annoying beeps from scaring game.
Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs
18. Ear-Saving Muffs
You always hear the old deaf guys who shot too much when they were younger say that “we need to use ear protection.” They are right, and the Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs ($60) do a fabulous job of protecting what hearing we have left. This earmuff has a very low profile design to not get in the way while shooting. While they shut out noise when levels reach 82 decibels, they actually amplify ambient noise, so there is no need to remove them to hear talking while in the field preparing for a shot. They require two AAA batteries for use, but they have a 350-hour battery life. For $60, it is surely a worthwhile investment in hearing health.
Bushnell Core DS Low Glow
19. A Night-Worthy Trail Cam
Picking a trail camera as a gift or in general nowadays can be a confusing task — there are literally dozens of great cameras on the market that work very well. That being said, Bushnell has hit a home run with the Core DS Low Glow ($200). This cam has a dual sensor to provide sharp, crisp daytime images, while the nighttime sensor makes for images that are more detailed. On top of that, it has a 100-foot night range, and the Low Glow creates brighter photos yet still emits little light to the human eye. Pictures are 30-megapixel quality, and the camera has a 0.2-second trigger time to make sure hunters don’t miss a thing. Video is shot in 1080p at 60 frames per second with audio. The Core DS has a one-year battery life and a two-year limited warranty.
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Mateo’s Editor’s Pick:
– Posting Soon.