There seems to be an unlimited amount of deer hunting gear out there these days. But, the wide selection only makes it more difficult to pick the right holiday gift for the whitetail nut. So, to help you avoid stumbling into stocking stuffers like the Butt-Out or the Cough Silencer, here are six gift ideas that any deer hunter would be happy to see beneath the tree.
1. MAD R.I.P. Growl
Years of whitetail research have revealed that whitetails actually make a variety of complex vocalizations. So, don’t limit yourself to a simple grunt tube. This new call from MAD will make any deer noise you’ll ever need. The main grunt tube makes a low, realistic grunt and a large button allows you to also make doe bleats. The top skull portion is removable and is used for mimicking a snort-wheeze.
2. Gerber Vital Pocket Folder
This is Gerber’s take on the popular Havalon knife that so many western hunters trust in the backcountry. The pocket folder (there is also a fixed-blade version) isn’t going to replace a trusty old hunting knife but it is the ideal tool when it’s time to skin deer. It comes with six #60 razor blades and the mechanism for replacing them is super simple: press a button, slide the old blade off, and then slip a new one on. No tools necessary. It comes with a blaze orange handle, so you won’t lose it. The knife is part of Gerber’s Vital series, which seems to be marketed as backcountry gear, but I’ve skinned two deer with mine this season and can attest that at only 1.3 ounces, it should fit in any whitetail hunter’s pack.
3. Wicked Tree Gear Wicked Tough Handsaw
You can buy a cheap handsaw and replace it every few years, or you can get one of these babies. It comes with a 6.25-inch blade that’s made from heavy gage .050″ thick high-carbon steel. The handle is cast aluminum, not plastic, and comes with a rubber grip. If you do happen to break the handle, Wicked guarantees they’ll replace it for you.
4. Under Armour Base 4.0 Crew
Many times, staying warm on the stand comes down to picking the right base layer. And this base layer from Under Armour is among the best out there. It’s designed to fit tight to the skin (but not too tightly) and the negative grid interior traps in the heat. The shirt is made from polyester/elastane (think spandex). Shirt and bottoms are both available.
5. Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Wireless
Bushnell’s wireless camera sends photos straight to your phone. This means that you can monitor the camera without ever having to walk in and check it (which means no spreading scent and making noise where you want to hunt). Also, if you live far from where you hunt, you can monitor deer activity all summer long. The camera shoots 1280x720p video and battery life lasts up to 3 months. The downside, of course, is that the camera only works in places where you get cell phone service.
6. Cabela’s Instinct Lancer Crossbow
You cannot beat the crossbow craze, so you might as well join it. I hunted with the Cabela’s crossbow this spring and fall and I’m still looking for a flaw. It comes with a great trigger, set at three pounds, includes a large finger guard, and it includes pouches that hold your cocking rope and string wax, and velcro right into the stock. It slings bolts at 395 fps. One feature I really like about the bow is that it comes with a pin that prevents the crossbow from firing and essentially works as redundancy to the safety. But, if you don’t want to use it, there’s a place to store it on the stock. The pin is a nice confidence booster for new crossbow hunters.
Power stroke: 15.5″.
Draw weight: 155 lbs.
Wt: 6.9 lbs.