If the person at the top of your Christmas shopping list is a waterfowler, you’re in luck. Of all the hunting pursuits, waterfowl hunting is the most gear intensive. That means there are a lot of gift ideas to choose from … maybe too many. The following list of top-notch duck and goose hunting gear will help you narrow down your search for the perfect holiday gift this season.
Big Foot’s B2 Canada goose shells feature the same rugged construction and legendary Big Foot durability as their B2 full body counterparts. They are easily stacked for storage and transport and can be quickly deployed within seconds. Each decoy features realistic feather detail and paint colors, as well as flocked heads and tails that provide a life-like appearance. The bold white rump patch is both eye catching and provides a sturdy base so the decoys won’t blow over. B2 shells are slightly oversized, yet lightweight, allowing a dozen to be easily carried into remote locations. They are available in sleeper or variety six-packs. The former contains six one-piece sleepers. The latter includes four head postures: two resters, two actives, one sentry, and one upright. —J.S.
I hate wearing heavy gloves while shooting. I’d rather have cold hands than wear bulky gloves when ducks are flying. But earlier this fall, unseasonably cold weather in North Dakota (mid 20’s and a 35mph wind) made gloves a necessity. So I tried First Lite’s new Shale Hybrid Gloves. They’re made from merino wool and have goat skin leather around the palm and padding around the knuckles. These gloves were designed for western big-game hunters, but they work great as bird shooting gloves, too (you’ll want a different set of waterproof gloves for picking up floater decoys, see below). They fit perfectly with what First Lite calls its “shooter’s cut” and kept my hands warm enough to burn through shells and pile up a limit of migrating mallards and gadwall. When it gets really cold this winter, I’ll be wearing these gloves in the blind with some hand-warmers stashed in my wader pouch. —A.R.
Carlson’s Cremator waterfowl chokes come in both recoil-reducing ported and economical non-ported models. All have a matte black finish with the constriction clearly marked on the extended portion. Inside, each choke features Carlson’s Triple Shot Technology in which three staggered rings within the tube’s taper section provide the shot column a gradual transition from bore to final constriction. Translation: better downrange patterns and more dead ducks. There are three constrictions – Close, Mid, and Long Range – to meet all waterfowling situations. A convenient two-pack includes both Mid and Long Range tubes. Cremator chokes are available for nearly every 12- and 20-gauge shotgun currently in production. There’s also a new Snow Goose model with a non-reflective white Cerakote finish offered in 12-gauge only and sizes Mid and Long. —J.S.
Howard Leight’s Impact Sport electronic earmuff is now available in OD green and Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo so you can enjoy just as much hearing protection in the field as you do on the shooting range. It provides up to 4x amplification so waterfowlers can engage in duck blind banter and hear incoming birds, yet still protect their hearing. These electronic earmuffs automatically reduce the dangerous impulse noise level of a shotgun blast to a safe 82db. These slim earmuffs have an ultra-low profile that won’t interfere with gun mount, and provide a noise reduction rating of 22db. Batteries are included and other colors are available. Give the gift of hearing this holiday season. —J.S.
I picked these up on a whim while strolling through Cabela’s and they turned out to be the best $30 I’ve spent all year. They are full waterproof, plenty warm, and the cuff stretches high enough that it covers your whole forearm. These are the ideal gloves for setting decoys in frigid conditions and then picking them back up again. Snag a pair for your best duck hunting buddy and he’ll pay you back by helping pick up the spread a whole lot quicker. —A.R.
RedHead’s new XTR Camo Moc slip-on shoes are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. These comfortable, lightweight camp shoes easily slip on and off thanks to flexible side panels and a back tab. They are great for lounging around duck camp, training the dog in the backyard, or hanging out by a bonfire. The durable Cordura uppers are breathable and now feature complete True Timber camo coverage. Inside, there’s a comfortable, cushioned insole, while the rugged, rubber outsole has a large tread pattern that provides sure traction without accumulating excess mud or rocks. XTR Camo Mocs are available in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes.—J.S.
These decoys won the mallard floater test that I helped run earlier this fall. They’re everything you want in a decoy: durability, a realistic paint job, and anatomically accurate body positions that stand out from a distance. The harvester six pack includes two active drakes (heads up), two swimmer drakes, and two active hens. We hunted hard over these decoys early in the season and noticed hardly any wear and tear. They are made of what GHG calls “DuraFeather”—a soft, more flexible plastic that won’t crack easily. So, we’ll be hunting over these decoys until the season runs out in December. —A.R.
Dive Bomb Industries’ V2 Canada goose silhouettes combine the toughness of a plastic decoy with the compactness and portability of a silhouette. Made from a corrugated plastic material that’s 4mm thick, these are among the most durable silhouettes available. They feature realistic feather detail, a textured, non-glare finish, and chip resistant paint that won’t fade. Models with flocked heads are also available. A dozen V2s weigh only 6-pounds and include six feeders, two resters, two quartering away, and two lookers. Newly designed two-pronged stakes are 20-inches long and are made with tempered spring steel that allows force to be applied from the top so they can be easily pushed into hard ground. The stakes also have a black, powder-coated finish that eliminates glare and rust. —J.S.
I’ve worn these bad boys while field hunting geese in Minnesota, chasing cold-front mallards in North Dakota, and even while sitting in a treestand for deer in Wisconsin. In all those frigid scenarios I’ve stayed warm and dry. The bibs are insulated with 100-gram Primaloft, and have full side zippers on the legs so you can get them on and off without taking off your boots. They also have side-zip chest adjustments and a waist belt. These features allow you to cinch the bibs down tight and keep cold air from creeping in. —A.R.
The Avery Decoy Backpack will hold 12 duck decoys and two spinning wing decoys, plus a shotgun. It features a pair of stacked, six-slot bags, each with zippered covers. The slot dimensions are 7x7x16-inches to accommodate most standard size floating duck decoys. Two side pockets, one on each bag, hold a spinner apiece. On the opposite side is a gunstock pocket with a vertical barrel strap for a shotgun. EVA padded back support and padded shoulder and waist straps provide comfortable carry even with a full load. The backpack is made from tough 600-denier polyester with a 4mm mesh quick-drain bottom. It comes in two Mossy Oak camo patterns - Shadow Grass Blades and Bottomland (shown). —J.S.
The new Delta Waterfowl Legend layout blind by Alps Outdoorz is similar to its Zero Gravity open-floored predecessor, with the addition of a waterproof tarpaulin floor that protects waterfowlers and their gear from the harshest elements. The highlight of this blind is its suspended Zero Gravity chair, which keeps hunters high and dry above ground while still maintaining a low profile. A mesh face mask provides concealment without obstructing vision. The zippered rear door provides access to a storage area, while stubble straps allow native vegetation to be attached. The blind also has zippered flagging ports on each side, a padded headrest, and backpack carry straps. The spacious 24x56-inch cockpit allows plenty of freedom for swinging a scattergun. The Legend comes in Max-5 camo.—J.S.
Birchwood Casey’s new Gun Plumber multi-tool has everything needed to fix gun problems in the field. It features several gunsmith selected bits, including both 2mm and 6mm flat bits, T10 and T15 Torx drivers, and four Hex bits (1/16-, 3/32-, 7/64-, and 5/32-inch), as well as a #2 Phillips screw driver, which is the most common size needed for removing recoil pad screws. There’s also a rounded universal choke tube wrench. Quality steel construction ensures years of service. Best of all, this folding multi-tool is compact enough to be easily stashed in a shooting bag or vest pocket. That compact size also makes the Gun Plumber the perfect stocking stuffer for that hunter in your life. —J.S.
For more gift ideas, see our Holiday Gift Guide.
Zink’s new Long Neck Rocker short reed goose call features Fred Zink’s proprietary worn-in tone channel which allows the call to produce realistic, contest-quality honker sounds right out of the box. Neither deep or high, the LNR’s pitch sits right in that middle sweet spot, making it a good choice for calling all the various Canada goose species, large or small. Built-in back pressure creates sharp double clucks and honks that will get goose necks craning and black webbed feet dropping into the decoys. The LNR is offered in a variety of colors ranging from subdued to flamboyant. A hard case, extra reeds, and instructional DVD are included.—J.S.
Don’t forget Fido this holiday season. Tom Dokken’s new TD100 Drone takes retriever training to a higher level—literally. A Dead Fowl training dummy or pigeon can be attached to the drone, which then lifts it high into the air. This encourages retrievers to get in the habit of looking up to scan the sky for incoming birds. Training dummies or live birds can then be dropped for the dog to fetch. It can also be used for remote planting of blind retrieves, and with the addition of floats, the drone can even simulate a duck landing in the decoys. The TD100 is ideal for amateur and professional trainers alike looking for a way to freshen up their training regimen. While this is the most expensive item on the list, a well-trained pooch is worth it. —J.S.