Christmas is right around the corner, and you may be wondering what the best Christmas gifts for hunters may be. Well, lucky for you, shopping for a hunter (or any gun guy or gal) is easy.
Even the simplest gifts, like wool socks or batteries for their favorite headlamp, go a long way, so you don’t have to worry about spending a ton of money on something they may or may not like.
It just goes to show you that gun lovers aren’t so expensive after all. You’ll be surprised how quickly we wish for dry socks when it’s 30º outside and our boots didn’t keep the melting snow out that well.
And any good shooter who spends a lot of time walking through in the woods will tell you how good quality socks make a big difference between a good and a bad day in the woods.
Whether this is for your spouse or a distant cousin, we’re going to go over some other gift ideas that range from a couple of dollars to a couple hundred dollars.
Let’s start with the inexpensive.
Wool Socks/Base Layers
It’s cold out there. And nothing ruins a good hunt or just being in the backwoods like cold feet or being cold in general. Having a good pair of wool socks, and even an extra pair or two, can make the difference between a happy and an unhappy woodsman.
One of my favorites when I'm getting my shoot on is Darn Tough Heavyweight Hunting Socks. They are heavy, which is excellent for the late seasons when the frost has set in and it’s colder than a brass toilet seat in the Yukon.
These keep your feet warm and dry, thanks to all the sheep out there being legends.
Sometimes, they can be a little too warm, so if you need something lighter, the Lightweight hunting socks from Darn Tough will get the job done.
Base layers are great for keeping you warm all throughout, and Under Armour has ColdGear base and mid layers that trap the heat inside the body and keep the blood where it needs to be. It can be pricey, though.
Cold feet are one thing, but cold hands can stop a hunt. Being out in the cold with bare hands for too long will rob the dexterity from your fingers, making it impossible for you to pull the trigger.
Even if it's warmer out, gloves can protect your hands from cuts. There have been many outings that have ended badly due to cuts that weren’t taken care of.
You gotta stop it before it happens. A good set of mitts. Ones that won’t hinder movement when pulling a trigger or setting decoys but will still keep your hands protected.
I have two sets of gloves, one for the colder-than-polar-bear-toes, and one for the warmer days. My cold-weather gloves are the Expeditions from Kuiu. They are pricey, but they stand the test of time better than others. And my hands are always ready when I need them.
For not-so-cold weather, when it’s early in the season, I find Speedknit Thermal gloves to do the job. They’re cheap and you can buy a pack of them, but they keep your hands and wrists from getting cold and banged up.
Jackets can be found at all price points and preferences, and depending on the climate you live in, finding one that won’t be too hot or cold, loose or tight, can be tough. Some hunters can be particular about their jackets as well.
Some want a bulkier jacket with pockets to keep important items with them, while others pack light. Depending on the day, I have jackets for both.
One of them is from Cabelas, which are priced well and do a great job at keeping you warm when the temperatures drop. I like the Redhead Silent Stalker for its warmth and comfort, and its ability to block out the cold, which is imperative for staying warm.
When the temperatures get high in the mid-afternoon, I switch to the First Lite Corrugate Guide jacket, which also does a great job of blocking out wind, especially in the neck area. It’s stretchable and lightweight too, so it won’t hinder movement.
Ammo (in their hunting rifle’s caliber)
Ammo is a commodity, and the stuff can get expensive depending on the caliber. Aside from socks, my next favorite Christmas gift is ammo. Mostly because I don’t have to buy it.
You have to find out what his/her rifle is chambered in.
Which, if you want to be conspicuous, you can ask them to recommend a caliber because you want to get into hunting, and then asking them what their rifle is chambered in.
And what grain they like the most.
I use Hornady and Norma in my rifles, but you can find a box of their favorite stuff since most hunters have a favorite for a reason, most likely because they tried everything and found out what works best for them and their rifle. If you can’t find a box of their ammo, use the same method of conspicuity above.
They’ll be happy for the ammo and love you more for remembering the small things, like their favorite brand ammo and grain weight.
Christmas gift shopping for the hunter in your family isn’t hard, nor does it have to break your pockets. Just pay attention when they talk about hunting. This could give you ideas of what they want or need.
A lot of hunting brands have sales leading up to Christmas as well, and some have them after Christmas. If your hunter is set on one specific item, keep an eye out for sales.
If anything else, a couple pairs of socks will never let you down. It’s the little things, don’t ever forget it.
Be good and take care.