Holiday gift ideas for the western hunter
Shopping for the western gear junkie hunter in your life can be a tough task: just ask my wife. I always tell her, "I'm not picky, I'm particular with a purpose." Perhaps those are the same thing, I don’t know, but her reaction is always the same. She rolls her eyes and tells me what a pain I am. For anyone that's shopping for Christmas gifts for the hardcore hunters in your life, the goHUNT Gear Shop is here for you. We’ve compiled a list of standout gear that we have used all fall and loved. Anyone of these items below is sure to please your favorite hunter on your gift list.
Hunter gift items
Price: $74.95 & $27
A binocular harness is a key piece of equipment for any big game hunter and the Marsupial Gear Binocular Pack and Rangefinder Pouch is packed with features that we love. The fit is superb and the front fold lid coupled with strong magnets allow for easy one-handed access, holding the lid open when you want it and closed when you don’t. The rangefinder pouch works seamlessly with the bino harness. It keeps your rangefinder secure and close at hand until you need it. Marsupial Gear products are first rate!
The Garmin InReach has become a fundamental piece of gear for the goHUNT staff, we rarely head into the field without one. Two-way text messaging to any cell phone or email address anywhere in the world gives you both peace of mind and allows you to keep up with friends and family at home. Trigger the SOS button and it will contact a 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center and receive confirmation that help is on the way. The InReach also includes preloaded topo maps, barometric altimeter, digital compass, and the GPS allows you to track routes and save waypoints. The InReach is a critical piece of gear that we absolutely love.
I added this little-fixed blade knife to my pack earlier this year and have been telling everyone that will listen about it ever since. Featuring 440C stainless steel, the Tyto Esee Izula stainless steel knife is a versatile small to medium sized knife that will tackle any cutting task with ease. It's tough, light (2 oz), and fits nicely in your hand. Add in the fact that it holds an edge and is just as easy to touch up and it’s a really nice knife that will be a staple in my kill kit from now on.
Sounds silly, but among the gear items I put quite a bit of time into research and testing is socks. If you are going to climb several miles into remote and rough country and spend ten days chasing western big game, you have to take care of your feet. The Darn Tough boot socks fit extremely well without any slipping or bunching. They are cool in the summer, warm in the winter, wick moisture, and dry quickly. Made from mostly merino wool, a bit of nylon, and some lycra for stretch, these are a premium pair of socks anyone will love.
If you are not spending a significant amount of your hunt glassing through a set of tripod-mounted binoculars you are probably missing out. Honestly, glassing from a sturdy tripod will change your life. You will be more comfortable, glass longer, and I promise you will see significantly more animals. The Sirui line-up of tripods can meet just about anyone's needs, but my personal favorite has been the Sirui T-1204 XL. Weighing in at approximately 2 lb 6 oz you hardly notice it on your pack and it has so much adjustability in leg angle and height it will work for any situation. The Sirui tripods are tough and durable (watch for an upcoming gear test from us). A high-quality lightweight tripod is an investment, but one that is fully worth making. If the T-1204XL isn’t quite what you are looking for, check out all the Sirui models in the gear shop.
The Leica Stabilite binocular adapter has been one of my favorite gear pieces for several years. I love the versatility that it provides me. It will securely hold any set of binoculars regardless of the brand or size. I've even used it several times to hold my camera on the tripod to take self-timed photos when hunting solo. Just a few weeks ago, my wife used it as a rifle rest to help her take a great late season bull. The Stabilite adapter only weighs 4.8 oz, is made from durable materials, and will provide you with years of steady glassing.
For the bowhunter, we have the goHUNT Alpine Innovations BowSlicker. Bow slings are nothing new, but this one has a few features that I really like. The limb loop design distributes the weight around the perimeter of the bow, keeping friction away from the cables and strings. It's also quick and easy to take off if a shot presents itself unexpectedly. Finally, it will fit a longer axle to axle bow, which very few other brands will. Overall, it's quiet, easy to use, weatherproof and protects your strings and cams. Any bowhunter will appreciate the goHUNT Alpine Innovations BowSlicker. For the rifle hunter, the goHUNT RifleSlicker is the perfect option to keep your rifle protected.
Price: $19.99 -$39.99
Your morning brew never stayed hotter longer or looked better than it will in a Yeti goHUNT branded rambler. Available in 10, 20, 26 and 30 oz options, each one is constructed from double wall vacuum sealed insulation and stainless steel. The 10 oz Lowball Rambler is perfect for an iced down nightcap and can also easily handle your cup of joe the next morning. A great gift for anyone!
Price: $390 plus $82 for pole (trekking poles can be used instead of a pole)
Light-weight floorless shelters are finding their way onto more hunters’ gear lists every year. The obvious benefit is that it allows you to shave some weight over a traditional style tent, but there is a host of other reasons that I have fallen in love with this type of shelter. The Little Bug Out Shelter provides you with so much versatility. The base can be used as an early season solo tarp tent or include the three-piece vestibule to create an enclosed fortress for two. Add a titanium wood stove that works with the built-in stove jack and extended your season well into the winter months. The Little Bug Out does it all!
The goHUNT edition of the Dark Energy Poseidon Portable Charger is a rugged lightweight charger built for the backcountry hunter or day hunts. It’s even really handy to have around the house, office, or car, to be honest. The Poseidon is waterproof and withstands military drop testing. With two charging ports capable of a combined 2.4 amp output, there is no better way to keep all your devices charged in the field. It also features a light to find items in a pinch.
Price: $659 or $604
A quality pack that can comfortably withstand the rigors of western big game hunting is a must. The Stone Glacier packs are built with two goals in mind: to remain ultralight without compromising strength and durability. During this past fall, I assisted in packing out three bull elk, a mule deer, and three Sitka blacktail deer with loads varying from 40 lbs to over 100 lbs. The built-in load shelf makes packing meat out a breeze and the pack performed flawlessly. I'm a big fan of the Sky 5900 and the Solo 3300. All parts and pieces are constructed and assembled in the USA. Gifting any Stone Glacier pack this holiday season would be a massive success.
Price: $54.99 to $64.99
Each fall, we head to the field in pursuit of tall tines and organic protein in its purest form. Anyone who has found success in the field can appreciate the benefits of a quality set of lightweight game bags. They keep meat clean, bug-free, and don't weigh you down. Caribou Gear Game Bags are constructed from a custom synthetic nylon blend of fabric that is extremely lightweight, breathable, stain resistant, washable, and durable. Reflective attachments and loop locks can be easily seen in a headlamp on the darkest night. Available in three sets: the Muley Meat on Bone, The Wapiti Meat on the Bone, and the Carnivore III (boned out backcountry hunter).
Price: $85 to $89
The Stretch Zion and Zioneer pants by PrAna are probably the most comfortable pair of hunting/hiking pants that you may have never heard of. Constructed from an ultra-resilient fabric that repels both water and abrasions, the stretch performance fabric has a UPF of 50+ and includes a ventilated inseam gusset for a full range of motion. The fit is fantastic, not baggy, but not restrictive either. The Zioneer is a classic five pocket style with an additional vertical pocket tucked in along the right thigh, while the Stretch Zion has six total pockets, including a cargo pocket on the left thigh. You can't go wrong with either pair. Whether you are scouting during the summer months or hunting in the fall you will love Prana pants.
If you are still looking for a few smaller items that are fantastic stocking stuffers, take a look at the MSR Folding Spork or Spoon. How can a spork or spoon be a good gift? Well, if you have ever tried to eat a Mountain House meal with a regular utensil or some of the other backpacker versions out there, then you'll know that they aren’t quite long enough to keep your knuckles out of your dinner or they weigh a tad too much. The MSR folding utensils are ultra-light (.35 oz), fold down to a compact 4.5", and are long enough to easily eat a Mountain House without getting your hands dirty. Everyone should have a couple on hand.
Price: $30 Combo plus 4pts for INSIDERS
Everyone needs a Nalgene bottle, whether you are heading into the hills or back to the gym. These 32 oz wide mouth bottles are tough, easy to fill from a spring or purifier and fit nicely in most backpack side pouch pockets. A goHUNT T-shirt stuffed in one of our Nalgene bottles makes a great stocking stuffer.
The goHUNT Bino Bandit completely blocks out ambient light for any set of binoculars. That might not sound like a big deal, but trust us, if your favorite hunter spends hours each fall staring through a pair of binoculars, the Bino Bandit is a game changer. The Bino Bandit improves visual acuity, reduces eye strain, and is one of my personal favorite new pieces of gear this year.
Price: $45 combo plus 5pts for INSIDERS
The Richardson is a comfortable hat that fits and looks great. Pick from either the Richardson grey/black or grey/orange and pair it with a 20 oz Yeti rambler for a killer stocking stuffer combo.
The goHUNT Spudz is a great little microfiber lens cleaning cloth that easily attaches to any binocular harness. It safely removes smudges, fog, or water droplets from your lenses without fear of scratching. I always have one attached to my harness.
Price: $7.95 to $8.95
Some of the hottest items selling items from the store this fall have been the Rocky Mountain Calls and Phelps Game Calls diaphragm elk calls and it’s because they sound great and are easy to use. It’s never too early to start practicing for next September and a couple of these will fit perfectly inside a stocking.
Available in a variety of amounts, the goHUNT Gear Shop gift card gives the lucky recipient the chance to select from the finest field-tested gear in the industry.
The holidays will be here before you know it and the goHUNT Gear Shop has tons of items that will satisfy any western hunter, so log on and get your gifts ordered before it's too late. Thank you all for your support in 2017 and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy holiday season!