Some gifts better than others for the outdoors enthusiasts

Some gifts better than others for the outdoors enthusiasts


Advocate Outdoors writer

Made that list and checked it twice, and there’s no question that naughty and nice figure into the equation, but there’s one more shopping day until Christmas that you don’t have time to add up all those minuses and pluses for your favorite outdoors person.

There are some simple statements about what not to buy, unless you know, down to the millimeter or style or pattern, just what he or she needs.

Don’t buy clothing, especially camouflage, because there are so many patterns on the market today, and what looks good to you in a store might not be the only best suited for your special hunter to use in their hunting location.

Unless your chosen has outlined in specific detail — very specific detail — don’t buy a hunting weapon, knife, rod, reel, fishing line or boots or any of those silly fishing and hunting signs that you think are cute but most often will wind up as target practice at the camp.

Find his or her favorite store, find someone to direct you to the area of the store holding the item you think your intended needs, find the price, then get a gift certificate nearest that dollar amount. That way you’ve presented them with any of the many options that go along with selecting such a gift.

Saw something the other day that seems to be a can’t-miss item for any hunter, angler, hiker or camper.

It comes from Darex, the Work Sharp/Drill Doctor people and it’s the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2.1. It’s compact, about the size of a small harmonica, coarse and fine diamond plates with bevels to guide the blade along the plates at the correct sharpening angle, coarse and fine ceramic rods with groove to sharpen fish hooks and a leather strop.

“The new Guided Field Sharpener is the voice of our customer in your hands,” Darex president Hank O’Dougherty said.

Couldn’t agree with him more, because the diamond plates are held by magnets to the base and can be removed, and there are guides in the base that allow a hunter to sharpen the broadheads on arrows.

It runs $34.95, and is compact enough for any hunting pack, tackle box or backpack. Available locally or on this website:

Need stocking stuffers?

How about an ‘app’

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries send out an item last week that it has lunched its first iPhone application.

It’s free from the App Store, and offers hunting and fishing regs, freshwater and saltwater fish identifications, size and bag limits on fish, waterfowl IDs and wildlife management area schedules.

It can be downloaded from the App Store at

There are so many “apps” used in the outdoors that you could choose to give any of a number for a Christmas present. The GPS tracking, weather, tides and sun-moon charts are just a few and most are very affordable.

The recreation survey

The pages upon pages in the final 2006-2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a solid upturn in the number of Americans choosing to spend their time outdoors.

The survey showed 90 million-plus American 16 and older “participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011.” That’s a three percent uptick from the same time in 2006. Most of that increase was traced to increases in hunting and fishing activities.

“Wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities, which equated to 1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product,” the USFWS noted in the survey, which also stated by 33.1 million fished, 13.7 million hunted and another 71.8 million engaged in another form of outdoors activity.