Upland and waterfowl hunters are probably some of the pickiest around, which also makes them some of the hardest to shop for. Year in and year out, they expect their gear to hold up to the harshest elements mother nature can throw their way.
After all, most of us can't afford to replace every piece of gear. But with the holiday season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to pick up that new gun or gadget you've been eyeing all season long. Make your wish list and check it twice – and then buy everything on it.
With new features such as Wind & Weather - which delivers information on current conditions, wind direction and barometric pressure - the onX Hunt App is the perfect gift for any hunter. It offers detailed data on land ownership and boundaries, tracks your travel routes through unfamiliar terrain and allows outdoorsmen to share waypoints with hunting partners. And offline map access means you’re never without that valuable information. MSRP: $29.99 - $99.99 per year | onxmaps.com
D.T. R.A.P.T. 1450
If its blaze orange color didn’t give it away, the 1450 is an upland-specific e-collar. With an ergonomic remote that can be operated with your thumb, you can correct the dog without taking your hand of the gun. The 1450 has a 1,400-yard range, 16 stim levels, vibration and expandability. MSRP: $270 | dtsystems.com
Long-time gun maker Franchi’s Instinct gives you the choice of 12, 20, 28 gauges and .410 bore wrapped up in a great over/under. The color case-hardened steel action harks back to the classic bird gun. Add to this a sleek Prince-of-Wales grip stock, and at a mere 6 pounds in the 28 and .410, this becomes an all-day carry shotgun. MSRP: $1,690 | www.franchiusa.com
A combination of steel and photodegradable wads in Kent’s Velocity Steel Game & Target provide an environmentally friendly and economical alternative for busting feathers or clays. Available in 20- or 12-gauge in No. 7 shot. MSRP: $13 | kentgamebore.com
Garmin Alpha 100
With the ability to track up to 20 dogs (as well as the hunter) and handle them with varying stimulation levels, tone and vibrate, the Alpha is a versatile GPS/e-collar. Trackers are geared toward pointers and hounds, but retriever guys will appreciate the ability to keep tabs on a Lab in deep cover, too. MSRP: $800 | garmin.com
Whether you refer to it as “force fetch” or “conditioned retrieve,” taking a hunting dog through the process is no walk in the park. Deadfowl Trainers have a unique construction that helps teach proper hold. The hard, dangling head discourages shaking, plus liquid scent can be injected into the soft body for added realism. MSRP: $25 | deadfowltrainer.com
Few things are more painful than losing a remote or transmitter, but breaking one comes close. Collar Clinic is the answer for this disaster. In business since 1988, CC can make your gear good as new again, no matter how “classic” that collar. Or if you’re considering upgrading, trade your old gear for new or try one of their budget-friendly reconditioned units. MSRP: Starting at $119 | collarclinic.com
Gunner Kennels G1 Medium
The latest addition to Gunner Kennels' lineup is the G1 Medium, made for micro-Labs or young retrievers weighing up to 45 pounds. Five-star-crash-rated, the near bomb-proof kennel comes with a lifetime warranty. MSRP: $430 | gunnerkennels.com
Caesar Guerini Eclipse
For luxury at a fraction of the cost, check out Caesar Guerini’s Eclipse Curve! In 20 and 28 gauges, this upland gun points naturally. Then add the extensive engraving, and your buddies will line up just for a look. Non-selective trigger, 28-inch barrels with chrome-lined bores all add up to a lot of over/under for the money. MSRP: $6,900 | www.gueriniusa.com