2016’s Top 10 Christmas gift ideas for the sportsman

If your outdoorsman is still writing letters to Santa, these items just might be on the list

Christmas trees, sparkly white lights and inflatable Santas have been up in retail stores since Halloween ended, and now the full-court press of holiday shopping is about to ramp up even more with Black Friday and Cyber Monday staring us square in the face.

Seemingly in the blink of an eye, we’ll all be fighting other procrastinators buying last-minute presents just days before Christmas — probably without really knowing if the gifts we’re battling snarled holiday traffic and lines of impatient customers for were even wanted.

So to give you a good starting point for the outdoor enthusiasts on your list — with gifts they might actually really want to receive — LouisianaSportsman.com contacted managers at two of Louisiana’s most popular outdoor stores.

Lindsey Simmons-Roberts at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop and Lea Benoit at Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge (225-766-1200) came up with 10 items sure to make the sportsman on your list smile on Christmas morning.

To see a picture of each item, just click on the numbered link.

1. Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Soft-sided Cooler

The Flip is the latest entry into Yeti’s wildly-popular line of soft-sided Hopper ice chests, and as the name implies, Lea Benoit at Bowie’s said it’s designed like a squared-off lunch pail.

“With the regular Hopper, it’s a cross-zip, where you have to pry it open and dig your hand down in there,” he said. “But the lid of the Flip has a zipper that goes completely around it and folds over, kind of like a little lunch box.”

Like all Yeti products, it retains ice extremely well, and Benoit said the zipper used is key.

“It’s the exact same zipper they use if you’re in a cold weather survival suit on an expedition in Antarctica,” he said. “You’ve got all that insulation on the cooler itself, but when you lock that zipper tight, it’s completely sealed.”

Bowie’s sells the Yeti Hopper Flip 12 for $279.99. For more information, click here.

2. Celestron FireCel Mega 6 Hand Warmer and Charger

This handy device kills three birds with one stone – it’s an awesome hand warmer, a cellphone charger and a flashlight all in one small unit.

That makes it perfect for both the duck blind and the deer stand, especially if you find your phone battery running low out in the field.

“You can easily carry it with you, and it can do a number of different things,” Lindsey Simmons-Roberts at Simmons’ Sporting Goods said. “It’s convenient for any hunter — duck or deer.”

The FireCel Mega 6 sells for $59.99 at Simmons’. Click here for more information.

3. Taylor Targets

Paper targets are great for sighting in your gun, but once that’s done, there’s nothing like shooting at steel — with the satisfying “clang” after your shot to let you know you connected.

Benoit at Bowie’s said Taylor Targets are great fun, and make a perfect Christmas gift for anyone who loves to shoot.

“Once you shoot at steel, you’ll never go back to shooting at anything else. There’s something about being able to hear what you shoot at,” Benoit said. “On a long-distance shot, you hear what you did, instead of pulling the trigger and getting your binoculars out and saying, ‘I’m pretty sure I hit it.’

“With Taylor’s steel targets, you hit it and that sucker gongs on you, and you know exactly what you’ve done.”

Taylor makes steel targets for rimfire, handguns and rifles. Prices at Bowie’s range from $24.99 to $159.99. Click here for more information.

4. Louisiana Sportsman Performance Shirts

Sportsman Gear has extended its performance shirt line-up with two new offerings: the Responder and Equinox.

The Responder is a shirt you’ll never want to take off. It’s made with a smart fabric that dials into your body temperature, keeping you warm and comfortable when it’s cool — but never sticky and sweaty while walking to the duck blind or deer stand.

The Responder – priced at $44 – is available in the camo logo, mallard, big rack and new Sportsman logo designs.

The Equinox is truly a versatile shirt, with fast perspiration absorption and quick-drying qualities for when you need it. The slightly brushed, lightweight fabric also adds a bit of warmth and softness. This great-looking shirt has natural stretch and plenty of room for ease of movement in the field or on the water.

The Equinox series costs $38, and both are available in the Sportsman Store by clicking here.

5. Mojo Flock A Flickers

One of the newest items in the Mojo line of motion decoys, the Flock A Flickers consists of six small units pre-programmed with random on/off timers that produce momentary flashes of spinning-wing action.

“It’s been something that’s been hard to get for duck hunters, but we still have some,” Simmons-Roberts at Simmons’ Sporting Goods said. “I just got some more in and people have been driving a couple of hours to get them. They’re going to be hard to find, I think.”

The Flock A Flickers can be used in water and on dry fields, and operate up to 30 hours on 3 AA batteries.

At Simmons’, the Flock a Flickers sell for $99.99. For more information, click here.

6. Ozonics Dri-Wash Bag

If the deer hunter on your list already has an Ozonics Scent Eliminator Device, the Dri-Wash Bag is the perfect accessory to go along with it this Christmas.

“Basically, this is a zippered closet for your hunting clothing that you hook your Ozonics to the top of and pump ozone into it for 15 to 20 minutes, and it de-scents all of your stuff — boots, belt, jackets, pants — whatever it is you’re wearing the next day,” Benoit at Bowie’s said. “For all the people who went out and bought Ozonics over the last few years, this is the accessory they’re going to want.”

When not in use, the Dri-Wash Bag fold flat for easy transport and storage.

At Bowie’s, the Ozonics Dri-Wash Bag sells for $199.99. Click here for more information.

7. Banded RedZone Breathable Insulated Waders

“These are probably going to be my No. 1 Christmas present for the waterfowler again this year,” Simmons-Roberts at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop said. “They’re definitely my No. 1-selling wader.”

The key is they’re not heavy and bulkly like neoprene, but they keep you toasty warm on those chilly mornings in the blind.

“It’s an insulated material that feels like you’re just wearing pants,” she said. “You have a much better range of mobility, and they’re not heavy.

“You get all of the warmth, without the bulk and weight.”

Banded RedZone waders sell for $329.99 at Simmons’.  For more information, click here.

“If you ever put a pair on, it’s well worth it,” she said.

8. Work Sharp’s Original Knife and Tool Sharpener

There’s nothing more frustrating than a dull knife when you really need one, but Work Sharp’s Original Knife and Tool Sharpener makes keeping the edges of all your knives razor sharp a breeze.

A color-coded belt system takes guesswork out of the equation, and precision-angle sharpening guides ensure you get the proper angle every time.

“It’s an electric knife sharpener with different belts, so you can sharpen kitchen knives and deer-cleaning knives — all the way to mower blades, hatchets and shovels,” Simmons-Roberts said. “You can sharpen the smallest knife in your house, all the way up to your lawnmower blades.

“So it’s a really, really good unique gift for somebody that has everything.”

Work Sharp’s Original Knife and Tool Sharpener sells for $69.99 at Simmons’. Click here for more information.

9. Fenix Model UC30 Flashlight

Let’s face it — lots of sportsmen out there have pretty swanky flashlights — many of which that are probably sitting there with dead batteries.

The Model UC30 from Fenix makes it easier to keep to keep the unit charged — and that’s pretty much what counts when it comes to flashlights.

“The beauty of this light is it’s what they call a tri-fuel light. You can use the CR123 lithium batteries, which is what the majority of these flashlights take. Or you can use a rechargeable battery,” Benoit at Bowie’s said. “But what sets this one apart is this light is also a micro USB rechargeable light, so instead of having to take the battery out and put it on a cradle to charge it, all you have to do is plug a micro USB chord into the flashlight itself and then plug it into the wall or the USB outlet in your vehicle. Basically imagine charging your iPhone – it charges the exact same way.”

So when you’re driving in to the duck camp or heading to your deer stand, you can charge on the go.

“Everybody wants to have a flashlight they can carry around with them, and with this one, they don’t ever have to worry about  whether it’s got power or not because you treat it just like your cellphone,” he said. “You can keep it in the charger in your truck, or plug it into the USB port on your laptop.

“Any way you can charge your phone, you can charge the UC30.”

The Fenix Model UC30 flashlight sells for $59.99 at Bowie’s. For more information, click here.

10. Anderson 5.56 M4

If you’re ready to take the plunge and enter the AR-15 market after the contentious presidential election has reaffirmed your Second Amendment rights, Simmons-Roberts said the Anderson M4 might be just what you’re looking for.

“A lot of people were waiting until the election to see what would happen to buy one, but they’ve been extremely popular all year long,” she said. “We still foresee they’ll be one of our top Christmas gifts.”

And at this price, why not? Normally selling for $599.99, Simmons’ is now selling this AR-15 for $499.99.

“It’s a flat-top 5.56, but for the price, it’s great quality,” she said.

Click here for more information.

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About Patrick Bonin 1315 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.