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Think Usefulness When Shopping For Hunters
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Short of bagging the perfect 10-point buck, hunters can get what they really want for Christmas if gift-buyers follow a few guidelines.
Stores are full of hunting and fishing equipment, clothes, gadgets and games. Some are needed, others useful and fun, but there are some that hunters and fishers sincerely hope don't end up under their Christmas tree.
Dean Stewart, an avid hunter and wildlife specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said hunters and fishers are real particular about the gifts they get.
"It takes a lot of supplies to go hunting," Stewart said. "It's a good gift idea to get something related to hunting or fishing, but there are so many things available that it's sometimes hard to know what to buy."
Stewart said the safest thing to do is to find out from the sportsman what they really want. For example, if the hunter wants a duck call, learn the brand and type they want.
"Hunters can get kind of picky, and you have to get specifics about what they want," Stewart said. "It takes some ingenuity to find out their wish list without them knowing what they're going to get as a gift."
Stewart said hunting or fishing buddies often make the best sources of gift information.
Clothing items for the sport are almost always appreciated. Be sure to get something that is both high-quality and stylish, as these both have become major considerations.
Binoculars make good gifts, as many hunters don't have these useful tools. Stewart said these are especially useful as the average age of hunters increases, and their eyesight tends to decrease.
Safety items also make good gifts for hunters and fishermen. A good flashlight, compass, hand warmers and a small first aid kit can all make nice stocking stuffers or gifts for sportsmen and women.
If the hunter has a computer, they may appreciate a hunting game. Hunting games have recently topped best-seller lists as the most popular computer games available. If the person likes to read, a magazine subscription may be in order.
"Sportsmen are becoming more interested in educating themselves and many enjoy popular hunting and fishing magazines or conservation-oriented publications," Stewart said.
If the sportsman likes to display their outdoor successes, a gift certificate to a taxidermy shop may make the perfect gift. Nice, professional prints of an appropriate outdoors scene for the office or den often make good gifts. When in doubt about any gift idea, money is always an option rather than giving something the person will not want or use.
"One thing that hunters and fishers don't like is trinkets that have no function," Stewart said. "A little ceramic figure of a deer is not a good gift idea, so keep the person's interests and wishes in mind when shopping for hunters and fishers on your list."