By Josh Gowan
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all the outdoors-folk in our beautiful little piece of America!
Jesus is the reason for the season, and there are blessings abound in our neck of the woods. Lord knows I love the thrill of fishing and hunting, and the beauty of the great outdoors, but without friends and family to share this awesome passion with, I doubt many of us would be near as adamant about it.
So take a kid fishing or hunting, and thank the Lord for time spent in the serenity of God’s creation with the ones we love, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Hopefully a lot of kids (and dads and grandpas) are receiving a ton of camouflage, guns, ammo, fishing poles, and so on for Christmas this year. I’m just beginning the annual expedition to our family’s many Christmases, one of the advantages of having a huge family and then strategically marrying into one, so it’s too early to take inventory!
I read an article from a would-be prominent newspaper (no outdoor column) a few days ago that listed some great last minute gift ideas for the outdoorsman in your life. Actually that’s not true, the article only listed one, a hunting or fishing license, which is really not a very good gift because I can assure you we are going to buy those for ourselves! However, I figured a few last minute ideas for the always tough-to-buy-for hunter or fisherman might help.
While there are outdoor stores in all the big towns and cities, and some of these things can be purchased at Wal-Mart and possibly for a nickel less, for this particular gift-guide I am using Grizzly Jig Co. in Caruthersville, Missouri. Grizzly is not only a family-owned, brick and mortar store that has been serving West Tennessee and Southeast Missouri for over 20 years, but it also serves as my day job, and I’m pushing for a nice bonus this year!
Here’s a list of gifts and prices, followed by the age group they’re best suited for divided into kids, dads, and grandpas!
Polarized sunglasses: From the Flying Fisherman line that runs around $25, to the Native line that tops out around $150, fishermen can never have enough polarized sunglasses. For: kids, dads, and grandpas, unless they wear glasses full time.
Cablz: These are the devices that insure we don’t lose those new sunglasses.
They’re $12 and worth every penny, as I’ve had the same one through three pairs of sunglasses, which all broke rather than were lost. For: kids, dads, and grandpas. Also fit easily in a stocking.
Plano Dry-loc Case: Everyone should own one of these.
The larger of the two is a bit smaller than a Kleenex box and has a thick rubber seal and a tough clamp-lock. I’ve owned the same one for four years and it goes to the beach, the river, and the lake with us. Easily holds and protects 2-3 cell phones, a small camera and a wallet all at once for $17. The smaller one would hold one phone and contents of a wallet for $12. For: kids, dads, and grandpas.
Frogg Togg Rain Suit: This rain suit will fit in your glove box when it’s rolled up, but put on, you won’t find a nicer rain suit for under $80, and it sells for $40. For: dads and grandpas, no kid’s sizes.
Zebco 33 Combo: This push-button rod and reel has been around in one form or another for longer than I’ve been alive.
This is a great starter setup, and for $26 you’re sure to put a smile on a kid’s face. For: kids, and dads and grandpas that have a pond or aren’t serious anglers (however, if you’ve been eyeballing a new tie for dad or grandpa, I can assure you he’d rather have the 33 Combo, even if your grandpa’s Bill Dance!)
Crappie Angler Magazine subscription: This only applies to crappie fishermen, but for only $25 a year you get to enjoy six issues of crappie tips and tactics, and what may be the best humor article in the fishing world! For: everyone that crappie fishes!
We also have a ton of hats, knives, stocking stuffer stuff, and so on, and then there’s always the very popular gift certificate! So come see us and let us save the men in your life from another Christmas morn of ties, underwear, and socks!
Josh M. Gowan, Outdoors Writer, Crappie Angler Magazine, www.joshgowanoutdoors.com
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