What's the No. 1 Outdoors-Related Gift You Want for Christmas?

Our editors and staff weigh in on what they want to find under the tree this year.

What's the No. 1 Outdoors-Related Gift You Want for Christmas?

Dave Maas and his dad showing off two trophy largemouth bass caught in June 1983 on Florida's Rodman Reservoir.

We’ll admit it — hunters can be hard to buy for. Much of what we want for Christmas either can’t be bought (that once-in-a-lifetime tag), costs an exorbitant amount (the guided hunt for that once-in-a-lifetime animal in an exotic location), or is so specific that well-meaning shoppers don’t know where to start — like gun parts, a particular load your rifle really likes, or even a new gun itself. After all, how’s a non-hunting shopper supposed to know what twist rate, barrel length and chambering their spouse wants in a new deer rifle? 

Then there are the intangibles and impossible: We all want more time to hunt, more days afield to spend with our kids, that one gun back that we shouldn’t have sold in 1993, or one last hunt with Grandpa if we only had the chance.  Of course, there are a few never-have-enough items that are the old standbys. The hunter in your life will almost certainly appreciate new wool socks, flashlight batteries, a brick of .22LR, or the always-appreciated gift certificate. 

What are the Grand View Outdoors editors looking for under the tree this year? New gear is always nice, but most have something more special on their Christmas list. Still, you can’t go wrong with some extra cash on hand or a gift card to facilitate that next hunt trip.

Mike Schoblaska, Digital Editor

My wife would probably tell you I’m hard to buy gifts for, and she’s right. I’m very particular about the gear I purchase, and I rely heavily on reviews and local availability. I like to feel how quickly the anti-reverse kicks in on spinning reels, shake the rattle baits and try on clothing before I shell out the cash. I’m also a sucker for a good deal, so if the reel or rattle are just right and on sale, rather than wait to get them for a gift I’ll usually just buy them myself. Gift cards truly never go out of style, but I’ve even been known to buy those for myself if I can get them on sale. 

But there is one thing I have been wanting that I haven’t rushed out and bought already, and that’s a new archery target. I bought my wife a bow last spring and through no fault of her own, she hasn’t shot it yet. I’ll admit I don’t even practice as much with my own bow as I should. And even my 4-year-old daughter has asked for a “bow and arrow” for Christmas. A new target would be something the whole family could use together, not only building archery skills but also creating memories. It’s hard to wrap an afternoon flinging arrows in the backyard up with a bow and stick it under the tree, but a new target comes pretty close to hitting that mark.

Derrick Nawrocki, President and Publisher for Grand View Outdoors

A chance to spend field time with close family and friends, but mostly with my son Coby.

Darren Choate, Editor for Whitetail JournalBowhunting World and Archery Business

For the hunters in my family, myself included, there is no better gift than a few extra dollars stuffed in the stocking come Christmas morning. Why, you ask? Here in Arizona, a week after the Christmas holiday, it's time for another celebration. No, not the New Year; rather, the beginning of a new archery deer season, which runs for the entire month of January and plays out in the middle of the rut. The rut hunt for deer has always been a favorite of mine, as well as for several of my friends and family too. For those of us who want to chase mule deer or Coues whitetail with stick-and-string, it means purchasing a new deer tag and license (for some) to do so. 

So, a few extra bucks (pun intended) on Christmas morning goes a long way to brighten up a hunter’s day. Additionally, just a month after the Christmas holiday is the beginning of the draw application period for elk and antelope in Arizona. These draw tags have bigger price tags than the OTC deer tags and it's nice to have a few extra dollars to pool together for a chance to hunt one of these big game species later in the fall.

Hilary Dyer, Group Managing Editor for Grand View Outdoors

More places to hunt. We’ve been trying to get into a specific hunt club in Alabama for several years now, just waiting for an opening to become available. Until that happens, productive land to hunt with decent opportunity is pretty hard to come by. 

Oh, and a case of handwarmers. You can never have too many! 

Dave and his son will escape Minnesota's winter and frozen lakes during December 2019 with hopes of catching some big bass in Florida.
Dave and his son will escape Minnesota's winter and frozen lakes during December 2019 with hopes of catching some big bass in Florida.

Dave Maas, Senior Editor for Bait & Tackle BusinessBowhunting World, Archery Business and Whitetail Journal 

The week before Christmas 2019 I’m taking my 17-year-old son to Florida in pursuit of trophy largemouth bass. This five-day guided trip will be very similar to one my dad gave to me as a high school graduation gift in 1983. In fact, we’ll be fishing the same lake, and staying at the same tiny motel deep in Florida’s Ocala National Forest. 

Our guide even knows some of the men who took my dad and I fishing 36 years ago. Dad and I had a great Florida fishing vacation, shared a lot of laughs and caught some huge bass. Each of us cracked the 10-pound mark, which is generally regarded as the fish of a lifetime when it comes to largemouth bass. My son and I will return from Florida on Christmas Eve, and I think the best gift on Christmas morning would be to wake up with fresh memories of a good time shared with my son. And if he should catch a double-digit bass, then all the better!

Luke Laggis, Editor for Shooting Sports Retailer

I’d like a good rangefinder. I’m a low-tech hunter – I don’t like to complicate my time in the woods with extra gadgets — and a gun/bow, knife, warm clothes and a flashlight are usually all I really need. But as I’ve started using a crossbow more over the past couple years, knowing distances with the extended range it offers is a big help. It can be the difference between a good shot and a wounded deer, and that’s well worth it to me.

Alan Clemons, Editor for Bait & Tackle Business, Digital Editor for Predator Xtreme, Shooting Sports Retailer and Tactical Retailer

What I'd love most for Christmas is for the hunting machismo-ego and "deer shaming" to be reduced and more hunters supporting each other. I don't seek one giant, mature, wall-monster buck all season with my bow and sneer about that being "real hunting" to anyone who chooses to use a rifle, crossbow, inline muzzleloader or something else. I'll poke fun with the "wave the 6.5 and everything within a quarter mile will die" crowd while enjoying my 6.5 Creedmoor bolt-action rifle and AR10 in 6mm Grendel. If you enjoy a comfortable blind overlooking a planted food plot or stalking along a wooded creekbottom, hey, cool for you. I like doing both. Quit arguing, pointing fingers, saying a bear hunting issue in another state isn't your problem, and start supporting each other more. Hunt legally, ethically, safely and enjoy it while passing something on to the next generation. If Santa could fit that into his camo bag for everyone that would be cool with me.

What's on YOUR Christmas wish list this year?


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