What's as difficult as the quest for a monster buck? Coming up with the perfect gift for the whitetail addict in your life. Sure, they're nuts about deer hunting, but that doesn't narrow the playing field much.
It's like spotting that huge buck on a trail camera that only shows up at night but never during a hunt. You know it's there but what can you do? With a seemingly never ending array of options all promising to be the next best thing in the whitetail world, finding the perfect gift can become much more challenging than it needs to be.
To save you some time and take out the guesswork, we rounded up the best gifts for the deer hunter on your holiday shopping list.
If your addiction goes beyond whitetail, find even more gift ideas with the Game & Fish 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Hunters.
Check out the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for the perfect gift this year:
SPOT | Gen3
For those looking for a critical, life-saving line of communication while adventuring off the grid, consider the SPOT Gen3
, a simple one-touch GPS locator/tracker/messenger. Using 100 percent satellite technology, it tracks your movements and relays them back to a website where others can see your real-time progress. It also sends out prepared text messages/emails to a contact list to let them know you are fine, you need help, or you simply need more supplies. In an emergency, it also features an SOS button that will send out a distress signal with your exact coordinates to rescuers.
Browning | AB3 Composite Stalker
For 2014, this line has a new bolt-action rifle called the AB3
, and it's packed with affordable features. The AB3 comes with a composite stock and a blued receiver and barrel. It has a 60-degree bolt lift, detachable magazine, free-floating barrel and an Inflex recoil pad to destroy recoil. Available with a 22 ' barrel are several standard calibers, including .270 Win. and .30-06 Sprg.; a 26 ' barrel adorns such magnum cartridges as 7mm Rem. Mag. and .300 Win. Mag.
Bushnell | Trophy Cam Essential
This camera is priced to sell, but designers didn't remove the features many whitetail hunters want and need in a reliable scouting device. The Essential
offers a field-scan mode, which is great for surveying food plots and other large areas, and can take video clips 1-60 seconds in duration. The video
files also offer audio. This camera snaps 6 MP photos, has 32 low-glow LEDs and boasts 1-year battery life.
Hornady | Custom Lite
Want less wallop against your shoulder on the range or in the deer stand? Hornady has introduced this new line for women, kids and anyone else who dislikes getting hammered by the back end of a rifle. These loads were designed to produce significantly less recoil but still have ample knockdown power in the field to take out whitetails cleanly. Custom Lite
is available in many deer cartridges, including .243 Win., .270 Win. and .30-06 Sprg.
Starting at $
Hunter's Specialties | Slam Talker Combo
Here you'll find everything needed to call in a big buck. This combo pack includes the Slam Talker
call, which can imitate fawns, does and bucks just by applying pressure to different on the soundboard. The board is made of hardwood, preventing it from freezing or sticking in the cold. The combo pack also includes a Ruttin' Buck rattling bag, a convenient and compact way to rattle in the big one.
Hunter's Specialties | Scent-A-Way Max
Hunter's Specialties' Scent-A-Way
has long been a popular odor neutralizer, and now the formula has been improved to be even more effective with the Max
. New bio-engineering technology attracts and destroys odor-causing bacteria. High-performance 'odor scrubbers ' provide stronger, longer-lasting results. Plus, you can spray continuously, even with the container upside down. That provides faster, more even coverage when you're about to hit the woods or want to add a bit more protection while on stand.
Delta McKenzie | Lethal Impact
Delta McKenzie's Lethal Impact
3-D target is made to stop any type of arrow from either a vertical bow or crossbow. The target is constructed of E-Z Flex foam, resulting in quick, easy arrow retrieval. The large buck has a black vitals area with a bright-red heart.
Leupold | BX-1 McKenzie 10x42
Providing high-end features at a blue-collar price always sounds appealing, and that describes the BX-1 McKenzie 10x42
. This 22-ounce model has all the features whitetail hunters are looking for, including smooth focusing, twist-up eyecups, fully multicoated lenses and armor coating. The result is a tough, waterproof and fogproof binocular. The BX-1 McKenzie 10x42 also incorporates BAK-4 prisms.
QAD | Ultra Rest HDX
Two of the top brands in the archery industry teamed up on one great rest: the Ultra Rest HDX
. It has the Lost camo pattern and features a Mathews Harmonic Damper to destroy vibration. Smart Rest Technology ensures the launching arm gets out of the way during the shot and stays down. The rest comes with a custom mounting bar for a perfect fit on a Mathews bow.
This new hang-on stand is built for all-day sits, thanks in large part to an extra-comfortable fold-up seat. The M100U's
seat measures 20x17 inches, making this model perfect for larger hunters. Although the stand has plenty of room, it's also reported to be 20 percent lighter than previous Millenniums. The platform itself measures 20x38 inches, affording you plenty of room for maneuvering to take a shot with bow or gun.
Muzzy | Trocar Crossbow
The 125-grain Trocar Crossbow
is built with a ferrule to match perfectly with the diameter of the popular 22 Series crossbow arrow. Like the original Trocar, this extremely accurate fixed-blade head has a 1.375 ' cutting diameter and .035 ' helix blades that fly true even at extreme speeds.
Nikon | Aculon
At just 4.4 ounces, the Aculon
is said to be Nikon's
smallest-ever rangefinder, and indeed it's tiny — so tiny, in fact, you'll hardly notice it in your pocket. Ranging can be done from 6-550 yards. There's a continuous-scan mode and 6X magnification, and the multilayered glass provides a crystal-clear image. The Aculon's 20mm objective lens offers long eye relief.
The wrong wind direction keeps many hunters from sitting where they want on a given day. But the HR-200
expands those options considerably. This ozone generator is designed to destroy human odor on the molecular level. It operates on a rechargeable 12-volt battery, has silent on/off switches and runs extremely quietly. This year there are new camouflage finish options, plus an improved mounting system for attaching to the tree.
Plano | Parallel Bow Case
Plano's Parallel Bow Case
is priced to sell but tough enough to take being bounced around in the back of a pickup. The adjustable pillarlock system prevents crushing, and the pluck foam padding can be customized. There's also a utility box for extra broadheads, wrenches and more. Total length is 43 '.
Scentblocker | Apex Jacket
Time in the deer woods is limited, and most of us don't want to stay home just because it's windy. That's why ScentBlocker
developed its new Apex jacket
. This top-of-the-line model with Tough-Tech fabric is not just durable but also lightweight and windproof. It's waterproof and breathable and comes with contoured sleeves, providing for maximum range of motion with minimal bulk. This jacket is perfect for a windy day — or any other.
Tenzing | TP14
This new pack is more or less a cross between a backpack and a turkey vest, and it figures to be great for whitetail hunting. The TP14
has an internal aluminum frame, adjustable aluminum legs and a fold-down, padded seat to keep your backside comfy when sitting for long periods. There also are several pockets for calls and other accessories.
Thompson/Center | Venture Compact
With more youth and adult female hunters hitting the deer woods each year, the Venture Compact
is a great choice. Simply a more compact model of the original Venture, it has an adjustable trigger, a 2-position safety and a 1-inch adjustable spacer for adjusting length of pull. The Venture Compact comes with a 20-inch barrel, has a black synthetic stock with Hogue panels and is available in .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., .308 Win. and 7mm-08 Rem.
Tink's | No-Freeze #69
This company has been going strong for decades now, thanks in large part to its popular Doe-In-Rut #69 buck lure
. And this year it's being made available in a formula that won't freeze. The No-Freeze formula contains an odorless additive that prevents the urine from freezing without reducing its effectiveness. Because the urine doesn't freeze, the odor stays fresh and circulates better through the air, attracting bucks even when the temperature is icy.
ThermaCELL | ProFLEX Heated Insoles
This company's popular heated insole, which operates via rechargeable batteries, has been refined for even better performance and convenience. The new ProFLEX
model offers longer use on a single charge and has increased flexibility. The heat setting is easily adjusted with the convenient remote control, and you can drop in fresh batteries without removing the insoles from your footwear.
Wicked | Bone Saw
The awesome Wicked Bone Saw
will cut through not just bone but also wood, PVC and almost anything else you'd need a saw for in the deer woods or camp. At the heart of the design is an impulse-hardened, high-carbon steel blade as tough as nails. The handle is made of cast aluminum, so it's extra tough and lightweight.
Mathews | NO CAM HTR
Mathews recently announced its newest bow, the NO CAM HTR
, just in time for the holiday season. The new NO CAM Technology utilizes two circular and concentric string tracks to create a balanced system with a radically smooth draw cycle and straight and level nock travel for superior accuracy.
The NO CAM HTR features shorter, more rigid quad limbs, a less-reflexed riser, twin Harmonic Stabilizers and the Mathews patented Focus Grip. RockMods come standard on the HTR and are available in 65-, 75- and 85-percent letoff.
The bow comes in five finishes, including the new Stone Tactical and Lost Camo OT.
Bear | Agenda 7
One of the oldest names in bowhunting equipment has introduced a model that promises a highly shootable blend of speed (340 fps) and forgiveness. The Agenda 7
is built with the H13 cam system, Max preload Quad limbs and an advanced riser that evenly distributes the limbs' load. Brace height is 7 inches, while the physical weight is 4 pounds.
Beman | ICS Hunter Patriot
Looking for a shaft that flies like a dart and makes a strong
statement? Then check out the Patriot
. This lightweight carbon arrow comes with a straightness tolerance of +/- .003, has bright-red H nocks and is built to penetrate. The U.S.-made shaft has red, white and blue graphics.
Carbon Express | Maxima Red Lost Camo
The tough, accurate Maxima Red
is extremely popular, and its new Mathews edition should add to that, thanks to a Lost camo logo and a red version of that company's pattern. Like the original, the Lost camo version features stiffer ends than previous arrows, for a more controlled dynamic spine for less oscillation in flight and more accuracy. Shafts are laser checked for straightness of +/- .0025.
Elite | Energy
For 2014, this fast-growing company has introduced the Energy
. As the name implies, the bow has power to spare, throwing an arrow downrange at 335 fps. The Energy comes with Elite's Energy Cam system, a stronger riser and a more parallel limb configuration than previous models in the company's lineup. Shooters can choose between 32- and 35-inch models.
Mission Archery | MXB320
Mission brought crossbows into its lineup several years ago and continues to wow consumers with hunter-friendly models. For 2014, there's the MXB320
, which is perfect for the entire family. The draw weight can be adjusted from 100-180 pounds; speed is rated at 320 fps. This model comes with a riser that doubles as a foot stirrup, reducing overall weight to 6.5 pounds.
G5 | Havoc
Years ago G5
broke onto the archery scene with the Montec, and the company has been bringing innovative heads to market almost every year since. For 2014 there's a new one called the Havoc
. It's a 2-blade mechanical that comes with a Dual Trap retention system to ensure the blades stay locked and loaded until impact. This 100-grain head has extra-sharp German Lutz blades and a 2 ' cutting diameter.
Rage | 3-Blade Kore
Each year, this company pushes the engineering envelope — and 2014 is no exception, with a head unlike any other. The 3-Blade Kore
reportedly creates devastating wound channels resulting in short blood trails. This 100-grain head is made of stainless steel and has CNC-machined cavities. The .035 ' blades provide a cut 1.6 ' across. In total there are six cutting surfaces.
ATN | X-Sight HD Riflescope
Now that the watchphone is a legitimate reality in today's world, it's no wonder space-age technologies have entered the world of hunting. The ATN X-Sight HD Riflescope
is a prime example. A computer-powered riflescope with day or night modes, the X-Sight HD has full video recording capabilities, WiFi and Smooth Zoom, and a Obsidian Core computer that produces 1080p high resolution imaging. The scope also comes standard with Micro USB, Micro HDMI and Micro SD card ports.
In addition to all that, the X-Sight HD also comes with GPS Geotagging, which allows you to mark waypoints on a map as you go. The scope also has a built-in compass and WiFi, which allows you to connect a smartphone or tablet to the scope. The 3 to 12 power zoom works electronically, while an internal image stabilizer makes easy work of spotting and holding animals steady in the scope.
Mission | Craze
Let's not forget about the youngsters and beginning bowhunters on your holiday gift list. They'll need a starter setup that not only makes bowhunting more accessible, but one that will actually make them an effective hunter in the field. Luckily Mission Archery
has this covered with the Craze
. Neither you nor the recipient will regret the choice.
With an impressive IBO speed rating of 306 fps, the Craze combines adjustability with lethality for an ideal starter bow or effective option for even the most veteran of bowhunters. With a 28-inch axle-to-axle length and 7 ½-inch brace height the Craze is one of the quietest and smoothest drawing bows on the market for the price. Mission achieves this by offering a wide range of adjustability on the Craze's dual cam system with the ability to adjust draw weights from 15 to 70 pounds and draw lengths from 19 to 30 inches, all with an 80 percent let-off.
Be sure to get them started on the right foot by selecting either one of Mission's Basic, Bow Hunter, or Pro Hunter outfitting packages which include a rest, quiver, sight and stabilizer (depending on the chosen package) to accompany the bow. The Craze is also available in a wide variety of standard camo finishes and Mission's 'Splash ' finishes.