All year long we strive to look at the best gear across the outdoor and hunting markets in order to put together our hand crafted selection of the best hunting and outdoor products that we know hunters will want come Christmas.
Henry Rifles Side Gate Lever Action Rifle
In 2019, Henry Repeating Arms first introduced the Henry H024 Side Gate Lever Action. This year they made the transition for all of Henry’s .30-30 and .45-70 rifles as well as all .410 bore shotguns and revolver caliber Big Boy rifles in their blued steel, All-Weather, and Color Case Hardened versions. “Ever since our fans and customers got a taste of a side loading Henry, the requests started rolling in immediately to include this feature on their favorite finish or caliber. These new models will make a lot of people very happy, and we are always going to have options for fans of our legacy configuration as well,” states Anthony Imperato, president and owner of Henry Repeating Arms. Imperato continues, “The removable tube magazine is a core part of our product DNA, so that’s not going anywhere, and fans of the classic brass and octagon barrel configurations will always be able to get that from us.” These rifles are Made in America and provide hunters with a ton of options and configurations as well as calibers perfect for hunting. Check them out at HenryUSA.com.
Ranger Ready P2 Pak™
Ranger Ready has created the best non-DEET insect repellent in the industry. This year Ranger Ready developed the P2 Pak. The first bottle contains Permethrin 0.5% to effectively cover all of your clothing. The second bottle in the P2 Pak is Body-Worn Picaridin 20% to cover all of your exposed skin. The new Ranger Ready P2 PAK is designed to provide maximum protection from ticks, mosquitos and biting insects. Covering both your skin and your clothing with the P2 Pak allows you to feel confident and know that you have coverage from everything from mosquitoes, ticks, and no see um’s to biting flies and other biting insects. We particularly like the P2 Pak because of the Scent Zero option that keeps your clothing clean and scent free; perfect for the hunters in your life. Over the past year, we have been using Ranger Ready for everything from spring turkey season, summer trekking season and even early deer season. This stuff works and it works extremely well. I am happy to be DEET free and a whole lot less stinky.
Sportsman’s Box – Hunting Subscription Box
Sportsman’s Box Hunting or Fishing Subscription Box continues to grow and really only for one big reason: these boxes are filled with awesome gear that hunters actually want to own. They work with a wide variety of companies and the boxes come with great gear. There are three levels of boxes you can order: the Starter, the Original and the Denali. Regardless of the level you choose, you will receive a box filled with gear that will be useful throughout the season. These boxes can arrive quarterly or monthly. And great news: we got you all a Sportsman’s Box PROMO Code. Use HuntingLife25 to get all of our readers, fans and followers 25% off their first box. Order one of these Sportsman’s Box today for the hunters or fishing enthusiasts in your life!!
Benchmade Steep Country Hunter
We had the opportunity to test out the new Benchmade Steep Country Hunter 15006 on multiple deer this season. Whether we were gutting, caping or breaking apart an animal the Steep Country Knife held up and consistently provided us with a sharp edge. This is a tool that fits squarely in my large hands while working on a deer. No matter who we handed it to during the week, all were impressed with the quality rubber soft grip. The plastic sheath that comes with the knife is mountable on your pack or waist. Alternatively, the knife is easy to see dropped into the bottom of your pack. This is a solid knife made with CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC) steel. Every cut felt good, the knife cleans up extremely well and it was easy to see whether it was really late at night or in broad daylight. The Steep Country Hunter is a knife worth giving.
weBoost Drive Reach OTR
Hunters, if they want to be successful, need to find ways to get off-grid and get as far away from people as possible. This can be a great thing, but sometimes it gets a little Western out in the middle of nowhere. This is when you really want to make sure you have the ability to connect with the outside world. The weBoost Drive Reach OTR is an outstanding tool to help insure that you have that connection from your vehicle. How it works: The powerful exterior antenna reaches out to cell phone towers to receive a signal. The antenna then transmits this signal to the weBoost Drive Reach OTR or weBoost Drive Reach RV booster. The booster receives this outside signal, combining and amplifying each of the supported frequency bands throughout the vehicle and back to the cell phone towers using a series of sophisticated low noise amplifiers and filters. The device then uses this stronger signal to provide reliable calls and data as the phone signal is transmitted back through the booster to the cellular network. We have been testing this and it makes a difference when you need it. Check them out at weBoost.com.
Wild Tribute Apparel
We love public lands, and so does the team at Wild Tribute. They have created a line of shirts and apparel that celebrates our National Parks and National Forests. We are particularly fond of the Smokey Shirt and some of the other great shirts from Wild Tribute celebrating our National Forests. These shirts are not cheap, but the quality is EXCEPTIONAL and WOW are these shirts soft. Wild Tribute has a strong giveback ethic, and 4% of their proceeds are given to causes to protect historic and wild places. The designs are cool and unique and for the individual that loves the outdoors and wild places these shirts make a pretty outstanding gift.
DMOS Collective Delta Pro Shovel
The DMOS Collective Delta Shovel is one of the overlanding tools that have truly appreciated. As well. this is a tool made in Portland, Oregon, and we like knowing we are putting American workers back on the line. DMOS Collective has been working on recovery tools for several years now. These shovels have options including bags to keep them safe and clean as well as brackets for overlanding rigs with lockable clips to keep them safe while attached to your vehicle. This shovel folds down to a compact space and can be used as a hoe or a shovel to move massive amounts of mud, sand or snow. It is a serious tool for a serious situation. On late season trips, especially if I think snow might be an issue, I might even consider adding it to my pack; at 3 lbs 8 oz, it is not unreasonable to consider. If you have someone in your life that likes to get off-grid, this is an amazing tool that can save your life when no one else is around. The DMOS Collective motto is #forthosethatdo and this is a tool that helps you do lots.
Adler Short Splitter AX
Adler Axes are made in Germany, which date back to Josef Schmitt who started the company in 1919. Adler Axes are created with passion and the standards set for the company years and years ago. The Short Splitter allows you to create a serious amount of splitting power. It is the perfect small ax for around the campfire and for storage behind the seat of your truck. The short splitter is used with two hands to get serious power on big logs, and you can split kindling with a single hand. The “wings” on the side of the ax allow it to work effectively. This is one of the sharpest axes I have ever used. The wood is USA hickory and the leather sheath is from Spain. Regardless of where you are in the world this Adler Short Splitter axe is sure to be a hit under the Christmas tree.
My Medic Pet Medic
Most hunters who have a bird dog need a first aid kit for their pet. At under $20.00 the Pet Medic first aid pack from My Medic is a solid starter kit especially for dog owners. My Medic Medpacks are great packs for a variety of different things like pets, finger cuts, headaches, burns, blisters and more and are created for each specialty need as well as more complete full scale medical kits.
NOCS Waterproof Binoculars
NOCS waterproof binoculars are the real deal, and they are the perfect size for small hands because they are easy to use, easy to hold and easy to take care of. The NOCS are 8 x 25, fogproof, waterproof and built to be basically indestructible. These are not kids binoculars by any means, but they do work incredibly well with younger hunters because of their size and their ease of use. The colors on these encourage small hands and non-hunters to pick them up and that gets more people interested in looking through them. When I look through binoculars I love looking at nature. This is why I am excited to have NOCS in my vehicle because they are easy to hand to folks who need to fall in love with nature. I have plenty of people on my Christmas list who need to fall in love with nature looking through NOCS.
Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag
Sea to Summit has long been producing some of the best camping and outdoor gear in the industry. The 20L Big River Dry Bag is a fantastic example of some of the great products to come out of Sea To Summit. We really love the lash loops on these to keep them grounded on a canoe or secure on the back of a truck. These are completely washable, and with 420D Waterproof fabric they hold up to just about any kind of beating you can throw at them. We have even used them as floats at the lake. They come in 3L, 5L, 8L, 13L, 20L, 35L and 65L sizes. We find the 20L to be the sweet spot that we gravitate to segment gear on the canoe. We even have a Big River Dry Bag that we fill with dog food for trips down the river to keep our pups food dry and secure. The 20L runs under $45.00 and lasts season after season.
Zippo WOODCHUCK USA Cedar Wrap Lighter
Zippo this year launched a new wood wrapped lighter line. Zippo, in partnership with WOODCHUCK, USA, and their BUY ONE PLANT ONE.® program, will plant one tree for every lighter sold, and the lighters are created using laser-cut designs made from real wood. The wood is wrapped around a street chrome lighter and comes with a code so you can learn where your tree is planted in California. This unique give-back program created with Zippo is helping to replant forest devastated by fires this year in the West which is a win for our public lands. You get the Zippo lifetime guarantee and the knowledge that you are supporting American workers. The feel of this lighter is unique and warm to the touch. Of course, you get that great Zippo “CLICK”.
Fits in your wallet, pack, or pocket—making it ideal for camping, travel, & take-out.
GoSun Flatware ™ is a reusable, stainless-steel cutlery set to stop single-use plastic. The Flatware fits into a case the size of a credit card and it weighs under 2.0 ounces which is perfect for backpacking and going anywhere in a pack. The price of this set is under $20.00, and it will last years and years. Check these out at Gosun.co
Mountain Hardware Women’s Super D/S Hooded Jacket
The Mountain Hardwear Women’s Super D/S Hooded Jacket was just the right jacket to motivate my wife to spend more time with me outdoors. She loves the outdoors and dislikes the cold so picking up this jacket has made a difference in getting her outdoors spending time with me as we walk with the dog and chase pheasants and grouse around Nebraska. The jacket weaves pockets of down insulation from a single stretch fabric, giving her freedom to move. The jacket is made with goose down insulation with quality construction. It has a waterproof shell so it keeps dry in heavy snow and blocks the wind keeping her out walking with me for hours on end. She looks pretty darn cute in it as well. Check these out at Mountain Hardwear, we haven’t found anything from this team that doesn’t work well.
Work Sharp Ken Onion Benchtop Angle Set Knife Sharpener
The Work Sharp® Ken Onion Angle Set Knife Sharpener™ is a complete, versatile and adjustable knife sharpener. It allows you to sharpen at 15°, 17.5°, 20°, 22.5° or 25° and offers Tri-Brasive 3 sided sharpening with coarse and fine grit diamond plates as well as a fine grit ceramic stone to provide a sharp sharp edge on any knife in your tool set. The system, designed by knife legend Ken Onion, folds down to a compact case.
The Tri-Brasive posts rotate 360 degrees and you can adjust them to just the right angle for each knife you own. This is one of the finest manual knife sharpeners we have had the opportunity to test and we have been slowly working over each of the knives we own from cleavers to pairing knives to skinning knives. It makes quick work of building a sharp edge. Kind of the point of a quality knife sharpener.
LOWA Harrison II GTX Winter Shoes
I have had some great shoes in the past, but these LOWA boots are some of the most comfortable shoes I have had the pleasure of putting on my feet. They are extremely warm and well built. Other than my huniting boots, these shoes are staying on my feet for the remainder of the winter. The look sharp and come with a Vibram Arctic Grip Trac which is perfect for keeping your feet under your body on ice, snow and slipper wet conditions. These shoes are built for winter use and they are breathable and warm. The LOWA Harrison II GTX’s are good looking and comfortable. Don’t hesitate to pick up the LOWA Merino Wool Winter Pro Socks as they add wicking and comfort to an already comfortable shoe.
Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra
Hillsound has developed some very specialized equipment for those looking to explore the outdoors. The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra is a top notch stainless steel crampon that can be combined with everything from running shoes, hiking boots, hunting boots and insulated boots. The Hillsound Ultra has 18 stainless steel spikes including three 2/3 inch spikes on the heel all together with a carry proof carry bag to slip into your pack. Paired with the Armadillo Gaitors, this set makes for a pretty happy late season hunter who isn’t afraid of snow and ice and can put on the miles. These are perfect for training all winter long and fantastic for working with the dogs in icy conditions.
THE ACCURATE RIFLE…AND RIFLEMAN
by Craig Boddington
It was Townsend Whelen who said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting.” This must be one of the great truisms of the rifle-shooting world. While there certainly are a great many experienced riflemen in the USA today, few can match Boddington’s experience with the variety of calibers, actions, makes, and bullets that he has shot over the last three-plus decades. That experience is why this book is such an important contribution to the literature of the hunting/shooting world.
Starting with the barrel, Boddington steps us through every single element that makes an accurate (or not so accurate) rifle. These elements include the different actions; stocks, bedding, and vibrations; good-quality triggers and how to control them; the variables in cartridge design; factory ammo; handloading for serious accuracy (by Paul Massaro); the accuracy of the various bullet designs; breaking-in a rifle; how to clean a rifle; open sights; and scopes and mounts. Boddington delves into good shooting positions; rests; how to shoot long range, and a host of other serious topics that will improve your shooting with a rifle. Ultimately, he discusses the single biggest factor of all as far as accuracy is concerned-the human element.
Nobody will shoot all brands of rifles, all different calibers, and all types of bullets, and nobody will experience all the different circumstances that one can encounter in the field or on the bench. With his experience, Boddington comes close. There are darn few people on this earth who have gathered as much experience with sporting rifles for all these elements as he has. Boddington must rank as one of the most knowledgeable authors who currently write on the subject.
Huntworth Sherpa-lined Jacket (Disruption®)
This Huntworth heavy weight jacket in Disruption® digital camo is designed for the ultimate warmth. Constructed of a triple layer fabric made with stretch polyester bonded to a thick Sherpa fleece and a windproof breathable film, it will keep you in the hunt even as the temperature turns bitter cold. The Sherpa fleece interior provides incredible next-to-skin comfort and warmth, and is treated with Microban® antimicrobial protection for scent reduction. A DWR finish allows the fabric to shed light moisture, and the inner storm flap, high stand collar, and long back hem combine to keep out the cold. Six spacious pockets give you plenty of storage options, and a harness access hole allows you to wear your tree stand harness under the jacket. Concealment, warmth and convenience—this jacket delivers the coverage you need for a killer hunt. Nick seems to really like it and it is well built for tree stand hunting.
5.11 Rush100 60L Pack
The team at 5.11 has always been focused on creating quality gear that helps you be prepared for anything. The RUSH 100 is a 60L backpack created for deployment of our men and women in uniform. We are not headed off on deployment, but we have had the opportunity to bomb out on some 3 day hunts with this pack and we found it to be readily suited to cover all of our needs. It gave us enough of a support system with the flat aluminum frame and horizontal fiberglass rods to pack out some pretty heavy loads. Our goal is to go in as light as possible in regards to equipment and come out heavily loaded with meat from a fat deer. This pack provides pockets all over the place that gives us serious options for walking sticks, hydration, pack, tent, food, optics and essentials. The top load fleece-lined pocket gave us room for eyewear and our rangefinder and the side pockets work for ammo, snacks, etc. The 5.11 RUSH100 backpack gets it done and done well and while not purpose built for hunting, it makes a serious hunting backpack.
Sea to Summit Pack Rack Inflatable Roof Rack
Not everyone wants a roof rack on their vehicle year round and not everyone owns a vehicle built to carry boats, skis, surfboards, stand up paddle boards and all of the great fun things you want to take on a trip outdoors these days. Sea to Summit built this award winning solution back in 2018 but it is still best in class compared to other options. This system fits into a 4 liter packsack which can fit neatly into your carry on luggage. It comes with its own integrated AirStream pump sack for easy inflation and attached webbing straps with buckles secure the Pack Racks inside the vehicle. There is nothing better than a simple solution and the Pack Rack makes life simple. Check them out at the Sea to Summit website.
LYNQ – World’s Most Advanced People Compass
The Lynq allows you to find anyone, anywhere for up to 3 miles without phones, networks, maps or any infastructure. The Lynq allows you to connect with real time location for up to 12 users inside of a range of 3 miles. These units are one button simple, come with a rugged carabiner clip to attach to any gear or belt and the system is private. They are perfect for family trips with young kids as well as group outings. We use these with folks who we are mentoring and new hunters on the ranch so if it gets late and we are not seeing them where they belong we can work our way to them. This is solid technology built to solve the problem of getting lost whether you are on the mountain, on the prairie or at the park. LYNQ developed this award winning technology in the city of Brooklyn, and it solves a real world problem nationwide.
Aquatech Axis GO
We picked up the Axis GO on loan earlier this year. We took this unit on a fishing trip in the Bahamas. It gave us so many great excuses to get into the water with our phone because we did not have to stress or worry about any kind of damage to our phone regardless of the conditions. This unit is not cheap, but if you have budding film makers in your midst this is a tool that gives them options above and below the surface. We used it on a recent waterfowl hunt to get some shots of floating decoys and the entire day we didn’t have to worry whether our phone was getting wet, muddy or trashed. The controls are easy to use and there are optional hand grips to use just about any condition. Check them out at Aquatech.net.
The Lockdown Puck provides you with smart security monitoring for locations around your property with access to wifi. We have one of these on our shed and one inside the gun safe. They are able to sense when a door is opened, high humidity and vibrations. They have a built in audible alarm, and you can arm and disarm the units with the free LOCKDOWN Logic App available for Android or ios. You can power it with a micro USB or batteries. It will monitor temperatures as well. It is a slick little unit at an extremely reasonable price. Check them out at Lockdown.com.
Dogtra T&B Dual Electronic Training Collar
We have had the Dogtra electronic collar on our pup for almost a full year now and the unit has worked flawlessly through training season, summer season and hunting season. It has been in and out of water and mud and been in use daily for weeks and months. This unit allows us to control two dogs at the same time with different buttons and stimulations for each dog. Beeper for location and return, vibration for a quick reminder and a stimulation for when it is needed. With this collar I can stop our pup in mid stride in a dangerous situation. This teaching and reteaching on a daily basis along with fantastic training (from our trainer Aleah Marcoe) has made all of the difference turning our pup from a crazy puppy to a driven bird dog and my best friend. Check out the T&B Dual System.