There is just about an endless list of ideas when considering a gift for that Upland Bird Hunter on your list. Of course, there isn’t one thing that will cover every upland hunter, it depends on what they already have.
The perfect gift also depends on the type of hunting they typically do. Do they travel and stay in hotels or lodges? Or are they a do-it-yourself hunter staying in a tent or camper? Of course, all will depend on what you are able to spend.
Here are some ideas covering the realm of very expensive to quite affordable:
- Guided Hunt Packages – Has your loved-one mentioned their idea of a “dream hunt”? That would be the place to start. Do a lot of research if you plan on purchasing a hunt. Ask their friends for help with this if you are able.
- Membership at a local preserve – If the person you are shopping for frequents a local preserve, giving a membership or a hunt would be a fantastic gift!
- A hunt at a local preserve – If a membership isn’t necessary or isn’t an option, a hunt fitting your budget will be very appreciated.
- Round of Sporting Clays – give a round of sporting clays because the next best thing to hunting just might be sharpening up on the shooting skills.
While very tempting, it is not recommended you buy the dog, but if you happen to know the breed, breeder, and particular pairing that your upland hunter wants, you could make a deposit or, better yet, give them money to make that choice themselves.
The following are typical gear/clothing every upland hunter needs. If you know what they already have and what they don’t, you are good to go! Game vest/jackets, Chaps, hats, gloves, upland pants, shirts, socks, boots.
- Dog Tracker/GPS (such as the Garmin Astro)
- Digital Camera
Support the cause and give a membership to organizations, such as:
Give a gift that they will receive all year long! A subscription is one of my favorite gifts to give–and receive!
If they are a reader, books can be a wonderful gift. Subjects run the range of breed-specific to training and collectors books.
- Whistles–if your hunter uses/trains with whistles, an extra or two is always handy. Find them at Lion Country Supply, Gun Dog Supply, Cabelas, etc.
- Bells – Also useful and extras are necessary. Find them at: LC-Supply, Gun Dog Supply
- Beeper Collar– some prefer to use a beeper collar. This is also personal and not all dogs like them. There are quite a few manufactures that make them. Do a google search, post to forums, etc., to find one that fits the particular need. I personally like the Lovett’s brand.
- E-collar. If your hunter has not yet decided on an e-collar, great, do your homework though. I personally recommend one that includes a tone function as well as a wide range of stimulation settings. We use the tone function/feature much more than any stimulation once the dog is collar conditioned.
Many have the ability to add more collars for more dogs. Maybe your hunter needs just that–so see what model system they already have and find out if it has the capability to add an additional dog.
- Gazetteers for the states they hunt or plan to hunt.
- Map updates for their GPS unit.
- First Aid Kit – A first-aid kit is a must. You can put together your own or purchase a kit. Don’t forget items necessary for the dog!
- Gun Cleaning Kit – every upland hunter needs a good, portable gun-cleaning kit!
- Water Bottle—on that fits in a vest or has a carabiner attached to hook to something
- Lanyards—necessary for attaching all those things like whistles, e-collar remotes, GPS units, flush counters, etc.
- Portable/collapsible water bowl for dog.
- Flashlights-any are good, but a dog handler really needs one that is hands-free. Hat lights, clip on lights, etc.
- Ticked-off gadget – this is very cool and we have one on all our key rings, hunting vests, etc.
- Gear Bag—for the dog gear such as the e-collars, leads, bells, first-aid kit.
- Multi-tool – A multi-tool is a very handy thing to have for the upland hunter.
- Seat covers for the automobile–a must have for the upland bird dog owner to save the upholstery! Make sure they are washable and that dog hair can easily be removed. Some fabrics are just not dog-hair friendly and tend to hold on to the hair, making them very difficult to clean.
- Multi-function Power Pack– a very handy, useful item for everyone. There are different models available for just about every need. Mine can be used to jump-start the truck, fill a flat tire with air, charge the e-collars, cell phone, or run my laptop. It can be recharged in the house or via the cigarette lighter outlet in the automobile.
- Dog box for the auto – Instead of dragging the crate in and out of the house, there are wonderful insulated dog boxes for the back of the truck/suv. Their is just about every size for every situation from 1-hole to 6 and for trucks, suv’s, and atv’s and I can’t imagine any bird dog person not wanting one! Just a few of the manufactures are:
Crate/crate cover– if a crate is just fine for your needs, a handy crate cover could be a wonderful addition.
- Rechargeable batteries and charger – very handy. I find rechargeable batteries last much longer in my cameras, gps units, etc. I love that when they die, I can just recharge them!
- Game Shears – very handy for cleaning game.
- Game cleaning kit – Make a kit for cleaning birds (I haven’t seen one commercially–I made mine up). Include game shears, surgical gloves, zip lock baggies, and sanitation/handi wipes all in a handy pouch.
- Gun caddy–a very cool little gadget that you stick to the side of your truck, etc., to hold your gun from falling over.
- Taxidermy gift certificate – give a gift certificate for a very good taxidermist so your hunter can have a bird mounted.
- Gun Cabinet/Safe – Tired of all of those guns under the bed and setting in the corners of the house? A gun safe or cabinet can keep guns, ammo, and accessories together, clean, safe, and organized.
- Shooting glasses.
- Ammunition – If you know the gauge of the gun, a box, block, or case of ammo is always useful!
- Gun case – a must and there are some very nice ones to chose from.
- Framed, enlarged favorite hunting photo – I took a photo from a hunt and had it enlarged. I purchased a shadow box frame to fit the photo. I also added a grouse fan, shotgun shell, a copy of the hunting license from the state the bird and photo was taken, and a copy of the map of the area (small, enlarged). I gave this as a Christmas gift. The receiver of this gift, said, “Now, that is a Christmas gift!” Wow. Very cool.
Bird Dog Art/Collectibles
Start a collection or add to one. This can be framed prints, statues, trinket boxes, calendars, etc. Search the internet and local antique shops. Look for items of the particular breed of dog or for the favorite upland bird. I started a collection like this for my husband years ago and can always find something, somewhere for any occasion to add to it!
Of course, there is always a new shotgun! My advice would be to know what they want, though. I would not advise just buying one you like or that a salesperson recommends. The gun they want is a very personal thing.
Okay, those are just a few ideas to get you started. If your upland hunter is a camper, there is a virtually endless amount of gear for camping that may be needed. If they usually stay in hotels, a gift card for a free night would be wonderful! Gas cards are also always welcome as well.
Now, we have mostly discussed things you can buy for your upland hunter but there are many nice things you can do. If you are a spouse of the person, just being supportive of their time out hunting can mean more than anything you can buy. Make a coupon book with a few “free days” for hunting. They will be very appreciative of your support! You could even ask to go along sometime. 🙂
One year, without much money in the till, the only thing I was able to do as a “gift” was I decorated a pathetic little Charlie-Brown tree with ornaments I made from thread and shotgun shells, grouse and pheasant feathers, and the like. He told everyone about it! He seriously thought it was the coolest thing ever. He had a hunting tree instead of a commercial, outlandish thing.
Another year I made wreaths for many of our friends. They were pine-cone wreaths with grouse and pheasant feathers and many of them are still hung every year after all this time. It was fun making them, too. We spent a few days going all over the place to gather all the different kinds of pine cones and laying them out (and/or “baking” them) to dry and open. We always save all the bird feathers we can so had them on hand. Then, it took weeks to make them all and the whole family helped. 🙂
We have received many wonderful homemade things like wine, deer jerky, pine-cone firestarters, jams, etc. There is something very special about a handmade gift.
Time is sometimes more of a rare commodity than money and giving of it is priceless and very meaningful. Giving your time to make something, do something, or even just take some to get out and enjoy hunting together can mean so much and give you great memories, photos–and maybe even feathers and dinner–and will be remembered forever.