ASO 2020 HOLIDAY SPORTSMANS GIFT GUIDE
Let’s face it ASO readers, if you want something cool for Christmas you got to tell your spouse early or just go buy it yourself. And why not? You work hard. I’ve listed some unique gifts that aren’t solid camo, are sure to pique your interest, and turn some heads when your friends are around. Splurge a little, and I HO-HO-HOPE you get what you want this season.
RE Ranger Falcon Pro Shooting Glasses – $229 frame, $69 lens at www.reranger.com RE Ranger Performance Eyewear (Randolph Engineering) offers the highest optical clarity and most enhanced target definition in the industry. When a split-second counts, more professional shooters, and Olympians worldwide choose Ranger.
The Falcon Pro is the most sought-after shooting glasses available, featuring a sporty lens shape and soft silicone nose pads for comfort and custom fit. The frames come in two (ear) styles, bayonet and cable/wrap-around, and are sealed with Cerokote CombatCoat, a durable ceramic coating used throughout the firearm industry for ultra-resilience. Choose from four super cool colors: Matte Black, Sky Blue, Frost White, or my Desert Sand (shown here). All $229 each.
The lenses are ordered separately to your color preferences at $69 each. There are 14 options to choose from, and RE Ranger’s custom color chart helps target and clays shooters, upland sportsmen, and any other type of hunter pick more than one lens scenario that interchanges with your Falcon Pro frame. A custom zippered case protects all three of my lens investments in one organized place.
L.L.Bean APEX Waterfowler Pro Jacket – $239 and Waders – $349 at www.llbean.com This outfit pairing has it all! 100% polyester shell with a 100% nylon lining. The jacket’s upper body is lined with soft polyester and the lower body and sleeves feature nylon for unrestricted movement and gun-swing. Full-length waterproof zipper, game call holder on the chest, a welded arm pocket for securing phone, two vertical zip pockets on the chest, two lower waterproof cargo pockets for gear or dog electronics, two fleece handwarmer pockets, and neoprene closures on cuffs preserve body heat while sealing out the elements. Relaxed through the chest, sleeve, and waist, even husky guys like me feel comfortable.
Waterfowl waders have to be tough, reliable, and comfortable. The boots are packed with 1,200-gram Thinsulate insulation so your feet will stay toasty on even the frostiest mornings in the blind. Super Seam technology produces the strongest, most leakproof wader seams in the market. The fit is ideal for accommodating extra layers and the low-profile suspender design won’t interfere with a proper gun mount. The chest pocket offers smart organization for additional gear, calls, and spare shells. The quick-fit waist belt snugs up the slack and the reinforced knees and seat provide the extra durability where I need it the most. I give my full endorsement here!
BYRNA HD MAX Kit – $359 at www.byrna.com 2020 has been a year of fear when it comes to personal safety. Civil unrest and wide-scale looting in cities large and small across the United States are driving the demand for a non-lethal option in self-defense. The BYRNA was designed to look and feel like a compact 9mm handgun with a width of 7.28” and a height of 5.62”. It is the smallest and lightest option on the market today, requires no license or permit to own, and uses carbon dioxide to fire projectiles with pepper and tear gas that WILL incapacitate an attacker in seconds. I got one for my wife.
The Byrna HD Max Kit comes in a protective, zippered carrying case with everything you need to get started: Byrna HD Launcher, (2) 5-round magazines, (2) Byrna 8-gram CO2 cartridges, (1) 5-round tube of Byrna HD Max projectiles, (1) 5-round tube of Byrna HD kinetic projectiles/practice rounds, (1) 5-round tube of Byrna HD inert projectiles. Go to the website for full information.
ThunderDog Woodworking’s Custom Gun Cleaning Box – $425-$475 at www.thunderdogwoodworking.com ThunderDog Woodworking is a custom woodworking shop in Spring Hill, TN that produces a variety of products from small household goods like cutting boards and bowls to custom furniture pieces. They have developed a specialty line of boxes tailored to the hunting/shooting enthusiast, that includes gun cleaning boxes, and custom gun cases for shotguns, rifles, and pistols. Every piece is hand-crafted using hand-cut dovetail joinery, hand-planed and finished with time-tested methods only seen in days gone by.
The standard cleaning box (shown here) can be made from most domestic hardwoods for $425 or available exotic wood species for $475, plus shipping to your location. Boxes come in a natural finish (shown here) or in stains to suit your needs. Custom pieces can be accommodated with specialty hardware, inlays, and carvings at additional expense. Call 931-486-1940 for more information and tell them a satisfied Scott Cummings sent you.
Bird Dog 10-Year-Old Very Small Batch and Flavored Whiskeys at www.birddogwhiskey.com This Bird Dog Small Batch is a classic bourbon, aged for 10 years, and crafted from some of the finest, hand-selected barrels. Bottled at 90 proof, it boasts deep amber hues, rich full notes of aged oak and vanilla, and finishes with a warm caramel kiss. This is my “special occasion” pour. 750ml $65-up.
With 13 flavors to offer, Bird Dog is the “Most Awarded Flavored Whiskey” around. Using quality Kentucky bourbon stock and real maple syrup, Bird Dog Maple Flavored Whiskey is one of their most versatile spirits on the market. Bottled at 80 proof, the rich taste proves itself as a great sipping whiskey or a masterful ingredient for all types of mixology. It also makes me crave pancakes at 9 p.m.! 750ml $25
Brackish Bow Ties – $195 each at www.brackishbowties.com Made with guinea feathers, the Mayfly offers shades of deep grey, blue, red, orange, black, and white. The center wrap is a hand-stitched black cross-grain. The design was inspired by the split tail of the mayfly, an insect that fly fishermen often emulate in tying flies. FYI: This tie is a year-round crowd pleaser and people will want to touch your neck! Weddings, work events, or a Christmas party with your wife, you’ll want to look your best.
Brackish Bow Ties are handcrafted in Charleston, S.C., and take between 4-5 hours to complete. Every feather is hand-selected by their artisans, making no two ties exactly alike. No dyes are used, giving each design a unique coloring. Wrap around adjustable hook fits neck sizes 11” to 20”. Tie dimensions are 2.5 x 4.5”.
Men’s Maine Guide Zip-Front Wool Vest – $149 at www.llbean.com Puffy, swishy vests are not for me. This tightly woven 85% wool/15% nylon fabric is warm, durable, and quiet. The cotton lining provides a comfort barrier between my lighter base layer. The solid brass zipper on the front is tough and the short-waist cut ends with a slight drop tail. Two chest pockets and two handwarmer pockets round off this classy cool weather wardrobe piece I wear into work and the woods.
Danner SHARPTAIL Rear-Zip 10” (#45025) – $210 at www.danner.com Inspired by the storied upland tradition, the all-new Danner Sharptail series brings quality and performance to the hunt. This handsome, wellington style boot features a TERRA FORCE platform for stability, are 100% waterproof, has a breathable GORE-TEX lining, an OrthoLite footbed and rugged hardware to “strap it down.”
Gents in their middle ages (how did I get here?) can appreciate a roomy toe bed and the rear zipper for an easier in and out. What isn’t premium leather leaves a 900 Denier Nylon upper that can hold up to the elements, so each hunt leaves memories of buds and birds, not wet and sore feet. You’ll even find yourself wearing these to work.
The GEOPRESS by GRAYL – $89.95 at www.grayl.com With the amount of people on trails, viruses are showing up in water where you might least expect it. Common straw filters, gravity filters, and hand pump filters often fail to protect against waterborne viruses such as SARS, rotavirus and norovirus, while the GEOPRESS excels by not only removing viruses, but also bacteria, protozoan cysts, pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, and even microplastics – in one 8-second press.
The GeoPress utilizes electro adsorption ion-exchange and ultra-powered activated carbon technologies to make 24oz of clean, potable water with each press. The GeoPress is effective on all seven continents and saves both money and waste, ensuring single-use plastic bottles are never needed again. Packed with innovative features, GeoPress delivers unrivaled speed, ease-of-use and versatility. Its SimpleVent™ cap protects against cross-contamination while SoftPress™ pads and TopoGrip™ provide an ergonomic ‘pressing and purification’ experience that is comfortable, and non-slip in any environment.
GRAYL purifier cartridges are independently tested by a certified laboratory to meet or exceed NSF protocol 42 and 53 for pathogen and chemical removal, and meets the EPA Guide Standard and Protocol for testing microbiological water purifiers. Rated for 350 cycles, I like the 10-year warranty on workmanship and materials. This will accompany me on every hunt/hike trip in the future.
Bissell BARKBATH Dual Use Home & Dog Bath Deep Cleaner – $149 at www.bissell.com My gundog Stohon lives in the house and we travel together quite a bit. With Bissell’s BarkBath, I can clean him up from the muddy fields and spot clean carpets and truck seats with the same compact machine (now with quieter motor)! Enjoy splashless bathing while the nozzle washes your dog from the “skin up” instead of the “hair down,” and suctions into its own tank. A short-haired dog like mine can be bathed with less than 12 oz. of water vs nearly 17 gallons of tub water. That cut my water bill significantly! The system includes the BARKBATH unit, 3 sized grooming clips, 3 sized spray nozzles, tool tray, pet shampoo tank, cleaning tool, 20 oz. no-rinse dog shampoo, HydroRinse tool, deep cleaning solution tank, tools and cleaning formula, microfiber mat, mesh accessory bag, and a user’s manual.
No matter what you find appealing to buy this holiday, get on it early, and remember to give thanks for your job, family, and living in … STILL the greatest country in the world, even if not always united … America. Get out and VOTE this month!