ASO 2021 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. With Covid sending folks outdoors, I thought I’d list some unique, quality items, that are sure to make your next adventure great. Chop it, carve it, grill it, and toast to it. Then feed the pooch and throw some shoes till dark.
WEBER TRAVELER Portable Gas Grill – $325 at www.weber.com Where do I start? This is the perfect grill for small backyard patios and ALL your outdoor adventures. With one-hand set-up and fold-down, anyone in my gang can maneuver this compact, yet spaciously designed cooking station. It stores in a car trunk or back seat and pulls like airport luggage with durable all-weather wheels.
While the Traveler can accommodate a full-size 20 lb. fuel tank (using an adaptor hose), its really meant for the smaller propane canisters. With one large stainless-steel burner, the 320 sq. inches of grilling area can handle full meals at once. Purposely designed to optimize fuel usage, its low-to-high temp range perfectly sears everything from juicy burgers, steaks, and chicken, to fluffy pancakes with the morning coffee percolating beside it.
Sportsmen, is there anything better than freshly harvested and marinated wild game over the fire? Pheasant or quail, whitetail or elk, the camp buddies will promote you to head chef after one evening. Weber offers plenty of accessories like cargo covers, cutting boards, temperature probes, griddles, and more. We love ours and with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, the rest of the country seems to agree.
22” WOOX FORTE AXE – $159 (w/black leather blade sheath), 28” AXE $189, optional leather axe collar ($24) at www.wooxstore.com When I went online surfing for a new travel work axe, I stumbled across this handsome devil. The WOOX FORTE boasts an inspired hybridization of classical American and Italian axe designs. The ergonomic wood handle is made from American Appalachian hickory for superior strength, and coated with anti-slip paint for a good grip.
The company told me each FORTE head is individually hammered into shape and finished by their fourth-generation craftsmen. While all this information checks off my quality control inquiries, it isn’t why I’m bragging about it.
Crafted with 1060 high carbon steel and blue polish finish, the deep penetrating bit geometry makes wood chopping a lot easier. A high and concave centerline helps act as a chip-breaker and the prominent hardened poll (or butt end) serves as an effective hammer face, optimally balancing the overall head. Escorting me on several hunt trips, I felt it swung well on both precision cuts as well as two hand chopping strokes. Made in Italy and in Hickory, North Carolina, FORTE is without a doubt … BAD AXX … and you’ll appreciate the free shipping!
TOPS Tom Brown Tracker #3 – $340 (with sheath) at www.topsknives.com For years, the Tom Brown Tracker has been one of the most popular blades produced by TOPS and one of the biggest, beefiest multi-tools in existence. Designed by Tom Brown Jr. and featured in the movie “The Hunted,” TOPS is proud to present the iconic survival weapon in 154cm stainless steel with a tumbled finish. I love this knife!
The Tracker #3 is slightly larger than the Tracker #2 ($290) but slightly smaller than the Tracker #1 ($310). The overall length runs 10.75” and the blade itself 5.75”. The handle is made from black canvas micarta material, something unique to my knife collection. The black kydex sheath has a rotating spring clip that allows me to wear it on my side or, as I prefer, on the ‘small of my back’ belt area. Overall weight, 18.4 ounces.
This strong design was made for chopping and carving, gutting and skinning, slicing and dicing, and just about anything else I would need to do in the wild or at hunting camp. I hope I never need it for self-defense. Since 1998, TOPS has worked with designers in backgrounds such as Navy Seals, Airborne Rangers, Martial Arts instructors, survival experts, SWAT Team members, and Native American weapons experts. All TOPS fixed blades are manufactured and hand-finished at their facility in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
BIRD DOG 7-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon and flavored whiskeys at www.birddogwhiskey.com Earning Gold status at the World Spirits Competition and Platinum at the Sip Awards for 2021, I’d say I just got your attention. This Bird Dog Small Batch is a classic bourbon aged for 7 years in fire-charred, new American white oak barrels. Bottled at 88 proof (44% Alc/Vol), it boasts golden-red amber and honey hues. Rich full notes of caramel and oak aroma will tempt your nose, and a light palate of honey, golden raisin, and caramelized wood sugars will tantalize your tongue. This has become my “special occasion” pour. 750ml $25-up.
With 14 flavors to offer, Bird Dog is the “Most Awarded Flavored Whiskey” around. On the hunt for the perfect balance of salty and sweet? Their Salted Caramel Whiskey presents those signature caramel notes, complimented by subtle hints of sea salt, oak, and vanilla. The 2021 World Spirits Competition awarded them Double Gold, and the International Sip Awards Gold this year.
Grabbing top honors with the 2021 World Whiskey Awards and USA Spirit Ratings, Bird Dog’s Peanut Butter Whiskey will surely please the nose and palate. Peanut butter flavors join that familiar base of caramel and vanilla. Tough guys, steal a sip from your partner and admit its delicious. It won’t stop your gun from shooting.
Bottled at 80 proof (40% Alc/Vol), those rich tastes prove themselves great sipping whiskeys and masterful ingredients for all types of mixology. Now I’m craving a trip to the South! 750ml $15-up.
CHAMPION SPORTS Deluxe Tournament Series Horseshoes set – $81.57 at www.championsports.com Who wants to lug massive cornhole platforms to the beach or camp? The Champion Sports Deluxe Horseshoe Tournament Set features everything you need to set up a horseshoe tournament, including a set of rules to ensure games stay on track. Four tough steel horseshoes (2.3lb each) are powder coated for an attractive shine and extra durability. The set includes two rugged powder coated steel stakes to aim at. One of the only sets out there with a compact carrying bag made from strong 1680 denier nylon fabric and a YKK zipper that can endure toting the weight with ease.
GAMMA 2 Vittles Vault Outback 50lb Pet Food Container – $44.95 at www.amazon.com Sportsmen, why pay $250 for the “Cadillac” of dog food containers that’ll survive a 300-foot cliff drop? You know the brand. That’s overkill and I suggest something almost as tough. Airtight, heavy-duty, easy spin on lock-down double gaskets and storage efficient, stackable shapes with molded handles make the Vittles Vault the ultimate choice. These 5-star containers are designed to be the ‘Best in Class,’ and keep my dog’s dry pet food fresh and pest free. Made from high density polyethylene, food grade plastic. BPA-free. 50lb/13-gallon size: 14x14x20”. Color: warm granite.
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.