What to Buy The Outdoorsman in Your Life

Alright ladies, it’s that time of year you dread. Time to buy the outdoorsman in your life a Christmas present. With plenty of shopping days left to Christmas day, we’ll help you navigate through the shelves of the big stores to help you find a great gift for your man.

Stocking Stuffer ideas

Main Gift ideas

  • Muck boots (about $165) at Cabela’s
  • Vortex Diamondback 10 x 42 Binoculars (about $220) at Gander Mountain
  • CVA Muzzleloader Rife (about $180) at Fleet Farm
  • First Lite Chama Hoodie (about $135) at First Lite
  • North Face Primaloft Jacket (about $200) at REI
  • SteriPEN water purifier (about $90) at Bass Pro Shop

Big Gift ideas


Learn more about these items and additional gift ideas by listening to our recent podcast episode.

Product Review: Hill Country Bucks DVD


As you all know, I will be starting to bow hunt on public land this season. While doing research on hunting areas and scouting I came across a forum called The Hunting Beast (thehuntingbeast.com). I started reading and the amount of information in this forum is a little overwhelming. I recently picked up a DVD made by the moderators of the forum called Extreme Whitetail Tactics Volume 2: Hill Country Bucks. After it sat on my dinner table for a week or so I finally carved out enough time to sit down and watch it.

This is a low budget DVD, not the same kind of stuff you see on TV on the Sportsman Channel but the information is priceless. The long video (like Titanic long) is chalked full of tactics for both hunting and scouting in the hill country. The makers of this DVD have killed more mature bucks in the hills than anyone I have come across and throughout this DVD they tell all about the tactics they use both during pre-season scouting, early season, the rut, gun season and late season.

The guys use a combination of both real life on the ground examples as well as overviews on Topo maps. They do an excellent job of explaining how wind, with the addition of hills produce thermals and a thermal tunnel which deer love to use to their advantage. This video also explains the “bump and dump” tactic which you bump a large buck out of his bed then how to effectively hunt that buck after you have bumped him. This tactic has helped lay down 2 Boon and Crockett bucks in Wisconsin. It’s really amazing how much knowledge these guys have and how they are practically giving this away at $9.99.

If you are like me and know how to hunt your family’s land, but want to get out into new territory and don’t really know where to start or how to do it, this video is a must. They also have a March Bucks volume available which I am sure is about as good as gold as well. If you want a teaser of the video and the amount of knowledge in the video head over to the hunting beast forum and take a look at the “best tactics” thread. Read a bit in there and you will understand just how much knowledge these guys are willing to share to whoever wants to become a better deer hunter.




Gear Review: S.O.G Hand Axe & Machete


Whether you are heading into the backcountry with a pack on your back, or just walking a couple hundred yards to your treestand, two tools that I carry as much as I can is the S.O.G. hand axe & machete.

The hand axe is an awesome tool that allows the outdoorsman to complete various tasks. Around the campfire, it helps split small firewood. If you have a downed animal, the axe is great for splitting apart the pelvic bone during field dressing. And when a blunt object is needed in the woods, the axe lives up to the task. Its sharp blade and durability make it a solid performer. And unlike its competitors, the grip feels great in the hand allowing for prolonged use.

The machete is a dandy tool for brush clearing. This tool usually accompanies me duck hunting, camping and early season scouting. It flawlessly takes down weeds and brush that get in the way. On small trees and branches, it’s helpful for the guy looking to assemble a hunting blind.

I think the best part about these two tools is how lightweight they are. The pair weigh only 37 ounces, yet have the strength and durability of their heavier competitors. Next time you head out into the backcountry, make sure the S.O.G. hand axe and machete are in your pack. #CelebrateMan


Gear Review – Summit Viper SD Climber


The million dollar question every new bowhunter asks is “what kind of stand should I buy”. Opinions vary on this topic and there’s no right answer. But let me share what works for me.

First off, I settled on a climber stand after years of using hanging treestands. Climbers afford a hunter the ease of getting deep into the woods without worrying about carrying extra equipment and dedicating more time to stand set up. However, unlike hangers, one big branch and the climber stand loses its major advantage.

With that said, there’s still a huge benefit with climbing treestands, like my Summit Viper over ladders and hanging stands. That benefit is comfort. My stand has a top and bottom unit. The bottom unit is the standing platform and the top serves as the seat. Both units use together create the mechanism that allows the hunter to climb the tree. In climber stands, the seat is a nice foam cushion that hangs below the top unit giving the user the ultimate comfort. It’s the equivalent of sitting in a hammock vs sitting in bleachers.

The Viper has the perfect standing platform size for bow hunting. It’s not too big, keeping it more concealed in the tree than some of its competitors. But it’s not too small where a guy can’t make a turn to shoot the unexpected buck from behind.

Noise is no issue with this treestand. Once you get to the desired height in the tree, one simple downward force with your foot and the stand is tight and in place. Since climbers are not usually left out over night, they don’t develop the noises associated with weathered metal. Big plus!

If you’re looking for a new stand for this fall, go check out the Summit Viper at your local outdoor retail store. #CelebrateMan


Gear Review: Salomon Quest 4D II GTX Hiking Boots

Salomon Boots GTX

Hiking boots are one of the most important pieces of equipment for the outdoorsman. A good boot can make the difference in comfort and duration in the field. And it can also save your feet from unnecessary blisters or other foot related medical issues.

If you’re like me, there are four phases to the life of your hunting boot. First phase is the “Right Outta the Box” phase which requires adequate time on local trails to try to break in the new pair so you aren’t aching during peak hunting/hiking season.

The next phase is the “Prime” phase where your boots fit perfectly, operate flawlessly, and still look decent. This phase usually lasts only one to two seasons, depending on how rugged of an outdoorsman you are.

The third phase is what I call the “I Should Buy New Boots” phase. Let’s be honest here, none of us want to throw away our old pair and go shoe shopping. This phase really tests the durability of leather and the waterproofness of GoreTex. We’re lucky if we can make it an extra season in this phase. Duct tape usually helps.

The last phase is appropriately named the “Time to Buy New Boots” phase. You know what I mean. Boot’s soles are flopping around on every step. The GoreTex tab has fallen off, which is okay since the boots are as porous as the Viking’s defensive line. And mud has impregnated itself into the boots leather making you actually believe that’s how the boot was originally designed. It’s time to dish out some money and get some new boots.

Last year I purchased a new pair of hiking boots in preparation for my August Alaska hunting/fishing trip. I picked up a pair of Salomon Quest 4d II GTX hiking boots from REI. They have a perfect balance of rigidness where needed, but flexibility for overall performance. They are waterproof and breathable, using GoreTex liners (I don’t buy boots without it). Comfort is top notch with these boots, however, every foot is different and I recommend trying on several different boots before settling.

The Salomon’s one downfall is that it uses a shoelace gripper aimed toward keeping the boot tight at all times. It does accomplish this objective, however, it loosens the shoelace above that point and requires a double, sometimes triple, knot. It also adds a little more effort when taking the boot off.

All in all, this is a great boot and I recommend it for the avid outdoorsman. It’s August right now and if you’re currently in the fourth phase of a hiking boot’s life, go check out Salomon’ at your local outdoor retail store. #CelebrateMan