Hunting and fishing Christmas gift guide: Don’t break the bank on new gear

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Here are a slew of gift items for your hunter or angler that won't break the bank and are appealing across multiple levels of outdoor pursuits.

Christmas is the best time of year to give and to receive new hunting and fishing gear.

However, unless you know exactly what your special someone has their desires set upon, your best intentions to bestow happiness under the Christmas tree may fall somewhat flat.

With that in mind, here are a slew of gift items for your hunter or angler that won’t break the bank and are appealing across multiple levels of outdoor pursuits. In fact, you can find some of these items on sale if you play your cards right, which may add to the amount of holiday cheer you can bring this year.

Huk Performance Fishing Next Level Woven Shirt

The fishing shirt industry has exploded in the past couple of decades, with new materials and offerings springing up near and far. Huk has become a leader in the industry and the Next Level offerings are superb for those muggy, downright hot days on the flats.

The shirts in long sleeve and short sleeve feature Huk’s Internal Cooling Element (I.C.E) technology, which causes an endothermic reaction once there is any contact with moisture (sweat). When the reaction occurs, energy in the form of heat is removed from the body surface in contact with the I.C.E., causing a significant cooling drop rather quickly.

In addition, the Next Level has snap downs at exterior edges of pocket flap, K.C. Scott signature artwork at internal placket, collar band, under collar, under pocket flap and interior cuff on the long sleeve.

They also have mesh under the arms and side back, feature stain release and are antimicrobial.

Wiebe Red Fox

Replaceable-blade hunting and skinning knives have taken over the knife landscape for a variety of reasons — ease of use and inexpensive, razor-sharp blades at the top of the list — and Wiebe is right in the middle.

If you’re not familiar with the replaceable-blade phenomenon, it’s quite simple. The knife is essentially a scalpel blade holder, with blades that snap in and out once they’ve fulfilled their useful life.

In the case of the Red Fox, Wiebe has built a sturdy and secure folding knife that’s up to a number of precise tasks, from field-dressing deer to skinning out skulls and delicate hides. The Red Fox has a no-slip handle that’s surprisingly soft and light. The knife is 4.25 inches closed and 7.25 inches overall with the scalpel blade, weighing in at a dainty 4 ounces.

The Red Fox also comes with 24 replacement blades, which is honestly way too many for the average hunter who may only skin a few deer a year, but is just right for taxidermists and others who need surgical precision. The best part is knowing you’ll have plenty of sharp blades for next hunting season — and likely for years to come.

IceMule Pro Cooler

The cooler industry is a dog-eat-dog world, full of up-and-comers with their own take on what makes their ice-holder the finest in the land.

IceMule is among those numerous companies that want your ice to last as long as humanly possible, and its line of soft-sided, sturdy coolers that are easy to throw on your back are just downright innovative.

The Pro Cooler line is designed with functionality in mind, no matter if you’re a hunter, angler, backpacker or just someone who wants to carry along your favorite ice-cold beverage near and far. The padded backpack strap system and padded back pads provide plenty of comfort for a heavy load of cans and ice and the 20-liter capacity also will hold plenty of keeper-size gamefish.

IceMule are not sewn together and have no zippers that could leak. Welded seams and a double-layered shell house insulating foam between the layers, with an exterior shell of 1000 denier tarpaulin and an interior layer made of heavy-gauge PU coated embossed vinyl. The watertight roll-top closure and side release buckle are easy to use and adjust to your specific needs.

SoftScience The Skiff Canvas flip-flops

“Life is better in flip-flops.” That’s the philosophy of many beach bums and anglers from Florida to Texas, and it’s right up the alley of SoftScience’s product lines.

The Skiff Canvas is just downright comfortable, whether you’re using them fully as a boat shoe or just as a slip-on in between using waders and your regular kicks. The flip-flops feature SoftScience’s Trileon cushioning technology, with good arch support to boot.

The Skiffs are lightweight and have a non-marking, slip-resistant outsole, which is perfect for any watery situations, including stepping in and out of a boat from the dock. They come in a variety of colors and are designed to last well past one fishing season, something that can’t be said for your average flippy floppies.

Streamlight Super Siege Rechargeable Lantern

Most hunters and anglers probably have no less than a dozen flashlights of varying sizes and lumen value in their boat, pickup and camper. The Super Siege is here to make all of those obsolete and it can even help power your electronics.

The lantern features one white and four red C4 LEDs to provide six output modes. A removable Glare Guard can be snapped over part of the globe, enabling users to illuminate work areas while reducing glare back. Without the Glare Guard, the Super Siege provides 360 degrees of bright light to illuminate large areas. The light can be hung upside down from its top or bottom D ring. It will also float when fully assembled, and includes a hidden watertight storage compartment for small valuables.

The Super Siege, which weighs less than 2 pounds, also functions as an auxiliary USB power source. Its rechargeable 8800 mAh Lithium Ion battery provides up to four full charges for most smartphones and up to eight full charges for most Streamlight USB-rechargeable flashlights.

With its cover removed, the white C4 LED delivers 1,100 lumens on High, 550 lumens on Medium, and 125 lumens on Low. The red High setting provides 2.7 lumens, the red Low provides 1 lumen and a Flash SOS setting flashes at red high lumen level.

Run times for the white LED are 5 hours on high, 10.5 hours on medium and 35 hours on low. The red LEDs can run for 110 hours on high, 288 hours on low and 230 hours in SOS mode.

Lutian Insect-Repelling Shirt by Haeleum

Not only are mosquitoes, biting flies and other nasty critters downright irritating, they also can be dangerous, something the Zika threat has shown us.

The Lutian is an interesting spin on bug repellent technology, featuring Insect Shield Technology® that repels mosquitoes, ticks and other dangerous insects. The shirt by Haeleum does that and also won’t emit odors that could scare away game.

On top of that, Insect Shield apparel is EPA-registered to repel insects through 70 launderings. In addition, the lightweight shirt is antimicrobial and is moisture-wicking, featuring DrýTru polyester fabric to move sweat away from skin to help stay cool and dry.

The shirts come in a variety of colors, including the reliable Mossy Oak Obsession pattern, making it the perfect shirt for those September dove hunting days that might reach triple digits.

Eddie Bauer Adventurer Boat Bag

The Adventurer is a workhorse that stores every piece of fishing gear and tackle that you may need, with room for extras to spare.

The boat bag is perfect for throwing in the bottom of your flats skiff or drift boat and will hold up to extreme elements, featuring a durable CORDURA ripstop nylon shell. The nifty folks who designed the bag thought of a number of situations, namely installing a large main compartment with removable panels that allow customization of all degrees for extra reels, line, leaders, flies and even a sandwich and an extra few cups of hot coffee.

The tuck-and-secure lid holds contents up to 50 pounds, eliminating the need to zip the bag shut when hauling while the webbed top allows for attaching a rod tube and fly patch. There’s even a magnet built into the top to hold hooks, hemostats or anything else that you don’t want slipping away.

The bag also has multiple sizes of zipper compartments, with see-through views to know exactly where your gear is stored.

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Will Leschper is founder of The Texas Outdoor Digest. He has been recognized for Excellence in Craft by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. He is Conservation Editor of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters, in addition to writing for plenty of of now-defunct publications.

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