Shopping for the outdoors person

Discussion in 'LUKE CLAYTON' started by Luke Clayton, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Luke Clayton

    Luke Clayton New Member

    "Shopping for the outdoors person"

    Luke Clayton

    My wife tells me every Christmas just how difficult I am to shop for. She’s right! So it is with most guys and gals that enjoy hunting and fishing. After all, if we’re in the market for a new hunting bow, we don’t want just ANY bow. No, we want a Mathews Switchback (or whatever), 30 inch draw, 60-70 pound pull, left handed of course, and don’t forget that particular brand of fiber optic sight. We’ll also need a dozen Carbon express arrows, and make sure they are the ones with the green/white fletching!

    When shopping for an avid fisherman, rest assured he or she doesn’t want just any old rod and reel combination or ‘your’ selection of lures. He wants a 6 foot medium action catfish rod with a soft tip coupled with one of those new reels with the 8 ball bearings, you know, the one that costs about half as much as the monthly house payment. Only that medium running, bleeding shad pattern crankbait or special blend of Danny Kings Catfish Punchbait will suffice. So, what to do? No need to get your outdoor guy or gal something that will wind up back at the store’s return department. Here’s a few suggestion for buying gifts that are sure to please:

    CHOOSING THE RIGHT GIFT - There are several innovative ways around this method but, if all else fails, you can simply purchase a gift card to your sportsman’s favorite retail store-give them the money do their own shopping. I know of better ways, though, to get the job done. If your husband has been hinting that he needs a new trolling motor for his boat, for instance, don’t go right up and TELL him you are planning on purchasing one for him. Go to his best fishing buddy and ask him to do your detective work! A casual conservation about fishing-that’s what they will be talking about anyway - is the way to get the specifics. Any self-respecting fishing buddy should easily be able to get the answers you need to make a wise shopping decision. Conversations such as this will get the job done, “Joe, I’ve been thinking about replacing that old trolling motor on MY boat, you’re a smart guy and do your homework, what model do you recommend?” Joe will spill the beans to his buddy in less time than it takes a crappie to nail a slow moving minnow and you can go out and purchase the exact make and model your husband needs. The same goes with everything from hunting rifles to 3D targets - have your spouse’s buddy ask all the questions and YOU do the shopping. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    GIFTS THAT ALWAYS PLEASE - There is a smorgasboard of gifts that will suit the needs of just about anyone that spends time hunting or fishing. Multi use tools readily come to mind. EVERYONE needs a multi use tool that comes with everything from a quality knife blade to a can opener - and everything between! These tools are handy on the boat, around camp or even at home. You can’t go wrong buying a high quality multi-use tool.

    A guided fishing or hunting trip is a sure fire winner as well. Regardless how experienced your outdoorsman might be with a rod, bow or gun, chances are very good he or she would greatly appreciate a day on the water fishing for catfish, stripers or bass with a good guide. Likewise, your hunter would relish a guided hunt for wild hogs, deer, quail or ducks. You should have a good ‘feel’ for which type trip he or she would most enjoy. If you need some help finding the right guide or outfitter, feel free to give me an email (, I have many, many friends that make their livings working as fishing or hunting guides. I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

    Another gift that keeps on giving is a lifetime fishing and hunting license. The cost of these lifetime licenses keep going up through the years and, if one stops to do the math, a lifetime license is a very good investment for someone thirty years or younger. I received one years ago and it’s very comforting to know I’ll never need to purchase another hunting or fishing license in the state I reside.

    Truthfully, one of the best gifts a wife can give her hunting or fishing husband is what we often jokingly refer to as a ‘kitchen pass’, ie. letting him out of the house occasionally for a weekend at the hunting lease or fishing with his buddies. Besides, most of us come home refreshed and ready to tackle a new list of ‘honey do’s!

    DUCK HUNTING UPDATE - With much of the Midwest locked in ice as far south as central Oklahoma, the major migration of ducks into the Lone Star State began a week ago and from all accounts, those big, tasty mallards continue to keep coming down the flyway. I hunt ducks three or four times a week on some private gravel pits near my home. During the first split of the season, most of my harvest was gadwall and widgeon, with an occasional wood duck.

    Photo by Luke Clayton

    This past week, I have taken several big green heads (mallards) and watched some big flocks of ‘new birds coming through the area. I’ve had great results using my spinning wing decoy, especially on mornings with a low cloud ceiling. These action decoys are much easier for passing ducks to spot and usually, once the birds have honed in on the moving wings and head the calling, they readily commit. One last tip about decoying ducks - give them time to fully commit to landing. Ducks often make several passes over a decoy spread before deciding all is well and it’s OK to land. Unless the ducks spook, keep quiet and let them circle several times. If you don’t spook them, they will usually come gliding into the decoys from downwind. Don’t shoot until they are really close. Using this technique, it’s often possible to get multiple birds from the same flock.

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