Christmas Shopping for the Hunter

By John Criner Outdoors Columnist

Duck season and deer season are both in full swing and by now the hunter has had time to discover, usually the hard way, what shape his hunting equipment is in. This also applies to the fisherman and campers. Have the waders decided to leak? This is only the 5th season for them. Is that wind and waterproof coat letting you get cold and wet? If you had some of the new insulated deer hunting boots your feet would not get cold. I like the Muck boots for walking comfort and tree stand warmth. There are always many reasons to get new equipment. Christmas is a great excuse. The easiest way to let people know what you really need (?) is to make out your A list. When the ladies get married they do a bridal registrar list and put it in stores to let people know what is needed. Us outdoor people need to take a lesson from the brides to be. First off, lets do our shopping in Crittenden County and not cross over the bridge. I know there are several “Big Stores” in Memphis, but let’s try the “Home Folks” first. For fishing I would start at the Cricket Box in Marion and for the latest in hunting equipment visit Toby at Ann’s Outdoor Warehouse on Broadway in West Memphis. These kinds of businesses have the expertise to help you and will explain the advantages of different products. There are always new products available to make life more enjoyable for the hunter. Let’s talk about a few items. Your waders leaking? Try the new Banded Redzone Waders that are the ultimate in warmth and comfort. The decoys have taken a beating from last year, you shouldn’t have shot that duck on the water, and a few new ones would help the spread. Look at Tangle Free Flocked head decoys. They look great, but are a bit pricey and there are other good brands. While getting decoys, pick up some Texas rigs to keep them where you want them in the water. They are lot better than tire weights! While doing duck talk, Mojos have come up with new versions of the spinning wing decoy. Mojos are legal in most Arkansas duck hunting areas. Check the regulations. Deer hunters should not be left off Santa’s list. We think mostly of warm camo clothes with the emphasis on warm and dry. Browning, Drake, and several other companies make first class gear. Do not let the price be the only factor. One generally gets what they pay for. I have some Browning clothes and boots that are 20 years old. There are some nice things about old hunting clothes such as comfort and wonderful memories. Boots are so much better than those e of The Good Ole Days. Its nice to be warm on a cold deer stand. Don’t forget a warm hat. A lot of body heat is lost from an uncovered head. Deer hunters must use orange on the head and a vest. A couple of extra items include a flashlight. Streamlight Flashlights are one of the best and have a lifetime guarantee. The police and fire departments use them. To get that meat home safely, think about a new cooler. The hot names are Yeti and K2 Coolers and both are good, but K2 is quite a bit less expensive. If you have an FFP, that is Faithful Fowling Piece, that needs some cleaning or work, Jimmy Evans can take care of it. He has a shop in Ann’s. I would bet you that any of the local outdoor stores in our area would be glad to keep your Hunters Registration in their stores. That makes gift shopping much easier. Don’t forget the hand warmers and please be safe. Send me some pictures and hunting stories. Good Hunting, Papa Duck Lakeside Taxidermy 901-482-3430

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