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December 2009 cover image Birdwatching at San Bernard River National Wildlife refuge

Visions of Hunting Gear

The 2009 Texas Parks & Wildlife Holiday Gift Guide.

Photos by Russell A. Graves

It’s no secret that the past year has been tough on the wallet. With that in mind, we present the 2009 Texas Parks & Wildlife outdoor gear gift guide. In this year’s guide, you’ll find lots of affordable items for your favorite outdoor enthusiast. Whether you have a hunter, angler, birdwatcher, hiker, camper or nature photographer on your gift list, you’ll find a gift that’s a perfect fit.

You’ll also find a couple of high-end items for outdoor enthusiasts who have everything — or so they think. Hard times can’t stop us from dreaming big, right?

Despite the economy, outdoor equipment manufacturers continue to release innovative products. So consider this gear guide an “outdoors” economic stimulus package. The formula is simple: Buy a gift for someone significant, help boost the economy, then get outside and enjoy.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Camera

In a word, this camera is amazing. Not only is it a top-shelf digital SLR camera that shoots 21-megapixel images at nearly four frames per second, it also shoots high-definition, 1080-pixel video with surprising clarity and vibrancy. With a big 3-inch LCD screen on the back and live-view video recording, this camera works well for capturing all your outdoor memories with a single piece of equipment. www.usa.canon.com 1-800-OK-CANON $2,699

RedHead EnduraSuede Outdoor Wear

Whether your activity is hunting, hiking, photography or fishing, you’ll need good clothing that holds up in all weather conditions. The RedHead Endurasuede pants and jacket are made from a lightweight performance fabric that can be worn easily over insulating layers. The pants and shirt have articulated joints for a full range of motion. Velcro closures on the jacket cuffs and pant legs help keep out the elements, and the fabric is windproof, water resistant and antimicrobial. www.basspro.com 1-800-227-7776 $160 (includes pants and jacket)

Hank Parker Signature Series Tackle Bag

I’m a lifelong angler, and fishing equipment has come a long way since my days of carrying lures in an old metal toolbox. The Hank Parker Signature Series Tackle Bag from Plano Tackle Systems is a practical accessory for any angler. It comes in two sizes and has pockets to protect your gear. Plastic utility boxes allow you to mix and match your tackle with adjustable dividers, and it also includes integrated tool holsters, a towel ring and mesh pockets. www.planomolding.com 1-800-226-9868 Two sizes, $80 and $100

Bushnell BackTrack

The BackTrack is a personal GPS system designed for locating your car at the mall or airport, finding your way home or hiking back to camp. Available in several colors, the ultra-portable BackTrack features three-location storage, a self-calibrating compass, weather resistance and a highly sensitive GPS receiver. It’s easy to use: Push a button to mark your original location, then push it again when you’re ready for BackTrack to show you how to return. www.bushnell.com 1-866-255-8406 $77

Weather FXi

Weather FXi

For an outdoor enthusiast, weather is always important. With the Weather FXi personal weather station, you’ve got knowledge at your fingertips. This machine doesn’t need external sensors to collect data. Using a transmitter connected to your personal computer, the Weather FXi can access real-time Internet weather updates and seven-day forecasts. The Weather FXi works in a 200-foot radius from your computer, and its backlight changes color with the outdoor temperature. www.bushnell.com 1-866-255-8406 $99

Hunter Safety System Tree Stand Life Line

Hunting from tree stands is a popular method for bowhunters, but can be dangerous. Few hunters use fall arrest systems while climbing in and out of the trees. The Life Line uses a sliding prussic knot wrapped around a rope that extends from the bottom of the tree to your tree stand. Because the knot cinches when pulled and slides easily when loose, you’ll be protected from a fall from the moment your feet leave the ground. www.huntersafetysystem.com 1-256-773-7732 $40

Bogs Bugs Boots

Waterproof and warm, these children’s boots are perfect for wet, cool hikes in the Texas outdoors. Rated comfortable from 60 degrees down to 30 degrees below zero, these boots will keep little feet comfortable most of the year. An antimicrobial insole helps reduce foot odor, and the wide openings at the boots’ tops make them easy to slip on for even the littlest wearer. The whimsical bug-pattern camo makes these boots both fun and practical. www.bogsfootwear.com 1-800-201-2070 $67.95

Mud Armour

Waterfowl hunting is muddy business. The mud often gets stuck in your firearms, rendering them useless until cleaned. To keep your next duck hunt on track, try Mud Armour by Texas-based Mud Brothers. Consisting of a chamber vest and barrel boot, this two-part neoprene system keeps out dirt and grime so that your firearm remains fully functional. Available in black and camouflage. www.mudarmour.com $15 (includes both items)

Money Frog

Looking for a great stocking stuffer for your favorite bass angler? Check out this brand new bait from YUM. The 3.75-inch Money Frog has paddle feet that displace water and produce vibration that quickly draws the attention of hungry bass. The Money Frog comes in six colors and is a versatile bait that you can fish like a buzzbait, jig trailer or countless other ways. www.lurenet.com 1-479-782-8971 $7 (package of four)

Jetboil Personal Cooking System

Texas has more than 2 million public acres to explore, and there’s no doubt that you’ll get hungry out on the trail. When it’s time to refuel your body after a tough day in the field, you want food that’s hot and quick to prepare. The Jetboil system is made for portability and speed. Weighing less than a pound, the Jetboil brings a cup of water to boil in one minute. The replaceable 100-gram fuel canister burns for an hour and can heat three gallons of liquid. The canister is also available in a 230-gram size. www.jetboil.com 1-888-611-9905 $99

Ten point crossbow

TenPoint Defender CLS Crossbow

With Texas’ new crossbow hunting regulations, the Defender crossbow by CLS makes perfect sense for the hunter who has everything. Equipped with a three-power scope, quiver and six arrows, the Defender crossbow is ready for the field. It shoots a blistering 330 feet per second with a 175-pound draw weight. In addition, this package comes with the ACUdraw 50 — a mechanism that helps you safely and swiftly cock the crossbow. With Texas’ new crossbow hunting regulations, the Defender crossbow by CLS makes perfect sense for the hunter who has everything. Equipped with a three-power scope, quiver and six arrows, the Defender crossbow is ready for the field. It shoots a blistering 330 feet per second with a 175-pound draw weight. In addition, this package comes with the ACUdraw 50 — a mechanism that helps you safely and swiftly cock the crossbow. www.tenpointcrossbows.com 1-330-628-9245 $1,019

American Hunter Sunslinger Feeder Kit

If you feed deer or backyard birds, or try to lure animals to your property for photography, you know how frustrating it is to check on your feeder and find that the motor battery is dead. Eliminate that hassle with this all-in-one feeder motor with a built-in solar charger. This unit has a versatile timer that lets you feed up to 16 times a day. The best part is, the battery won’t fail you. www.americanhunterfeeders.com 1-877-269-8490 $80

Coleman SportCat Perfectemp Catalytic Heater

Whether tailgating at a Friday night football game, camping, fishing or waiting on a huge buck in an open blind, we all get cold from time to time, even in Texas. That’s why this ultra-portable Coleman heater makes a great gift. Using a catalytic heating process, flameless and consistent heat is emitted, creating an efficient, dependable heat source that lasts 14 hours on a single 16-ounce propane cylinder. www.coleman.com 1-800-835-3278 $49

Hoyt Trykon Jr. Bow

The Texas Archery in Schools program is a fast-growing activity in our educational system. Get your young archer started off on a good foot with this bow made especially for kids. Thirty inches long, 2.7 pounds and available in draw weights from 10 to 40 pounds, this bow is sure to last until your young archer graduates to adult-sized bows. www.hoyt.com 801-363-2990 $500 with accessories (variable)

Moultrie Game Camera Tripod

Game cameras are great, but let’s face it — they’re made for straight trees. Out west where I live, straight mesquite trees are hard to come by and are nonexistent in food plots and wheat fields. That’s why I like this tripod. Constructed from durable aluminum and made especially for game cameras, the Moultrie Tripod is very useful when you can’t hang a game camera from a tree. www.moultriefeeders.com 1-800-653-3334 $70

FoxPro Fury Digital Game Call

Game calls are not only important tools for hunters, they should be a part of every nature photographer’s gear bag as well. Used for luring myriad animals in close, including predators and birds, the Fury incorporates 24-bit digital sound quality, four gigabytes of internal storage (to hold scores of wildlife-attracting sounds), wireless upload capability, remote-control operation and dual speakers. www.gofoxpro.com 1-866-463-6977 $600

Jimmy Houston Anglers A Polarized Sunglasses

When Jimmy Houston, arguably one of the biggest names in angling, puts his name on a product, you know it must be good. With these polarized lenses, water glare disappears and sight fishing becomes easy. They also provide 100 percent UV protection and are scratch resistant, while still providing an undistorted view. Additionally, these lenses are mounted on stylish wrap-around frames with sport grip tips on the temples for a secure fit. www.basspro.com 1-800-227-7776 $20

Dead Down Wind ScentPrevent Kit

Hunting products frequently have crossover potential for nature photographers. Scent management products are no different. Whether you hunt or photograph wild animals, chances are that they’ll smell you long before they see you. The ScentPrevent Kit includes body and hair soap, antiperspirant, mouth spray, field spray and body foam designed to minimize your odor signature. www.deaddownwind.com 1-816-421-4397 $45

Thermacell mosquito repellant patio lantern

Thermacell Mosquito Repellant Patio Lantern

I love sitting outside on a glorious Texas evening entertaining friends and watching my kids play. I don’t, however, enjoy mosquitoes. With the dual-use Thermacell Patio Lantern, you can repel mosquitoes from a 15- by 15-foot area while providing soft light for perfect evening ambiance. Since the Thermacell is silent, portable and cordless, you can use it in a variety of outdoor settings. www.thermacell.com 1-866-753-3837 $32

Shadow Creek Ranch

Just win the lottery and want to give your outdoor enthusiast the gift that says, “I love you a million,” or maybe several million? Located in the rough break country of the southeastern Texas Panhandle, this ranch has everything for the hunter, wildlife enthusiast or nature photographer. Scenic vistas provide habitat for white-tailed and mule deer, scaled and bobwhite quail, Rio Grande turkeys, wild pigs and many migratory birds. The property also includes a number of fishing ponds and nine miles of Pease River frontage. www.nofencesland.com 1-866-800-LAND $11.5 million

 

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