John Kilgore

John Kilgore

I always count my blessings but this season it has taken on new meaning with the second year of the COVID pandemic. Friends of ours have still suffered with outbreaks of the disease.

Having spent the Thanksgiving holiday hunkered down with the wife and extended family members at our Sandhills Farm, I escaped to have an occasional sit in a deer blind and  think about all that's happening in the world and our own backyard.

My lovely spouse has been up and on a mission herself  — to pounce on that rare species — the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday bargain now available from the comfort of your laptop computer. 

The Christmas flyers from the various hunting and fishing stores have been arriving in our mailbox for well over a week. I always manage to rescue a few of them from the junk mail that has found its way to the trash can.

If you have someone on your Christmas list that enjoys hunting, fishing and the great outdoors, here are a few suggestions that I’ve seen this fall. These are available online or at your local retailer.

Since my wife is a school librarian, I made sure to start the list with a book recommended by the blogger from whence this list comes.

The following ideas are from




 • The Cascade Killer is a gripping and entertaining novel that takes place in the Cascade Mountains of central Washington. Written from the perspective of a veteran Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife game warden, this book is a criminal thriller and a murder mystery, but with a unique outdoor twist. About $26.

 • Get a Zippo hand warmer and your hunter won’t have to deal with cold hands on those freezing winter mornings in a deer stand. This hand warmer produces flameless warmth without being too hot. It fits inside a pocket when not in use.

 This particular model will provide heat for 12 hours without needing a refill. About $18.

• BLAVOR Solar Charger Power Bank 18W, QC 3.0 Portable Wireless Charger 10W/7.5W/5W with 4 Outputs & Dual Inputs, 20000mAh External Battery Pack IPX5 Waterproof with Flashlight & Compass (Orange): Keeping a cell phone charged when away from electricity for an extended period of time can be pretty challenging.

You can pre-charge it from the grid before leaving home and it will store enough power to fully charge the battery or most Samsung or iPhones 2-4 times. If that’s not enough, simply leave it out in direct sunlight to charge it back up. About $50.

Darn Tough Hunter Extra Cushion Socks:  Made out of Merino Wool, so they’re breathable, comfortable, fast drying, and durable. Since they wick moisture away from the skin, they prevent both blisters and cold feet.They last so much longer than regular socks. About $30.

• Randy Newberg teamed up with the folks at Gerber to design this new knife and they absolutely hit it out of the park. This knife features a primary blade made out of rust resistant 440C steel that’s perfect for meat processing. However, one of the most awesome features about this knife is that it ALSO has a secondary D2 steel blade with a serrated edge that’s designed for cutting through tough tendons and joints without dulling the primary blade.

 With a blaze orange color and a reflective grip, this knife is also designed to be easy to find, even at night with a flashlight. About $60.

 • The field butchering kit by Outdoor Edge includes three quality stainless steel knives as well as a bone saw and a sharpener. Basically, it has everything a hunter needs to field process that deer, elk, bear, or whatever else they manage to harvest, which is why the Outdoor Edge Game Processor Kit is  a slam dunk hunting gift. About $60.

• These electronic earmuffs not only protect the wearer from loud noises that could damage his or her hearing, but they also amplify quiet noises.

This means it’s still possible to carry on a normal conversation or even hear really quiet noises (like a twig breaking) while wearing ear protection. For those reasons, these earmuffs are the perfect gift for hunters. I’ve used the Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic earmuffs for years and can testify that they’re the real deal and now I never go hunting without them. About $50

• Ruger sells a great value electronic predator call for a smartphone. There’s two ways you can use it: download an app (available on both Android or iPhone) and use the phone itself as the call, or purchase an external speaker and use the phone as a remote connected via bluetooth.

If you're in search of a reasonably priced predator call as a hunting gift, then the Ruger iHunt Ultimate Game Call is an excellent choice. About $60. 

• As anybody who has done it can tell you, blood trailing a deer after dark can be an extremely difficult and frustrating endeavor.

That’s where the Primos Bloodhunter Blood Tracking Light comes in. The flashlight uses a special lens that makes blood drops stand out from the various shades of brown and red leaves on the ground. The light makes the trail much easier to follow and really increases the odds that you’ll find your deer. About $64.

This is a special time of year. The best memories are made by being with family and friends. 

We need to be thankful for our blessings and remember the true meaning of Christmas. 

Reach John Kilgore at

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