John Kilgore

John Kilgore

Having spent the Thanksgiving holiday hunkered down with the wife and the occasional sit in a deer blind, I had ample time to think about all that's happening in the world and our own backyard.

I always count my blessings but this season it has taken on new meaning with the pandemic in the world.  

It has taken everything I’ve got to roll myself out of a nice warm bed, stuff myself into hunting clothes meant for someone thirty pounds lighter and venture out in the predawn frigid air to my favorite deer blind. 

My lovely spouse is up and on a mission herself. To pounce on that rare species — the Black Friday bargain now available from the comfort of your laptop computer. 

While this is like no other Thanksgiving holiday, she is now on the trail of the ultimate Christmas gift.

The Christmas flyers and catalogs 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.

When in doubt, you can always get a gift certificate to a local hunting and fishing store.

The following ideas are from



• Yeti Rambler: A hot cup of coffee is really important to many hunters who need to get up early on in the morning, especially during cold weather. Well, it’s tough to beat a Yeti Rambler when it comes to keeping a hot drink hot. All things considered, most hunters will use their coffee mug a lot more than they will virtually any other piece of equipment. About $30.

Thermacell Mosquito Repeller: There are few things as aggravating to hunters as getting eaten alive by bugs while sitting in a deer stand. I struggled for years trying to find a product to keep the bugs away without spooking the game until I stumbled upon the ThermaCell. Not only does it effectively repel mosquitos and other biting insects, but it does so without producing any odor that scares off wildlife. About $20.


• 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. Fortunately, this solar powered cell phone charger is just what the doctor ordered.

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. About $30.

Muck Boot Arctic Pro: Nothing will ruin a late season hunt faster than cold and/or wet feet. Good socks are certainly important for keeping your feet warm, but high end boots are also a vital part of the equation.

That’s why the Muck boots are so darn popular with hunters — they’re really warm and they’re waterproof. They’re also extremely durable, comfortable, and easy to put on and take off. About $189.

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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