Whether you're purchasing him something as simple as a compass or as extravagant as an African Safari trip, there are so many cool gift ideas to pick from for the hunting dad.
Right off the bat, find out through Mom or his hunting buddies if he needs a new rifle, bow, hunting knife or shotgun. Maybe his gear needs an upgrade or a new addition. One thing is for sure about a true hunter: they use and wear out their gear. Stuff gets chipped, clipped, torn, dirty and scratched when you're facing the outdoor elements as a dedicated hunter.
We’ve put together a list of items to consider for your hunting dad — some that are no-brainers and a few that may surprise both you and him!
A new rifle scope is the first thing that comes to mind if you’re looking for a simple yet effective upgrade to dad's rifle. Most stock scopes are not that great right out of the factory. A better, more powerful scope delivers in clarity and brightness, and it won't fog up in inclement weather.
Another great Father's Day gift is a new hunting vest. Next to their gear bag, a vest is probably the most-used item for a hunter. A good vest should include plenty of pockets for shells, water bottles and (hopefully) game birds. Look for one with a comfort strap system and a majority of blaze-orange color for visibility. A new hunting vest is a great gift for any dad that hunts, no matter what part of the country he calls home.
Scent Crusher Bag
A scent crusher gear bag is another excellent choice. The one main thing that repels an animal away from the hunter is the human smell. A scent crusher gear bag removes all odor-filled bacteria in a simple process. Dad simply puts all his hunting clothes in the bag and sets the timer. There is a module pump that pushes ozone into the bag, basically deleting all the scent on the clothing inside. The best part is that it can be used for weekend or even weeklong hunting trips away, where a washing machine is not usually available. Just make sure dad has a charging port for it in his vehicle. However, if he tends to hunt off the grid, you better add a portable battery to his gift box to power the gear bag.
Take a peek at dad's current binoculars. Do they look worn out? How about a new pair for Father's Day? They range in price and style, and there is a huge variety! It's best to go with a 10x 42 binocular. The 10x refers to the magnification of the lens, and 42 is the size of the binoculars in millimeters. Keep in mind that higher quality binoculars that showcase brighter and clearer results are going to be more expensive. Some great brands are Bushnell, Alpen and Vortex.
Blood Trailing Light
A unique Father's Day hunting gift is a blood trailing light. These are used to help find downed animals, especially during the tricky hours of late afternoon or early evening. Plus, they’re really great for rough country areas that have a lot of thick tree cover. A blood trailing light is simply a flashlight outfitted with lumen and LED lights filtered through an optical fitting that reduces color to amplify the visibility of any animal blood.
A shooting stick is another great Father's Day gift to give a hunter, especially if he's a seasoned, older hunter, like Grandpa, who may not have the stamina to hold position for long, drawn-out periods of time. A shooting stick is basically an extendible stick that allows the shooter to rest his rifle and prevent any wobbling. Picture a tripod for a camera but for the hunter's gun instead. These are very inexpensive, but they can make all the difference in a hunter's day.
Water Hydration System
A water system for inside a backpack is a very versatile Father's Day hunter's gift because you can use it during hunting or scouting. The sound of opening a tin canteen or water bottle can alert an animal in close range to a hunter's presence. You don't have to buy the entire backpack with a water system built into it already. You can purchase a water bladder hydration system that fits into Dad's current backpack. The drinking tube intertwines to connect with the shoulder strap, allowing Dad to scout and hunt while quietly staying hydrated.
Walkie-talkies, also known as two-way radios, allow hunters to communicate with each other when they're off the grid and a distance away from any cell phone towers. They come with ranges as far as 40 miles, and some military-issued sets can span even further stretches.
Two-way radios make hunting more effective due to accessible communication, as well as creating a much safer environment in the case of someone getting hurt or lost out in the wild. The higher-priced sets have excellent distance coverage, clear range and an automatic dial-in to the local NOAA weather channel. Many come with headsets, rechargeable batteries, vibration alerts — and some can even run off household batteries if you are way out of range.
As a child, you must have seen Dad come home with soaking wet boots at least a few times after a day of hunting. He might have just stuffed his boots with rolled up newspaper and thrown them in front of the fire place or radiator to dry out. High, direct heat will result in cracking and will interfere with the structure of the boots. The solution? A heated boot dryer that blows warm air to dry them quickly while avoiding excess stressing on the boot materials. If that’s little too fussy for your hunter dad, consider buying him a new pair of hunting boots to switch out each time he soaks a set.
Food Vacuum Sealer
Once dad has his game cleaned and prepared for storage, he will need a place to keep it. How about a food vacuum sealer? Any hunter will find a sealer economical and easy to use. Throw your fresh-caught game in the sealer, then in the freezer for safe-keeping.
When he’s ready for a meal, he’ll simply defrost, prepare and serve the fresh meat he caught for the family. The sealer will prevent ice crystals and proudly display the bounty of his hunt. Good sealers are automatic, and a simple electric plug-in design can preserve food for up to five times longer than a Ziploc bag or storage container.
Once dad bags the game and brings it home, a smoker is an awesome gift he can use to make smoked salmon, sausage sticks, beef jerky and more. A big step up from an old-fashioned smoker box, today's smokers come with all sorts of bells and whistles, including remote control and boxes the size of small rooms. Plus, if gear, accessories and ammo are completely covered, why not give dad a gift that benefits the whole family as well?
Most folks buy gloves for warmth, but a hunter needs gloves that perform well in the areas of grip, comfort and temperature. A soft and warm fleece or wool glove may feel great, but it will make holding a rifle a little slippery. Good hunting gloves leave the trigger fingers unencumbered or cover them with a material that grips. Take a look at the gloves Dad has now, note the key features they have and give him an upgrade.
High Definition Trail Camera
Besides bagging the animal, the next best thing hunters like to do is see where the big game is in the wild. A good trail camera will do just that. Animals roam, and they do so in patterns. Giving Dad a trail camera for Father's Day to set up near his blind will let him track and record what crosses into his path and when. This thoughtful gift will allow him to figure out when is the best time to hunt and give him a nice thrill if he sees a bear or cougar light up the screen.
Most hunters have a favorite area that they use for hunting. They usually conceal themselves as naturally as possible to facilitate the hunt. A lightweight hunting blind is a great Father's Day gift. It will allow him to set up closer to trails without being spotted, keep him off the wet or cold ground and block the wind or rain.
Traditional Hunting Knife
A new knife is a classic gift that any father will appreciate. To choose the best one for your dad, you first must know if he prefers a fixed blade or folding blade. True to its description, a fixed blade stays put and is permanently in the open position. Since there are no moving parts, a fixed blade is considered more reliable and stronger. However, it must be carried in a sheath worn on the hunter’s belt.
A folding blade simply folds back into its handle with a locking feature. This style of hunting knife is more compact and easier to carry. The drawback is that the handle is typically hollow and the pivot point on the blade makes for a weaker blade than a fixed one of the same size.
The choice falls upon practicality and preference. If Dad is a dedicated hunter, it's best to go with a fixed blade design for his Father's Day gift.
Some hunters rely on practiced grunts to attract bucks into shooting range. Hunters hope the sound will cause the buck to pause and listen, which will present the perfect opportunity to take a shot. However, you run the risk of making the wrong call and sending the buck running away from you. Get him a good quality deer caller to take all the hard work out of a very important hunting strategy.
Rifle Shell Holder
A small, inexpensive and practical gift for dad is a buttstock shell holder for extra ammunition. It slips over the butt stock of the rifle or shotgun for an easy modification. Little gifts like this can be combined with other small gifts and presented in a camo cooler to make a great presentation.
Hunter's First Aid Kit
Besides the standard first aid kit items, a hunter's first aid kit should include some extras. To make a more personal, unique gift, make sure there is something in the kit to fashion a tourniquet in case of a deep cut, gunshot wound or puncture. Those are the three most common hunting injuries hunters, and a tourniquet is essential to stopping blood flow.
Choose one that is bright orange for better visibility in case it becomes a rescue situation. Also add extra pressure bandages to the kit, more gauze, a chest seal for any puncture wounds to the torso and a survival blanket. A stormproof match kit isn't a bad idea to include, too. If Dad gets stuck in a bad situation, the ability to start a fire could save his life.
This Father’s Day, help him enjoy his love of hunting and the great outdoors with the perfect gift. He’ll be excited to receive some new gear for his favorite hobby!