Hunting season opens up just around the time you start thinking about what to get your favorite hunter for the holiday season. It is hard to find the perfect gift for hunters, and I’m sure that they (and you) are over gift cards. Don’t get me wrong, gift cards are great. But giving or getting the perfect gift gives everyone a good feeling. Gifts for hunters can be a bit intimidating to find, but I’ve got you covered. This guide includes gifts for big game hunters, now hunters, duck hunters and rifle hunters.
I hadn’t really planned on doing a gift guide for hunters, but after getting frustrated with so many crappy gift lists online, I decided I was going to put together the ultimate hunting gift list. Hunting is an expensive hobby and I can could use all the help I can get in getting great gear. Plus, I don’t think my husband would appreciate another hunting t-shirt.
So, I’ve put together the complete guide for hunting gifts. I have included here tips on what to buy and not by, just like in the complete fishing gift guide. Besides those tips, I have divided this post into several sections. Sure, most hunting is fluroscent orange and camo, but there really are mutliple types of hunting, which I’ll focus on a few here.
This gift guide includes the following gifts for hunters:
- Bow Hunting Gifts
- Rifle Hunting Gifts
- Gifts for Hunting Dogs
- Hunting Packs
- Hunting Clothing
- Hunting Gifts for Her
- Hunting Gifts for Kids
- Best Hunting Gifts for All Hunters
- Hunting Novelties and Fun Stuff
Tips on Picking Out the Best Hunting Gift
I am not including any recommendations here for guns or bows. Not only is it a very personal choice and every individual has his or her favorite. Those gifts are often very pricey, and it would be unfortunate if you got the wrong one and couldn’t return it. Also, unfortunately , recommending either of these things can be a liability.
When you are looking for a gifts for hunters, consider the following:
- What type of animal does the hunter normally go after? Is it trophy, big game, small game, predator or fowl?
- Are they a bow hunter or rifle hunter? keep in mind there are different types of bows and guns.
- What terrain does the hunter normally hunt in? You aren’t going to by white camo if they usually hunt in the desert.
- Does the hunter hike far back away from the vehicle or backpack into back country? It’s a big different, like car camping vs. camping while backpacking.
- Weight does matter, especially if you are packing out an animal on foot. Lighter gear is always better.
- Warmth and comfort are always priorities. Hunting is usually cold and wet.
- Check the laws in your area. Some things, when it comes to hunting, are legal in some states and illegal in others. For example, it is illegal to bait animals in Montana. However, some states like Ohio, do allow baiting. Some states also prohibit walkie-talkies while hunting while others do not.
- Is the hunter right handed or left handed? This can matter when it comes to certain gear.
- Hunter like useful items. They are usually happy within anything they get, as long as it helps them spend more time doing what they love.
- Because hunting gear is an investment, gear should be durable and able to withstand some abuse.
- You can’t go wrong with anything related to safety.
- No bright colors. Camouflage and hunters orange are preferred. I once saw a lady out hunting with a sequined jacket, like a disco ball…
- If you are purchasing clothing or gloves, be sure to get the right size.
I think those are the basic tips for choosing a hunting gift. Many of the gift ideas in this post were recommended by fellow readers, and many experienced hunters from every hunting background. It is truly a gift guide for hunters by hunters. And just a quick reminder, please always practice good hunting safety. Too many hunting accidents happen each year, both during archery and rifle season. Most of all, a loaded weapon should never leave your hand and should never, ever, be put in a vehicle loaded. When I was in the Israeli military, I unfortunately lost a friend, when someone was careless enough to toss a loaded gun into the back seat.
Bow Hunting Gifts
I lack coordination, so I’m not a bow hunter. My four-year-old is a better shot than I am, with a bow. There are many people out there who bow hunt, especially because the hunting season is usually longer, but also many consider it harder than rifle hunting. Most gear also comes in youth sizes as well. Here are some great gift ideas for bow hunters, who have either a recurv or compound bow:
Finger Tab or Finger Guard – This can be helpful in protecting your hands when pulling back the string on a bow. This works for both re-curve and compound archery. This piece of gear may depend on if you are right handed or left handed.
Arm Guard – I have already mentioned how uncoordinated I am when it comes to archery. I was messing around the yard with a longbow, and probably should have been wearing an arm guard. My whole arm ended up black and blue and I seriously thought I had fractured something. It’s pretty important to protect your forearm.
Bow Release – When you need that extra little bit to pull back the string, the bow release can be really helpful. Plus, it protects your fingers too. Releases are most commonly used with compound bows. There are multiple types of releases but the four most common ones are the wrist strap index finger release, the handheld hinge release, the handheld thumb trigger release and the handheld resistance/tension release.
Arrow Rest or Shelf Rest – Arrow rests are commonly used with compound bows and stabilize the arrow. Shelf rests are similar to arrow rests, but are for recurve or long bows. Ideally, you want an arrow rest that is silent and would launch the arrow consistently.
Bow Site – Bow sites are amazing. Most of them are universal and improve accuracy and consistency. Imagine shooting a gun without sites, it would be the same as shooting a bow without sites. The more pins you have, you can set up different distances of shots. However, you should never use more pins than you actually need. Some people find multiple pins very confusing.
Bow Site Cover – Site covers are great for keeping your bow sites safe. Remember, any hunting gear is usually an investment and it’s important to protect your sites so you’re not replacing them too soon.
Quiver – Robin Hood is super cool with his leather quiver, but it is not really practical for hunting. There are so many different styles, but honestly you want a quiver that is functional, practical and convenient. There are hip quivers, mountable quivers, and back quivers. I personally do not think a hip quiver is practical while hunting because it can interfere with your movement.
Bow Stabilizers – Stabilizers dampen vibrations in order to improve accuracy and consistency. Stabilizers can also improve balance and reduce torque. Not all bows need stabilizers and not everyone uses them. Length and weight of the stabilizer can matter.
Bow Strings – This is also a great gift idea. I have not included a suggested product, because I know too many bow hunters who are picky. Also, it does depends on the bow you have and what type, size, length, etc. You shouldn’t have a problem finding it at Sportmans Warehouse once you know what type and length to get.
String Wax – This makes a great stocking stuffer, but it is very important for bow hunters. In keeps the string in excellent shape, prevents deterioration and protects the rails.
Stringing Tool – When I had to string my daughter’s recurve, it was a pain. I don’t have the hand strength, but with a stringer like this one, I was able to do it with no problem.
Allen Wrenches – I small set of Allen wrenches is perfect for anyone with a compound bow. They are used to adjust and I can’t tell you how often they are needed, but have been left accidentally at home.
Bow Sling – Every hunter hunter has a bow sling or carrier for their bow. Besides making it easier to carry, bow slings also protect your mechanisms and strings.
Bow Case – A nice bow case always makes a great gift. Be sure you know if they have a recurve or compound bow. I have included both soft and hard cases.
Bow Mount Phone/Camera/GoPro Holder – If you are looking for a unique gift, this might be the most unique one. Many hunters love to watch a replay of practice or the hunt. This accessory is perfect for that and is compatible withe a GoPro or phone.
Bow Hunting and Archery Targets – We have quite a few archery targets out in our field. They are pretty durable but do fall apart after awhile. If you get a 3D target, make sure you get one with a replaceable core.
Hunting Bow Rack – A storage rack for your home can be a nice element and a great way to store your bows.
Rifle Hunting Gifts
When I was a kid, I remember that we would get a week off of school the week of the opening day of rifle season. They don’t do that anymore here, but it’s not unusual for businesses to be shut down or half of the class missing. Rifle hunting is a big deal in Montana and people take a lot of pride and care with their hunting rifles, including accessories. Because gun accessories are as particular as guns, I haven’t included anything such as as scopes.
Gun Cleaning Kit – One of the most important things is to clean your gun. It improves accuracy, reduces wear, and reduces malfunctions. A good gun cleaning kit is always a great gift.
Gun Case – This is another one of those things that is very specific to a hunter, their weapon and their preference. I’m not going to make any suggestions here regarding a particular brand, but for my hunting rifles, I prefer a hard case.
Scope Cover – Because people can pay alot on scopes, they want to keep them from getting scratched.
Reloading Kit – Does your hunter save their brass and shells? It’s always best practice to pick up your brass. Not everybody reloads, however it’s also a good item to have if you are a prepper.
Gun Cleaning Pad – It’s always nice to have a gun cleaning pad. Not only does it keep the area clean, but it’s keeps your gun from slipping and scratching whatever surface it’s on. I can’t count the number of times I’ve come home and the guns are out on the kitchen table being cleaning.
Ammo Box – Not only do ammo boxes make great storage for ammunition, but they are also realy great for organization in general like the garage, for camping or tool storage.
Gun Sling – Gun slings do fray and even if they already have one, a hunter can always use another one, because I’m sure they already have their eye on a new gun. I prefer the wider ones, but I’ve seen some really awesome ones made of paracord.
Ear Protection – I am completely deaf in my right ear due to not using ear protection. So, always use ear protection. Ear plugs are awesome in the field and ear muffs are great for target practice and bird hunting.
Gifts for Hunters With Hunting Dogs
Many people take dogs with them while hunting. Hunting dogs are great companions, but also well-trained hunting buddies. A friend of mine reminded me how important it is to care for your hunting dog. It’s a shame when something happens to one if the field. Hunting dogs should be just as important as you. When taking your dog into the back country or hunting, you should consider taking the following:
- Dog booties to protect your dog’s feet in rough terrain
- Dog pack that fits your dog
- Hunter’s orange vest or bandanna
- First-aid kit for dogs
- Wire clippers for cutting barbed wire. Dog’s can run when they are on the hunt and can get tangled in barbed wire. One of my hunting friends really wanted me to encourage this tool, due to a hunting accident he was on with a dog getting tangled in barb wire.
- High energy dog treats
- Collapsible silicone dog bowl
- Plenty of water, at least two extra bottles
- Needle-nosed pliers for porcupine quills. I lost a dog last year to a porcupine and we just got to the vet too late and he had too many quills in him and was too old. If there is a porcupine out there, your dog will probably find it, so its best to be prepared.
The right hunting pack really does depend on what type of hunting the hunter does. It depends on if they treck far into the backcountry or stay close to hunting camp. It also depends on what you are hunting, the situation, conditions, terrain, etc. There are so many different types of packs, and so it really depends on the hunter. Fanny packs are a thing with hunters and extremely useful. And one of the most useful and most recommended items from hunters, is a good binocular chest harness. I’ve also thrown in a hunting/ice fishing sled and harnass.
Hunting clothes need to be functional. If you’re waking up at 2:00 am and it’s below zero for opening weekend, the most important part is to stay warm. You also want to be able to blend in with appropriate camo, and some hunter’s orange. It doesn’t matter if you are a man, a woman or a child, the same rules apply. Best practice to layer adequately to for cold weather and during hunting season, consists of three layers:
- Base layer (under layer): A thin, moisture-wicking layer worn next to your skin
- Insulating layer: The layer that is meant to keep you warm
- Jacket layer: Usually a jacket or a light coat
- Outer layer: The last layer that usually is a shell, blocks wind and water
I could do a whole different post just on hunting clothing, so I’ll stick with some of the basic clothing items instead and some of my favorites. Hunting outfits usually include the following:
- Warm hat
- Neck gaiter
- Heavy wool socks
- Thermal underwear or long-johns
- Hunting jacket
- Hunting shirt
- Hunting pants
- Warm gloves
- Boot gaiters
- Hunting coat
- Hunting boots
One of my favorite things for my hunting buddies is these awesome novelty hunting socks from Lavely. They are perfect for lounging around hunting camp, or everyday use. Any hunting enthusiast would love these socks. They are super soft and a fun gift for any guy who loves hunting. Many novelty socks brands do not have high quality, but these novelty hunting socks by Lavely are amazing. My husband loves his.
Hunting Gifts for Any Hunter
What do you get a hunter who has everything? Hopefully, if you didn’t find something already, then this section will give you some great ideas on what to get your favorite hunter (or to gift yourself). Some great gift and gear for any hunter include any of the following:
- First aid kit
- Bear spray
- Animal urine
- Human scent shield
- Face paint
- Hunting seat
- Range finder
- Hunting knife
- Hand warmers
- Portable charger
- Water bladder
- Safety whistle
- Game camera
- Vacuum sealer for meat
- Camping stool
- Dry bag
- Game calls
- Portable hunting blind
- Tree stand
- onX GPS chip/membership
- Wet wipes
Some other great gifts for hunters:
- Hunting experience or outfitter trip
- Gift card from Bass Shop Pros, Cabellas or Sportmans Warehouse
- Accompanying them on their next hunting trip
- Their hunting/conservation license fee for the year or drawing entry fees
Hunting Gifts for Her
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t see myself hunting with a pink bow or a pink knife. I feel there aren’t a lot of hunting gifts for women out there. When I was working on my fishing gift guide, I also felt there wasn’t a lot out there for women that fish either. Any woman who hunts would enjoy anything already mentioned, but there are a few things out there that I think any woman hunter would love.
Hunting Gifts for Kids
Hunting is a family affair. It’s also a great opportunity to teach kids about self-reliance and conservation. If you are getting hunting gear for kids, try to purchase gear that they can use for several years or that they can grow into.
Hunting Novelties and Fun Stuff
Now that we’ve covered the practical and useful gear, how about some fun stuff?
I hope this has been helpful in finding the best gift for your favorite hunter and outdoorsman. Gifts for hunters and gifts for fishermen are not always easy to find. If your favorite outdoorsman fishes, we’ve got you covered there too, in this best gift guide for fishermen. If you have any suggestions, be sure to drop them below. And don’t forget, be outside with no limits.