Dad can be difficult to buy gifts for, but not if he enjoys hunting. Here are six pieces of exceptional hunting gear that I have used and loved over the past hunting seasons. Each comes with a website so that you can browse, leave hints, and order in time for his special day. Dads, in case mom or children, don’t get this message, be a man of action and buy these yourself.
1. Final Rest Gripping Tripod
This is the perfect rest to use in a blind whether you hunt with a crossbow or firearm. The gripping option allows you to rest the forend of your bow firmly inside the jaws of the rest leaving both hands free to use a grunt tube, rattling horns, or binoculars. In addition to its use as a hunting rest, it is also ideal for backyard shooting and eliminates the need for a shooting table. I use an inverted bucket for a seat, lock the bow into the final rest and have an absolutely solid method of zeroing arrows or checking accuracy. It folds up for easy storage or transport and also doubles as a camera rest. www.FinalRestShootingSystems.com
This big Merriam weighed 23.2 pounds.
2. Kuiu Camouflage
Camouflage trends have moved from leaf-and-twig patterns to designs that match universal environments like mountains, forests, and open terrain. Kuiu has captured the market with unique, all-blending designs and features that hunters cherish. Fabrics are light, durable, and rugged such that you can carry a complete set of three-season gear in a small backpack. Vests and jackets have strategically placed pockets with zippers that work. Garments are made from durable fabrics that are water resistant and silent when passing through brush. For frigid winter conditions, down jackets will keep you warm and concealed. www.kuiu.com
3. TenPoint Viper 430 Crossbow
If you are thinking of upgrading your crossbow, the TenPoint Viper is an excellent choice. At 430 fps, it’s sizzlingly fast and seemingly defies gravity out to modest ranges. Like most premium TenPoint crossbows, it features the Acuslide cocking system that allows the powerful bow to be easily cocked and uncocked with a crank, a feature you will learn to love, especially with the cost of arrows. The Viper features a beefed-up Picitini rail which is reinforced with a solid angular bar to assure your scope won’t get bumped off target. I once leaned a crossbow against a post that fell over while I retrieved arrows. In the next shot, the bow shot two feet high because the rail had moved from the slight impact. www.TenPointCrossbows.com
4. Burris Oracle X Sight
The misjudging of distance is probably the greatest “miss factor” any archer will face. Even with today’s fast compounds and ultra-swift crossbows, gravity will have its day. If that big buck stops for a second at 42 yards, how quickly and accurately can you shoot? If you have to use one hand to range and the other to hold your bow, a perfectly-broadside animal can vanish in an instant. I’ve been using the Burris Oracle X Sight for two years with excellent success. It’s easy to set up, sight in, and most importantly, aim. With the push of a button by your bow-holding hand, a precise aiming red dot appears in the scope and you can launch with confidence. www.burrisoptics.com
5. Morrell Back-to-Back Foam Target
I like Morrell’s Back-to-Back target so much that I took one to Africa. It’s relatively light for a premium foam target and has a built-in rope handle for easy transport. It’s designed for today’s fastest bows as shown in the image above. Here’s a 30-yard shot from a TenPoint 505, the world’s fastest crossbow, and a Cape buffalo arrow weighing nearly 1000 grains. The target has an anatomically correct deer on one side and a strutting turkey on the reverse with three white target dots on the other two sides. This is a versatile, easily transportable target that you will love. www.morrelltargets.com
6. Meopta MeoSight IV
If you’ve never shot a crossbow with a red dot scope, this is your chance. Meopta, a quality name in outdoor optics, introduces its fourth generation of red dot scope. With a 3MOA size dot, it easily contrasts with any target, deer, or other game animals. It weighs just ounces making it a lightweight and low-profile addition to any crossbow. Battery life is estimated at 30,000 hours, nearly three years so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. Aside from instant target acquisition, a red dot scope can train you to shoot with both eyes open. If you are still squinting with one eye closed, you are missing shot opportunities that only a full view can provide. www.meopta.com