Gift ideas for sportsmen and sportswomen

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Sportsmen love their toys. Of course, they prefer to consider these toys as indispensable tools for the outdoors. Sometimes the best gift one can give to an outdoorsman or woman is a tool or device that he or she might not either think to buy for themselves or feel comfortable buying. For example, my late mother-in-law always had an uncanny knack for finding useful and unusual tool-like gifts. One Christmas long ago, she gave me a camping knife set. A nifty deal, this is a set of different blades that attach to a common handle. It all wraps up into a compact package and in it is a bread knife, a filleting knife, a carving knife and so forth. To this day, I treasure it, and whenever it’s used while camping, I can’t help but be reminded of her thoughtfulness and flair for creative gift giving.

For that favorite sportsman or sportswoman on your Christmas list, here are some gift ideas that may come in handy as the clock ticks down to Dec. 25.

Lifetime hunting/fishing license

A lifetime license to hunt and fish is a gift that lasts forever, even if you move. A lifetime license is more expensive than a regular license, but the return on that investment is much greater.

One-year combination hunting/fishing license.
These are available Online ( at all town offices, drug stores and most outdoor shops. If you are purchasing a combination or hunting license for someone, make sure you bring that person’s old license or proof of completion of a hunter safety course to where you purchase your license. License agents need that documentation to issue a new license.

Outdoor Books.

For a comprehensive list of Maine outdoor books that are reasonably priced, check out the website or the Outdoor Books section online at Outdoor books make a great Christmas gift. Best sellers are “Maine Deer Hunter’s Logbook,” “Backtrack,” and “Trolling Flies for Trout and Salmon.”

Other gift ideas.

Quality boot grease

Quality outdoor thermos (Available in camo)

Hudson Bay axe

Hunting Hot Seat (Fabric type best — no plastic)

Quality Long Underwear (Old ones lose their insulating value with use)

High quality rainsuit

Box of trout flies (Top six are Adams, Hornberg, Blue Dunn, Elk Hair Caddis, Grasshopper, Royal Coachman)

DeLorme’s Book of Maine Fishing Depth Maps ($19.95)

If you’re really feeling flush, here are some big-ticket items:

Black powder rifle (muzzleloader)

Power Ice Auger


Game Camera

Portable Ice Shack

Hunter’s Popup Tent Blind

Finally, some stocking stuffers: Bags of beef jerky, gift certificates, handwarmers, fishing lures, tippet material, fly dope, ammunition, WD-40, Leatherman, compass, a year’s subscription to the Northwoods Sporting Journal (732-4880 or, duct tape, wool socks, or foot warmers.

Merry Christmas and may all of your outdoor dreams come true.


The author is editor of the “Northwoods Sporting Journal.” He is also a Maine guide and host of a weekly radio program — “Maine Outdoors” — heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on “The Voice of Maine News – Talk Network.” He has authored three books; online purchase information is available at or at

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