The holidays are here, and hunters are still, year after year, just as hard to shop for. There are so many options and so many nuances to hunting. Whitetail gear isn’t the same as elk gear. Duck hunters need something totally different than bear hunters. Luckily, there’s something on this list for just about everyone because none of it is really niche-specific.
You’ll find all sorts of lists online for gift ideas. What makes this one different? Well, for starters, I have personally tested, used, abused, and loved every product listed here (with one noted exception, but you’ll see why).
And this isn’t going to be a short list. There are just too many awesome hunting products to choose from this year. And just like the president of Hair Club for Men, I’m not just the creator of this list, I’m also a client. I’ve already purchased several of these products for the hunters on my list.
If none of these gifts tickle your fancy, scroll on down to the end for some tips and tricks to find the perfect gift that might have evaded this obviously perfect list.
OK, let’s dive in.
Hunting Gifts for the 2023 Holidays
Co-designed by renowned bushman and survivalist Roland Welker, the Case Knives RW Caper taps into decades of wilderness knowhow. The Caper’s handle is made from Micarta, a material that’s well known for being tough, scratch-resistant, and soft and grippable in-hand. At only 6.25 ounces, it won’t weigh you down, and makes a great gift for any survivalist or hardcore outdoorsman.
Perfect for skinning game and a host of other functions, the 4.13 inch, drop point blade is fashioned from a stonewashed 1095 carbon steel with full tang construction. Whether building a shelter, whittling kindling, or processing meat, the RW Caper has the spirit of survival and endurance built in.Check Price at Case Knives
If you love the YETI GoBoxes like we do, the Magellan Outdoors Pro 92 L Waterproof Gear Box will be high on your holiday gift list. To put it bluntly, it’s essentially a dupe, but with a few notable differences. The biggest difference is price. With everyone tightening their belts around the holidays, the $100 price tag is pretty lean compared the $300 sticker on the YETI. That, and you’re looking at 92 L of storage, with wheels, that only weighs 16 pounds.
Unlike the YETI box, it likely won’t survive being pushed out of a helicopter (though I’ve not tested it in that capacity), but does it really need to? The thing is still crazy durable. I’ve pushed mine out of a truck bed, down a flight of stairs into the basement, and even checked it on a cross-country United flight. The thing is a beast that won’t break the bank and is perfect for any hunter on your list.Buy Now at Academy
Of all the products I’ve tested this year, these Glerups Felted Wool Shoes have been used the most. I’ve worn them as my everyday shoe, my around-the-house shoe, in the field training dogs, as a camp shoe, and on early-season archery hunts. I kid you not, these things have barely left my feet.
With slipper, shoe, and boot options, you can customize the height preference for your chosen activity. Because they are 100% felted wool, they are odor-resistant and, over time, change shape to match the contour of your foot.
Aside from them being the perfect camp shoe, they are offered with the option of a natural rubber or leather sole. This means you can get the close-contact archery hunter on your list the perfect pair of spot-and-stalk hunting mocs that can creep through crunchy terrain unnoticed.
And then buy a pair for yourself. You will not regret it.Buy Now at Glerups
This cellular trail camera lets hunters focus on certain species so you spend less time looking at squirrels and rabbits. At its most dialed, you can select to only see photos of bucks that walk past your camera and even tag and log appearances of specific ones.
Parts of the camera’s field of view can be exempted from triggering images, such as a hanging branch or traffic in the background. Such efficiency reduces the time spent looking at photos you don’t want and saves the battery life, too.
Beyond the hunt, the camera can keep an eye on a property and send a photo notification if cars or people approach.Check Price at Moultrie Mobile
The Carbon X Trekking Poles from Argali have become my go-to pole for all things outdoors. That says a lot. I have no fewer than 20 sets of trekking poles. These poles from Argali have been seeing online praise since they came out, and for good reason. They are an all-purpose pole specifically designed with hunters in mind.
If you go with one of the Argali trekking pole tents, these two poles act as your tent poles, trekking poles, rifle rest, and monopod, all in one. A serious backcountry hunter knows how epic that weight savings is.Shop Now at Argali
Speaking of those other 20 sets of trekking poles, this is my runner-up. For those looking for a simpler trekking pole at a lower price point, the Cascade Mountain Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles do everything you need them to at a price that won’t bust the budget. These are my backup poles in my truck, only because I happen to have the Argali Poles. If I didn’t, these would be a no-brainer option for a perfect, all-purpose trekking pole.
For hunting, hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing, you name it, the Cascade Mountain Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles are a solid choice for the outdoor lover in your life.Buy Now at Amazon
Montana Knife Company: Blackfoot 2.0 Fixed Blade
Not all hunting knives are created equal. That’s why the Montana Knife Company went the extra mile in creating its popular go-to fixed blade, the Blackfoot 2.0. Company founder Josh Smith designed the Blackfoot to be light enough to pack for long multiday hunts in the alpine, but tough enough to handle any post-kill chore.
The blade’s full-tang construction undergirds its 52100 Ball Bearing Steel and, at just 3.6 ounces, it achieves a happy medium between extreme toughness and light, go-anywhere portability. And 100% made in the USA, the Blackfoot 2.0 comes with MKC’s Generations guarantee to clean, sharpen, repair, and even reshape your blades when necessary, as well as rewrapping handles free of charge.Check Price at Montana Knife Co.
In my lifetime, I’ve had countless headlamps. Most of them have been cheap and borderline disposable. The MH8 from Ledlenser has become my go-to for all things hands-free light. This headlamp cuts through darkness. That isn’t an exaggeration. It’s like flipping a light on outdoors.
The option for different colors and the adjustable light concentration dial make it perfect for any outdoor scenario. You can flood an entire area in bright, white light or move through the brush unnoticed with a dimmer red option. A turn of the dial focuses the light into what is essentially a laser beam of brightness, great for looking at things.
This headlamp is rechargeable, so no messing with batteries. It also has a perk of warning you when the battery is getting low, so you don’t end up stuck in the dark.Check Price at Amazon
The K4 Pack System had some huge hype, and I was excited to get my hands on it this year. I checked it out the first time at one of the trade shows, and the ability of the K4 to flex in the way that it does while still supporting an obscene amount of weight had me skeptical but also intrigued. This pack has now been tested and carried by several testers, and the consensus is the same. We dig it.
Older hunters will especially appreciate this pack system. It flexes with each step in such a way that it alleviates a lot of the back pain and tension I seem to experience with similar packs. Our backs get sore enough on pack-outs. Any help in that area will always be appreciated.
I’ve now carried this as a day pack and a backcountry, heavy pack, and I have almost no notes. It would make a great gift for any hunter on your list.Shop Now at EXO
This is it. This is the one product on the list I haven’t personally used, but I’m about to buy it. Like you, I do a lot of research for my gear. During a failed attempt at summiting Granite Peak in Montana, I found myself in a spooky situation.
During a serious storm at around 10,000 feet, I realized the tent I grabbed for ascent was not sealed and began to leak. A hypothermic night will change the way you look at your gear if and when you get home. The Kelty Discovery will be my next backcountry tent.
For a lightweight backpacking tent that offers more protection than a tarp without being too bulky or too expensive, it’s tough to beat the Kelty Discovery. I know a handful of people who swear by it, and I trust their opinion. That being said, it would make a great gift for any hunter who prefers to sleep dry and comfortable when nights get cold.Check Price at Amazon
There are a few pieces of outdoor gear that I swear by. It’s rare, but occasionally, a new product comes along and bumps one of my favorites into storage. The Alpha Pro Wall Tent from White Duck has now taken the place as my go-to wall tent for long-term winter hunting/camping.
Prior to testing this tent, I was a die-hard Montana Canvas fan, and I still am. I’ll stand by the fact that the Montana Canvas Spike Tent is practically perfect. And I should know. I lived in one for about a year and a half.
The Alpha Pro offers so much more room expansive open windows, and feels more like a cabin than a tent. With the addition of the Canvas Porch, I can honestly live in this thing. The only real drawback is that it is heavy, but otherwise, it’s a nearly perfect base camp tent, especially when temps drop.Buy Now at White Duck
The trusty Bugout: It’s in my pocket in and out of the field. It’s actually in my pocket right now. I’ve almost lost it at the airport twice because I carry it everywhere. It’s just the perfect EDC folding knife, in my opinion. It’s lightweight and barely noticeable in your pocket, yet mighty enough to get just about any job done.
Finding the right knife for the hunter in your life can be tough. There are so many options out there, and to be honest, most of them are junk. I hate to be cynical, but that’s just the reality of the knife world. Don’t get the stink-eye by gifting the hunter in your life a gas station special.
This is a knife they can use for their lifetime, and I’m sure they’ll love it just as much as I do.Check Price at Amazon
A waterproof, insulated glove system to keep your hands warm and dry in cold and wet conditions. With an eye on dexterity, the Altimeter Gloves include removable liners and integrate with other Stone Glacier gloves. That flexibility lets you maintain some hand coverage if temps rise or if you need to dry a liner.
The gloves’ three-layer HydraShield shell is waterproof and breathable, while the liners use PrimaLoft Cross Core synthetic insulation that still performs when wet. There’s an articulated fit through the shell, with seams placed away from grip areas. Lastly, the gloves have pull-on tabs and a wrist collar cinch for one-handed tightening and release.Check Price at Stone Glacier
I feel like I sing the praises of this knife almost too much. I’ll take this moment to say it at least one more time. The Stonewall Skinner is the perfect skinning knife for any big game hunter, and now, it’s in stock and available without a wait list from Montana Knife Company. I own a few of these knives, both in MagnaCut and 52100 ball bearing steel, and I love them all.
I’ve never had a skinning knife hold a blade like the Stonewall Skinner, and that says a lot. I went through several frozen and fresh animals last season without the need to sharpen.
You can read our full review of the Stonewall Skinner, or just trust me, the hunter in your life will love it.Shop Now at MKC
Maven really has become a standout in the optics world. I own several optics from the brand, and I’ve yet to be disappointed. I run the Maven 10×50 C.3 Binos on a pretty regular basis, and for the price point, they really are hard to beat. The rubberized housing feels really secure in your hand, and the aggressive tread on the dial makes fine turning a breeze, even with gloves.
This particular model also happens to be relatively lightweight, which usually isn’t a great thing in optics. However, the clarity is top-notch, and the weight reduction really doesn’t seem to greatly impact performance.
If you have a hunter on your list who is always wearing a bino harness, they might very well appreciate you helping take a bit of weight off their chest.Check Price at Maven
Perfection. I can only give first-hand experience on the women’s version, but almost every serious male hunter I know swears by the men’s fit as well. I can confidently say that after years of feeling frustrated with the fit of wool base layers, I have no notes on these. They fit perfectly and keep you warm under layers while breathing as if they aren’t there when exposed to air.
The zippers originally had me skeptical since I wasn’t too fond of the idea of a zipper on a next-to-skin layer, but they are completely unnoticeable. I sleep in them without any discomfort. You literally do not notice the zipper. When it gets hot out, and you open up your thigh vents on your hunting pants, these open up easily as well, giving you ample ability to cool down.
You can also put them on and take them off without removing your boots. When would you want to do that? That’s for you to imagine.
It’s all about the food, right? The hunt doesn’t really end until that meal is on the table. Big Green Egg is about as top-notch as it gets for smokers. I’ve been testing the XL Big Green Egg this year, and I can say, without a doubt, it’s been a game-changing addition to my outdoor kitchen (pun fully intended).
I’ve used numerous different kinds of smokers and grills, but this is just different. It hasn’t replaced my Trager or my Weber. It now sits alongside them and has become my go-to for long, slow smoking where I want to maintain even temps for long periods of time.
Obviously, this isn’t a casual gift. This is that once-in-a-lifetime purchase you get for the hunter who has everything. This is that gift, which is talked about for years.
Did none of these gifts fill the void? Not to worry, we can still help.
How to Shop for a Hunter
Not all hunters are created equal. I’m not saying any type or style of hunting is better than another, but I am saying that they are different. Buying a $600 pair of mountain hunting boots aimed at aggressive Western big game hunting or for an East Coast turkey hunter is not going to win you brownie points, not matter how much coin you drop. Which brings us to our first tip:
Get to Know Your Hunter
If the person on your list is a waterfowl hunter, focus your attention on products that will make their time in the field easier or more enjoyable. Perhaps they could use a new pair of waders or some fun accessory for their duck blind or their dog. A new bugle tube for elk is likely not going to be as well received. Without knowing the type or style of hunting that your gift receiver engages in, it makes it tough to know what to get and what they’ll appreciate.
If you’re buying this person a gift, it makes sense that they play an important role in your life. As such, ask them questions about their time in the field and listen to what they may complain or boast about. You can learn a lot about a hunter and their experience by just listening to a few hunting stories. Gift-giving aside, it might just be a great bonding experience.
Pay Attention to Brand Loyalty
This is one that you might not even consider, but it’s real. Some hunters are die-hard fans of a particular hunting brand. If you notice that the hunter on your list wears the same exact pattern from head to toe, see if you can take a peek at what brand it is. Even if you aren’t a hunter, it shouldn’t be tough to figure out. Maybe that particular brand just fits them the best. Perhaps it’s more about their style or the look they’re going for. It might even be a clue to their style of hunting.
That all being said, if your hunter seems to exclusively wear Sitka (as I am in the image above), it might be a good idea to consider that brand for your gift ideas. They might not be as excited to receive a gift card to KUIU or a hat from Stone Glacier.
If all of those name-brand companies are a bit outside your budget, stick to something generic.
Always Think About Comfort
Another overlooked aspect of finding gifts for hunters is a glaring one. Hunting often occurs in extreme conditions. This means that hunters are often faced with uncomfortable scenarios and situations, physically. The best gift might not even be specifically targeted at hunters.
If you have a person who struggles with arthritis, maybe the best gift is a set of rechargeable hand warmers. If they hunt in extremely hot, humid conditions, perhaps you should look at breathable, lightweight layers or a new water bladder for their pack. For late-season rifle hunters, maybe a good pair of wool socks or a pair of hardy leather gloves will be the ticket.
Gifts for hunters don’t have to be bought from hunting brands. Think about all the ways you stay comfortable outdoors. Your hunter will appreciate a gift that keeps them in the game longer, and nothing does that more than comfort.
When All Else Fails: Food
It is the great unifier. We all eat. Most hunters take great pride in preparing the wild game they harvest. Grilling accessories, seasoning blends, cooking tools, cookbooks, and specialty sauces like The Flip Flop Guy sauces pictured above, are great ideas for practically any hunter. If you have a big game hunter on your list, find out if they process their own meat. Maybe they need a new meat grinder or a dehydrator.
When it comes to knives, think outside the hunt. Do they need a new set of culinary knives in the kitchen? What about a Bluetooth meat thermometer for smoking those roast they harvested from this year’s buck? Don’t limit your gift-giving to what happens in the field. The real prize is the harvest, and when you give gifts that make meals happen, you might just benefit from it, too.
Why You Should Trust Us
Not only do we hunt, but our families and friends do, too. As the Hunt & Fish Editor at GearJunkie, I have unique access to a heap of hunting gear. There are plenty of products that come highly recommended online, but after personally using them, I wouldn’t consider giving them as gifts. That’s one of the best parts about my role here. I get to have a first-hand, unfiltered, unbiased opinion of products. That makes me a pretty rad gift giver, at least when it comes to the hunters and anglers in my life.
I can’t tell you who makes the best bath bomb, and I have no recommendations for hair products or handbags, but I can tell you that every product on this list passes my test of quality and value for the hunter in your life.