Great Christmas Gifts for Hunters & Anglers

Writings by Gary Oberg

14 Great Christmas Gifts for Hunters & Anglers

Bestselling Minnesota Author Suggests Rods, Reels, Hunting Vests, Flashlights, Knives & More

by Gary Oberg @copyright 2019

A NOTE TO EDITORS:  You may reprint this article written by Minnesotan Gary Oberg in its entirety, or heavily excerpt, or quote excerpts if you credit him as the author and include a reference to his book using both the title and subtitle and reference his website at

Minnesota ranks at or near the top of all states in per capita fishing, hunting, and boat licensing. 

So, you would think that a Minnesota outdoors person should be an easy target to buy for, right? 

The problem is there is a plethora of products on the market that are junk or not useful, and that’s where it is helpful to seek advice from sportsmen and women who have had a lot of experience. 

Personally, I have been an avid sportsperson my entire life, starting in my childhood growing up on a farm in Minnesota. My now 60+ years of outdoor activities have given me a lot of insight into what is useful. Forget the lump of coal, here is a list of things that I think are of a quality worthy of that special guy or gal.


For Anglers

  • Abu Garcia Ambassador 5000 Series –about $100…for bass and pike
  • TWS Anti-Backlash–about $200…. for bass and pike
  • St. Croix Bait-Casting Rod–about $200…. for bass, pike, muskies
  • Berkeley Lightning Rod Series–under $100…for walleye, bass, crappies. Good value. Less expensive alternate
  • Shimano® Stradic c14+-Spinning Reel–about $180…for walleye. If your guy or gal fishes a couple times a year forget this category of rods and reels.

Rods and reels can always be useful. But first of all, be sure that you know what kind of fish someone is going after. Shop for these at your local stores, or at Cabela’sDick’s Sporting Goods, or online.


For Hunters

  • Gerber and Buck Knives–about $30-$70…(Walmart,
  • Halo Rangefinder–about $90 …(Walmart,
  • Cabelas Hunting Vest–about $80…(Cabela’s)

I wouldn’t buy a gun. It’s too subjective to personal preferences. If you do, have it registered in the gifted person’s name. There are numerous other options for those who hunt moose, elk, deer and and other big game. I like knives, especially the great selection of Gerber and Buck knives. For field dressing I use a blade with gut hook on the top. This is a small notch on the top of the blade, which is used for skinning without cutting into the meat or guts. I like the folding knives better than a solid handle blade.  A Halo Rangefinder is an essential for bow hunters and can also be useful for a golfer. For hunting I never leave home without my Cabela’s Hunting Vest. I have had one of these for 30 years. The model pro-guide 2 is well worth every penny. It can also double as a daypack with its large back pocket. Note: get the blaze orange not the camo orange, which is not legal in Minnesota and Colorado.


For Any Person 

  • Primos Bloodhunter HD Shadow Free Blood Tracking Flashlight–about $59 (
  • Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener– about $70... comes with extra belt (Cabela’s &
  • Manually inflated PFD Life Vest– about $80…(Cabela’s &

recommend flashlights. I have not seen one I did not like. They make great stocking stuffers. I like the one that attach to a cap bill, you can’t have too many of these. I thought I had every flashlight made until my son gave me a Primos Mini Blood Hunter Plus. A great light for tracking game after dark. It has three different lights white, green and red to make blood more visible. This light would have special appeal to bow hunters. I have a Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener that I use every week. For water fowlers and boaters, I recommend a Manually inflated PFD Life Vest. The auto inflated ones can inflate in a rainstorm, after which you need to buy another co2 cartridge.


For Any Man

  • Underwear: Men’s Heavyweight Layer Top–about $69…(Cabela’s)

I recently bought a Men’s Heavyweight Base Layer Top with a ¼ zipper at Cabela’s. I went looking for the best base layer I could find. Normally, I am cheap when it comes to spending on underwear, so, I specifically did not look at the price until I tried it on and decided what I wanted. I really did not want to take it off. I quickly forked over the $69. I used it on a recent moose-hunting trip to Ontario. The ¼ zip is especially nice because of the varying weather and exercise levels one encounters. 


For All Hunters and Anglers

  • FoodSaver Food Vacuum–about $70–$160, depending upon system…(Walmart)

Anyone can also use a food vacuum to preserve that special game or fish. No more freezer burn. I have kept game fresh for a couple years without a problem. I am partial to the FoodSaver brand, which can be purchased locally at Walmart. I have tried more expensive others and have sent them back for various reasons. The FoodSaver is the only one with a removable juice tray that makes for easy clean up.


And If All Else Fails, Consider The Book “Sidetracks”

     by Gary Oberg, with Trina Holt, MSc– $16.95 (paperback) …available at

And if all else fails your pursuit, you might consider purchasing my book “Sidetracks: 40 True Stories of Hunting and Fishing on Paths Less Traveled” on Amazon for $16.95. It shares my personal stories I have accumulated over the years, and the lessons they've taught me. And, if you want to go cheap, you can buy and send the Amazon Kindle eBook version of it as a gift for only $2.99. Amazon will email it to your recipient, who can read it on a Kindle app on any device.


About Gary Oberg: Minnesotan Gary Oberg has spent his life on the edge. As an engineer, successful entrepreneur, and Founder of Spectralytics, a company providing laser-cutting solutions for medical devices, he’s taken a lot of chances. But he really learned about risk mitigation over a lifetime of pushing the limits outdoors. Growing on a farm in Minnesota, he learned to appreciate nature and her ways, and has spent much of his life fishing and hunting throughout North America. His book “Sidetracks” has been named one of the best new hunting books for 2019 and has become an Amazon bestseller in the Sports Hunting and Sports Fishing categories. Gary lives with his wife Ginny in Litchfield, Minnesota.

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