It is the season of gift giving again! We all look forward to finding the right gift for those special people in our lives, gifts that will bring a smile to their faces and a warmth in their hearts. But often with this special time of year comes the annual frustration of searching for those special gifts. This is true even when looking for the perfect gift for the gun owners in our lives.
Instead of dreading that search for that elusive perfect gift, why not make it fun? Thinking out of the box can make gift giving as fun for you as it is for those receiving. We experience our lives through our 5 senses—sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. So, instead of one present, how about five—a gift for each of the senses that our gun-owning loved ones will use. Giving the “5 Senses Gift” this Christmas is sure to be fun for everyone.
The gift of seeing can be anything from safety equipment to entertainment. Eye protection is important for everyone who engages in the shooting sports. This could be a day at the range or into the field hunting large game, small game, or migratory birds. Every shooter needs a good pair of shooting glasses to protect their eyesight. Eye protection today is not like the eye protection in the past. Forget those ugly, bulky glasses with clear lenses. Modern eye protection includes polarized lenses that come in different shades and even interchangeable lenses to maximize vision in all types of lighting conditions when shooting. Today’s eye protection can be quite fashionable!
My favorite gift is one that protects the 2nd Amendment while increasing the knowledge of shooters and hunters. This gift is perfect for everyone—those who are new to shooting and hunting and those who are experienced in these sports. This gift is an NRA Membership! First, it allows the person receiving a membership to see how important our 2nd Amendment is to us as United States citizens. Second, an NRA Membership includes a monthly magazine that they can read and improve their shooting, hunting, and knowledge of firearms and the work the organization is doing to preserve our 2nd Amendment Rights. The choice of magazines includes American Hunter, American Rifleman, Shooting Illustrated, and America’s 1st Freedom.
The gift of sound can range from safety to success in hunting and target shooting. The first thing that comes to mind is hearing protection. This is a great gift for someone new to the shooting sports. If your friend or loved one is already an avid shooter, then they probably have some form of hearing protection. You could consider upgrading their hearing protection or looking for something else that might improve their shooting performance.
For the target shooter, a ballistics shot timer may be the way to go. The cost varies depending on the make and the number of functions that it can perform. Another option is metallic targets. Everyone gets excited when they get that instant gratification of hearing a metallic “ping” when they hit the target.
For the hunters in your life, consider something that might help them bag their deer, duck, or other animal that lures them into the field. Hunters can never have enough of these items. Duck calls and predator calls are always appreciated. Deer and elk hunters are also easy to shop for. Some hearing gifts for these individuals include doe bleats, buck grunts, and elk bugles easily fill their stockings!
The gift of smell can be the most difficult of the 5 senses to encapsulate in a gift. The one thing that all gun owners know (or should know) is the aroma of gun cleaning solvent and gun oil. Gun cleaning solvents and gun oil are essential for the proper maintenance of every firearm. Frequent cleaning and maintenance can be the key to a properly operating and safe gun. Cleaning supplies are always a welcome gift to a gun owner.
If your loved one is a hunter, you will have more gift options available. However, be forewarned, some of these options can emit a not-so-nice fragrance—gifts like “doe estrus” and “buck gland” scents. There are also doe and buck urine scents. No matter which one you choose, you will not mistake it for perfume!
There is another option when it comes to the sense of smell: no odor. Many hunters swear by human scent-masking products. These products range from sprays used directly on hunters’ clothing before they go into the field, to detergents used to wash hunting clothes. The idea is that when a hunter is in the field, game animals cannot detect the human scent.
The gift of touch can improve the marksmanship of those that possess firearms for self-defense, target shooting and hunting. These are gifts that allow gun owners to safely dry-fire practice to improve their marksmanship skills, and can be inexpensive but useful items like plastic dummy rounds, snap caps or inert cartridges with lasers.
There are also more expensive options available that can make a big improvement in the marksmanship of gun owners. Practice dry-fire training and trigger reset with a “SIRT” laser-training pistol, or “Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger.”
There are quite a few electronic shooting systems on the market. These systems electronically pair a shooter’s gun to a target and analyzes the shooter’s performance, usually through a connected app, in relation to the 5 Fundamentals of Shooting—aiming, breath control, hold control, trigger control, and follow through. Many of these systems allow multiple shooters to compete against each other and some even allow for competing with others that are not even in the same location! Systems such as the MantisX will continue your desire to train and improve your performance in the comforts of your home!
The gift of tasting is a favorite of many people during the holiday season. Gift packs of beef steaks, hamburgers, pork chops, and poultry are all great idea for gift giving. If you have freshly processed deer, elk, moose, or waterfowl, why not make up your own gift pack with your own personal touch? Personalized wild game meat and waterfowl gift packs are always a hit with those who like the taste of wild game. A cooler full of game steaks, medallions, filets and hamburgers is something the whole family can enjoy.
Many places sell exotic meats like deer and antelope steak, sausage, and ground meats, and for the hunters in your life, you cannot go wrong with this gift. Every hunter I know loves to try different meats from different game animals. For the non-hunter, the giving of exotic meats offers them a chance to try new flavors. Native and exotic game animals make a very thoughtful and memorable gift. Who knows, you may turn a non-hunter into a hunter with these delectable gifts!
Make this a year of gift giving that your friends and family will not forget. Instead of them opening one gift, they get to open five. Not only do they get to open five gifts, but they are also gifts that your gun-owning loved one will actually use!