The Washington Outdoors Report

Christmas Gift Holiday Guide

A few gift ideas for Christmas – J. Kruse
Wondering what to buy the outdoors enthusiast in your life for Christmas this year? I’ve got a few ideas!
Binoculars – During our Christmas Gift Giveaway show on America Outdoors Radio and Northwestern Outdoors Radio we gave away 12 Gifts of Christmas to 12 listeners. Surprisingly, our most requested gift was not the expensive pellet grill we gave away. Instead, it was a pair of Leupold binoculars with a suggested retail price of less than $200.
Wildlife watching is the most popular and fastest growing outdoors activity tracked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in surveys conducted every five years and many of the listeners hoping to win this pair of binoculars said they planned to use them for exactly that purpose. 
When it comes to buying binoculars don’t purchase a pair with a strong magnification and narrow field of view (such as a 10 x 25 or 12 x 42). You will find it difficult to focus on objects unless you are using the binoculars on a tripod. Instead, look for a pair of 7 x 35 or 8 x 42 binoculars for a more pleasant, focused, handheld viewing experience. 
As for what brand to get? I’m a big fan of Leupold binoculars. When it comes to quality, entry level offerings the BX-1 McKenzie model in 8 x 42 has served me well for several years. Also, from Leupold is the BX-1 Yosemite, specifically made for kids and adults with smaller hands while retaining a high level of optical performance. 
A Bb Gun, Rifle Or Shotgun – Ralphie may have shot his eye out…or close to it….in “A Christmas Story” but I’m confident your child won’t if you buy him or her a BB gun or pellet rifle for Christmas. Just take some time to go over basic firearms safety rules and then introduce them to the shooting sports. As those kids grow older you can put a .22 caliber rifle under the tree and when they are ready to go hunting, a larger caliber rifle or a shotgun makes for a wonderful Christmas present. Oh, and in case you are wondering, there are quite a few adults who would love a rifle or shotgun for Christmas too! One legal note, if you are buying a firearm from a licensed retailer in Washington State the person getting this gift has to go through an instant background check through that retailer to ensure they are legally allowed to own a gun. 
Fishing Lures as Stocking Stuffers – If you have an angler in your house load up their Christmas stocking with fishing lures! Whether they be spinners, spoons, jigs, plugs or a spool of fishing line you, as Santa, will be putting a smile on someone’s face as they dream about all of the trout, bass, walleye, salmon and more they’ll be reeling in! 
Recreation Passes Or Licenses – If you are going to recreate in our State Parks or go hiking from National Forest trailheads in Washington, you’ll need a parking pass for your vehicle. An annual Discover Pass costs $35 and allows you access State Parks, Fish and Wildlife access areas and developed Department of Natural Resource sites. An annual Northwest Forest Pass costs $30 and can be used at developed US Forest Service areas in both Washington and Oregon. Both can be purchased at a number of local sporting goods dealers or online through the Washington State Parks or US Forest Service websites.
An Outdoors Adventure – Do you really want to make someone happy? Give them the gift of an outdoors experience! This can range from a stay at a state park (make those reservations now) to a day on the water or in the field with a local fishing, rafting, hunting or kayaking guide. You can even reserve a multi-day lodge, ranch or resort experience for 2021 here in Washington or out of state. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll find these trips to be true memory makers and something you’ll look forward to during the cold days of winter ahead.

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