Top Hunting And Fishing Gift Ideas From GON

Here are the hunting and fishing items GON writers and editors say they can't live without.

GON Staff | December 6, 2019

Christmas is getting closer, and the time to do your Christmas shopping is here. How many sportsmen do you have on your list? Or maybe you got a nice Christmas bonus, and you’re looking to do some shopping for yourself.

GON Publisher Daryl Kirby, GON Editor Brad Gill, along with long-time freelance writers Ronnie Garrison, Craig James and Donald Devereaux Jarrett, put their heads together to give us a list of can’t-miss gift ideas for Christmas morning.

The question to these guys was simple—what hunting and fishing items can you not live without?


Donald Devereaux Jarret

Donald Devereaux Jarret: Donald eats, breathes and lives turkey hunting. He’s been GON’s go-to turkey hunting freelance writer since 2005. He travels all over the country chasing longbeards, and even though we’re still months away from gobbling toms on the roost, he’s using Christmas as a time to stock up on the all-important turkey hunting goodies.


Primos Wing Man Chair: Somewhere in my late 40s I began to get less and less comfortable sitting on the ground in the turkey woods. When I was in my 30s and early 40s, I vowed to never tote a chair into the turkey woods. Now I vow to never go without one. There are many varieties of turkey hunting chairs, but the Primos Wing Man is the best I’ve ever used. It’s well built and super comfortable. Sitting comfortably is the key to sitting for long periods of time. And that can be the key to closing the deal on a longbeard. It’s the best of the best!

Thermacell: This is a mainstay in my turkey vest. There isn’t anything much worse than trying to sit still and work a bird when there’s a swarm of bloodsuckers around your head. I have never seen anything work better at keeping the mosquitoes and gnats away than the Thermacell. The only time my Thermacell leaves my vest is when it is sitting beside me in the woods.

Ronnie Garrison

Ronnie Garrison: Outdoor writer and author of The Everything Fishing Book, Ronnie knows more about fishing than most people who have every cast a line have forgotten. His well-known Map-Of-The-Month articles in GON and AON have been used by more than a few anglers to help fill the livewell. Here are some of Ronnie’s favorite gift ideas for 2019.

Rapala DT 6: The DT series of crankbaits from Rapala come in a wide range of colors, and they simply catch bass. They run true out of the box with no tuning. The DT 6 is good from fall through spring for bass feeding in relatively shallow water. They have no rattles, and that helps for spooky, heavily pressured bass common on our reservoirs. I have a DT 6 tied on every trip and have caught some of my best limits of bass on this crankbait.


St.Croix Avid Rod: The Avid line of rods are good quality for the cost and have a great warranty. The 7-foot medium fast is great for topwater, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and swimbaits, and the medium-heavy fast is perfect for small jigs, Texas rigs and shaky heads. I use those two actions for almost all my fishing.


JJ’s Magic: JJ’s dip and dye quickly colors plastic baits and gives them a strong garlic scent. It comes in several colors to “match the hatch“ and bass love it. I never throw a plastic bait without dipping the tails in chartreuse JJ’s.


Craig James

Craig James: Craig has been a freelance writer for GON for the past four years and loves to write about his adventures both in the woods and on the water. He grew up on the banks of the Satilla River, and his primary obsession is pitching topwater bugs to the giant rooster redbreast that call the blackwater river home.

Snake Shields: One of my favorite purchases this year has been my ForEverLast snake shields. These turn any boot or tennis shoe into comfortable and reliable snake protection. Just slip them on and buckle up. With their tough 900d nylon composite shell and high density polycarbonate inserts inside, these shields protect outdoorsmen from both snakes and thick brushy structure. They are affordable and make a great gift for the sportsman in your life. 


Hunter Safety Systems Harness: Admittedly, I have never been too concerned with wearing a safety harness until this season. With all the injuries I read about, I finally broke down and bought a Hunter Safety System harness, and I’m really glad I did. The HSS Ultra-Light harness is one of the lightest safety harnesses on the market today at just 2.25 pounds. It’s affordable, comfortable, and I can now rest assured I’m safe any time I’m up a tree.


Fishing Kayak: The Wahoo 12.5 kayak from Kaku Kayaks makes a great gift for the warm months in our near future. Super stable, fast and comfortable, it is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. From bow to stern, this water craft is a perfect blend of performance and comfort. A great price and high quality components make this a great choice for the fisherman in your life. I love this kayak.

GON Publisher Daryl Kirby

GON Publisher Daryl Kirby: An outdoor product that I absolutely could not do without is my treestand safety system, specifically a harness-style vest paired with a HSS Life-Line System. I have these Life-Lines on all our ladder stands now. I hate to admit it, but in the past I used to hunt ladder stands without any type of safety vest, thinking ladder stands are study and safe and that safety straps were for when I used a climbing stand. Not anymore. If I’m off the ground, I’m wearing a full-body safety harness, and the Life-Line works fantastic with a ladder stand.


We put these Life-Lines up before the season. With this device, when you get to a ladder stand for a hunt, you simply clip the carabiner from your harness vest to the Life-Line, and as you climb you move a Prusik knot up the rope. A Prusik knot will move up and down the rope, but when tension is applied—like if you fell—the knot won’t slide on the rope. The Life-Line has some neat features, like a super reflection material on the rope that you can see a mile away when a flashlight hits it, and the carabiner is in a rubber “cowbell” that dampens sound as you climb.



GON Editor Brad Gill: Whether it’s a beagle, German shorthaired pointer, a labrador retriever or a Redbone coonhound, dog handlers need a good way to keep up with their hunting dogs.

GON Editor Brad Gill

The Garmin Alpha 100/TT15 Collar and Handheld GPS Unit Combo combines proven Garmin GPS dog tracking with Tri-Tronics electronic dog training technology that lets hunting dog handlers keep up with their dogs.
My next door neighbor has the Garmin Alpha 100/TT15 Collar and Handheld GPS Unit Combo. When he first bought the system, which retails for $799.99, I thought it was pretty pricey. However, over the years it has paid huge dividends. The unit helps him keep up with his dogs, like when they get too close to a highway or property line, and it also shows him on a screen what patterns that wily rabbit is running, so he can get closer to the action.
This easy-to-use integrated handheld system allows you to track and train your dogs in the field at a range of up to 9 miles away, delivering their exact position as often as every 2.5 seconds.

With multiple Alpha 100 handhelds and TT™ 15 dog devices, pinpoint up to 20 dogs or hunters’ exact positions on a large, glove-friendly touchscreen display even when they are out of sight. Because Alpha 100 comes preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100K maps, you’ll always know your surroundings.

Measure each dog’s speed, distance and the direction being traveled. Plus, receive notifications when a dog is “Treed” or “On Point.” A single Alpha 100 can track up to 20 dogs or fellow hunters when using either additional Alpha 100 handhelds or TT 15 devices (each sold separately).
Alpha 100 helps you train and control your dogs to stop chasing unwanted game. Easy to access training buttons allow you to communicate separately to each dog through safe and effective features, including 18 levels of momentary and 18 levels of continuous stimulation or an audible tone or vibe command.
Give The Gift Of GON
Still not sure what to get your favorite hunter or angler for Christmas? A membership to GON is a perfect add-on. For just $19.95, they’ll get 12 issues of Georgia Outdoor News magazine in the mail—a new magazine once a month. Plus they get special access on the GON website, including a growing archive of complete digital editions, and special one-hour preview access to GON Classifieds, so they can take advantage of special bargains and deals before the general public.

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