There’s one very important person in your life that should not be forgotten on June 21 — your dad. It’s his day, and he deserves to not only be remembered with a very special card, but also with a very special gift … or two.
Here are a few Father’s Day gift ideas that will make his day if he’s an outdoorsman, angler, hunter, shooter, and it will make yours that much more special.
Let’s begin with a few ideas for the hunter dad. Whether he’s been on target or not, there are several new sighting technologies that can improve his accuracy and his success afield. One that impressed me is the new illuminated reticle system by Hawke Sport Optics, headquartered in England.
They offer a number of scopes for all types of shooting and hunting that have this new technology. Unless you know his exact uses, I suggest you give this gift by writing “you pick it — go to hawkeoptics.com” on the inside of his Father’s Day card. And tell him to click on “New Reticle Information.”
My favorite is the Mil Dot illuminated reticle, which I believe will be the one I’ll be taking to Newfoundland for my moose and bear hunt in September. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the full line of scopes ranges from $39 to $649.
If dad’s a trap/skeet shooter or just a shotgun hunter tired of getting kicked around by his 12-gauge, there is another “hawk” that can calm things down for him and make shooting a lot more comfortable.
It’s the new SpecOps adjustable shotgun replacement stock with a unique pistol-grip style that also will cut muzzle rise. This stock will adjust the length of pull of the gun from 11 1⁄4 to 15 1⁄4 inches, and the Knoxx recoil-reducing system can reduce felt recoil up to 95 percent.
When I tested this stock on my model 870 Remington 12-gauge, I fired 25 rounds of rifled slugs that included 20 three-inch, rifled Winchester Super X slugs in less than a half-hour without any pain. I also fired a dozen 3 1⁄2-inch turkey loads that day, with the same result — comfort. Check out the demonstration video at www.blackhawk.com, and search for SpecOps. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $140.
More and more hunters are finding out they can improve their success using a ground blind, and the Shooter’s Ridge Sasquatch series will allow you to blend in with your surroundings and get closer to your quarry. I like the fact that these blinds offer multiple windows that can be adjusted into numerous horizontal and vertical configurations to accommodate both gun and bowhunters. This also includes complete black-out, which will cover up any movement inside the blind. To help a hunter blend with his surroundings, the Sasquatch has numerous brush ties and loops that allow you to add branches and other vegetation to your hideout.
Inside the blind, there are gear and drink holders on all four walls. There are oversized roof openings for surprising those morning duck and geese flights that are heading into your decoys. Sure beats building a permanent blind that can’t be moved.
The Sasquatch comes in two sizes: 68x68x80 inches and 58x58x66. They retail for about $300 and $380 www.shootersridge.com.
Here is a hot item to complement that blind, a Coleman ProCat catalytic heater with a battery-powered blower fan. This little unit produces 3,000 BTU of heat for up to seven hours from a standard 16.4-ounce disposable propane cylinder. The ProCat produces flameless, whisper-quiet heat, and is approved for use in sheltered areas. It’s great for hunting from a blind during the blustery winter days of November and December. And if dad is an ice angler, it will add plenty of comfort for those freezing days in a shanty. Suggested retail price is $75 www.coleman.com.
A fishing dad — especially if he enjoys the rod-bending excitement of a bass, walleye or pike — will truly appreciate receiving a Daiwa Megaforce Baitcasting reel with the Twitchin’ Bar. This extra feature is the ultimate for finesse fishing and slack line retrieval.
Just a thumb press on the button picks up seven inches of slack line, tapping the button twitches the bait. Think about this when working a jig along the bottom or a Pop R across the surface. When a strike comes, there’s a 7.1:1 retrieve ratio to catch up to him and get him to the net. I found this reel worked well for Mohawk River smallmouths when I twitched a four-inch worm on a quarter-ounce jig head down channel drops. The Megaforce has a six-point drive train, magnetic anti-backlash control, infinite anti-reverse and costs $70 www.daiwa.com.
Speaking of bass, the regular black bass season in New York state begins in nine days, and if you have a bassin’ dad, there are several “guaranteed to catch bass” lures that he would like to have in his “bass-kit.”
The first, and probably the hottest, bass catching lure to come along in quite some time, is the Yamamoto Senko . I don’t think there’s one serious bass angler who doesn’t have at least a half-dozen bags of these in the tackle box. When I fish for fun, in tournaments or as a guide, the wacky rigged (center-hooked) Senko is on my hook and in the water 90 percent of the time. I have that much confidence in it, because it works. My favorite color is No. 177, but all the colors work.
In the spinner category I would get him a few white, chartreuse/white and yellow three-eighths-ounce, willowleaf blade spinnerbaits. And for added attraction, include a few packages of the twin-tailed trailers in the same colors.
What bass angler doesn’t enjoy top-water fishing? Nothing is more exciting than working a Rebel Pop-R across the surface and having a large- or smallmouth explode underneath the bait, engulf it and tail-walk its way across the surface. And the Pop-R has been attracting bass action for years. All the colors work, but the most popular are Bone, Silver Black and Fire Tiger.
The last of the “must have” bass lure classics is the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap. I prefer the 12-ounce ’Trap, a football-shaped noisemaker that can easily be fished at varied depths and has a reputation for catching not only bass, but also northern pikes, pickerels and walleyes.
All these lures can be purchased locally at bait and tackle shops and sporting goods stores.
If your dad is like I am, he’s continuously adding lures to his collection, and probably has a filled tackle box. So why not put these new lures in a new Bass Pro Shops XPS 360 tackle system. It’s a heavy- duty, water-repellent bag with soft- carry handle and padded shoulder strap. The system consists of a large zippered compartment that will hold three 360 plastic boxes, and each side pocket holds two 360 boxes. Overall size of the XPS 360 is 20x15x11 inches, and it has a price tag of $70 www.basspro.com,.
Dad: If there’s something you see here that you’d like, I suggest circling it and taping it to the refrigerator. I circled them all!
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