Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Gifts For Dads Who Shoot

Help Make His Father's Day Special

It's June and you know what that means – time to celebrate Dad! Here are some ideas for you to give to your hunting/shooting buddy. There is a wide range of prices to suit any wallet and dad is sure to love any of them.

Grizzly Targets

If you dad likes to go out in the desert to target practice, he probably already knows that the Forest Service says you must take your targets home with you. Personally, I think the targets that are the most fun are the metal ones because you can hear whether you hit them or not. Grizzly Targets has some very reasonably priced metal targets.

For instance, a steel target with a 12-inch by 24-inch face rated for handgun and rifle is just around $200 with a galvanized steel target stand. A target called the Reactive Popper because it is spring-loaded is just under $130 and it is also rated for handguns and rifles. It's nice and compact, and it resets itself after you hit it. Targets for rimfire ammo are even cheaper, so be sure to check them all out at http://www.grizzlytargets.com.

Canyon Cooler

I can't say enough about Canyon Coolers. This company is in Flagstaff, and their coolers are fantastic. I bought the Outfitter 75BY ($215) because it will hold enough for a week out Coues hunting. The first time we used it, we couldn't find block ice, just bags of cubes. So we threw some bags in there with our food for the week, and after a week in the desert we everything was still ice cold and there were even still ice cubes in there. Amazing.

The coolers are rugged, too – we throw ours in the back of the CanAm and take it everywhere. We recently bought a soft cooler as well – the Nomad 30 ($170). One of the things I like about this cooler is the small footprint – it's tall. The 30 actually holds 32 quarts and it's ideal for road trips in the Rav4. These coolers are warrantied for life and they are seriously the best coolers I've ever owned. Check them out at http://www.canyoncoolers.com.


Duramag says that a firearm is only as good as its magazine, and that's the truth. If you spend any time on gun forums, you know that magazine life and care is a hotly debated subject. Springs can wear out, and I've even had magazines rust. If the bullets can't feed, your weapon is useless. Whether dad carries every day or just likes to hit the range and burn a few boxes, great magazines will be a welcome gift. Best of all, the prices are very reasonable – from around $30 and less.

These magazines are laser-welded polished carbon steel with EverFlex anti-fatigue spring technology which translates to long life and reliability in the springs. Their LipLock tech keeps the rounds secure and in proper alignment, and the whole thing is coated inside and out with their T-360 coating. Go online to http://www.dura-mag.com to read all about them. You can order online at http://www.cheaperthandirt.com.

Quilomene Upland Bird Vest

Q5 Outdoor Products make a range of products designed for bird hunters. They are based in Ajo, Arizona and their Quilomene Upland Bird Vest ($240) has two 8"x8" shell pockets, two hydration hose clips, a sternum strap and lashing straps as well as a nice big game bag, a huge clothing pocket, and a bunch of other pockets so you can store a ton of gear for those long quail hunts. In fact, there are nine pockets in all.

They are sturdy and look fantastic, and are made in the USA. You can see and buy them at http://www.q5outdoorproducts.com. While you're there, check out all the rest of their stuff – they've got all kinds of vests and belts, dog gear, quail calls, and more.

Peltor Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is essential for anyone who shoots – they won't even let you on the range without it. There are some really poor choices out there, though – so make sure dad is protected by getting him a great set of 3M PELTOR SoundTrap Slimline Earmuffs. These are comfortable and fold into a small package which makes them easy to stow in a pocket or range bag. They have separate microphone, receiver, amplifier and volume and they electronically suppress any sound over 79 dB.

In fact, they suppress noises from firearms to harmless levels within five milliseconds. I absolutely love my PELTOR earmuffs – they let you hear to talk, but they protect you from harmful noises. You can get these for under $95 at http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com and you can see all of the PELTOR hearing protection options at http://www.3m.com – enter PELTOR in search bar.

Clay Thrower And Box Of Clays

Want to have a great day in the desert with dad? Get him an Allen Company Handheld Clay Target thrower and a box of clay targets. Then take him out and throw clays for him. You can get the thrower at Amazon for around $8, but you can also get them at Sportsman's Warehouse, and you can get a case of clays as well. They also have a model called the Wingone Ultimate Handheld Clay Thrower for around $17 which they say puts less strain on your arm and wrist than the molded plastic thrower.

You can get a case of clays at Sportsman's Warehouse as well for around $17, so for under 30 bucks you and dad can have a great time together. There are also a lot of different clay target holders that hold the clays stationary. Shooting clays is a lot of fun – Margie and I like to go out to Ben Avery and do their sporting clays course in cooler weather.

Desert Creek Sportsman's Club

One of the best things I did this year was buy a membership at the Desert Creek Sportsman's Club in Buckeye. We have had an absolute blast taking Mochi out there. Tony Marquez is arguably one of the best dog trainers and bird guides in Arizona, and he has helped us a lot with Mochi. If your dad loves to shoot birds, why not buy him a gift card to Desert Creek? For $140 he can get five chukars and spend a nice morning hunting birds. Tony won't be doing the bird hunts during the heat of summer, but once it cools down this fall you and Dad can head down there and enjoy a day in the field together.

Tony always has dogs in training, so if you don't have a dog, don't worry about it. Just call him up and tell him what's going on and what you're looking to do. The number is 623-512-8496 and the website is http://www.dcsportsmansclub.com. He's also got pheasants, and duck, quail, and doves during the seasons.

Accubos Virtual Archery

We saw this at ISE and it looks like so much fun! You know that the one thing everyone always tells you about a bow is never to dry fire it, but this bow is the exception. You buy the bow, download the app, attach your phone to the bow, and start shooting. It's adjustable from 10 to 70 pounds, it's made of carbon fiber, and it has an integrated laser sight.

There are lots of different shooting scenarios: target shooting, bowhunting, bow fishing, built your own range, treestand, dangerous game, and even archery golf. Dad will absolutely love it. Pre-order it now at http://www.accubow.com and it will be available June 10. It's only $127.99.

Happy Father's Day!

Other gift ideas for dad are ammo, gift card to his favorite outdoor shop, gun cleaning supplies such as Swab-Its, range bag, paper targets (the splatter kind are best), and as always – time with you. Take him to the range and make a day of it. Enjoy Father's Day!


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