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All I Want For Christmas… Hog Blog Gift Ideas

December 16, 2013

 

Fair warning… I’m on holiday this week and probably won’t be paying much attention to the blog.  Posts will be scarce, and it’s likely that I won’t be responding to comments.  You’ll have to hold down the fort yourselves.

So anyway, it’s a little late for Christmas shopping, but if you’re like me, you’re always late… so what’s new?  If you’re a little stumped on ideas, I’ve got a couple of thoughts.

Browning-Hog-Hunter-Model-865-MID-322865-lBrowning Hog Hunter knife – The road to hell… well, we know what it’s paved with.  The good folks representing Browning sent me one of these knives a little while back, when they were still pretty new and I was just getting settled into my Texas home.  I had every intention of putting it right to work, since Texas is notoriously crawling with hogs, and chasing them down with hounds to kill them with a knife is as commonplace as waving at other drivers on the highway.  Except, well, I apparently picked the only place in Texas that isn’t crawling with hogs, and finding someone to hunt with isn’t all that easy either.  Most folks around here just shoot them, often right off the back porch.

Bottom line… the knife never got out of the house.  Worse, it got shuffled around while I was working on the place and didn’t resurface for months.  But here it is now, in the box and looking as lethally cool as any other knife I own.  And it is a really nice looking knife.  It feels nice in the hand as well.

I can’t speak from tons of experience stabbing hogs (I’ve killed one with a Ka-Bar and finished a wounded one with my Buck 110), but I’m pretty sure the Browning Hog Hunter will get the job done nicely.  The seven-inch blade is plenty long enough to reach the heart of the biggest boar while still handy enough to be safely managed with the dogs and handlers in close proximity.  The spear point is slightly dropped to enhance piercing penetration, and the edge is wicked sharp.  The finger grooves on the synthetic rubber grip allow you to get a good hold on the knife, which is critical when you go in for the killing blow.

Suggested retail on the Hog Hunter is about $72, which isn’t bad for a knife that’s both nice to look at and functional.

Morakniv Bushcraft – For a more utilitarian knife… something suitable for skinning that hog, or for cutting tent stakes, you could do much Morakniv Bushcraft Orangeworse than the Morakniv Bushcraft.

The Bushcraft is a solidly built knife that is sturdy enough for almost any camp or backcountry use you might want to put it to.  It’s also sharp, and it tends to stay that way when you’re using it.  I spent a day in the skinning shed trying this knife out and I came away pretty well impressed… especially considering the suggested retail price of $34.99.

A big selling point for me was the fact that this knife comes in brilliant, blaze orange.  Every hunter I know has, at some point, lost (or nearly lost) a knife in the field, simply by virtue of laying it aside for a moment.  The traditional brown or green handles and sheathes are guaranteed to blend into the background at the worst possible moment, especially in the dark.  I can’t understand why every knife manufacturer doesn’t offer something in blaze orange… unless maybe it’s because if hunters keep losing their knives, they’ll have to come buy more.

Winchester Razorback XT Ammo – If the hunter on your list would prefer to shoot his hogs instead of stabbing them, it’s always nice to find a box or two of ammo in the stocking on Christmas morning.  There are a lot of great options out there, but I was recently impressed by the performance of Winchester’s relatively new, Razorback XT in my .44 magnum.

First of all, the Razorback handgun and rifle ammo is lead-free, which makes it legal for CA as well as a good choice for the hunter who is concerned about his impact on non-target wildlife.  The .44 totes a 225gr, beveled, hollow-point bullet that leaves the muzzle at about 1250 fps.  It packs a wallop as I saw first hand when I had to finish a slightly wounded whitetail.

Another interesting thing about the Razorback is that it’s loaded with a flash-suppressed powder.  When I first used this ammo in Georgia, we were shooting hogs at night, and that’s really what this load is all about.  Reducing muzzle flash helps protect the shooter’s night vision, so you can stay on target for follow-up shots.  To be honest, on that Georgia trip I don’t really recall the muzzle flash because when we finally got our chance to shoot, the action got hot and heavy and I wasn’t thinking about reviewing the ammo… all I saw was running hogs.  But it was pretty dark up under the cedars when I finally located that wounded deer the other night, and despite the 7-inch barrel on my Ruger, that .44 magnum usually lights up the night when it goes off… so I definitely noticed the difference when the shot didn’t blind me this time.  That’s probably not a major selling point for most handgun hunters, but it is a nice extra.

Books – For a lot of hunters like myself, if we’re not hunting we’re reading about hunting.  A good book is generally a welcome gift, and I’ve had the opportunity to read a couple of great ones over the past year or so.  For the culinarily inclined, Hank Shaw has just published his second Duck Duck Goose coverbook, Duck, Duck, Goose.  This is a seriously diverse collection of recipes alongside cooking and handling tips for all sorts of waterfowl.  You can read my full review HERE.  Hank’s first book, Hunt, Gather, Cook – Finding the Forgotten Feast is also a great read.  I reviewed it a while back, on my old site.

For something very different, Tovar Cerulli’s  book, The Mindful Carnivore takes you on his very personal journey of self-discovery as he goes from self-righteous vegan to hunter.  For those of us who have hunted for our entire lives, it’s an opportunity to understand how other folks view our sport… and a chance to take a second look at how we see it ourselves.  I reviewed The Mindful Carnivore way back in 2012.

There’s also Jim Sterba’s Nature Wars, a book I reviewed back in June.  It’s a pretty cool book about how our efforts to manage wildlife have succeeded, and where that success is starting to look a little like failure.  For example, the restoration of the whitetail deer was quite the accomplishment, but the recovery didn’t just stop when the deer were back to healthy populations.  Before long, the animals went from nearly gone to crop and landscape-destroying pests.  Sterba’s book doesn’t just look at the individual pieces of the picture, but at the whole… from wildlife to the changes in our entire forest systems.

So that’s a start.  If you’re really stumped, you can always just send your hunter on a guided hunt for his favorite game.

 

Comments

2 Responses to “All I Want For Christmas… Hog Blog Gift Ideas”

  1. All I Want For Christmas… Hog Blog Gift Ideas | AllHunt.com on December 16th, 2013 06:30

    […] All I Want For Christmas… Hog Blog Gift Ideas […]

  2. Hog Hunting on December 26th, 2013 01:22

    Nice information above here.I love hog hunting in winter.

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