Habitat & Conservation  |  12/11/2015

Christmas Gifts for the Bird Hunter that will also Create Habitat

Merry Christmas to you and yours. It’s been an unseasonably warm start to the holidays in Minnesota where Pheasants Forever’s National Headquarters is located. Nevertheless, Bob Dylan’s Christmas album can be heard playing daily in our warehouse as boxes of hunting apparel, hoodies, hats, and other gifts are shipped for the hard-to-buy-for pheasant hunter in every family. You read that right, Bob Dylan - not Bing or Frank - provides the Christmas soundtrack at PF. Go figure . . .
If you’ve yet to locate that perfect gift, let me offer a reminder and a few suggestions. First the reminder: every time you make a purchase from Pheasants Forever’s online store or buy a product featuring the Pheasants Forever logo, you can rest assured that the profit from that purchase is going toward our habitat mission. That’s right, it’s not hitting a shareholder’s dividend check or a holding group’s bottom line. Nope, Pheasants Forever fiscal responsibility is to turn your merchandise, membership, sponsorship, and donation dollars into more habitat acres. And according to Charity Navigator, we’ve earned the label of “exceptional” for those efforts.
So as you make your final holiday purchases, please allow me to offer a few suggestions for products I use when I take to the fields and forests in search of pheasants, quail, grouse, woodcock and serenity.
  • Beretta Wind Barrier Sweater. No surprise here. If you’ve been reading my recommendations over the years, this always comes up first on my lists. I continue to hail this sweater as the single best piece of hunting clothing I’ve ever worn. It’s warm, it’s comfortable, and it fits great. It’s a little pricey and it’s difficult to clean, but I own three of them so that tells you how important this sweater is to my comfort during December and January pheasant hunts. 
  • Sylmar Dog Body Guard Dog Vest.  A few years back, I lost a pup after she ruptured her carotid artery in a collision with the end of a tree limb on a ruffed grouse hunt. I’ve been traumatized by that memory and enter every hunt a little more cautious than I used to. This year, I’ve found peace of mind in the Sylmar vest. If you follow me on Twitter @bobstpierre or Instagram @pheasantbob then you’ve seen my dogs wearing these vests all season long. Just last month, we added them to our store featuring an embroidered PF logo.
  • Full Rut Upland Jacket by Gamehide. There are a lot of shell-style jackets on the market. In my opinion, this one is the most affordably priced and the best looking. I really like the chocolate brown color complimenting the blaze orange.
  • Wing Works Strap Vest.  I’ve tried virtually every hunting vest on the market. This is my go-to vest. It’s got great pockets for shells, holders for water bottles, and a game pouch for birds. All of these are easy to access and nothing falls out. No doubt that it’s pricey, but this one will outlast all the others.
  • PF Retro Work Shirt. This one is the oddball on my list since there is no hunting application to it. This shirt is not suitable for the field or forest. It is, however, made for that off-season visit to the craft beer tap room followed by a Pearl Jam concert.
  • SportDOG TEK 2.0. A few years back, SportDOG redefined the e-collar market when they introduced the first electronic dog collar with a GPS system combo. The TEK 2.0 is the evolution of that technology featuring a terrific topo map and even voice updates. You’ll never lose connection in the grouse woods either and you’ll always be able to find the way back to your truck. SportDOG is also a Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever national sponsor and the official e-collar partner of the organization.
  • Browning Bird’n Lite Hunting Jacket. If you’re looking for a late season jacket with superior chest straps for comfort when you’re carrying a four-rooster Kansas limit, then Browning’s Bird’n Lite is the ticket. In fact, you can’t go wrong with any of Browning’s products featuring the Pheasants Forever logo as they make a donation to our organization with every apparel sale made.
  • Pheasants Forever Membership. Hopefully you’re already a PF member and you’re bored by this suggestion. Hopefully. Unfortunately, the most common refrain I hear from non-members is that “no one has ever asked me to join before.” Well, consider this your formal invitation. Only 1 in 10 pheasant hunters in the United States are members of Pheasants Forever. 1 in 10. Are you the 1 . . . or are you part of the 9?  We need your help. Please consider joining Pheasants Forever as a member today.

I hope one of these items strikes your fancy as a gift for someone you care about. If you have questions about any other products offered in our online store, please feel free to email me. I’d be happy to give you my honest opinion. We are an organization of members, for members, and it’ll be my pleasure to assist. Email me at bobs@pheasantsforever.org.
Oh, and if you have the Bob Dylan version of “Little Drummer Boy” in your mind when you’re opening packages from Pheasants Forever this holiday . . . you’re welcome and Merry Christmas!
Bob St.Pierre is Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.