Hunters can be a pain in the a** to shop for, because there’s an overabundance of gear on the market and also an overabundance of gear in most guys’ garages. Out of sympathy for anyone who has a hunter on their shopping list, I’m going to put together the MeatEater’s 12 Days of Gifts Guide. These items are gonna please any hunter out there, no matter how picky or overstocked he or she happens to be. What’s more, these things can be purchased quickly online without having to drive around and endure hordes of competing Christmas shoppers.
Day 8: Instead of hanging up a Christmas stocking full of trinkets for those you love, do them a real favor and hang a pair of Schnees boots from the fireplace mantel. I’ve been wearing their Hunter II pac boots ever since I was in college, and I’ll be wearing them when I die (as long as it’s cold out, that is). They feel as good as an all-leather hunting boot, but the rubber bottom and wool felt insulation makes them ideal for spring and late-fall hunts when you’re dealing with snow or slogging through slush and mud. They’re also warm enough for 90% of your icefishing needs—I’ve hauled literally hundreds of yellow perch and more than a few pike through the ice in mine. But probably my favorite thing about the Hunter II is the removable insulation. On backpacking hunts, I can dry any perspiration by taking the wool felt liners out at night and slipping them into the toe of my sleeping bag, or else I can just place them near the fire for an hour. Allows you to have fresh-feeling boots every day, in situations where you need them.