With Father’s Day 2015 coming up on June 21st, I thought I’d get a few ideas out there for the different kinds of hunting dads and husbands. I’ve got gift ideas split into:
- Father’s Day Gifts for Archers
- Father’s Day Gifts for Cold Weather Hunters
- Father’s Day Gifts for Duck Hunting Dads
- Father’s Day Gifts for Varmint Hunters
- Father’s Day Gifts for Range Dads
These ideas assume that your dad is hunting with a modern compound bow and not a traditional bow. Traditional hunters would be looking for very different gifts ideas. If you don’t know the difference, if your dad looks like this, he’s probably a traditional hunter.
What NOT to Buy For the Archer Dad:
A Compound Bow. Dad’s draw length and weight are critical to getting the right compound bow. If he wants a bow and hasn’t named a specific model+draw weight and length, get him a gift card that he can use towards the bow that fits him best.
Arrows. Remember the particulars above? They impact arrows as well. Different weights affect the style of arrow that will work best and most shops that you buy arrows from will also cut them to the correct length for your bow. Only really an option IF you can kidnap dad’s bow and take it to the archery shop so that they can get the correct style of arrows.
Arrow Rests. Every archer I know is particular about their rest. Some like fall-aways, some like captured style like the whisker bisquit, in any case: it’s safer not to go there.
Safe Archery Father’s Day Ideas:
Small game heads. If your dad hunts small game, these get beaten up, lost, and destroyed fairly regularly so he can always use more. $10-$20
Lighted Arrow Nocks. If he doesn’t already have them, lighted arrow nocks are a pretty decent upgrade to arrows. They light up once they pass a magnet mounted on the bow, so it’s WAY easier to find arrows in dusk as well as to see if they hit their game or not. $30-$40
New Release. Only really an option if you know he hates his current release. An upgraded release should be adjustable to any user and provide a nicer trigger pull. If the release you choose is left/right hand specific, make sure you get the right one. Or get a release that works for both. $50-$150
New Sights. Are his current sights plastic and crappy looking, and have few pins? A new sight could be brighter at dusk, have more pins that work for more ranges, be easier to adjust, and offer other features like bubble levels. If he’s a left-hand shooter, make sure you get a sight that works for lefties. Most sights will be right-hand only, though there are some that are reversible. Don’t get a cheap sight ($50 or less), because they’re barely an upgrade. $100-$300
Cold Weather Hunter Ideas
“Let me tell you about the time I almost died in a blizzard…” Tired of those stories? Get some proper cold-weather gear for dad so he doesn’t end up as a polar bear popsicle.
What NOT to Buy For a Cold Weather Hunting Dad
New Winter Boots. You may know his shoe size, but that size might not work for winter boots where he’ll be wearing thick winter socks. Also, some guys are very particular about Muck style boots vs leather, work style boots vs Sorel style boots.
Safe Cold Weather Hunting Father’s Day Ideas
Socks. Yeah, it’s a pretty cliche dad gift, but it’s here for a reason. I love my $20 socks yet I hate buying such expensive socks for myself. Buy something appropriate for the weather dad sees. $10-$25
Cover Up Pants/Parka. If dad hunts in the snow most of the time and doesn’t have white camo, cover up pants and cover up parkas can help him match a snow covered landscape without having to buy a brand new set of clothes. They just slip over top for a different camo look. $40-$100
Base Layers. Times have changed since grandpa hit the field in long johns. Modern base layers wick away moisture, retain heat, and don’t get stinky as quick. Figure on $30-100 for base leggings and $20-100 for a top. $50-$200 total
Heated Insoles. You need to know that dad has a bit of room in his boots to fit these, but boy are these ever a treat. Heated feet via remote control, that’s pampered hunting! $200
Heated Vest. Easy to slip on under a winter jacket, simple sizing, and makes a world of difference on an unexpectedly cold morning in a stand. $250
Predator Hunter Dad
Does dad pine for coyote season? While other kids got scared at the sound of coyotes, do you get excited because you remember busting yotes with your dad? Here are some options for the predator hunting dads out there.
What NOT to Buy the Predator Hunter Dad
Rifle Scope. I love the BDC Reticle on my predator rifle scope, but some others prefer using marked turrets, and others prefer a simple duplex crosshair. And while I’m happy with a 3-9, one of my buddies loves his 6-18 and thinks my 3-9 sucks. Also, some short tube scopes won’t fit on long action rifles. You’d need pretty specific direction from dad to get a scope right.
Safe Predator Hunting Gifts for Father’s Day
New Hand Call. It’s nice to have spare hand calls so that you can have one in your favorite jacket, one in the truck, etc. Hand coyote calls are in the $20 range, whereas electronic calls like the Foxpro Wildfire II go for $200–$800.
Shooting Sticks. When predator hunting, you often have to sacrifice a great shooting position for a position that is in the right spot for the prevailing winds or for a better view. Shooting sticks help steady a rifle when you’re in a less-than-fantastic spot to make a shot. $30
Trail Camera. He already has one? Well, now he can cover 2 points with the one you just bought him. Having multiple trail cams out gives better coverage and more data in a shorter period of time. Don’t get anything less than $90 or the image quality will probably be potato-quality. $100-$300.
FieldPod/Tripod. Remember the shooting sticks from above? These are the Cadillac version for stationary shooting. They’re not as portable as shooting sticks, but they’re WAY more steady and suitable for long range shots from a seated or standing position.
Range Finder. If he sometimes needs to make long range shots on predators, he’ll need a range finder. I would really recommend against anything less than $300 here, because cheap range finders can be frustrating trying to get a reading at longer distances where you really need them to work. There are choices here from around $430 at the low end to all the way up at $960 for a really fantastic range finder.
Duck Hunter Dad
Do you remember spitting pellets out of goose jerky as a kid? Does dad disappear at 3am to drive out to a location, setup decoys and be ready for first light? Here are some gift ideas for the hardcore duck and goose hunters.
What NOT to buy Duck Hunter Dad
Duck Dynasty Branded Swag. Not all duck hunters are into duck dynasty.
Safe Duck Hunting Gift Ideas for Father’s day
Field Bag. If dad’s rolling around with random items in grocery bags or old school backpacks, help him out a bit and buy an inexpensive field bag for calls, shotgun shells, and that kind of thing. $20-$50
High quality decoys. You can never have enough decoys. Extra turkey decoys help stage out different scenarios and extra goose decoys can make for a more convincing crowd. A high quality, remote actuated duck decoy can also be a premium gift that’s hard to buy for oneself. $40-$200
A New Shotgun. A lot of older 12 gauge shotguns are chambered for 2 3/4″ shells, but 3″ and 3.5″ shells give better range. If dad hunts ducks or geese AND turkey, a combination pump action shotgun with switch barrels can handle both, but even an inexpensive pump shotgun will do the job as long as you buy one that comes with a few different chokes. If dad wants to take multiple birds at a time, a semi-auto can offer faster follow up shots. $300-$1500.
Range Junkie Dad
“I’m off to the range!” he says yet again, disappearing in a flash. Off to sight in a new scope, test some new reloads, practice his off-hand shooting, or one of his other million reasons to hit the range. If your dad is always at the range, here are some ideas.
What NOT to Buy Range Dad
Expensive Ammo. Unless you know what he likes to shoot in his guns, expensive ammo might quickly go up in smoke. Many range dads fire 100’s of rounds per session and prefer to shoot 1 kind of ammo per rifle so they’re not re-adjusting scopes.
Reloading Gun Powder. Even if he has some in his reloading den, it doesn’t mean he likes it. Maybe he bought it when it was on sale and he figured out his guns don’t like it? Maybe he’s just burning it off and is planning on getting the next super powder?
Safe Range Dad Gifts for Father’s Day
Shooting Glasses. They don’t last forever and it’s always handy to have an extra set. This is easy for dad’s who don’t use prescription eyeglasses but a bit more difficult for those that do. $10-$30
Trigger Pull Scale. If dad does the odd bit of gunsmithing to his rifles, a trigger pull gauge is a great accessory to have. $20-$50
Shooting Rest. If he doesn’t have a shooting rest, a nice new shooting rest could make sighting in rifles a lot easier. For a dad that doesn’t have a shooting rest, something like a Lead Sled is a big upgrade over shooting on a rolled up coat. $50-$300
Chronograph. Only safe if your dad is really into rifle reloading and developing the best reloads (and doesn’t already have a chronograph). A chronograph adds a lot of great data into reloading, and is best suited for those really dedicated to small group sizes and long range shooting. $120-$300
General Tips for Buying Gifts for Fathers Day
Generally, the best gifts are ones that he wouldn’t normally buy himself or are consumables that he’s bound to get to use anyways. The riskiest gifts are those that need a very custom fit to work properly. He’s going to love whatever you bought for him, but it’s always nice seeing dad using the damn thing you bought for father’s day instead of watching it collect dust in the corner!
Still having trouble thinking of a hunting gift idea? Get a gift card!
Got a foolproof gift idea for the hunting dad? Share it below in the comments and I’ll add it in to the article.