Holiday gift ideas for Texomaland Waterfowlers

By Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

As the calendar shows, the annual Christmas Eve toy run by the jolly old elf in the red suit isn’t too far away as you read this.

Meaning that if you have a duck or goose hunter on your list and need a gift idea or two as the 2020 holiday shopping season winds down, you’re running out of time, especially in this era of pandemic shopping.

Need some help? I’m glad you asked!

First of all, keep in mind that waders and camouflage clothing are always solid choices, including the high-tech clothes that come from many local retailers across the region. For options from Sitka Gear, Huk, Banded, Drake, Under Armour, Realtree, Mossy Oak, and more, visit retailers like Big O’s Archery, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Buccee’s, Wal-Mart, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and Dave’s Ski and Tackle.

Another good gift idea for a duck hunter on your list is a new duck call. While I’ve never met a duck call I didn’t like, these days, I’m partial to the Yentzen double-reed that has led to many limits of Texas greenheads and gadwalls over the years.

Made these days in the time-honored walnut version or a more space-age polymer material, the Yentzen calls made by Charlie Holder and his call making staff at Sure-Shot Game Calls down in Groves, Texas are still some of the best in the business.

Pioneered by the late George “Cowboy” Fernandez, a Yentzen call is still made to the exact specs of the duck call that made the company famous over the years and allowed Cowboy to win a world duck calling championship in the late 1950s.

If you’d like a Yentzen to put under the tree or in a stocking, please visit the company’s Web site at www.sureshotgamecalls.com or call 409-962-1636.

Another good gift idea is a waterfowling shotgun, something like the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3. Built on the DNA of previous SBE lines, the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 is considered by many waterfowlers to be the best duck hunting shotgun ever made and plenty of scattergun for Texomaland waterfowl blinds.

There are other fine shotguns out there that will please most any duck hunter, including options from Beretta, Winchester, Browning, Mossberg, and more. Check Academy, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, or your favorite local gun shop for availability and regulations.

Looking for something a little smaller and easier to fit into a stocking hanging from the fireplace mantle? Then consider a Knives of Alaska Cub Bear Caping Knife made by the local cutlery company owned by Denison’s Charles Allen.

While many think of this knife as a worthy tool for getting the hide off of a whitetail and the antlers headed for a taxidermist shop, it’s also a great tool for the duck blind as well.

Thanks to its light weight, 6 1/2-inch overall length, and cutting edge of 2 3/4-inches, it does double duty quite well for waterfowlers needing to field dress a limit of quackers. Add in a leather sheath and this is a great gift for Dec. 25th!

If you’re interested, visit KOA’s website at www.knivesofalaska.com, phone them at 903-786-7366, or drop by for a visit at 3100 Airport Drive in Denison.

If there’s one thing that every duck hunter needs, that’s a good thermos for steaming hot coffee. And in recent years, I’ve decided that the YETI Rambler Thermos Bottle — made by Austin-based YETI Coolers — is plenty good for those who like a sip of hot brew at the beginning of a hunting or fishing trip.

Hunters also love YETI’s hard sided coolers like the Tundra 65 and anglers and boaters enjoy things like the redesigned YETI Roadie or the soft-sided Hopper. The company also makes a 14-oz. YETI Mug, a great coffee mug to set under the tree for Christmas morning as you sip hot cocoa and watch the gifts get opened. If this sounds interesting, visit your local YETI dealer or go online at Yeti.com.

Finally, why not consider a guided duck hunting trip for the waterfowler on your list? If that seems like a good idea, consider someone like Dakota Stowers and his North Texas Outfitters guiding service where they eat, sleep, drink, and breathe duck hunting during the fall and winter months.

Stowers, who trained under the late and legendary outfitter J.J. Kent, works hard at the guiding business, building NTO from the ground up in recent years. Even though the 2020-21 season is bringing its own set of challenges thanks to COVID-19, NTO guides are still working hard and safely putting clients on good duck shoots during this pandemic season.

Keep in mind that good guides like Stowers and his outfit are usually booked up pretty well in advance, and you might actually be getting a gift certificate for a hunt next year. But given all of the health issues our world is facing this year, that’s not a bad thing I suppose.

If you’d like to see about getting someone into such a guided hunt in the Wichita Falls, Texas to Waurika, Okla. area that NTO guides regularly hunt, please visit the website at NorthTexasOutfitters.com or call them at 903-815-9842.

Hopefully, these gift ideas will help ease the 2020 task of shopping for the duck hunter on your holiday shopping list. I know they are sure to put a smile on my face — Santa, are you listening?

In the meantime, safe shopping and have a very Merry Christmas!