My List for Gifts

By Robert Piorkowski - December 1, 2001
Having trouble trying to a gift for an outdoors person?? As a fisherman and hunter, I'm always on the search for new and better products to make my time outside enjoyable. We all enjoy giving, but the hard part is shopping, especially when the recipient is an outdoors person. Below, I've tried to put together a short list of items, to expedite your (or my wife's) shopping.

As an avid shore fisherman and wader, I'm always looking for products to aid me in traveling light "In" the water. Recently, I found a unique product created by Stycorp Ltd. that helps organize equipment, and reduces the need to bring a backpack when fishing. The TALS 500 works as a tackle storage system that is attached to your chest. Everything you need is stored, and quickly at your finger tips. Forget the bulky vests, and leave the fishing luggage (tackle box) at home. For the 2002 season, it can be found at Cabelas, Academy Outdoors and Gander Mountain. Check with your local retail shops on availability, or contact Pete Vargo (email: pete@tals-fishing.com) or on the internet at TALS Fishing System to purchase on online.

Another item related to river fishing is a "wading staff". Typically, this (4-foot) collapsible rod is used to assist the wade fisherman in unfamiliar current, or to maintain balance while moving towards the "Hot-Spot" out in mid current. This past year while wading a smallmouth stream, I took a tumble crossing an apparently shallow creek. With a wading staff, I would've spent my fishing time dry, and not worrying about what poured into my waders with the water. These are available at most fishing retailers, or major sporting good outlets.

We all enjoy fish and game mounts, but sometimes they are unattainable because of our inability in the field or high cost. You can now purchase realistic wildlife or fish replicas that are created from wood or synthetics. Bill Sitter of "Bill Sitter Wood and Resin Replicas" can create wallmounts, miniatures, or three dimensional artwork from photos or description. Replicas are a great way to bring the outdoors, indoors. For information, contact Bill at (708) 749-2793, by email at Fshcarver@aol.com, or visit his website at http://www.FishWildlifeWoodCarver.com.

With winter approaching, we'll all go stir crazy if not for ice fishing or attending outdoor shows. This is also the season for fundraising banquets of local hunting conservation groups. As a gift, you could purchase a membership/banquet ticket to a local Quail or Ducks Unlimited, Wild Turkey Federation, or Pheasants Forever dinner. Most notable is that proceeds collected from these fundraisers regularly stays within the region, so your contribution benefits the group as well as local wildlife and habitat.

Want an even easier idea? How about purchasing a gift certificate to a resort, or for a trip with a charter captain, fishing or hunting guide. On Lake-link.com, there are more than 50 businesses listed that could accommodate a purchase towards an outing, trip or gift. Contact one of the guides or resorts in the business section of lake-link, and ask about purchasing a trip as a gift. Make the trip for two, and invite yourself along.

In the spirit of giving, anyone can also make donations "in the name of "to local or global organizations that will help those in need. Reflecting back on the last couple of months, I've seen the outpouring of those looking to share and give far-outweighing those looking to receive. Making a donation for someone is a great way to show you care.

Some useful links:

Have a great Holiday, and see ya on the water.
Author Robert Piorkowski
Robert Piorkowski
Rob is a Field Editor for Midwest Outdoors Magazine, Featured Columnist for BigfishTackle.com, Contributing Writer for Illinois Outdoors and works as a Environmental Project Manager near Chicago, Il. When not casting for bass out of his boat, you'll find him wading local rivers searching for bass with a flyrod. If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, contact Rob at rob_fishon@hotmail.com