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Scott Rall: No Christmas before Thanksgiving

Scott Rall

Daily Globe outdoors columnist 

Let it snow, let it snow is the name of the game this week. If you can, you should bundle up and take 10 of your friends to the Nobles County Ducks Unlimited banquet tomorrow at the Brewster Legion Hall in the big city of Brewster. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is at 7. As always, there’s guns galore and many cool things to win — all in the name of wetlands, habitat and ducks.

You can get a ticket between now and then by calling Kevin Black at 329-2223 or you can get on at the door. I will see you there.

I have this thing against having Christmas before Thanksgiving. It just doesn’t seem right to have a Christmas tree up before the turkey leftovers are eaten. It used to be that Black Friday was the big Cyber Monday, and now we even get to go shopping on the big turkey day if you are so inclined.

Shopping is not agony to me. Most guys just hate it. I have spent more than few days wandering around Maurice s with my sweetie, and if you can find a comfortable spot to sit the people watching can be entertaining.

Turkey day is over, so now is the time to start thinking about what your outdoor person would like for Christmas. The biggest problem I have with gift giving is my desire to give a gift the person can actually use and dissuade the other gift idea people in my life to give them something pretty or unusual or trendy.

Mother will say that boots are not any fun or that dog supplies are no fun to open. At the end of the day, a gift that works, lasts and serves a purpose is the best gift an outdoor person can receive. I have a few ideas that range from pretty inexpensive (under $20) to a few big items that every hunter or fisherman should have.

The first on the list a decent flashlight. They sell them for $3 at the counter of most hardware stores and these are OK if you want to buy about a half dozen of them. They need to be tapped against hard surfaces to get them to light up, so skip on those.

Spend a few more dollars and get them a higher quality one one that will last. For the average user about $50 will get the job done nicely. Make sure they use LED bulbs for the best performance.

Whatever happened to the good old Christmas idea of a quality thermos? I have three. The metal cases are bent and dented but they still work fine. The weak spot in a thermos is the lid. They get lost, stepped on or otherwise are rendered non-functional. Buy the green or camo ones because no sensible hunter wants the stainless steel one reflecting off the sun and scaring off all the ducks. These are under $30.

One item on my list is a hydration pack. This is a pack that carries water or other fluids you can drink while hunting. This is not normally a requirement in Minnesota as the pheasant seasons don’t start until mid-October. This is not the case if you want to chase sharp tail grouse in mid-September in the Dakotas when the temperatures can still be in the 80s.

They range in price but they will set you back over $100 for a good one. I want to use one to help carry dog water as well.

You can buy just the plastic water bladder of under $15, but after a few bloody birds make it into the game vest the bladder would not be looking so nice.

The last item on the list is only for the most special of gift receipients. That is a pair of boots made by a company called Mendle. They’re available from a variety of sporting goods outlets but they run anywhere from $225 up to $450.

This seems incredibly steep, but these boots will last three times longer than most others.

I guarantee you that any of these items will be a great addition to your outdoorsman’s Christmas list. This outdoorsman would rather receive one high quality gift vs. many smaller items.

If you have any questions about these or other items, contact me at