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Hunting for the right gift

December 15, 2011 at 11:16 PM

The State Journal-Register

I thought it was a simple question. Instead, I made two mistakes.

One: There are no simple questions when the questionee is a teenage girl. Two: Never ask a question that can trigger an avalanche.

When I asked one of the Little Girls for her Christmas list, she told me “she’d get back to me with a first draft.” At least she was willing to skip sending the initial outline. My hard drive has been spinning toward a download for the last four hours.

Finding the right gift for the outdoorsmen or outdoorswomen on your Christmas list can add a challenge to the holiday season that’s even more complicated than my four-hour download. It’s best to start right now.

You can save yourself at least one tank of gas by simply asking them what they want. Granted, that knocks out the surprise factor, but it eliminates the “what-the-heck-is-this?” look on Christmas morning.

If the potential gift is something you’ve never heard of, ask them to write it down. Better yet, have them show you a picture of it, or point it out in a store. If their Christmas wishes aren’t grounded in your economic reality, you’re off the hook. Wipe the dust off the tin, give them last year’s fruitcake and call it good.

With deer season winding down, unless items like high-end trail cameras, range finders, premium ammunition and arrows are marked down by 50 percent, you might pass on buying deer hunting equipment. When deer season 2012 rolls around, the new, improved version will have outdistanced anything on this year’s wish list. Your hunter could end up looking like the girl wearing a poodle skirt a year too late.

On the other hand, if top-quality deer decoys come at a reduced price, they aren’t likely to change that much. If they do, you can take the old model, light it up and stick it out in the front yard with Rudolph and Santa next Christmas.

If you fear the fruitcake might live past the eternal freshness date and haunt you in the next decade, keep in mind that many hunters and fishermen dream of having their own TV show. The Video Sunglasses could be the gift to get them started.

These beauties are polarized, with wraparound camo frames, and have a pinhole camera right between the eyes that captures HD images of exactly what the hunter or fisherman sees. The images are recorded to a memory card in the temples of the glasses.

At more than $100 per pair, this probably isn’t the right gift for the person who lost two pairs of sunglasses last week. Ditto for the guy who tosses them on the truck seat and has no idea where they are until that sickening crunch when he plops down on them.

The ensuing video would be brief — and highly entertaining — but it might be too intense for younger audiences.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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