I laugh out loud every time I see this photo
It's almost that time of year again. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are lurking around the corner like creepy zombie walkers. There patiently waiting for you to save the day by throwing your wallet at them like a ninja chucks a chinese star. To help arm you for this holiday season I've decided to put together a list of seriously bitching and affordable suggestions of things to get your dog both hunting and non-hunting related (even some stuff for humans too). Before we begin I would like to take this opportunity to say I am getting ZERO kickbacks and I am receiving no benefits for suggesting these items to you. Although you would be shocked at the amount of people who solicit me on a weekly basis to advertise on this blog. This blog is ad free for a reason. But lets be honest if Cabela's or Uplanders Warehouse called tomorrow I'd be jumping on that bandwagon before you could scream sellout. BUT that hasn't happened so.....these are all things I either own, bought other people, know people who have these things and or I really wish someone from my family would read this post and maybe buy them for me. **Hint hint Jimbo - now is the time to pay attention** Let's begin.
1. Meteorlight K9 L.E.D. Ball
a link to the manufacturer but check places like amazon as well. And please....it takes batteries so don't let your dog have it when your not around....use your brain.
2. Dog Cave (AKA the Pointer Pita)
blog post I did when we got Cleo's first dog cave. Prices for these vary depending on the size you get and what time of the year you buy them. Fosters and Smith often has sales. Look for the Dog Cave here.
3. Doggie Sleep Sack
Sew Paws. There are all kinds of fabric choices to choose from but if you want one for the holidays I'd get an order in sooner rather than later. Check out their facebook page and send them a private message. They are incredibly easy to deal with and besides Cleo and Luna totally endorse this product. #fourpawsapproved
4. Antler Chews
Jim deer hunts so we always have antlers around the house and the dogs LOVE to chew on them. I like them because they don't smell bad, they last forever and they don't splinter. Most dogs especially ones that like to chew bones usually like antlers. Keep in mind not all dogs will like them. We gave an antler to my brothers basset hound last year and he looked at us like we lost our flippin minds. He clearly wanted a blueberry bagel or something. BUT if you've never given one to your dog they might be missing out. If free access to antlers or sheds are not possible for you then check this site out: Grateful Shed Antler Chews. They have various antler offerings including moose, deer, elk and caribou. Keep in mind it is almost Christmas and Santa might not appreciate you buying reindeer antlers this time of the year. Just throwing that out there. If you want to get full size uncut antlers like the girls have above go to ebay and do a quick search for "Antlers".
5. Custom made collars with name plates
6. Unique Pet Tags by Tag Me Pet Tags
Tag Me Pet Tags has dozens of creative designs that are customizable with pet name and attachment style. They are well crafted collar bling and worth checking out. The designer of the tags also happens to be an owner of two GSP's. Click here to check out her designs and keep in mind she's open to creating your custom design as well.
7. Rivers West Pointer Vest
Both Cleo and Luna have these vests and they wear them when hunting in extreme cold or if they go to daycare and it will be under 25 degrees. Cleo always rocks orange and Luna who is darker in color looks fab in the high viz green. The vests are high quality fleece, come with a hearty zipper and a Velcro flap to keep everything secure. Cleo's has lasted 4 years and is going strong. Not to mention Cleo hasn't been able to rip Luna's off so that speaks volumes. Cleo is a serial de-vester. You may think I just created that word but I assure you I didn't. It's totally a real word. In addition the vests are cut for pointers. Often times a lot of vests you find are designed for labs and they never fit shorthairs well. I also like that I can just throw the vests in the wash for when they tumbleweed each other through the mud. We picked ours up from Ugly Dog Hunting but again...check out Amazon.
8. Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats
make all of Cleo and Luna's treats myself. But that's not realistic all of the time and I don't expect other people to be able do it. BUT you can be selective on what kinds of treats you do buy your dogs. For starters DO NOT by jerky treats. The news is full of heart breaking stories of beloved pets dying from these treats. Furthermore do not purchase treats not made in the United States. Cheap treats imported from China just might end up making your dog incredibly sick or even worst killing them. When I do buy Cleo and Luna treats I buy them Old Mother Hubbard treats. OMH uses natural ingredients and all the treats are made in North America (they have one plant in Canada). When you compare the label of a P-Nuttier biscuit box to that of Milk Bones you'll see a lot less crap and more words you can pronounce. So if you decide to stuff your pets stocking this year give Old Mother Hubbard a go if you've never bought their products before.
1. High Quality Meat Sticks
Chalet Market in Belgrade, MT makes some seriously delicious meat sticks. I got turned on to them 8 years ago when my best friend since age six ran off to live in Bozeman, MT. Every time I'm in town to visit her I stuff my backpack with as much as I can carry on a plane. In addition I order us these sticks a couple of times a year when we run out of our own homemade deer sticks. Jim's favorites are the buffalo and elk. My favorite are the beef with jalapeno. Soooooooo good. They also carry teriyaki, plain beef and smoked with pepper. These sticks have great flavor and importantly they are not dry or hard. I haven't been able to find any non-homemade sticks that come close to as good as these. Prices vary from $6.99 to $12.99 a pack depending on the size package you order. They can be ordered here.
2. Upland T-shirts
I love these T-shirts sold by Uplander's Warehouse. Some hunting T's you find are down right cheesy but these are well designed and I like the play on words. The I Chase Tail shirt comes in short and long sleeves in both brown and white. The eat more fast food T-shirt comes with 3 choices of bird species so you can get your favorite upland bird between quail, pheasant and ruffed grouse. The T's are a nice quality and range between $9.95 for short sleeves to $14.95 for long sleeves. Check them out here.
3. Waterfowl Cook Book - Duck, Duck, Gooseblog two years ago and have been drinking the Kool-Aid ever since. He just released this book which is being hailed as the end all of all waterfowl cookbooks so if either you or someone you hunt with or maybe someone you love is an avid duck or goose hunter this could be the ticket for them. Hank is also driving across the country as we speak doing a book tour at selected restaurants where you can show up, hang out and eat some of his waterfowl recipes. Click here for tour information which will continue through the end of January. That could be a cool gift as well......just saying. Here is the link to Amazon for where you can purchase Duck, Duck, Goose.
4. Out with the new and in with the old - Drinkware
Game Bird Glasses, or try typing in Quail, Pheasant, Ducks, Geese or game birds in this search.
5. GoPro Dog Harness
Kurgo but as always shop Amazon to see if you can maybe pick it up cheaper. We got a size large.
6. A good pair of Chaps
Filson tin cloth chaps and LOVE them. Filson also makes tin cloth chaps specifically for women. But there are other manufactures out there as well. Check out this link from Uplanders for some the men's selections. Depending on the manufacture and options of zippers ect for a good pair of chaps your looking at anywhere between $80 to $145.
7. Another cool Pheasant Shirt from FieldDress
You can never have enough T-shirts. I found these guys on Etsy and they offer some cool hunting and fly fishing T-shirts. I like the simple yet classy designs. I particularly like that the shirt has an established date of 1515 AD for the advent of guns and ammo. Pretty cool stuff. Be sure to check out their other shirts as well. I really dig the evolutions archery one and besides there is something I love about buying from people rather than corporations. Shirts are reasonable at $15.95. View FieldDress's T's here.
8. Amazing cookbook - The Homesick Texan
The Homesick Texan Cookbook should be made illegal as its basically promoting hardcore food porn. This is Lisa Fain's first cookbook and I hope to god it's not her last. I found her blog about a year and half ago and it's become a go to website for me. Lisa is a seventh generation Texan who has transplanted herself to the Big Apple. Her recipes are fresh and bold. You can pick up a copy of The Homesick Texan from Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon.
9. Jaegar Lead
Above is a picture of Jim doing his best Vanna White while rocking a pretty lame Jaeger lead. He has since upgraded from the lame lead in this picture to a nice leather one with bolt snaps. In case you've never see one the Jaeger lead is a German designed lead that offers several options of use. Jim is demonstrating the around the shoulder hands off lead set up but it can also be configured for a short lead, a heeling lead or be used as a long lead for obedience and walking. Some vinyl Jaeger leads also let the handler do a around the waist hands free configuration. Jaeger leads come in vinyl, coated nylon and leather and can have either bolt or French snaps depending on what you prefer. Here are three links to some Jaeger lead variations. Dogs Unlimited. Gun Dog Supply. Lion Country Supply.
10. Custom Calendars
Every year I make custom calendars as gifts. Jim always gets one of just our dog adventures (pictured above is this month from last years gift to him), and I make each family member a custom family calendar with recent pics and awful / borderline embarrassing pics from the last 30 years of shenanigans that we would all otherwise wish were forgotten. Each year the calendar has become the coveted gift that everyone in my family expects and looks forward too. The calendars are enjoyable and they give everyone something fun to look at as the year marches on. Over the years I have made calendars through different businesses but my personal favorite is Shutterfly. They offer tons of customizations while staying affordable. If you choose to make someone a calendar consider showing the desk jockey in your life some extra love by adding on a custom mouse pad of dogs on point or sweet pheasant retrieves. Nothing makes the day at the office a bit better than thoughts of being afield. And if you don't think your up for making your own calendar click here to buy a really well put together GSP Rescue calendar that all proceeds go to helping shorthairs.
If you or a loved one are new to upland hunting a handler bag is a good place to start. It makes for an easily portable place to keep your soon to be growing collection of training paraphernalia. Both versions listed above come with perfect places to stash whistles, blank guns, leads, E-collars and CANINE FIRST AID KITS. That's right....I just shouted that at all of you as friendly reminder to make sure you all have one. But I digress. The bag on the left is a Browning Handlers bag and the one on the right is made by Muddy River. Both are nice bags. The Muddy River bag can be bought in Realtree camo in addition to the color shown above.
Santa's 10th reindeer
So there are some of my suggestions for your beloved dogs as well as your two legged companions. Hopefully you found something on these lists to help you with your gift giving this holiday season or maybe at least point you in the right direction. We hope you all have wonderful holidays this week as both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah kick us off right to another holiday season. Be safe and enjoy time with your families and furry loved ones. And be sure to check us out and show us some love on facebook at Adventures of a GSP.