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Christmas gift suggestions for that special outdoors person

Don Quilici
Nevada Appeal Outdoors Editor

With all of the madness of Black Friday shopping now safely behind us, you can now begin to think rationally again about ideas for Christmas gifts for that outdoor person in your life.

So, if you were not part of that frenzied mob scene last Friday or if you are still scratching your head about what to get for that special person, Don Q is going to come to your rescue with some suggestions.

Pick one (or more!) and make Christmas very special for him/her. Here they are:

A one-year subscription to Alaska magazine: This is my all-time favorite suggestion for a Christmas gift.

I currently give four each year (Elaine’s mom, my son Jim, Elaine’s step-son Barry McGee and good friend Don Reasons).

Except for Barry, they all have been to Alaska before, and with this magazine, they can re-visit that awesome location in the Far North every month of the year.

If you’re interested, call Alaska Magazine customer services at 1-800-288-5892 or go to their website at alaskamagazine.com, click on “Subscribe Today,” and fill in the required information.

The subscription is $18 a year which includes 12 monthly issues plus a 2009 Alaska calendar.

A California Non-Resident Annual Fishing License: This is a big ticket item that I reserve each year for very special recipients. I buy three (one for myself, one for Elaine and oen for Jim), plus I also buy the Second Rod Stamp for myself.

The 2009 version will cost you $110.80 for each license and another $12.85 for the Second Rod Stamp. You can buy those licenses and stamps at a number of different locations in this area, including my two favorites: Dave Kirby’s Woodfords General Store in Woodfords, Calif. (1-530-694-2930) or closer to home, at the Anglers Edge in Gardnerville (782-4734).

Sport fishing at Lake Tahoe: For a small group of four or less anglers, I highly recommend my good friend, Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters (1-530-544-6552) for a day of Mackinaw (Lake) Trout fishing at the “Big Lake in the Sky.”

Gino is one of the top sport fishing guides at Lake Tahoe and in his fishing boat (The PT-109), he fishes at the north end, the west side, the east side or the south end, dependent on where the fish are biting.

His trips cost $110 per person, and unlike some other Tahoe charters, Gino will stay out for hours and hours, trying to produce trout for you. Best of all, he launches from Cave Rock Landing, only a short distance from Carson City.

Gift Certificate at a sporting goods store: With that gift certificate, clutched in their sweaty hands, they can do as I did last year with mine: Go crazy trying to figure out what to buy because the choices are overwhelming. I spent hours wandering around that particular store, but I had a “Ton of Fun” doing so.

There are a whole bunch of sporting good stores in this area offering gift certificates. Just pick and choose one!

Other gift ideas:

For the angler: An overnight stay at the Carson River Resort on the East Carson River, just past Markleeville, Calif.

He/she can then fish the river right across the highway from the resort, and with any luck, they can catch rainbow trout that can go up to the 7-8-9-10 pound class.

Call Todd Sodaro at 1-877-694-2229. 

For the hunter: A range finder for the big game hunter, so there is no doubt about the exact shooting yardage to that antelope, buck deer, bull elk, Rocky Mt. goat or bighorn sheep. If they miss the shot, it is the shooter not the yardage that is at fault. Last year, Sal Quilici of Dayton shot his bull elk at an astonishing distance of 724 yards.  For the hiker: A home-made survival kit in the event they get lost while hiking. Be sure to include things such as: a signaling mirror, whistle, flashlight, sharp knife, at least two different ways to start a fire (flint, waterproof matches, etc.), 9X12 plastic tarp with light cord (for making a shelter), extra socks (can be used for gloves) and munchies (beef jerky, candy bars, packs of crackers and cheese, etc.).

For the traveler: A Garmin GPS for their vehicle. It’s a valuable tool as a portable navigator and reference device, especially for getting around in unfamiliar cities.

Our Garmin is always accurate, but I love to fake it out by ignoring its advice on where to turn at an intersection. I drive past the turn, just to hear it say, “Recalculating, Recalculating.”

For the camper: How about a “Mr. Heater” portable heater for your tent?

It comes complete with an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system if the oxygen falls below a safe level. The heater runs on 1-pound disposable propane cylinders, and it burns up to six hours on one cylinder.

The perfect gift for taking the chill out of the air, early in the morning in your tent.

For the backpacker: A little clip light that fits right on the bill of his/her baseball cap. You can get the lights in different colors and they can operate up to 30 hours on two tiny lithium batteries. One of those is just the ticket for when nature calls in the middle of the night and you have to get out of your toasty-warm sleeping bag.

For the four-wheeler: Front and back seat floor mats for keeping all of the dirt, grime and mud off your vehicle’s carpeting.

I’ve got them in my little, red, 4X4 pickup and they certainly make life easy.

When they get dirty or muddy, I just take them out, quickly shake and clean them and put ’em back. No fuss, no strain, and my carpet stays super clean.

For the “Shutter Bug”: A digital camera complete with extra memory card, extra batteries and a re-charger. You will be amazed at how many photos they will take.

Plus, you can instantly see if the photo is good or bad. When Elaine first got her digital camera, she took 904 photos on one of our Alaska trips. I know because I was the poor soul who had to edit all 904. 

Finally: No matter what you give that special person, be sure to remind him/her that it is not the gift that counts, it is the thought behind it. It is a gift from the heart.

Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you what Little Donnie Q wants for Christmas this year.

If he grins and says, Don wants a new printer for his computer,” he has been peeking at my Christmas wish list.