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Simplify holiday shopping for the outdoors enthusiast on your list

December 11, 2015
By

BY Kevin Kelly

Choosing the perfect gift for a hunter or angler on your holiday shopping list can be a daunting and confusing task.

The Kentucky Afield Outdoor Calendar is an invaluable and inexpensive gift for the hunter or angler on your list. This unique calendar has hunting season dates, outdoor tips, nature notes and award winning photography that grace its pages. A gift license or permit from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources also makes an appreciated present for any hunter or angler.

The Kentucky Afield Outdoor Calendar is an invaluable and inexpensive gift for the hunter or angler on your list. This unique calendar has hunting season dates, outdoor tips, nature notes and award winning photography that grace its pages. A gift license or permit from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources also makes an appreciated present for any hunter or angler.


Let the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ website take the guesswork out of the process. Visitors to fw.ky.gov will find a variety of gift ideas, any one of which will be a hit with the recipient.
Among the most popular and practical items every year is the Kentucky Afield outdoor calendar.

The 2016 calendar includes hunting season dates, monthly stocking schedules for Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINS) program lakes, helpful outdoors tips and stunning photography. A photo of a lone American black duck surrounded by mallard ducks taken by John Brunjes, migratory bird coordinator with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, graces the cover of the 2016 calendar. The centerfold is a reproduction of artist Rick Hill’s popular “Kentucky Fish” species poster.

While the deadline has passed to receive the 2016 calendar with the price of a new subscription to Kentucky Afield magazine, individual copies of the calendar may be purchased on the department’s website for $7.50 each while supplies last. Orders placed by Dec. 17 should arrive in time for Christmas.

Gift cards and gift certificates are always appreciated. A Kentucky Fish and Wildlife online gift certificate, redeemable for up to five years from the date of purchase, may be used to buy licenses and permits, passes to Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, a one- or two-year Kentucky Afield magazine subscription or even registration fees for summer conservation camp.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife operates three such camps: Camp John Currie at Kentucky Lake, Camp Earl Wallace at Lake Cumberland and Camp Robert C. Webb at Grayson Lake.
The camps annually draw nearly 5,000 children who have completed Grades Four through Six and remain popular for a variety of reasons. Campers are provided opportunities to learn fishing, boating, archery, swimming, firearms safety and other skills that they will retain and can practice for years to come.

“Conservation camp offers a child a chance to really learn a lot about themselves,” said Laura Burford, assistant director of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Information and Education Division. “They learn about independence and making their own decisions, making their own choices. They grow up a lot. It may be the first time they get to try a lot of things without mom or dad being around. That lends itself to a lot of confidence boosting. It’s a time for them to make new friends and learn new things.”
Online registration opens in early January. The $225 registration fee includes all lodging, meals, transportation, camper insurance as well as a Junior Sportsman’s license. The license alone is a $30 value and includes a junior hunting license, two junior deer permits and two junior turkey permits.

Similarly, the resident Sportsman’s license for adults includes most of the permits an avid hunter and angler needs during a full license year. It represents a $55 savings over buying the included licenses and permits individually. The new license year starts March 1, 2016. If you’re buying a license as a gift you will need the birth date and social security number of the person who will be receiving it.

For those who want to share the gift of the outdoors, sponsoring a camper through the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a great way to do it. Letters from children wishing to attend conservation camp but who do not have the means are posted on the foundation’s website at kentuckywildlife.com. Donors may sponsor a camper for any amount.
“If you want to give $5, $10 or give a full ride, you can do that,” Burford said.
The Salato Wildlife Education Center can inspire wonder and interest in the outdoors in young and old. The center features several indoor and outdoor exhibits, hiking trails and displays featuring live animals such as a black bear, an eagle, bobcats, elk, deer, bison, snakes, frogs, turtles and fish. The center is closed for the season and will reopen March 1, 2016. Annual memberships range from $20 to $50 and are available by calling Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549.

And, finally, the Kentucky Afield store offers a variety of merchandise for fans of the popular television show and magazine. It includes hats in blaze orange, camouflage or khaki bearing the Kentucky Afield logo. There are Kentucky Afield polo shirts for men and women. Also offered are the “Best of Kentucky Afield Fishing” and “Kentucky Afield Deer Processing” DVDs. Past episodes of the television show may also be purchased through the online store. Orders should be placed by Dec. 17 for Christmas delivery.
Outside of the options offered by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, you can’t go wrong with some basic items. A compact LED flashlight or headlamp. Quality rain gear. A base layer set or socks made of synthetic material or merino wool. A pair of insulated camouflage gloves. Game calls. A multi-tool. A dry bag for paddling.
Any one of these ideas is bound to please the outdoors enthusiast on your holiday shopping list. Not only will they appreciate the gift itself, but also that you recognized their passion for enjoying the outdoors.

Author Kevin Kelly is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Get the latest from Kevin and the entire Kentucky Afield staff by following them on Twitter: @kyafield.

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