“Whoo! Somebody done been to the Tractor Supply.”
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect “Redneck 12 Days of Christmas” to be so popular. In honor of that infamous song, I’d like to do a remix. Here are the gifts I would love to see under the tree as a land manager and deer hunter:
12. Game Cams
You can never have enough game cameras. We use them at the farm to collect invaluable data, such as game cam surveys, food plot activity, deer patterns and who raided the snack bin at the lodge.
11. Coyote Traps
Predators, and especially coyotes, have successfully invaded all areas of the whitetail’s range. They’re a major variable in deer management plans. If fawn recruitment rates are low, it might be time to start trapping coyotes. To see how we trap at the farm, check out this episode of Foxworthy Outdoors: Inside & Out.
10. Cedar Fence Posts
I got this idea from my buddy, Lee Lakosky, and implemented it at Foxworthy Farm. Stick an 8-foot cedar post 2 feet into the ground to serve as a deer magnet around hunting stands in open areas. Bucks will visit the post to leave their sign or check sign left behind by other bucks.
9. Work Gloves
There’s always digging, dragging and construction going on at the farm. While I don’t want softer hands than my wife, it’s nice to get through a job without having to stop and pull briars out of your fingertips.
I like having a lot of shovels and post-hole diggers on hand so you can invite your friends to help. Otherwise, it ends up like a road construction operation and there’s one guy doing all the work while the rest of crew “supervises.”
Just like game cameras and shovels, you can never have too many treestands. A good complement to this gift is poison ivy cream and tick repellent to use when it comes time to hang them … and, of course, a safety harness attachment for each tree you have a stand hung.
There’s nothing like the sweet sound of a chainsaw singing at the farm during the off-season. Do you hear it? It’s the melody of bedding cover, funnels and timber-stand improvement. A chainsaw is a quality deer manager’s best friend when used correctly and safely.
5. Good Flashlight And Travel Mug
The day starts early for hunters and land managers—often before the sun is up. That means I need coffee. I also need light so I don’t grab the lime instead of the fertilizer when I go tend to the food plots. I like the lights that clip to your hat, and a Mossy Oak mug because anything camo is 10 times cooler.
4. NAHC Membership
Hunting tips, techniques and information delivered right to your mailbox (if the post office can get to it), gear testing and a connection to 550,000 hunters who share the same passion for you is the gift that keeps on giving.
3. Your Time
I’ve always been a fan of giving coupons for gifts to my wife. You know, “one free back massage (only on days ending in ‘y’)” or “a weekend getaway to the QDMA convention.” Usually she doesn’t redeem them. A land manager will always take up an offer for an extra set of hands.
My brother, Jay, is a big guy, but sometimes even he can’t get the job the done. That’s when you need to let the horses out of the barn. We love Bad Boy Buggies for their dual-purpose function. They’re hardworking machines and quiet hunting vehicles. I hope my wife is reading this because we can always use another one.
There are going to be times when all this hard work pays off, and land managers love celebrating with those who support their crazy passion. Give a cigar, a bag of Grit Chips or a cool memento—like a framed picture of the first deer shot on the property. Or just have them over for dinner and listen to their crazy stories.
As a land manager and hunter, I’m certainly blessed with gifts year-round. Like the gift of watching the sun come up and a new day beginning. The smell of fresh plowed dirt, finding a big shed antler, the sound of children playing in the field, rain, and really great friends to acknowledge these gifts with. There’s nothing on this list I absolutely need … not when the greatest gift of all was delivered in swaddling clothes and displayed in a manger. In modern times, we all give gifts at Christmas for our own reasons. For some, it’s a way to celebrate the holy day. For others, it’s a special time to let family and friends know that you care by giving gifts. If I received any of the gifts above, the thought would truly count more than the gift itself because I love it when others take an interest in what I do, or at least recognize it.
Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with many gifts money can’t buy!