Stress-free holiday gift giving for hunting dog enthusiasts

Dog hunters probably seem like a strange crowd at times to those that are looking at us from "the outside." We get excited about things that others could care less about, and I'm sure browsing the web for products we use can feel like reading a foreign language to some of our friends and family.

If you have a hunting dog enthusiast on your Christmas shopping list this year, I'm here to give you a few ideas for gifts that will have them smiling from ear to ear when they rip off the wrapping paper. I even sat down with a cup of hot chocolate and a country Christmas station on Pandora to fully set the mood!

A bird dog's training collar sits on the tailgate as the hunter collars up before a quail hunt in South Carolina.

Shopping with a larger budget? Let's talk tech.

Believe it or not, people who hunt with dogs use a number of tech items. You can never go wrong purchasing one of these items for the folks that have made their way to the top of Santa's "nice" list this year.

  • Extra tracking collars. You may have to do some poking around to determine which system the giftee uses, but a dog hunter can never have enough tracking collars. If all else fails a $300 gift card to a retailer such as Outdoor Dog Supply or Conkey's Hound Supply will allow the receiver to purchase a new tracking collar in most cases. I use both of these places almost exclusively for my Garmin items. Their service and selection is always excellent.
  • Garmin DriveTrack/Tread. If the hunter you're shopping for doesn't already own one, a Garmin Drive Track is an excellent addition to any raccoon, deer, hog, and fox hunters' tracking supply arsenal. These devices have the appearance of a tablet and are very handy for tracking wide and fast hunting dogs from inside your truck or buggy. Throw in an accessory bundle like this one from Outdoor Dog Supply or a wireless backup camera for the device as a stocking stuffer!
  • Garmin Fenix/Instinct Watches. These are the perfect gift for the dog hunter that is also a fitness enthusiast. Not only can you pair this watch with the Garmin Alpha tracking system, it can be used in conjunction with iPhone and Android devices for a variety of uses both in the gym and in the field.

Apparel and Accessories

If your hunting dog enthusiast is like me, they can never have too much outdoor apparel. What do dog hunters love even more? Personalized apparel and accessories. We love showing off our kennel names! Here are a few of my favorite items.

  • Briarproof Apparel. A briar jacket embroidered with your friend or loved one's kennel name is essential for any dog hunter's wardrobe. I personally have worn GT's brand jackets and briar bibs for many years, but Dan's Hunting Gear also has a great selection of briarproof items for both hound and upland hunters. My favorite purchase at Grand American last year was this Dan's hoodie, which has briar protection on the arms. 
  • Kennel Hats, Hoodies, and T-Shirts. You can never go wrong with these items! I personally purchase my kennel apparel from Low Ten Outfitters and RockSea Designs. Rocksea Designs has also made myself and several friends some beautiful kennel banners and decals!
  • Custom Drinkware. I don't go many places without the gorgeous, glittery black and hot pink tumbler with my kennel logo on it that Roxie Bowie of Rocksea Designs made for me. I honestly wouldn't be mad if I got a new one on every gift giving occasion! Check her out.

Don't forget your dog!

I know it's silly to some, but my dogs get holiday gifts. They bring me so much joy throughout the year, and it only seems fair for me to spoil them a little bit in return...even though if we're being truthful, they get spoiled every day. Here are some ideas. Psst-Chief and the rest of my crew wanted to tell you these have been tested and approved by them.

  • A doggy charcuterie board. Did you even know this was a thing? I didn't, until I met Amanda of Barkuterie Boards at one of Modern Companion's events. Grab your favorite dog one of Amanda's adorable keepsake boxes or boards stuffed with novel proteins and all-natural dog cookies.
  • Pupperoni Dog Treats. Chief made me include this one. All of my dogs, including my heart dog Waylon and his best friend Rebel, have loved to see that red bag come out. For a simple treat, they also love Milkbone Gravy Bones.
  • NuPro Gold. Give the older or high performing dog in your life the gift increased mobility, improved immune function, and better joint health with this tasty supplement. I personally buy this product from Amazon.
  • Fresh name collars. Make sure that your hunting dogs' name collars are in good repair and have the correct information on the tags. After all, in the event that your dog gets out of reach that collar could be his lifeline for getting back home! Check out Hound Dog Country for great deals on name collars.

Want to really wow them with something different? Don't skip this part.

Let's be real. Many holiday gifts are long forgotten in a few years. Sometimes it only takes a few months!

When you gift your friend or loved one with a photoshoot of his/her beloved hunting partner(s), that gift is timeless. They'll look at their beautiful wall art or classic photo album many years after that dog has left this Earth, and they'll smile.

That moment is what this job is all about for me.

Take a look at our options for hunt coverage and traditional photoshoots. We'll package something up nice and pretty for you to present to them on Christmas morning letting them know that you've just handed them a gift they'll never forget. For upland enthusiasts I highly recommend pairing photography coverage with a guided hunt at Back Woods Quail Club. Check out this blog post to see some gorgeous images from a lovely couple's hunt there with me!

Don't forget to take a look at our online store for gift items such as framed prints, metal prints, holiday cards, coffee mugs, calendars, gift cards, and more that display the beauty of sporting dogs I've captured on camera. New items are always being added!

From my kennel to yours, wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for your continued love and support of what I do!

Jessica O'Connor