Consider shopping at one of the fine retailers who are part of our local economy. The Sportsmen’s Warehouse is a veritable cornucopia of products for the outdoorsman including an extensive collection of camping and hiking gear. They also have an impressive number of guns, long guns and hand guns with a helpful staff.
For the fisherman on your list, drop in and shop at Outdoor Pro on Redwood Drive in Rohnert Park. The store has everything for the fisher including a vast selection of lures, baits and rigging. Their fly fishing department is one of the best in the state.
In Cotati the B-2 gun shop, across from Lowes is a professional gun shop with an excellent selection of long and hand guns. Do remember that there is a two-week waiting period for your background check to clear. Ask the salesman for the box to wrap for gift giving, the background check can be handled after opening by the recipient.
Tickets to the deYoung museum is an excellent low cost gift, consider the Teotihuacan exhibit now being featured or consider a gift membership that will allow visits for a year and includes a guest.
Tickets to the upcoming Sportsmen’s Exhibition in Sacramento runs January 18 – 21 are also a good gift idea. This is the premier sportsmen’s show and features many areas of interest for the sportsmen including a comprehensive display of off-road vehicles, ‘can you spell fun on wheels?’ Google Sportsmen’s Exposition – Sacramento for details. Tickets are $16 for adults and children under 15 are free. To do this one right it will take two days.
Rock and Gem magazine is a good $20-ish gift for a one-year subscription or you might consider rock and gem books aimed at younger ones, search Amazon for specifics. The Santa Rosa Gem and Mineral Society is an inexpensive family effort. Annual membership includes use of the workshop in Windsor. Members will instruct you on how to turn an interesting rock into a treasured stone.
Mushrooms are a great way to visit the winter forests, chances are you will be all alone in the soggy outback. Google mushroom clubs in the Bay Area to find links to the clubs. There are two books that every fungiphile has in their library; Mushrooms Demystified and the smaller field companion All that the Rain Promises. Both by David Aroura, at a price point of $45 and $20 respectively. You may be able to search for a better discount on the web. This opens up the gift bag to hiking equipment and outdoor rainwear.
Hunting and fishing licenses have become very expensive, more than $40 for the basics. Beginning hunters will need to take a Hunter Safety course done by a certified instructor in order to buy that first license. There is a plethora of additional tags, stamps and special permit fees in addition to the basics, making the primary license an excellent stocking stuffer. Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.