Friday, April 20, 2018 Elyria 28°
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Outdoors

Functional gifts are best for ourdoor types

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I joined the masses this year and started my Christmas shopping last weekend.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and everything in between helped me get an early start as opposed to being the guy Christmas Eve scrambling for time and gift ideas.

Browsing the aisles of various retailers, many stores have done an excellent job setting up “gift tables,” with ideas that don’t cost an arm and a leg. These handy gifts allow the buyer to make an educated purchase without having to know as much about the outdoors as the person they’re shopping for.

For the outdoor enthusiast, a thermos or portable coffee mug is invaluable during Northeast Ohio winters. Stanley, YETI, Coleman and plenty of other brands all make products that will keep your cold drink cold and your coffee or other hot beverage hot much longer then it will take for you to drink it.

Another thing buyers cannot go wrong with are hats and gloves. Any hunter or angler can spend plenty of time telling you about the time they lost a hat or a pair of gloves. They can also tell you when gloves get wet, how nice it would have been had they had a spare pair.

Recently, I saw a display at a local retailer of headlamps under $10. The shortest days of the year are here and while they will start getting longer in a few weeks, it still gets dark early. A headlamp is a great functional way to safely get in and out of the woods or out of the river. It’s also a convenient thing to have when walking the dog or just going out and enjoying the warmer temperatures we had earlier this week when getting home from work in the dark.

You don’t have to know what type of fishing or hunting a person does or buy lures, flies, arrows and ammunition for Christmas this year. You also don’t have to know what size shoe, shirt or pants they wear. Functional gifts people use every day are invaluable to those who spend their recreational time or even work outdoors. Cold weather accessories will serve to be more useful than a sweatshirt two-sizes too big or small.

Deer-gun season opener

Hunters took to the woods Monday for the start of Ohio’s deer-gun season. Hunters checked in 22,366 deer.

Locally, Lorain County tagged 200 compared to last years 180. Statewide, the deer kill on opening day was up by nearly 5,000 deer.

The deer-gun hunting season will remain open through Sunday.

If you can’t make it out this weekend, the season does extend another weekend. Dec. 16-17 will be open in Ohio for deer firearm hunting, too.

For the muzzleloader or “black-powdered” hunter, that season will kick things off in 2018 beginning Jan. 6 and closing Jan. 9.

If heading out, remember, all hunters must wear a vest, coat, jacket or coveralls in solid or camouflage blaze orange.

Be safe out there everyone; be courteous to other sportsmen you meet in the woods or on the water and also in line shopping this holiday season.

Contact Brad Zahar at bzaharoutdoors@gmail.com.

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