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Feature Article

Hunter’s Christmas

By DURWOOD HOLLIS/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Dec 20, 2018

Tired of the same old gift giving routine, try something new and lasting

A LIFEDTIME HUNTING license, with the addition of a bird-hunting package, will guarantee years of upland enjoyment. PHOTOS: DURWOOD HOLLIS

It seems as if every year when Christmas approaches, we tend to get into a gift giving panic. This is especially true when either a member of your immediate family, a close relative or a friend just happens to be a hunter. Left in a quandary about what gift to give, we usually resort something rather mundane, like boot socks, a new belt or even a knife (they probably already has more than enough of those things). Just what to give remains somewhat of a vapor¾present in out thoughts, but just out of-reach!

This year left me suggest that a “little our of the box” thinking might just be in order. Rather than selecting another necktie, underwear or socks as a Christmas gift, put your funds into something that has more lasting meaning. May I suggest giving the gift of a membership in one or more wildlife conservation organizations? Let me make myself perfectly clear, I am not advocating contributing to the coffers of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), or the Human Society, but an organization that actually works on improving wildlife habitat. In this realm there are actually several such groups, many of which are non-profit 501(3)(C) tax-exempt groups. This means that should you choose to give the gift of membership in one of these organizations it becomes tax deductible.

In looking over the list of such groups, the following come to mind: California Deer Association (, Ducks Unlimited (, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (, Pheasants Forever (, National Wild Turkey Federation ( and the Safari Club ( Each of these organization deals with issues like: habitat preservation and restoration, hunter access and species enhancement. Moreover, each has chapters in nearly every state and some have connections internationally. All produce their own newsletter/magazine, have legislative agendas, governmental representatives and sponsor an annual banquet or convention. Membership levels include annual, multi-annual and life memberships, each at various levels of financial commitment. Hunters who belong to one or more of these groups provide support not only to wildlife, but also to hunter education and the recruitment of new entrants to the sport.

ANY DEDICATED DEER hunter can well appreciate the advantage of holding a lifetime hunting license.

Another excellent organization that’s main concern is the preservation of our second amendment rights is the National Rifle Association ( The gift of a membership in this organization supports legislation that insures that a citizen’s right to own firearms isn’t infringed by overzealous lawmakers. As well, memberships at annual, multi-annual and life commitments are all available.

A final thought, consider giving your favorite hunter the gift of a California lifetime hunting license. All you have to do is do go to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website ( ) and following the instructions. License cost is based on the age of the applicant at the time of purchase and will require the submission of verification of participation in a Hunter Safety course, as well as a copy of a California hunting license (from any year). In addition to the license, an additional bird hunting package (includes California duck stamp and upland game validation), as well as a big game hunting package (includes one deer tag application and five wild pig tags) may also be purchased. Any hunter will appreciate the gift of statewide lifetime hunting privileges, thereby avoiding the hassle of acquiring a hunting license annually.

While Christmas always brings some level of gift giving anxiety, all of that can be avoided by selecting a gift that continues to give year-after-year. Whether that gift is a membership in a wildlife conservation organization, or a lifetime hunting license (lifetime fishing license is also available), the recipient will be forever grateful. Merry Christmas!

A MEMBERSHIP IN the Wild Turkey Federation aids in not only habitat conservation and improvement for wild turkeys, but also quail, grouse and other upland game.

whenyoupurchaseWHEN YOU PURCHASE a lifetime hunting license, along with an added big game package, you receive one deer tag and tags that allow for the pursuit of wild pigs throughout the state.

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