Sportsman’s report: Holiday gift ideas for the outdoor populace | Sports

International Sportsmen’s Exhibition (ISE) One thing the ISE is not about are ball sports golf, basket, base, foot, tennis, soccer, and cricket. The show is mostly about proactive outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing on boats, from the bank, charters in fresh and salt water. All-Terrain Vehicles, Recreation vehicles, boats, places to use them, outfitters who will guide, pack and tie on your worm. If your dream is an African safari, moose hunting in Canada, you will be in the right place. Hundreds of outfitters and guides have booths, you can meet the men you will be hunting/fishing with, what to expect and what it will cost.

ISE is a very family friendly event the youth center has hands-on activities for smaller hands. For the aspiring archer, there are many displays and activities. The ISE price guide, details on activities, including the hundreds of lectures over three days has not yet been set, if you want to learn how to fish for striped Bass in the Bay and Delta visit the lectures by local pros. The same goes for hunting, big game, upland, and waterfowl. The fees are not yet set, figure $25 admission per person, less for children, $20 to park as a thumbnail of overhead. The event is held at the Cal Expo in Sacramento. January 19–22 for more information go to and drill down to the Sacramento event.

Backpacks are out there from the simplest day pack to the big packs for multi-day back-country camping trips. For some sports, a simple waistline pack, often called a fanny pack, can be used in conjunction with a hunter’s backpack. There are now backpacks for fishing with slide-out compartments, water bottle holders and a flexible cooler. Another galaxy of gifts are the things to put in the packs. Most are subject to personal preference sports such as fishing, hunting, camping, mushroom hunters, rockhounds, gold prospectors, metal detectors, day hikers and a dozen other sports.

For the fishermen try Outdoor Pro in Rohnert Park, from kid poles to deep sea fishing set ups and an entire fly-fishing wing, they do have real wings to make flies, lures, jigs, spoons, rubber worms, real worms, crab traps and boat equipment for the fisherman. The plethora of tackle boxes alone is staggering. The staff at Outdoor Pro are most helpful, they will help you narrow down the right stuff and show you what the fish like to bite. Outdoor Pro is your personal access to the inside track for local fishing. Gift certificates and a fair exchange return policy in case you did not pick right.

Sportsmen’s Warehouse, next to In-N-Out on Redwood Dr. has one of the few remaining gun shops in our area. It is difficult to buy a gun in advance of the holiday and keep it a surprise. All gun owners must register every gun, and every gun owner must first clear a background check, this is a minimum two-week process. Talk with the specialists at the gun counter, they will give you advice on how to make a gun gift for your hunter. They will help you put something in a package and start the qualifying paperwork later. They also carry a plethora of camping equipment and apparel.

For the gold prospector or metal detector visit the local club: There are experts to help you get started. Advice on the right metal detector for you, plus equipment and outings. Contact the Metal Detector club at the same web site. Memberships are inexpensive and can be a family gift.

For the aspiring rockhound and lapidary want-to-be, the local gem and mineral society offers family memberships that include monthly meetings with excellent speakers, field trips for members only, a workshop with helpful stewards to show you how to turn that rock into something you can wear it proudly around your neck. Visit; for details.

Membership in the DeYoung and Legion of Honor museums is a fun and informative way to see and understand some of the most interesting ideas in Art, History and Antiquities. Membership for the entire family is $229 for one year, seniors $119, other memberships are available on their web site:

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.


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