It’s Christmas Eve and, according to national surveys, 10 percent of all shopping happens in the last 24-hour period. If you happen to be in this position and are looking for that perfect gift that won’t max out the credit card, here are a few ideas:
I visited three local stores that would attract the attention of many outdoor enthusiasts with the sporting goods they had on their shelves.
Many items caught my eye as being welcome, under the tree with my name on them, for Christmas morning.
Hike, Bike, and Run was my first stop, located in Mario’s Borgata at 600 E. Highway 260, owned and operated by Mick Wolf.
His business card states that this is “Payson’s Outdoor Adventure Store,” and the hiking, backpacking and camping equipment was very reasonable. In many instances, his prices were equal to or better than the larger sporting goods stores here and in the Valley.
The half-price sale for running shoes, a Garmin GPS and outdoor fitness watches are a Christmas sale that cannot be beat. Numerous styles of T-shirts and socks with outdoors logos were only $5, and would be perfect as an inexpensive gift or stocking stuffer.
Hats and sweatshirts were 50 percent off, and all of them had logos that only an adolescent would understand. Quality, name brand sunglasses were 25 percent off, and were very affordable at $30 a pair.
After visiting with the owner, Mick Wolf, I knew he was knowledgeable about the outdoors and what a person needed to experience a casual hike or a lengthy camping trip in the wilds of Arizona.
He is expanding his inventory to become the premier canoe and kayaking center for the Mogollon Rim area. This was my first visit to Hike, Bike and Run, but I can assure you other visits will follow, with the wide array of Merrell outdoor shoes.
Stop number two brought me to 302 E. Wade Lane, where Bootleg Archery is located in a small building owned and operated by Dan Frost.
I had been there before when I was in need of a quick repair of my bow during an elk hunt. Not only did he fix my bow, but he did this on a Sunday afternoon! One cannot say enough about local businesses and their willingness to give good customer service.
Bootleg Archery is packed from the floor to the ceiling with the newest and best archery equipment, as well as all the accessories that might help you score on that January buck. With the rut just beginning, I was lured to the various grunt tubes and rattle bags that were all marked at about $20 or less. One particularly caught my eye, called a Rattle Trap, which is perfect for treestand hunting.
If you have a favorite broadhead, I am sure that Dan has it in his archery shop.
They will come 3 to 6 to a package and are in the $25 range. If it is a gift and you may not know the brand name, bring in the arrow and he can match it perfectly.
I am always looking for the unique gift, and Bootleg Archery had two that caught my eye. A treestand rubber spray that reduces squeaks, is critical if one is hoping for a close shot at a trophy whitetail. The other was an antler toilet paper holder which seems perfect for at least one bathroom in the house. Again, the price range was inexpensive and well worth the money.
My final destination was, you guessed it, Walmart in the sporting goods department.
I always go through the fishing tackle aisle, and this time a red tag on Luckycraft lures caught my eye.
Baits that normally sell for $17 were on sale for only $11, which is below the wholesale price. Their softbaits as well as their lures can make great stocking stuffers for that friend or family member that happens to be an angler.
Another great buy was a Leatherman, made by Winchester, for only $10, which also included a smaller tool and case. There is also a 3-knife set for only $20, which was perfect for fishing, hunting and camping trips. These were the perfect sale items for the less than $20 gift.
In the twelfth hour of Christmas shopping, make it a point to buy locally, where the customer service and great deals are there for your benefit. Take time to visit Hike, Bike and Run, Bootleg Archery and, of course, the sporting goods department of Walmart for the last-minute Christmas sales.