Last minute mop up of Christmas gift ideas

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Dennis Clay

OK, so there are a few more Christmas gifts ideas on my plate. This is the time for the last-minute crowd to scurry forth and purchase presents for the forgotten person.

Example: A friend, not a close friend, but a friend is spotted in a downtown retail store. The two of you donít usually exchange presents.

ďWait right here, Iíve got something for you,Ē he says.

And he runs to his vehicle and back, handing you a wrapped present upon his return. What do you do? This is a pickle, for sure.

Do you walk to the restroom and carefully unwrap the package to see what is in it? This is one solution, which allows you to view the present and purchase one of similar value. Then you need to take it to him at his house. You could also invite him to coffee or lunch before Christmas to give him the present.

If the friend is a bass angler, give him some bass lures. If he is a hunter, buy him a sausage-making kit. The reason for taking a peek, would be to determine the appropriate dollar amount to give in return.

Next: The next-door neighbor brings a wrapped present for you and your wife. Most of the time these presents are of a food nature, either homemade cookies or fudge, or a purchased food sampling. This is easy to remedy, because you can do the same. Or you could purchase the neighbor a gift card to a local restaurant.

Fishing

Last minute stocking-stuffer ideas include small fishing tackle items. However, some care must be taken here. An adult bass angler might not appreciate a fishing bobber, but a youth who is a beginning an angling career with little tackle, would be most appreciative.

Remember, we discussed inexpensive fishing rod and reel combinations in a recent column, those under $20 or less. In addition to the rod, consider an empty tackle box. The stocking stuffers could be a variety of tackle, hooks, lures, weights, PowerBait, bobbers, etc. A trip down the tackle aisle will provide plenty of items for the stocking.

Shooting

The beginning shooter offers a little more difficult situation. The beginning firearm for most youth is a .22 rifle. Mine was an over and under, with the .22 on top and the .410 on the bottom, received at Christmas when I was 10-years-old.

This firearm has provided 60 years of enjoyment. Iíve taken rabbits with the .22, but pheasants, quail, grouse and even a turkey with the .410.

A box of .22 rounds or shotgun shells would make a great present or stocking stuffer if the youth already has a rifle or a shotgun. Targets are always appreciated. Paper targets are available in a variety types and shapes. Some are designed as a shooting game.

Two shooters, say a mother and daughter, put up two targets at the 25-yard. They take turns, each shooting at their own target, competing to make the best score.

A box of clay targets will be appreciated by the shotgun shooter. Of course, some type of thrower is needed to throw the clays.

Where to shoot? The best spot in the Moses Lake, Soap Lake and Ephrata areas is the Boyd Mordhorst Shooting Range, just east of the Ephrata Airport. My shooting buddies and I use this range exclusively.

The cost is $80 a year for a family. A member is also allowed to take a friend in for a little shooting. My buddies and I all get a membership, because we may head to the range alone or with another friend.

The cost of the membership is really a bargain. This is where my reloading buddies test our rifle cartridges. The range has 25-, 50- and 100-yard ranges, plus a 450-meter range, which equates to 492.126 yards. We simply call it a 500-yard range. There are targets at 200, 300 and 400 yards on this range also.

A hunter who has a possibility of shooting 300 or more yards, which is a possibility in Eastern Washington, they should spend some time at this range. Word has reached my desk of a possible 1,000-range being built.

In addition, there are areas for shotgun enthusiasts, with trap, skeet and sporting clays available. Stop by Olde World Trading Company in Moses Lake or Ephrata to pay for a membership. The member will be given a key, which will get you into the gate. The range is available during daylight hours.

A family who enjoys camping, fishing and hunting or any combination of those activities can fill a yearís worth of free time with outdoor memories lasting a lifetime. Blend the outdoor activities with school work and school sports and a family certainly has a full schedule. This is how I grew up and a treasure chest of fond memories are available to me. Whatís more, Iím still enjoying the hunting, fishing and camping and still making memories.

Merry Christmas from my family to all my readers.

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