Clam Drill Auger Conversion Kit
This kit transforms an 18-volt cordless drill into a lightweight and efficient electric auger. The six-inch kit weighs a mere five pounds, while the eight-inch version weighs in at nine pounds. The auger bit features steel flighting and razor-sharp stainless steel blades. Both kits also include a handle to convert the bit to a manual auger during early ice.
The drill plate and the auger bit are both available separately, but once they use the plate most anglers don’t want to drill holes without it. The rubber grips provide more stability and leverage than a drill alone. It also protects the drill when you set the unit on snow and slush when you’re done tapping holes. $210, clamoutdoors.com.
Danner Pronghorn boots
The fifth generation of this versatile hunting boot incorporates cutting-edge technology to provide all-day comfort and unsurpassed stability. Full-grain leather uppers are durable enough for years of service, while the breathable GORE-TEX liner keeps moisture out and allows feet to breathe.
The uninsulated model is ideal for early season big game and upland bird hunting, but insulated models are also available for colder conditions. Options include 400 grams of PrimaLoft, 800 grams of Thinsulate Extra or 1,200 grams of Thinsulate Ultra. From $230, danner.com.
Fish Monkey FM31 Tundra EX
This technical glove was designed for ice fishing but is guaranteed to keep hands warm and dry during any kind of outdoor activity. A laminated membrane keeps water out while a combination of Thinsulate and cotton insulation and fleece lining provides warmth. The synthetic leather palm also provides a superior grip.
The index fingers are compatible with touch screens, and ice anglers will appreciate the extended neoprene cuffs that trap warmth and keep water out. Fish Monkey also offers a glove and mitten hybrid — the FM25 Tundra mitten glove — for increased finger dexterity. $70, fishmonkeygloves.com.
Genesis is the official bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program, an in-school curriculum that teaches archery to students in grades four to 12. Participants also learn focus, discipline and patience — skills that help them be more successful in the classroom and beyond.
The Genesis Original was the first compound bow developed to fit all shooters. It has no set draw length, no let-off and a 10- to 20-pound adjustable draw weight. The bow also features a single cam that eliminates tuning problems, reduces recoil and creates less noise. Available in right- and left-handed models. From $170, genesisbow.com
Kogalla Ra Adventure Light
Designed for trail runners, The Ra Adventure Light is ideal for all outdoor enthusiasts. Whether walking off the ice after dark, tracking a whitetail bloodtrail or setting up camp, this wearable light outshines flashlights and headlamps.
The standard unit provides 800 lumens in a 120 degree pattern that illuminates an area rather than a single spot. The five lighting modules also provide more surface area to keep the LEDs operating at a cooler temperature to maximize the life of the rechargeable battery pack. From $160, kogalla.com.
Lansky Professional System
Sharp knives make outdoor chores like filleting fish and quartering deer easier, faster and safer. But the truth is, many hunters and anglers aren’t very good at sharpening their knives. The Lansky system includes a knife clamp to hold blades securely, and a guide to ensure each stroke of of the stone is at just the right angle.
The kit includes five sharpening stones — one for serrated blades and flat stones ranging from coarse to ultra fine. The angle guide works provides the proper bevel for cutting tools ranging from fillet knives (17 degrees) to utility and carpet knives (30 degrees). A storage case and bottle of honing oil are also included. $56, lansky.com.
Navionics Boating app
Navionics named it the Boating app but its just as useful on the ice as it is on open water. Use the phone that’s already in your pocket to view detailed lake maps with one-foot contours. Waypoints can be exchanged between the mobile app and a boat-mounted GPS unit.
Compatible sonar units can use a feature called SonarChart to create custom maps. Many ice anglers spend time during summer recording maps that make their time on the ice more productive. Available for iOS and Android. $22 per year, navionics.com
UMAREX Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle
The path for many new hunters begins with a pellet rifle before advancing to a .22 caliber for small game and finally a centerfire rifle for big game hunting. The Ruger 10/22 has ranked among the most popular rimfire firearms for more than 50 years, and the UMAREX airgun is an almost exact replica of that iconic rifle.
The rifle uses two 12-gram CO2 cartridges to launch .177 caliber pellets from a 10-shot rotary magazine. The receiver is tapped for any aftermarket rail designed for a Ruger 10/22, allowing shooters to add a scope, red-dot sight or other accessories. $140, umarexusa.com.
Weego 22s jump starter
Anyone who has been stranded by a motor that wouldn’t start is sure to appreciate this compact lithium-polymer battery pack. With enough power to jump start a five-liter V8 engine, this unit is also ideal for snowmobiles, ATVs and boats. The 20Wh battery recharges in 2½ hours and holds a charge for up to a year. $70, myweego.com.
A gift that keeps giving
If you’re still stuck, consider gifting a subscription to one or more of the conservation magazines published by state resource management agencies across the upper Midwest. Each issue features fish and wildlife features that will likely be of interest to all outdoors enthusiasts. Visit these websites to learn more about each publication or to buy a subscription.