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MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2006
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Outdoor ideas make for good gifts

I listened and laughed this week watching three ladies trying to buy Christmas gifts. I found out they were sisters, all with families of their own.

The three mothers each have teenage sons. Thatís why they met at a local department store so they could buy their gifts in threes. If one cousin got a certain gift, the others would receive the same thing. They simply were trying to keep peace among the boys.

I learned that there was one exception to the rules they established. The small gifts and stocking stuffers were different. Also, each teenage outdoorsman was to receive one big gift from his family.

The reason I laughed so hard was that two of the mothers were trying to find out from their sister what big gift she bought.

At first, she refused, saying, ďItís going to be a surprise.Ē

But she eventually said what she got — a yellow Labrador retriever puppy. And the more she thought about, the more she liked the idea of keeping that puppy and its litter of three together.

Her sisters liked that idea, but she wondered aloud about what they would do if someone else had already bought the puppies.

The mom who already bought a puppy had the phone number of the people who were selling the dogs ďway out in the country.Ē

Dialing the number on her cell phone, she didnít receive an answer. In a panic, the mother with the puppy said she would drive out to where the Lab pups are. She gave the phone number to her sisters, as they were to keep calling the number.

Pushing the redial button, they received an answer and apparently they were in luck. They said they wanted the other two dogs.

When everything calmed down, they talked about how they need puppy supplies and a training manual. One mom asked if there was a pet shop on the Beltline.

Special gift

The one special gift I think about every year is a lifetime hunting or fishing license that you can purchased easily over the Internet.

Looking at a news release that I received courtesy of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, I saw where you can get a lifetime freshwater fishing license, starting a $150. Itís $250 for saltwater fishing and $300 for hunting. The ADCNR also offers combination licenses. To apply, call (334) 242-3832 or go to outdooralabama.com.

Last-minute gifts

For those of you who buy gifts a day or two before Christmas, Iíve got a checklist for you.

Also, if youíre looking for stocking stuffers for that special outdoor person in your life, this list will work for you, too.

Try reloading supplies, knives, gun cleaning kits, coveralls, coats, pants, hats, caps, thermal underwear, gloves, boots, flashlights, batteries, GPS units, range finders, deer-hunting human soap (eliminates the human smell so deer wonít be alarmed), hunting scents, tool kits, binoculars, watches, snake chaps, waders, decals, portable and disposable heaters, cameras, tents, communication devices, outdoor videos, sleeping bags, game calls, paintball gear, portable hunting blinds, portable toilets, tree stands, gun cases, gun safes, head-gear lamps, compasses, waterproof kits, waterproof carry bags, waterproof matches, metal detectors, lake maps, fishing lures, lure retrievers , rods and reels, terminal tackle (weights, swivels, hooks, line, etc.), tackle bags, pliers, landing nets, weigh scales, fish cleaning kits and emergency and first-aid kits.

Thereís even a book that tells you how to train a yellow Lab puppy.

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Paul Stackhouse
Sporting Life
Paul Stackhouse

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