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Top Five Gifts For The Hunting Enthusiast

Rifle, shotgun or bow? Check. Ammo, sharp knife and binoculars? Check. Fluorescent orange vest, camouflage clothing, sturdy boots and hunting license? Check, check, check.

Gerald Forry has all the basics. An avid hunter and fisherman from Mechanicsburg, Pa., Gerald has bagged caribou, elk, bear, salmon and a variety of other fish and game over the past 66 years. What he'd really like is a hunting trip to Alaska.

"That's really the last of the great hunting areas around."

According to the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' 2001 Economic Importance of Hunting in America report, hunting is big business, generating $25 billion in retail sales. More than 13 million Americans age 16 and older were classified as hunters, and they spent an average of $1,896 per year on their favorite pastime.

Any hunter who knows his or her way around a deer blind has all the fundamental gear and equipment necessary for a rewarding day in the woods. If you ask what they'd really like -- an indulgence that they might not normally treat themselves to -- the answers are as varied as the hunting stories they tell.

"Trail cameras, which allow hunters to scout for deer and other animals using film, digital or video cameras, are becoming more and more popular each year," said Chuck Smock, editor of Cabela's Outfitter Journal magazine. "When you work 40 or 50 hours a week, it's hard to find enough time to scout. Now you can put out a trail camera or two and leave the area undisturbed for a week or more. After retrieving the camera -- or film, media card or video tape -- you'll know exactly what walked through your hunting area while you were working or sleeping."

Other hot "wish list" items for today's avid hunter include:

* Nightvision rifle scope -- ATN Aries, one of the world's largest lines of premium nightvision scopes, offers a wide range of products calibrated for ultra-fast light transmission and resolution. Splurging for yourself or that truly special hunter in your life? Check out their limited-edition ATN Aries MK-8900 Crusader Nightvision Riflescope, available in the $5,000 price range.

* Scent control camouflage clothing “ Head-to-toe ScentLok camo shirts, jackets, gloves, pants and socks are a prominent item on Fairfax, Va., hunting enthusiast Joel Hendelman's "wish list." The next-to-skin active charcoal technology helps minimize human odors, as it effectively wicks away moisture to keep you comfortable and dry.

* Great Eight WallMural -- This easy-to-hang mural (8 feet, 3 inches by 13 feet, 8 inches), offered exclusively to Cabela's by Hopkins, Minn.-based Murals Your Way, features an eight-point buck gazing serenely out of an autumn forest. "No matter where you live, you can turn a bare wall into a floor-to-ceiling snapshot from the deer woods, allowing you to relive great memories or dream of future ones." says Eric Wieser, product manager/home furnishings for Cabela's and a hunter since he was legally old enough to carry a gun