Wildly Expensive (but Awesome) Hunting and Fishing Gear for Tax Season

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Income tax season has never been my favorite time of year, but this time around I got creative with deductions. If everything goes as planned, my refund should be about four times what I actually made in 2019. And I intend to enjoy it until brought up on charges.

Here are just a few things from my wishlist.

1. Mancini 360 Degree Revolving Climbing Treestand

The Mancini 360 Degree Climbing Treestand helps cover your blind spot. (Mancini/)

This stand looks like it was inspired by the ball turret on a B17, with the occupant inside a circle of steel that swivels 360 degrees. It weighs about 25 pounds and ratchets up a tree like any other climber. But that ability to swivel is intriguing and would enable you to engage multiple targets in quick succession. This situation has never happened to me. On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of deer come in from my blind side, so that’s a possibility. Except I’d imagine that it’s pretty easy to get busted if you’re swinging around on a buck that is right below you. Mostly I’m just curious to see if the dang thing works. With my luck, it’d squeak like crazy. $499; superioroutdoorsupply.net

2. Leica Ultravid 10×42 HD Plus Binoculars

They're pricey but these Leica Ultravid Binoculars are pretty nice.

They’re pricey but these Leica Ultravid Binoculars are pretty nice.
(Leica/)

It’s nice to find something on the inexpensive side in this list, isn’t it? Two grand for binocs is peanuts when you’ve got a whopping refund coming. Besides, I didn’t pick these. David E. Petzal did, and he is not known for skimping with other people’s refunds. The prisms are made from “specially formulated SCHOTT glasses,” which offer increased contrast in poor light. They weigh 28 ounces. The Leica BR Green Rubber Armored Binoculars, incidentally, are $1,000 more but also weigh 54 ounces, which is a pretty heavy necklace. These are about half that, 28 ounces. So the heavier glasses, which might offer some slight advantage, may not be the best choice. $2,290; leicacamerausa.com

3. Ravin R29X Sniper Predator Dusk Camo

For 3-inch groups at 100 yards, look no further than the Ravin R29X.

For 3-inch groups at 100 yards, look no further than the Ravin R29X. (Ravin/)

Like so many things I purchase, I’d get this to impress other people. It does look menacingly cool. Cocked, it measures all of 6 inches axle-to-axle, which means you could shoot deer while hiding inside a drain pipe. It features a Silent Cocking System and flings bolts at 450 fps, which, in technical terms, is known as “fast.” It comes fully assembled and sighted in at 20 yards. At 100 yards, Ravin says it shoots 3-inch groups. All of which is a tiny bit…insane. You could shoot your whole life with a compound bow and not be as accurate as this thing is right out of the box. This bow looks like the pinnacle of crossbow technology, at least for this week. Which is why I want one. $2,999; ravincrossbows.com

4. Hobie Pro Angler 12 Kayak with 360 Drive Technology

The Pro Angler 12 is the latest high-tech kayak from Hobie.

The Pro Angler 12 is the latest high-tech kayak from Hobie. (Hobie/)

Fishing kayaks went upscale a while back but they’ve never been this upscale. Don’t be surprised if next year’s ones come with a helipad. Meanwhile, the Hobie Pro Angler 12 features MirageDrive 360 and Kick-Up fins, which means that you can turn the fins any way you want to go and that they slide out of the way of underwater structure like rocks, logs, and anglers who drowned because they didn’t have this technology. The hull is a Limited Edition Arctic Blue Camo, which sounds intriguing. It has six rod holders and an elevated seat with lumbar support. It comes with a mount for a sail and a Bimini to shield you from the sun—as well as places to attach the $5,000 worth of fishing electronics that you’ll also have. At this price, I do think the Bimini should be included. $4,649; hobie.com

5. Polaris Ranger 1000

A base model Polaris Ranger 1000.

A base model Polaris Ranger 1000. (Polaris/)

I’ve never had an ATV and life is short, so I’m going straight to the top. The Ranger 1000 is a single-cam overhead 999 cc engine with 1,000-pound box capacity, 1,500-pound payload capacity, and a 2,500-pound towing capacity. Just as importantly, it has six cup holders, which is a lot for a 2-person cab. The base vehicle is about $13,000. All I did was add a few basic options, like the winter prep package, the 900-watt charging system, the eight-vent heater/defroster, a 4,500 lb. winch, and a 300-pound cargo bed rear winch (for really big deer). Okay, the power windows and glass tip-out windshield added another $4,500. And front and rear brush guards, a snazzy light rack, and 60-quart cooler nudged it up a bit further. As did the Pro Armor Wheel and Tire Set and the Splined Lug Nuts. I don’t own any land to drive it around on, but it’s going to knock people dead the next time I fill up at Sheetz. $25,412; polaris.com

6. Yetti Angler A821-PK Fish House

With the Yetti Angler A821-PK fish house, you could probably stay on the lake until the ice started to melt.

With the Yetti Angler A821-PK fish house, you could probably stay on the lake until the ice started to melt. (Yetti/)

At some point, I’m going to need a fish house. This one is 21 feet long, 8 feet wide, and comes in some pretty snazzy colors, like Pepsi Blue. It’s basically a party waiting to happen. It comes with 10 fishing holes, it sleeps 9 people, and guarantees that you’ll never have to buy your own beer again. Basically, your guests will want to be invited back so desperately that you shouldn’t have to lift a finger. It’s got cedar tongue-in-groove cabinets throughout, dual axles, and a hydraulic lift system. It also has a 25,000 BTU forced air furnace, and interior and exterior LED lights, a power awning, a vented 3-burner range, roof-mounted digital TV antenna, and a Bluetooth-enabled stereo system with 4 ceiling speakers. The curtains are pleated. There’s a queen bed for me and all the couches turn into beds for you guys. Wake me up when breakfast is ready. Oh, and keep an eye on my rod, okay? $44,985; yettioutdoors.com

7. 2020 Silverado 3500 HD Open Country Truck, Open Country

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD in Cajun Red.

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD in Cajun Red. (General Motors/)

I’m going to need a truck to pull my new ATV, and the Silverado 3500 should do nicely. I’m tired of being left behind at stoplights, so I’d go with the 445-h.p. 6.6 liter diesel V8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. That kind of power could get a fellow into trouble, so I’d also want 4WD. That only comes to about $73k, but once you’re in that far, there’s no good reason to stop. Cajun Red Tintcoat adds $495. Forward collision alert, auto emergency braking, and lane departure warning are just good sense and part of the Open Country package. Add a heads-up display, all-weather floor mats and a skid plate to protect the transfer case and you nudge it up another grand or so. The power sunroof is also a grand but nice to have if your passenger enjoys bird watching. I’d want a power tailgate, Bose audio system, and leather seats. And the front seats should be both heated and ventilated. The boys in the back will just have to rough it. $80,890; chevrolet.com

8. Allison XB-21 Bass Boat

The Allison XB-21 bass boat likely costs more than the truck you'd tow it with.

The Allison XB-21 bass boat likely costs more than the truck you’d tow it with. (fastbassmarine.com/)

Look, I know that 95 grand sounds like a lot of money, but this is a really nice bass boat. And, I hasten to point out, this is not for a bare-bones model but one you can drop into the water and fish. It comes with a Mercury 250R FourStroke V-8, trolling motor, and power poles. There’s also a Humminbird Helix 12 MDI G3N on the bow, a Humminbird Helix 12 MSI G3N on the console, and a Bluetooth-enabled Minn Kota trolling motor with 112 pounds of thrust that is so advanced it’ll submit your health insurance claim forms while you fish. At 21 feet long it has a 3-second holeshot, which is insane. Fortunately, it has a padded deck for when all that acceleration knocks you flat. And it looks cool in a kind of toxic neon green and black two-tone paint. $95,000; fastbassmarine.com

9. VO Vapen One of One Rifle

The Vapen One of One Rifle might be the most expensive hunting rifle in the world.

The Vapen One of One Rifle might be the most expensive hunting rifle in the world. (VO Vapen/)

If you want to be sure nobody else will ever have a rifle like yours, you get a Vapen One of One, made by the company run by Viggo Olsson and his son, Ulf, that sits next to a castle in Sweden. The Vapen rifle is made to your measurements. Months are devoted to sketches of rifle designs and engraving that you must sign off on before construction begins. The One of One is a takedown rifle that fits in a case and comes with barrels in up to 5 calibers, so you can travel light but still be ready to hunt anything from woodchucks to elephants. As you’d expect, no cutting corners here. The walnut root stock, for example, is air-dried, washed, and then stored for 3 years while the moisture is drawn out. Only then is it carved, sanded, and oiled. Every aspect of construction is done by hand. The guy doing the engraving can be expected to lose his eyesight. Sure $800,000 is a lot of money—and it’s about what an average outdoor writer makes in four lifetimes. But I’m not average, and neither is this rifle. $300,000 to $800,000; vovapen.com



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