Hooked on the Outdoor Life 1

Want to give an truly unforgettable Father’s Day gift? Look no further than Gunn&Hook.

Father’s Day can present an annual conundrum to mothers, sons and daughters. We all love our dads, and strive to express this through displays of affection and appreciation. The crowning accoutrement of Father’s Day, the gift, presents a special problem, however: most men — especially dads, whose hobbies take a backseat to work and family — are astonishingly difficult to buy for.

Because of this, Father’s Day gifts can sometimes appear as an afterthought. The holiday has a tendency to take people by surprise, and dad gets stuck with another colorful tie, or an ironic coffee mug. Surprisingly enough, the history of the holiday itself shares something of this “afterthought” character.

The first informal Father’s Day celebrations — one in West Virginia in 1908, and another in Washington in 1910 — were inspired by the widespread success of Mother’s Day. An event to celebrate moms had gained popularity throughout the 19th century, and Mother’s Day became an official national holiday in 1914. To the chagrin of dads everywhere, Father’s Day would have to wait another 58 years for its bonafides: not until 1972 would the day get signed into law and made official.

In the decades since, however, Father’s Day has entered the national conscience to become a commercial juggernaut. As this Father’s Day approaches, wives and children will make the trek to the mall or outdoor living superstore, and likely settle for another tool, equipment upgrade, or a catch-all gift card. This year, do yourself a favor and check out what Gunn&Hook has to offer.

Much more than just a store, Gunn&Hook exemplifies the outdoor, active lifestyle in a way few other companies can. Travel agency, retail store and one-stop source for all things hunting and fishing, Gunn&Hook takes the worry out of Father’s Day — and puts a guaranteed smile on dad’s face.

“We’re essentially a home-away company, but for the hunting and fishing space,” says co-founder Kevin McConnell. “We’re a place where you connect sportsmen with guides and outfitters in a totally transparent setting, and help them book trips together.”

Chances are, the fathers in your life have received their fair share of gifts. From pocketknives and firearms, to ties, hats and golf clubs, closets can become stuffed with the erstwhile presents from Father’s Days past. Instead of another “thing” that will grant, perhaps, a momentary smile, why not give dad something unforgettable? On the topic of popular experiences, Kevin recounts a litany of adventures:

“Elk hunting here in Texas, Florida fishing, redfish trips, seasonal dove hunts, helicopter boar hunts, some upland game hunts, turkey and bass fishing,” says Kevin. “This time of year, we see a big bump for dads and grads.”

As an outdoor experience travel agency, Gunn&Hook works in a way similar to Air BnB. Customers visit the website and browse through an expansive list of adventure offerings. You can browse trips based on dad’s hobby — whether it’s hunting, fishing, shooting, or adventure sports — or preferred destination.

If you know that the special father in your life has long dreamed of an adventure in the Alaskan wilderness, or wilds of Africa, Gunn&Hook can help you arrange the ideal trip. The service works through connecting customers directly to the guides and outfitters who will lead the excursion. Customers can read reviews and consider ratings, and rely upon the oversight of fellow adventurers to ensure a satisfactory experience.

“We’ve identified our top 72 spots, with 36 hunting and 36 fishing destinations,” says Gunn&Hook co-founder Jay Decker. 
“We’ve targeted five to six outfitters for each, and provide a fully transparent experience for the customer. If you want to book a trip, you can visit the website and read ratings and reviews about the specific ones you want to do. We offer everything from 5-star experiences to more affordable trips, and have something for everyone.”

If you want to give your dad something truly special, but don’t want to commit him to a lengthy vacation, Gunn&Hook has plenty of convenient, one-day options. The range of shorter trips in and around the Metroplex includes everything from a full-day of fishing with an expert guide for $395, to a two-hour helicopter hog hunt for $3,000. If you want something more extravagant — the kind of gift that will permanently settle the “favorite child” debate — Gunn&Hook has lengthy and immersive offerings at exotic locations around the world.

For example, recent political changes have made it possible to experience the culture and beauty of Cuba. What better way to celebrate this historic event, than with a seven-day mothership fishing experience in Los Jardines de la Reina. This particular trip, which is just one of dozens of spectacular examples, includes seven nights of lodging and meals aboard the mothership itself, La Tortuga, and an additional two days in Havana. Additional deluxe options include multi-day African safaris, along with endorsed conservancy hunts.

If a Father’s Day trip feels a bit ambitious, never fear: Gunn&Hook also has a retail store, located at 1013 Foch St., full of high-quality gear.

“On the gear side, every dad wants more Yeti stuff,” says Kevin. “They’ve got some new products out this spring and summer, new colors and new items. You can also buy your dad a pair of Costa sunglasses, or a GoPro camera.”

The 900-square-foot retail space supplements a web store, and you can browse an extensive online inventory of gifts and trips at www.gunnhook.com. Best of all, your ideal Father’s Day gift will go to support a homegrown Fort Worth business.

“Though our coverage is now worldwide, we’re a Fort Worth born and bred company,” says Kevin. “We had humble beginnings, and the business has grown 500 percent year over year. We’re one of the first in this technology space to do what we’re doing, and we’ve got big plans.”

Gunn&Hook can help anyone create their own big plans for an unforgettable day-trip, weekend, or weeklong experience. The next time you’re stuck on a gift for dad, ask yourself this: would he want a redfish trip to Louisiana? Or maybe a flyfishing trip to Cuba? What about a father-son trip, like a turkey hunt in Burkett, Texas? With Gunn&Hook, the gift-giving possibilities are limited only by your imagination.