Hunting with GPS

Brnsvllyjohn

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Has hunting with a gps unit changed the way you hunt? I have always been the last guy off the mountain in the evening and family members give me a hard time about that. They feel a little better knowing I have a gps unit so I am less likely to get lost after dark. Now I have never been lost but I guess it could happen so the gps gives me a little more confidence to be on the correct trail back to the truck in the dark. It also lets me look at an area to decide if there is a better way to hunt it or a closer route out with a downed game animal. I have a few way points for finding my favorite lookouts in the dark so that also helps. Last year on the archery hunt there was one narrow deer trail to get past some rocks and brush. Finding it in the dark was way easier with a gps. I also like to add waypoints while scouting for water sources or deer trails and game seen before the season. So I guess it has changed a few things I do.

Since I have shot a few bucks at last light and left them over night hanging in a tree (when one is available) that is why I carry a rope and pulley system. Finding that tree the next day is easier with GPS.
One issue I have had is if I am on a blood trail that is difficult and you keep going back and forth all of the bread crumb trails just make the gps screen unreadable so after locating the first blood I have decided to turn the breadcrumb trail off and set waypoints when I find sign. I still prefer surveyors tape or tissue paper for marking blood trails.

PS I do carry a compass and map and always will.
 



jackrabbit

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GPS made a huge difference for me. I was always good with compass and topo maps to identify springs, saddles, and choke points in unknown territory like when my group started hunting Colorado annually. We hunted mostly on the Flat Tops where we could roam very widely in every direction. But we generally had to retrace our route to get back to our trucks, only to find out later that we backtracked from a spot that was only a few hundred yards from the trucks. Waypoints and "Go To" are awesome. Also navigating with gps at night can mean the difference between a sleepness night sitting against logs or laying on rocky ground. It also comes in very handy when night fishing on a boat and finding the unlighted boat ramp upon return. I also keep a computer list of good hunting waypoints. In addition I can leave waypoint coordinates on the fridge for my wife's comfort in case I don't return much beyond schedule without calling on the cell phone.
 

WrstQuailHntr

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I love using GPS. I am able to use google earth to pick out areas that I want to scout/hunt, pick the best route to hike in, and download all that information onto my GPS. It has no doubt saved me hours of wandering around in the dark trying to find areas that I picked out on the map. It also gives me added piece of mind to have less chance of getting lost.
 

Oakdeiros80

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I've never owned a proper GPS unit, but I really like the Hunt app for my I-phone by onXmaps. I can download both aerial imagery and topo maps prior to leaving the house. No cell signals of wifi necessary. I use it for all the reasons John listed above and haven't really had any issues. In airplane mode, the battery lasts an entire day. I do carry a battery pack on multi-day hunts for charging up the phone. I use way points with photos. One of the best features, which I have found incredibly useful (and pretty damn accurate) is the property boundaries. Makes it easier to stay on public land and not accidentally roam onto someone's private property.
 

Limited Out

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I started building a GPS database around 10 yrs. ago. The first application was finding our decoy spread, with our boat, in the morning darkness after putting out our dekes the day before. Sometimes the spread is 6-8 miles from our launch point, no problem. This evolved into marking locations anywhere we saw large concentrations of waterfowl, launch ramps, safety hazards for the boat, and other important landmarks. This has now evolved into saving locations of upland game hot spots. I now have around 100 way points for Doves, and a few dozen for quail and pheasant. Another cool feature is identifying, by way point name, where you shot the waterfowl opener in say 2009 or the closer 2011. Overlaying this info onto Google Earth makes this data even better. I don't know if it makes you a better hunter, but helps to keep you on the birds and from coming home empty handed.
 

sportyg

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I'm just a poor map and compass guy, but I have hunted the same area for so many years I don't really have a need for one at this point.
 

Brnsvllyjohn

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I am going to try the onXmaps on my smartphone this year but still feel comfortable with my GPS unit. My son no longer carries a GPS unit just the smartphone. I am still struggling with a lot of apps on the phone so not real comfortable with it yet. Modern technology in general drives me nuts and that is one reason retired. I am sorta OK with Google earth but don't feel comfortable with setting the waypoints and routes on the GPS apps. Besides the smartphone batteries don't last but I do have 2 spare batteries for the phone.
 

Frank X. Morris

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Howdy All,
I have had an e-trex legend for about 8? years. I still don't know how it works. I turn it on every once in a while but it's all Greek to me. Glad most of the fields I hunt in are flat with low vegetation lol
 

socalkid

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I am going to try the onXmaps on my smartphone this year but still feel comfortable with my GPS unit. My son no longer carries a GPS unit just the smartphone. I am still struggling with a lot of apps on the phone so not real comfortable with it yet. Modern technology in general drives me nuts and that is one reason retired. I am sorta OK with Google earth but don't feel comfortable with setting the waypoints and routes on the GPS apps. Besides the smartphone batteries don't last but I do have 2 spare batteries for the phone.
You can get the onXmaps as a chip to put in your GPS. I use it with my Garmin etrex and the battery life beats using the phone app.
 

TheGDog

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eTrex 30 and the OnXmap chip. OnX so I know I'm legit... the eTrex to document with waypoints all kindsa of points of interest. Sometimes marking a waypoint... and on the description giving it a name that reminds me I wanted to check in more detail XXX yds away pointing in a certain direction from that spot. So when I get home from that trip I can investigate the topo marks on the map and see if there's a way to get over there that won't wear me out.
 

Brnsvllyjohn

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I went for a long quad ride Friday and took my GPS to mark any interesting spots I may want to hunt during deer season. The guy who went with me had never used a GPS and didn't really understand the breadcrumb trail and how it helps to find your way in and out of an area in the dark. I was surprised I thought most hunters had at least a little GPS experience. It is really rare when I am the most tech savvy guy in the crowd. LOL I know almost nothing about those things but I know enough to use my old Garmin Vista HCX.

By the way only saw one small forkie but I wasn't too worried about not seeing bucks, we left the truck at 9 am and returned around 3pm so not the best time to spot big bucks out feeding. It was more for planning camping spots and potential hunting areas and areas to glass from.

I was in D-3 and as we all know there are nothing but a few does in D3 anyway.
 
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warren nelson

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Me too never been lost, BUT my truck has been lost a couple of times. I like the simple GPS they work just fine.
 

TheGDog

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Plus.... you can get the coords from your GPS and plug 'em into Google Maps and printout Sattelite Views and send in am email to leave with the wife when you go out Solo so she knows the general area you went to and can give that info to Emergency Help if you don't check back in at the described/appointed time.

Also I like being able to check things out in Google Satellite View... sometimes when you inspect an area that you were in from the overhead Sattelite view you'll notice things you might not notice so much from the ground view... then add some waypoints into the GPS directly from their Destkop Garmin Base Camp app.

Like maybe you saw some Oak over there... but there's a bunch of super thick Chaparral between it and you... so that day you decided to give it a pass... but then you look at the overhead with topo view and realize that's probably a pathway the water takes during the rains, and it seems like they like to hug along those type of things sometimes in their deer trails. So you can choose put the waypoints back in there by hand so when you're back out there a ground level you can remember you wanted to go over there and check it out!
 

Paradactal

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I like to use GPS for obvious reasons. Set and forget. If you were to see my screen you would probably laugh. I mark just about everything I see. You name it, I throw a way point down. I mark trails, droppings, food sources hidden creek beds, funky rock formations, everything. I use different colors for different things. Whats cool, is after 5 or 6 years now, I have trails that connect all over different ridges. You can really see well used trails based on marked way points. If you have 40 way points marked over time as possible trails, they tend to give you possible ambush points. So I say Drop them way points!! I use an Oregon 650. Another cool thing to do with GPS, not to Hijack a thread, is Geocaching. My kids dig it. Google it, and I guarantee there are some in your area.
 

Frank X. Morris

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Howdy All,
A reporter asked a hiker "Have you ever been lost?" The hiker said, "Never been lost but been confused for a week or 2". :)
 


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