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Using GPS for hunting is a great idea because you frequently need
to walk through forests or difficult routes. The probability of getting
lost while hunting happens pretty often. A hunting GPS device can
make the difference between a successful hunt experience and a
useless walk around in the woods, not to mention night hunting.
The hunting GPS advantages start with the planning. Use your GPS
with topographical maps to make your scouting time more efficient.
If you look on a map and notice possible elk funnel areas where
ridges come together, or if you see river abuts a bluff you can mark
the latitude and longitude as a waypoint, finding the spot in a much
Another advantage to consider is when you have a difficult time
remembering all the places where you found elk scrapes, feeds,
and beds. Build a database with a GPS receiver by making a
waypoint for each one of them, and then naming them with a
code. Once you get home, just record this information using a
hunter's log or a computer program. As you study the data you'll
begin to notice patterns that will tell you where and when you
need to be for a successful hunt. For example, when you hunt for
elk you can use your GPS receiver to mark the spot where you
discover deer have fed. You can return to those same sites when
you hunt next year and you'll probably find the elk feeding in
about the same places.
Safety GPS is useful too because it allows you to safely and easily
navigate your way back even if you got caught in bad weather or
darkness. You can navigate back to the starting point in case you
got separated from your group. As any hunter knows, getting out
to the treestand on the opening day can be a little stressful in
itself. If it snows, it will cover up the markers leading to the stand.
A handheld GPS takes all of the flashlight pointing out of the
equation. If you get in serious trouble, you can use a GPS unit to
communicate your exact position to rescue teams.
Knowing where you are is crucial. Hunters often become so
preoccupied with their hunting job that they get distracted from
directions, where they are going to, where they are or how to get
back. This is when a hunting GPS becomes very useful. Specially in
the dark, when it's pretty easy to get turned around by mistake.
You may not want to use a flashlight because you don't want to
scare away your targets. But traveling to and from a stand is no
problem with a backlit GPS.
Sometimes hunters down a large animal and have to hurry back to
camp to get some help and then have trouble finding his trophy
again, especially in the dark. Marking the location of your kill on your
GPS before heading back to camp makes it easy to relocate.
For safety reasons, many hunters carry a handheld GPS. Itís far too
easy to get lost when youíre tracking that trophy buck late in the
day and the results can be deadly. With a handheld GPS for hunting
you can give full concentration to the trail up ahead of you instead
of looking at your watch and wondering how youíll find your way
back to camp.
An average hunting GPS will be loaded with interactive, nationwide
topographic maps. It will provide all the features a hunter needs to
find his way in and out of the field, including topographic contours,
vertical profiles of routes, queries of elevations, background maps
of major roads, waterways and more.
Itís nice to see the GPS manufacturers are producing handheld GPS
units specifically for the hunting market. Take your time to choose
the best GPS for your hunting needs, youíll be glad you did.