Advances in Technology using Hunting Tracking Devices
Just a few short years ago when hunters and hikers wanted to get off of the beaten path to explore in the large woods, they had few choices on how to plan their return route back to their home base or vehicle. Most hunters used some type of flagging, bright eyes, broken branches, looking at sun location, tree markings or other tricks to help find the right direction. Some hunters learned the skill of reading a handheld compass to help find their way back to their starting point or destination. On clear nights another source of getting your bearings is finding the moon and certain bright stars. Even with good markings and a clear path to follow, there was no way to mark your current location other than knowing where you were on a map by comparing your surroundings such as trees, creeks and fields, with that of a handheld drawn map.
Fast forward to today’s rapidly unfolding advances in real time technology location devices. The most accurate location based service is called the Global Positioning System. The short abbreviation for this is called GPS. GPS is a system of satellites in space that can provide real time location service to a ground based GPS device with an accuracy of within a few yards. Over a decade ago that kind of accuracy was reserved only for the military and not for the general public. The accuracy of these new GPS devices is one reason they are so valuable today to hunters, hikers, bird watchers, bikers and fisherman. This navigation system provides location services during all kinds of weather, day or night, anywhere on Earth!
Nowadays GPS devices are so sophisticated they are basically handheld mini computers. Today’s modern products can be stand alone gps units, smartphones that have GPS built in, smartphones that can be downloaded with GPS Apps and software, tablets that have GPS built in and tablets with downloaded app gps software.
All hunting gps’ have a basic screen that shows your current location. You can mark a starting point with such names as home, truck, camp…etc. As a person starts walking, the gps unit can mark your movement with a solid line or tiny dots called bread crumbs. When a hunter comes to a location they want to mark for exact future identification, a mark will show on the gps called a waypoint. A name or number for this location can be used to identify the location later. GPS software allows the path taken to be stored and saved for future trips if desired.
As GPS products have become more advanced, their ability to provide valuable information has increased tremendously. Some of the features of these highly technical devices include gps hunting maps. These highly detailed maps can provide satellite images of the track of land a hunter is walking on. The features of the area can be zoomed in or out for best image and details. Some of these gps maps show property boundaries in the area being used real time. Many of the higher priced units and smartphone gps apps not only show the boundaries, but also the property owner names, including privately owned, county owned, state owned, game lands, parks and federally owned. In the past, many times hunters were unsure exactly where property lines were and whether they were on property they had legal permission to hunt. With the hunting gps maps, there is no more guessing. A word to the wise…if you’re unsure whether you are on legal hunting property, most law enforcement officers now have these modern gps map units that show exactly whose property you’re own when they check for licenses, permission and game.
Using a GPS unit with detailed maps for hunting provides several advantages. A hunting gps is just another tool to be used such as your gear, stand, gun, scent, camo and calls. Along with the satellite image some gps devices provide, GPS Topo Maps provides a lot of valuable information too. Looking at topographical maps on paper is one thing, but watching your movement across the ridges real time can provide an entirely different perspective. Another use of some of these devices that are connected to the internet, whether cellular or satellite, are that they can provide detail weather conditions including wind direction and speed. When using a gps hunting map in the satellite image mode, one can distinctly tell the difference in timber thickness and growth. Knowing this information while doing some Big Game hunting or scouting helps determine the location for a hunting stand or multiple stalking routes.
Most gps hunting units are hand held and run on batteries. The more information and data each GPS provides usually means the more battery power needed. Just like computers, cameras and phones, as image detail is increased, better batteries have been produced. A good rule is to take one or two extra sets of batteries if the time afield is fairly long. After each use it will help increase battery life if unneeded data or junk is deleted. Another tip is to try and buy a waterproof GPS unit. If a smartphone app is being used, it’s a good policy to have a waterproof case or bag to enclose the phone in when the weather gets bad or crossing deep water.
In summary, with the advantages GPS Hunting Maps provide to their users, it’s almost a no brainer to purchase one like a gun and other vital hunting equipment. Hope this article helps with that decision. There are too many different manufacturers that make great gps products to list them all. Good luck hunting and exploring.