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Author Topic: Sell me on hunting GPS  (Read 1152 times)

Offline Natas5150

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Sell me on hunting GPS
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:55:41 AM »
Alright all you techies out there. Sell me on GPS's. Are they worth it? What is the benefits of them vs. paper maps? Paper maps are getting harder to find for GMU's. I am looking for something that will show me trails and such that i wouldnt find on a paper map.  What GPS would you all recommend for ease of use. I dont want something super complicated. Thanks all i look forward to the responses as i am interested in these gadgets.

Online Stein

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 09:21:23 AM »
For me, the main benefit of a gps is that I can tell exactly where I am which means I can safely hunt closer to public/private boundaries.  I can also tell public from private in a heartbeat.

That said, it hasn't replaced paper maps and compass, it has enhanced my mapwork.  I always use both.

I have a dedicated GPS, but it rarely gets used anymore as my phone is so much more convenient, easy to use and more feature laden.  I use OnX maps which had a horrible upgrade cycle lately but they seem to have it back to normal.  With their service, you can pull up tons more information than a paper map would ever show.

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 09:22:21 AM »
Gotta Smartphone?  Start here with free or near free version. Simple topo. Select area u are going to hunt download beforehand.  Stick on dash while driving, stick in jacket hiking.   [url]/https://www.gaiagps.com/[url]

Offline Bob33

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 10:02:40 AM »
It's an absolutely essential piece of gear for hunters in my opinion. You can know where you are relative to property boundaries, mark your camp/truck/downed animal so they can be easily found again even in the dark or fog, and a host of other functions. I can't imagine going afield without one anymore.
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Offline AWS

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 10:52:04 AM »
I have a trax hunting map chips for my truck GPS,  Northwest covers WA, OR and ID and another one covering ten more western states.  I hunt coyotes for a few months at a time(retired living out of my hunting truck) covering much of the west .  I run and gun all day and plan my hunts on paper maps the night before and then use the GPS on the road.  Like someone else here I've run into land owners that tried to tell me that I was on private land and when they saw the GPS admitted that they just lease the grazing rites and I've been invited to hunt all their deeded lands also.

The best investment for hunting I've made.
After the first shot the rest are just noise.

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Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 11:07:41 AM »
If you get one get a Rhino.
Besides all that has been posted you can also keep track of your hunting partners if they have rhinos.

When hunting alone I leave a Rhino in my rig on. Every so often I key the mic and my rhino sends my position to my truck. In the event something happens all my family knows to get that rhino and find me.
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Offline hughjorgan

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 11:27:28 AM »
If you get one get a Rhino.
Besides all that has been posted you can also keep track of your hunting partners if they have rhinos.

When hunting alone I leave a Rhino in my rig on. Every so often I key the mic and my rhino sends my position to my truck. In the event something happens all my family knows to get that rhino and find me.

An InReach by Garmin would be a better option IMO, especially if you hunt by your self alot

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 11:47:02 AM »
Yes it would.

But already own a spot locator. It takes two buttons to send for help on the spot. If you are able when something happens.
Keying for the Rhino as I move along is extra insurance.

The OP asked about gps. :tup:
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Offline Dan-o

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 03:40:36 PM »
OK...So, I'm hunting up in the Winthrop/Twisp/Volstead Creek area and, on my maps I see some DNR land that's surrounded by private land. Still, there's a point where it touches Balky Hill Rd and is marked as DNR land. I park my truck, turn on my GPS, mark the point where the land butts up against the road, make sure the tracking function is on and proceed to hunt the land making sure I'm inside the DNR boundaries.

Well, the hunting gods were smiling and, after a bit I shoot a nice deer who is the perfect gentleman in that he only goes about 10 yards and falls about 25 yards inside the boundary of the DNR land. I walk up to him, mark the spot as a waypoint (so that I can lead any game officer right back to it if necessary), and label it as "Deer Down with date and time."

As I'm field dressing him, I hear a quad coming my way pretty fast and, as it gets closer, I can see the face of a pretty worked guy who gets off and immediately says :"You know this is private property, don't you?" and, then, goes on for a bit about trespassing and such. I didn't respond or get angry or look mad or anything. I just let him wind down and asked if he was "Mr. XXX" (because I have the hunting chip in my unit which shows who owns what). Well, that stopped him cold and he asked if we knew each other. I said no and asked if he'd like to see my GPS.

He did. So I showed him where I'd marked my entry point, my entire track which had started from my truck and stayed on all morning, showed that I'd always been on DNR land, and showed where I'd dropped the deer. His entire expression changed right there and he said, "I'm a hunter too. Where the heck can I get one of those?"

We eneded up talking for a bit and he even helped me get the deer back to my truck. Might I also mention I now have permission to hunt on his property.

Pretty good return on an investment if I say so myself.

Buy one, doggone it. And carry spare batteries.

Larry S.

I've had a few encounters with farmers thinking I trespassed - or wanting to bluff me off public land (not sure).

In each case I offered to show them my my GPS with track feature on s they could see that I was nevcr on their land.

I had one farmer call the Sheriff.   They met me coming out.    I showed the Sheriff my GPS (I was never on private).     
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I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline Alpine Mojo

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 07:05:24 PM »
It's an absolutely essential piece of gear for hunters in my opinion.

I would call GPS a luxury item...but never essential.

It's nice to have as it does all the thinking and calculations for you to get your position.  The problem is if you can't navigate by map with a compass or altimeter then you have no business thinking you know what you are doing.  It is simply a liability to be dependent on electronic devices.
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2017, 07:48:46 PM »
It's an absolutely essential piece of gear for hunters in my opinion.

I would call GPS a luxury item...but never essential.

It's nice to have as it does all the thinking and calculations for you to get your position.  The problem is if you can't navigate by map with a compass or altimeter then you have no business thinking you know what you are doing.  It is simply a liability to be dependent on electronic devices.
I hunt checkerboard public/private land in several places and often hunt close to the boundaries. To do that legally makes a GPS essential for me. As for electronics, I rely on them in lots of functions and don't consider it a liability.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline Larry S.

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 08:37:35 AM »
OK...So, I'm hunting during modern firearm season and, on my maps, I see some DNR land that's surrounded by private land. Still, there's a point where it touches a road and is marked as DNR land. I park my truck near that point, turn on my GPS, mark the point where the land butts up against the road, make sure the tracking function is on and proceed to hunt the land making sure I'm inside the DNR boundaries.

Well, the hunting gods were smiling and, after a bit I shoot a nice deer who drops after only going about 10 yards, but is still about 25 yards inside the boundary of the DNR land. I walk up to him, mark the spot as a waypoint (so that I can lead any game officer right back to it if necessary), and label it as "Deer Down" with date and time attached.

As I'm field dressing him, I hear a quad coming my way pretty fast and, as it gets closer, I can see the face of a pretty worked up guy who gets off and immediately says :"You know this is private property, don't you?" and, then, goes on for a bit about trespassing and such. I didn't respond or get angry or look mad or anything. I just let him wind down and asked if he was "Mr. XXX" (because I have the hunting chip in my unit which shows who owns what). Well, that stopped him cold and he asked if we knew each other. I said no and asked if he'd like to see my GPS.

He did. So I showed him where I'd marked my entry point, my entire track (which had started from my truck and stayed on all morning) and showed him that I'd always been on DNR land, and also showed where I'd dropped the deer. His entire expression changed right there and he said, "I'm a hunter too. Where the heck can I get one of those?"

We eneded up talking for a bit and he even helped me get the deer back to my truck. Might I also mention I now have permission to hunt on his property.

Pretty good return on an investment if I say so myself.

Buy one, doggone it. And carry spare batteries.

PS...Before anyone asks, yes, I also carry a map and (two!) compasses. Two because, whenever I'm tempted not to believe what my compass is telling me (it's a guy thing), I pop the second one out and take a vote. So far, the compasses have won every time. It's a democracy, you know.  ;)
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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 08:46:37 AM »
I don't really have to sell you on it. Get lost once in the PNW and the next time you go out you'll have the nicest one you can afford. And, they'll never replace situational awareness and the tried and true map and compass. Especially this time of year, the Defense department occasionally messes with the satellites. If you don't know where "out" is and how to use the map and compass, or you drop or break your GPS, you can be completely screwed.
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Offline BNAElkhntr

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 08:53:49 AM »
Which Model  GPS   @Larry S.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 09:09:49 AM »
I use a Rino 530hcx but I want to get another Rino eventually, I've been looking at the 755t

I mark a lot of stuff, bobcat tracks in a fresh snow, wolf kills, fresh elk tracks/poo with date/times (because they're likely to be near there next year at the same time) cougar tracks etc

I need to get better at using garmin base map on the computer and not have so much stuff cluttering my gps
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Offline hughjorgan

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2017, 09:30:40 AM »
Yes it would.

But already own a spot locator. It takes two buttons to send for help on the spot. If you are able when something happens.
Keying for the Rhino as I move along is extra insurance.

The OP asked about gps. :tup:

The OP did ask about GPS, which the garmin inreach is. No need to carry a gps and a spot.  :tup:

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2017, 10:53:14 AM »
It's an absolutely essential piece of gear for hunters in my opinion.

I would call GPS a luxury item...but never essential.

It's nice to have as it does all the thinking and calculations for you to get your position.  The problem is if you can't navigate by map with a compass or altimeter then you have no business thinking you know what you are doing.  It is simply a liability to be dependent on electronic devices.

I think you're aiming for the argument that you cannot replace basic land navigation skills with a GPS.  While I agree with you, I can assure you that I've seen even the best woodsman get disoriented after an allergy they never experienced prior, a little dehydration from working a tough trail, etc.  I've got a GPS in my pack, and it's on from the moment I leave the truck until the time I return (except during sleep hours).  You just never know.

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 10:56:50 AM »
I use a GPS while out hunting and scouting.
While I also keep a compass with me there are some benefits to having a gps as part of your hunting kit and not just a map or cell phone.
Where I tend to do my hardest hunting there is no cell reception. My GPS has never failed me in picking up satellite connection.
While out in the wilderness if I find a really good area or spot that I love then it is a very brief and  easy process to put a marker on the spot. Doing that with a paper map in wet and/or low light conditions can be a pain.
 When back at camp I can then start to read the marked spots on the gps and cross reference them with a map. Generally gps units have small screens and it makes it hard to pick up on patterns to the saved/marked spots. Transferring them on to a larger paper map can help bring those patterns out.
While a GPS may or may not be essential, it is a very useful tool to have in the arsenal.

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Offline Bob33

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 03:33:19 PM »
This image shows an area in Wyoming where I occasionally hunt. The blue area is state land that is publicly accessible; the white road is a public highway. There is a very small section of public road that touches the state land, so it's legal to access at that point only. Without a GPS, I would not be able to hunt that land without a high risk of trespass. The GPS has opened up a lot of areas to me that I wouldn't hunt otherwise.

I too have been challenged by individuals claiming I am on their land. The GPS proves otherwise, and allows me to avoid legal problems while hunting close to borders.
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Offline Duckslayer89

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 03:39:35 PM »
If you have ONYX maps on your iPhone does the iPhone use GPS with onyx like it would a handheld gps unit or do you have to have cell service? I have onyx on my phone but have ever tried to use it out of cell range

Offline Bob33

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 03:42:39 PM »
If you have ONYX maps on your iPhone does the iPhone use GPS with onyx like it would a handheld gps unit or do you have to have cell service? I have onyx on my phone but have ever tried to use it out of cell range
You can download the onX maps to your phone when you have cell service.
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Offline Duckslayer89

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 04:01:38 PM »
If you have ONYX maps on your iPhone does the iPhone use GPS with onyx like it would a handheld gps unit or do you have to have cell service? I have onyx on my phone but have ever tried to use it out of cell range
You can download the onX maps to your phone when you have cell service.

Ya but how do you know where your at when you don't have service

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 04:05:28 PM »
If you have ONYX maps on your iPhone does the iPhone use GPS with onyx like it would a handheld gps unit or do you have to have cell service? I have onyx on my phone but have ever tried to use it out of cell range

Yes the cell phone uses GPS,  you have to pre-down load the maps before you get out of service, but if you've downloaded the maps ahead of time the phone will use it's crappy GPS.  You should download the maps while on wifi prior to your trip. 

You can get a bluetooth GPS and that will be far more accurate, I think Iphone uses Elf GPS but I might be mistaken,  I use android. 
edit:  I was close it's bad elf
https://bad-elf.com/pages/be-gps-2200-detail

The bad elf will talk to your phone and give you a lot more accurate GPS locations (and won't chew up your phone battery life by using it's own GPS) and it'll be a lot faster than your phone. 

I did not like ONXMAPS app on the phone, took way too long and was very glitchy.  It's been a few years though, perhaps it's better now.
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Offline Larry S.

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2017, 10:07:05 PM »
Which Model  GPS   @Larry S.

An older Garmin Model: Oregon 450t.

Still works just fine!
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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 12:04:45 AM »
I use both. I use a gps to find where I am, but I navigate with a compass.  This year I've been OnXMaps on my phone & love it. It's very accurate, and I can mark my camp, sign,mwateer, whatever, and it's on the computer website when I get home.

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Re: Sell me on hunting GPS
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2017, 05:59:41 AM »
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