Let’s face it, most of us are on our computer and smartphone all the time. So why not use them in the field?
We use smartphones for communication, information, and entertainment; almost all of us use them after a hunt to take pictures and show off our trophies, but many people don’t take advantage of using computer and smartphone technology before a hunt.
As we all know, scouting is a major tool in a successful hunting season. But not all scouting can be done in person. This may be for a number of reasons but whatever your reason, it is still no excuse to go into a hunt blind. Even if you are planning to scout in person, using your computer and smartphone together can help to make your scouting trips much more effective.
The numbers of technological advances being made are still limitless so the advantages we have as hunters who make use of this technology will continue to grow. I will talk about just a few of the ways you can use your computer and smartphone to help make scouting easier and more effective.
This one is probably the easiest to use and it is free (always a plus). The program takes just minutes to download to your computer and smartphone and you can easily use it at home and in the field. You can use Google Earth to view satellite images of any property that you plan to hunt. Just look up the location and zoom in to see the property from above. Google Earth also has a feature where you can see previous images taken at different times of the year. This can be helpful for seeing how the landscape changes with the season.
Using Google Earth to scout is relatively straightforward. Check out the land. Look for fields, funnels, trails, creeks, different stands of trees; all useful information to know before going into the woods. You can use the edit features to draw property boarders if you know them and drop pins in places you want to remember. These maps can be saved and viewed on your smartphone for when you arrive at the property.
OnXMaps is doing a great job of providing vital information to hunters. OnXMaps has programs for use on the computer as well as apps for your smartphone. OnXMaps provides you with aerial views, similar to Google Earth but what is different is that you can also get detailed information about property lines and property owners. This information can be vital to finding a good, legal place to hunt.
iHunt is a great mobile app to use along with your other scouting tools to build your knowledge of a property and not just re-learn every time you hunt. It lets you take notes, save stand information, animal sightings, kills, and much more. It is a great resource to use when doing your scouting to look back on later and be more successful. You can even check weather and wind at individual stands to see what is different. This is great information to have when trying to factor in wind.
Huntforce is an awesome computer resource to use together with your trail cams. Huntforce gives you software that takes all the information from your trail cam pictures and gives it to you in an easy-to-digest format. You give the program information like camera location, and name and it will put it all on a map and keep track of all the pictures that come from that camera. Huntforce works well if you have multiple cameras, to show you what is moving where.
These are just a few of the ways you can use computers and smartphones to scout and give you more of an advantage when hunting. As more hunters start using computers and smartphones in the woods, more developers will come out with new products. So what are you waiting for? You can start your scouting right now.
What technologies did I miss? Do you use any of these products? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.