These are suggestions for the five hunting apps that could make the difference in your success and enjoyment.
It's a fact of the modern hunter that a smartphone is now a permanent component of the arsenal. Just like the rifle, the rangefinder, and the warm (and scent-free!) clothing, the smartphone goes everywhere the hunter does in the woods these days, from the tree stand to the food plot and back home again. There are some very good reasons for this, of course: if you are hunting alone, for instance, you need to make sure you always have a way to contact the outside world, and a dependable cellphone - combined with the increasingly comprehensive service coverage maps that modern cell carriers provide - is a necessary lifeline.
Smartphones can also be a distraction though, with social media websites and gaming apps conspiring to take you out of the headspace you need to be in to land a buck. If you are going to have a smartphone in the hunting field with you, it should at least be stocked with apps that can help rather than hinder your play for hunting success. Here are five essential programs for a hunter to have in his or her pocket. These apps are available for Apple's iPhone, but you can easily find Android counterparts to most of them
View the slide show to check out the apps.
1. iSolunar Hunting & Fishing Times
Perhaps the most essential outdoor application for hunters and anglers alike, iSolunar Hunting And Fishing Times works to help you plan the most productive hunting trip possible. The app zeroes in on your location using GPS information. Then, it compiles astronomical data on your region to provide you with incredibly useful information that is both basic (sunrise and sunset times, for instance) and complicated (predictions of when animals will be feeding, wandering about, or otherwise active).
Use iSolunar Hunting & Fishing Times in conjunction with a weather forecast app (both Weather Channel and Yahoo Weather are free and work well) to plan nearly every facet of your hunt from afar. The weather app will let you know what to wear and will warn you of wind speeds and directions that may alter your plan of attack. The iSolunar app will tell you what time to head out the door if you are hoping to see a maximum level of action. Between these two elemental apps, you should be able to compile virtually all the information you need to know to plan a successful hunt.
3. iHunt Hunting Calls
Most publications name Primos Hunting Calls as the finest animal-calling app on the market. That figures: Primos is the most recognizable name in wildlife calls, and their app was built on years of experience and expertise. However, this iHunt Hunting Calls app has a near five-star rating on the Apple app store, is a longtime bestseller, and bears "almost 600 wildlife hunting calls and 47 animal species to choose from." Compared to the Primos app - which only has 20 different calls to offer - the iHunt app is well worth a test run, especially since it's a free download (compared to the $1.99 Primos price tag). In addition to hunting calls, the iHunt app also includes iSolunar data, weather forecasts, and a handy journal feature so you can keep a log of your hunts. If you only download one hunting app, this might well be the one to go with.
4. Hunting Journal Pro
Even if you do go for the iHunt app, it's not a bad idea to have an app specifically built to keep track of all of your hunting information. Hunting Journal Pro ($3.99) is yet another five-star iPhone application that is loaded with features. Like iSolunar and iHunt, Hunting Journal Pro provides solunar table information so that you can choose the best times to go hunting. In addition, the app allows you to record all of the information from your hunts and scouting trips on an aerial map. This makes it easier than ever before to keep track of your hunting property and to learn it like the back of your hand.
From deer sighting areas to heavily used trails, bedding areas to feedings plots, tree stands to blinds, the Hunting Journal Pro app allows you to visually map out your entire hunting experience. Later, you can even access your maps and journals online from your personal computer.
For the most part, apps on this list are meant to serve basic and incredibly practical purposes to make your hunt more successful and enjoyable. Not true with Ballistic, which might actually be one of the more complex and full-service apps available on the iPhone in general, let alone in the sporting or hunting category. Ballistic comes in two different versions: the "Standard Edition" and the "Advanced Edition." The former goes for $12.99, while the latter costs $19.99 - hefty prices for smartphone apps.
However, while Ballistic is a comparatively pricey program, it's worth the cost of admission. This program might be the only app out there that can legitimately work to make you a better and more accurate shooter. The app takes into account a huge range of factors - including your firearm and bullet type, the temperature, humidity, wind levels, altitude, and overall barometric pressure of your hunting property, the distance of your intended target, and the predicted velocity and momentum of the bullet - to help you plan and aim the most accurate shot possible. It's no wonder that the app has earned glowing reviews from professional hunters and marksmen everywhere.
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