In states where using electronics for hunting is legal, this app can help ensure safety and possibly increase your success rate.
This app is quite simple, and it wasn't designed with a deer hunter in mind. My buddies and I found it by mistake while we were performing deer drives with a bow on a large chunk of public land a couple weeks ago.
It's called "Find My Friends," and it does just that. It's available through the Play Store, but also to anyone without a smartphone: just send non-smartphone users an invite via text. Once they reply with a "yes," their icon will appear on the app's map. Using GPS and location services, "Find My Friends" allows you to keep tabs on where your hunting buddies are.
Great experience with the team this weekend. First time I've ever quartered and packed a deer out of the woods getting every ounce of meat. Tomorrow my father and I begin our two week trip in Maryland and half the team joins us this weekend. Can't wait! #bowhunting #sickforit #whitetail #rut16 #scentoffgameon
We initially downloaded this app as we ventured onto a new piece of public land that warranted an all-day hike. During this hunt in particular, I was successful in harvesting a mature buck. But with that, I was alone with a cameraman and needed help quartering my deer. Tracking it wasn't the difficult part, as I was shooting the Dead Ringer Trauma Broadhead, and he ran less than thirty yards before expiring in a creek. It was the quartering and packing part where I needed a hand.
Trying to regroup everyone was difficult at first. Cell phone service was intermittent, so phone calls and texts were difficult. Luckily, this app made it simple for everyone to see my last known location. Everyone was able to meet me, and we were able to quarter and pack out the deer quickly and efficiently.
Getting to the Right Location
"Head down the trail and when you see the large rock with moss on it, head in the woods there. Go about 50 yards and you will see an old log next to a huge stump. Sit on that stump and we will come through in 10 minutes."
Does that sound familiar? If so, how many times did you end up sending someone to sit there (or sitting there yourself) only to find you are nowhere near the meeting spot. It happens, but this app is so precise it can literally pinpoint your location.
To top that off, from a safety standpoint, it's helpful to know where the drivers are. Sure, barking and banging a stick on a tree can help keep give you a rough idea where they may be, but it's always safe to know your target and beyond. Using this app can help the watchers keep a more precise eye on where the drivers (or hunting buddies in general) may be, to ensure you aren't shooting in their direction.
Here Come the Deer!
I've always wanted to be the guy who invented an app. Call it "Deer Drive" and you can push a button to let everyone know you jumped a deer. No, I'm not a huge advocate of doing deer drives, but I do my fair share every year. The Find My Friends app helped us not only set up our deer drives, but when someone would text that they'd pushed deer, we could see exactly where that driver was at the time. This could prepare the nearby watchers for the deer moving towards them. If a deer had gone back into the drive and a driver mentions that, you may be able to mark that location and drive that spot again.
Hunting is meant to be fun, and this app can contribute to the fun while also helping ensure safety and productivity. I was in need of help, and luckily, it wasn't because I was injured but because I had a four-mile hike to pack a deer out of the woods.
With the ability to keep tabs on your group's whereabouts as well as how much battery life they have left, this is a great tool for anyone looking to increase their awareness and safety in the deer woods.