Using Technology to Locate your Next Hunting Honey Hole by Edward G. Gramza IV
Most hunters would tell you that they venture out into the woods and mountains to get away from the daily grind that is life. And along with that, they want to unplug and have peace and quiet. However, there is a strong argument about what you should carry some technology into the field the next time you venture out. At the very least you should have something to help you find your way out if you get lost of disoriented. I, however, am not saying that you should be connected so that you can check into the office on a daily basis. But having some technology will not only help to make sure you return home safe, but may also increase your odds in the field. This is essential for those hunters that travel out of state for their next trophy animal.
The use of handheld GPS technology has increased over the years. At first the technology was expensive and limited to showing a user their breadcrumb trail and waypoints that they have previously saved. Navigation was done in a straight line and not on trails or roads. When a user was under a heavy tree canopy or in deep ravines the satellite connection was spotty at best. Fast forward to today and you have a plethora of options to choose from when selecting a unit. There are more satellites circling the globe than ever before and accuracy is within a few feet. Units now have high definition touch screens that lets users do much more than just simple navigation from point A to B.
The future of GPS navigation is now done on your cell phone. onXmaps has harnessed this move to mobile with their HUNT App for Apple and Android devices. The convenience and accuracy a mobile phone has led to an increasing number of people ditching the handhelds and using phones to plot points and scout for honey holes. Now you can have a GPS app that shows you’re a plethora of information in real-time.
onXmaps is known across the hunting community as the industry leader in digital landownership mapping. They offer their mapping information both on a micro-SD card for handheld GPS units as well as a downloadable app for mobile devices. For the customers of onXmaps, you have asked and they have listened. The company has come out with an exciting new digital map platform as well as created a whole new membership program.
Until recently, onXmaps offered only their Premium membership for the mobile app subscription. It was a yearly fee ranging from $14.99-34.99 depending on the state you decided to subscribe too. This level of membership gave you the landownership maps for one year on two devices. If you wanted multiple states, you had to continue to buy yearly subscriptions for each state. Now, they have launched their Elite Membership which is $99.99 per year or $14.99 per month. The big difference is that you now get all 50 states on your mobile devices for one price!
The mobile app is loaded with great features that will help you find access while out in the field. No matter which membership you have, you will have the same information sent right to your phone or tablet. These features include:
- Land Owner Names and Boundaries
- Color-coded Public and Private Lands
- Roads and Trails
- Hunting Areas
- Private Lands Open to Public
- Saving maps for offline use
- 10+ Basemaps
- A number of additional layers including weather, active wildfires, and many more
Along with the new membership level, onXmaps has also launched a completely new platform do access the digital maps. Now as part of both your Premium and Elite memberships, you can view the information on your computer. You can now access the maps on both platforms and transfer information seamlessly. This allows a user to create waypoints on the computer and then transfer them directly to their mobile device and vice-versa.
The online platform is going to give you the same information, but on a larger screen. This should help a user locate key areas of their hunting spots while seeing topography, satellite overlays, property boundaries, and much more. It is an extremely valuable tool for offseason scouting without actually putting boots on the ground.
If you are a diehard handheld GPS user, onXmaps also makes a micro-SD card for your Garmin units that gives you the same information as the mobile app. Some will argue that the handheld is superior for a few reasons. In some cases, this may be true. There will always be pluses and minuses to both platforms.
Having the information that onXmaps provides can help you find access to public land that most people don’t know exists. Everybody is always looking to get the upper hand when venturing into the field. This might be a case where technology can be your best friend. Not only can you scout from the comfort of your favorite chair, you can now take that same information into the mountains or woods and make game day decisions as the day goes on.
Anybody can argue that there is always a time and a place to unplug from our busy lives and connect with nature. However, the difference between tagging an animal and going home empty handed can be by the slimmest of margins. Having an advantage like GPS technology and maps from onXmaps can be the key to making you a more successful hunter. The ability to see the checkerboard of public lands and how to get to them will allow you to hunt some untapped areas that most hunters drive right past. If you are unsure just what onXmaps can do for you, download the app for your mobile device and you will get a free trial for 7 days for your state. With the hunting season many month away, scouting starts now. Get the leg up on the competition and use the technology that is available.
Ed Gramza is the Pro Staff Coordinator for onXmaps