I do not think that exist a single answer to the question-What is the best GPS for hunting?
I’ll be honest and admit that I am not a hunter and do not think that it would be able to shoot a nice doe. On the other hand, the fish is also a living creature, but I like fishing very much.
OK, this time we will leave alone an ethical side of these hobbies, and I would like to try to find out so popular search term as „GPS for hunting.“
Old fashioned way hunters could wonder for what reason the GPS is needed? Hundreds of years could do without GPS and so on.
Definitely, the GPS device or smartphone application is not the primary hunting tool like shotgun or hunting knife and many hunters today still not using any navigation devices except a dog to not get lost in woods.
If I ever go for hunting, then definitely look for a GPS device for many reasons.
Why not feel safer and be smarter not to cross private property boundaries or national reserve limits.
Knowing your exact position in the woods or another place of the hunting can be sure that will not get in trouble, including to avoid financial losses in various forms of punishment by violating hunting rules or different restrictions.
Well, let’s assume that you and I are that company who prefers to keep in a pocket or backpack a kind of backup tool not to get lost in woods or accidentally cross angry neighbors private property boundary.
What actually a GPS market offering for hunter’s needs.
Before we start the search find out what we are looking for, how a GPS device could help in hunting process.
So, this tool has to be lightweight.
There are so many other hunting accessories which are carried by a hunter. I assume that we are looking for handheld GPS device and who cares is it weight 8 ounces (228 g) or 9 ounces (255 g). Just for comparison for smartphone app lovers, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus weigh 143 grams (5.04 ounces) and 192 grams (6.77 ounces) respectively.
The next important feature is a battery.
It must run in heavy duty mode at least 24 hours or to be easily replaced by spare one. This feature, agree with me, is almost not available for smartphone supporters.
It is the most important thing in my view. Yes, you could get back to your car even without any cartography just by putting the pinpoint at a car’s position in any GPS unit before you disappeared into the woods. How long time it takes and how hard or easy it could be? I am sure that after a hard way back to the car, you will hurry to look for the perfect hunting maps source.
Here the Hunt onXmaps come on the scene.
The mission of onXmaps is to provide customers with the most current and accurate land ownership mapping information available, and present this information in user-friendly and intuitive ways; with the ultimate goal of creating confidence for our map users.
Here is product description on Amazon.com for HUNT Montana by onXmaps – Public/Private Land Ownership 24k Topo Maps for Garmin GPS Units (microSD/SD Card)
„We’ve combined BLM, Forest Service, USGS Topo Quad, and PLAT book maps to give you HUNT Montana for Garmin GPS, the most informative GPS map of Montana ever created! This microSD Chip gives you a color-coded map of Montana showing public & private land boundaries with land owner names, hunt districts, topo information, roads, trails, and much more. Map data is collected from multiple sources and organized in a way that makes our HUNT Montana Map intuitive and helps you reduce map clutter and get back to hunting! Endorsed by numerous State and Federal agencies, including many Game & Fish Departments, HUNT Montana for Garmin GPS by onXmaps is the most reliable source for Montana land ownership maps on the market!“
About the Product
„HUNT by onXmaps is uniquely different than any other product out there. What makes our product unique is the fact we have taken the time to find the best data from the most reliable sources. In many cases, we have gathered and organized data from over 15 different sources to make a single statewide map. The maps have many detailed layers of information that would be way too cluttered to try to display on a paper map. But with the layering and zooming capability of the GPS, we’re able to fill the map full of useful names and property information, yet keep the display clean and organized. It’s this quality of data, amount of data, and organization of it all that sets us apart.“
Now we are found the correct mapping solution only left to choose the right GPS device for it.
There are two choices either Garmin GPS units or smartphone app. Actually, maybe it could be used for other brand GPS devices but I will skip these for now.
I found on Appstore the same coverage e.g. Hunt Montana is for $29.99 but SD card for Garmin GPS units in Amazon.com for the same area for $ 99.99. From the first sight no more questions, why to spend extra seventy bucks for the same product.
Are they really equal?
I suppose that the coverage is the same and updates could be even cheaper. All in all, the choice of iPhone looks cheaper and even more convenient. Is it so?
No matter how big a fan of the iPhone I am, in this case for a serious hunting I would refrain from an option of a smartphone as a hunting accessory.
Why? As I mentioned above, even with an extra power bank for your beloved iPhone, a battery is not enough for heavy duty. Instead, the most Garmin eTrex or Garmin Montana series handheld GPS devices battery life is 20 to 29 hours.
Even with the so-called protective case, I do not believe that you will easily hang it on the neck or the belt clip.
In other words, I am sure that use of the smartphone for hunting environment is not the best choice though theoretically, it can fulfill all necessary GPS functions for hunting activities.
Garmin Handheld GPS devices loaded with Hunt OnXmaps is the most advanced and user-friendly solution for hunting in the USA.
Here is the list of Handheld GPS devices:
All Montana Series
All Oregon Series
All Colorado Series
GPSMAP 60CSx, 60 Cx, 62, 62sc, 62st, 62stc, 64, 64s, & 64st
GPSMAP 76CSx & 76Cx, 78, 78s & 78sc
Rino 655t, 650, 520HCx & 530HCx
Astro 320 & 220
eTrex 20, 20x, 30 & 30x series
eTrex 25 & 35 Touch
eTrex Legend HCx, Cx
eTrex Vista HCx, Cx
eTrex Venture HCx
Which one better fit for you, it’s your decision. In the general case, there is no so big difference. Touch screen or buttons, bigger or smaller screen size, and even battery life is not eternal for any device.
My choice is Garmin eTrex series handheld GPS devices.
Friendly price, up to 25 hours battery life, button navigation, waterproof to IPX7 standards for protection against splashes, rain, etc. are enough. Remaining features I can easily find in my iPhone 6S Plus app in the case of necessity and keep expensive smartphone safe in the inner pocket.
I’ll be glad to read your, more experienced hunters, the point of view regarding a topic What is the best GPS for Hunting and Good Luck!