Thursday, December 22, 2011


Do you hunt with a GPS? An Astro, or Nuvi?

I do.  And, I'm finding more and more uses for the units. 

(However, and this is BIG, I NEVER hit the fields, bird hunting, without a standard Mark 1 Mod 0 Compass!  I always know my initial direction and always keep my "situational awareness" up and operating, in other words, I know the direction I'm hunting and I know where my truck is and any other significant feature.  I like to be able to point to the truck at any given moment and if, at any time, I don't have that awareness, I stop and get my head wrapped around where I am and how to get home!)

All that being said, I just downloaded the BLM and Public lands maps for WA/OR/ID.  We will be heading out there mid-January to hunt Chukar and Valley Quail.  Of course, part of the draw of the mountain west is the bountiful public lands available for hunting.  In the past, ordering the maps was an important part of hunting in the west.  It still is, but these GPS applications make it much easier to keep track of where you are and what land is available to hunt.

I used a website called to find and order my maps.  I downloaded them and loaded them in to my Astro and Nuvi.  In addition to ID, I have Montana, New Mexico, Minnesota, South Dakota and Kansas in my GPS units.  It's great to be working dogs along a bottom and be able to see the map right on the unit telling me I have another mile of BLM land to go!  Or to be able to drive around on the caleche roads down in New Mexico and have my Nuvi show me BLM land or School land as I drive along and look for birds.

I highly recommend updating your units with these maps as you hunt throughout the United States.  I also highly recommend you become proficient with a compass.  You know what they call a hunter that relies on his GPS?  Lost.