Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Guest article: GPS Tips

Top tips every hunter must know about using a GPS
Author Bio: I am John Lewis, a blogger, survivalist and outdoor enthusiast. You can follow me over at Epic Wilderness.

INTRO
A GPS is one of the most complex hunting tool which every hunter would get, especially if they like to explore different varieties of terrain or hunt deep in the woods. A GPS would can help you to stop worrying about getting lost, and it can do much more if you follow the tips below! 
This device provides a lot of benefits including helping you to find direct routes to your hunting spots or helping you to mark new signs in different seasons. However, you can boost the effectiveness in using a GPS by following the tips below! 

Tip 1: Being able to distinguish between public land and private land 
You can use a GPS to determine whether you are on safe hunting ground. Basically, a GPS can update you on whether you are on public or private lands. Hence, it is important to ensure that the GPS provider had updated their maps, allowing you to have a new collection of hunting data on the availability of a place to hunt. 
The mapping resources include boundaries such as color-coded land ownership, hunting management zones and counties. For public land, the GPS can tell you which management it is under. However, for private land, it may show you the exact boundary and provide information concerning the landowner. 
For example, Gaia GPS gives comprehensive data where you can explore different areas of mixed land ownership, which includes wildlife refuges, national and state forests, conservations lands and parks. Understanding how to use this information would give you a huge advantage in determining the best place to hunt!  

Tip 2: Place hunting stands without problems
Usually, a hunter would only camp at a place or put up hunting stands after getting sufficient clues that there would potentially be a place frequented by animals. A GPS would be capable of helping us to decide which stand to use for hunting in a particular day.
For example, if you have 4 stands, the position you take on one stand could potentially be better than another depending on the direction the wind is blowing. Usually, it is better that we take the stand with the north wind, because it will ensure that our shot is as accurate as possible. 
Handheld GPS are especially useful when it comes to marking important waypoints to navigate to different tree standsespecially in the dark. Since you are navigating without using a flashlight, you would not need to give out your location to other hunters. 
Furthermore, a note can be made in different waypoints so that you would remember which stand you should use at a particular time of a day. 

Tip 3: Utilize other navigation methods
Most GPS would be capable of giving several navigation methods. For example, touching on the location of a map, having a Point of Interest and having your own saved waypoints. Most of these methods are easily available on your GPS, and you can refer to you owner’s manual for extra information. 
By using different navigation methods, you can see which of the navigation styles you are most comfortable with in different situations. When you want to find hunting spots, it may be your preference to navigate by touching the location on a map. However, when you are on foot, you may only be interested in following the Point of Interest that you have saved. 

Tip 4: Ability to do Scouting 
A hunter would employ several ways to understand their terrain better, and this includes scouting. Basically, scouting means using maps on computers to familiarize and understand the landscape better. You can be sure that there are a lot of resources in the internet such as Google Earth or Garmin’s BaseCampsoftware
Scouting would also include the process of using computer maps of the topography or even aerial views just to get an idea of how the landscape look like. Later, you have to mark these locations on your computer and transfer the waypoints to your GPS. 
To ensure that you can do scouting efficiently, you need to get a GPS with a larger amount of memory. This memory can be used to store waypoints of promising locations Later, you can use these waypoints as references when you scout on foot.

Tip 5: Making sure you have enough memory and backup power
After doing scouting, you need to bring all the information into the field with you. This is possible because most Hunting GPS Maps can integrate with other compatible GPS units. You should ensure that your GPS can put microSD cards so that all that information can fit in. 
A GPS can only help you to get back to familiar terrain only when there is juice left. You should make sure that you have backup power with you, and you have compatible wires to connect your GPS to the power source. You can explore different portable power options to keep your device charged. 
When you choose a portable power for your hunting trip, be sure to consider how much power output you need, how long you plan to hunt, what is the location you are planning to go and how compatible is it with your device. If you are hunting long-term, you can look into different options such as gas-powered alternatives or solar powered alternatives. 

Conclusion 
These tips would definitely help you to plan your hunt! After scouting or planning how you should place your hunting stands, you can significantly increase your hunting success rate. Moreover, it helps you to avoid trouble by notifying you whether you are on public land or private land. 
Remember, your tool would only be as effective as how you are able to use it. Keep these tips in mind to help you navigate through the woods effectively. If you have any tips you would like to share, feel free to share in the comment box below!