How much does technology play a role in your hunting/scouting?

How much of a role does tech play in your scouting and hunting. Scale 1 to 10


  • Total voters
    31

Hilljackoutlaw

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
4,169
First off I'm not talking about newer scopes, rangefinders, new archery tech, etc. I'm talking your phone, computer, tablet, apps, GPS, etc...
Last season if I was going to hunt any new areas I made a decision to do all my scouting and hunting using only paper maps, my compass, and on foot. I would take my inreach still for safety reasons when in the field. Unfortunately I did not hunt any new areas, but I did do some at home scouting the old fashioned way on some future areas.

If you are newish to hunting would you even hunt or have got into hunting if say there was no such thing as OnX, huntstand, gohunt, basemap, gps's, spartan forge, trail cams, etc..? And for everyone would we see this kind of point creep and this surge of first timers out west and if all these things went away would you still hunt or alter how and where you hunt?
In my opinion hunting used to take so much more effort still just as fulfilling or more considering the effort it took to find an area worth a darn. And I would argue these new technologies have done the same with hiking, camping, biking, etc.. with apps like all trails. I can find dozens of trails within minutes of my location with all the info I need to know about them in seconds on my phone. How many would go on hike if the info was not at their fingertips seconds away?
I'm not bashing the tech it's amazing and extremely useful, but I do have a love hate relationship with it and just curious of your thoughts.
 

TN_Rifle_Junkie

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Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
305
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Being from out East it is imparative that my family has an idea of what we are getting ourselves into when going west for a hunting excursion. This would include good topography maps, boundaries, road access, and potential closures due to unforseen issues (fires, flooding, etc). For someone that hunts their local area, these are intuitive as you can scout earlier and longer within the season and have a full range of ways to have a more succesful hunt.
 

hank4elk

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,495
Location
SW NM
Less than I did a few years ago. I use a map & compass and a GPS. 10 yr old onx NM chip.
I have not even downloaded goggle earth on this pc yet.
 

BearFoot

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Joined
Jun 6, 2018
Messages
1,103
Location
Alaska
We do use aerial mapping to see new possibilities. Nothing beats boots on the dirt!
 

thusby

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Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
1,498
Location
Greater Milwaukee Area
I will use my onX maps for surveying the amount and terrain of public ground in a unit before applying. If I draw a tag, then I learn about the unit almost entirely on foot and behind the binos. I usually only have a cell phone in my pocket once I leave for a morning hunt and that is for checking to see if a critter way off in the distance may be on public.
 

np307

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
677
Location
North Carolina
I pretty much only scout with OnX, Google Earth, and game commission maps. I dont really do any preseason scouting, it all happens while I'm hunting. Mark a bunch of likely areas based on terrain features and vegetation and then when I get there I just bounce through the waypoints looking for fresh sign. Seems to work out pretty well. It would be tougher without digital maps and GPS but still doable. For me, it comes down to the fact that I've only got so many days I can get out to the woods so the technology helps maximize those days.
 

DouglasR

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Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
2,160
Location
East central, Il
Virtually none.
I have a printout of Colorado otc archery bow elk units that I take to the library where I use encyclopedias to study the geographical layout of various areas in the state.
After deciding on a unit I order the National Geographic trails illustrated map for said area and use my expansive knowledge of Coloradan flora at varying elevation to locate elk.
 

JT13

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Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
978
Location
PA
I'm a 9 out of 10 for western hunting.

I figure out what tags to apply for with various online resources like GoHunt. I find trails, trailheads, and public land information with DNR/FWP maps. I use OnX for public and private land boundaries and as my day-to-day maps and GPS. Most years that's as far as it goes, I show up then figure it out from there.

However best case scenario was a combo of e-scouting and boots on the ground. In 2020, I flew to Idaho in August to scout for a Sept elk hunt to check out the 4 or 5 areas I had pegged in OnX. I found elk in a few of them and eliminated the areas with no sign. Less than a month later we were 40 yards from bugling bulls. We saw elk every day despite our inability to kill one.

Here at home for whitetails? Probably a 3 or 4. Maps for general area information, boots on the ground scouting, and OnX for waypoints and when trying not to get lost walking in the dark.
 
Last edited:

OntarioHunter

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Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,000
I don't use On-X or anything other than feet on the ground for scouting. I know the terrain where I hunt so scouting ahead of time is not a big deal. I formerly had an E-Trex GPS that my brother gave me and it was handy for hunting flat heavily timbered areas around here. Someone stole it from my vehicle a few years before I stopped hunting moose. I use my phone for communication. Wait ... last year my brother picked up a pair of Rino for us to use elk hunting. He has diabetes and keeping track of him when we've separated is important. However, damn thing gave me fits trying to operate it. Too many functions. Also didn't care for the chatter.
 
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Nameless Range

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Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
4,564
Location
Western Montana
Most of the hunts I do are a 4. I mostly hunt where I grew up, don't need much in terms of navigation, and the only real consistent for all my hunts where technology outside of weaponry is a must is my PLB.

I think that number would be doubled if I were a nonresident hunter anywhere, and that number is pretty much doubled when I hunt chunks of MT I am unfamiliar with. It's the GPS technology that is so critical.I recall fondly the first years I hunted 30 years ago, which was the tail end of the map era and maps were what I used. Then came the etrex. Then the phone. Have no doubt though, maps are technology, we just have a different delivery system.

I am a poor hunter, but I enjoy those hunts and strive for them, where I can point myself in a direction and explore and not fire up OnX or Avenza once because there is no concern for ownership. Try and feel the land and orient myself back to the truck without a topo. It is actually really hard on new ground.
 

Redman

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Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
1,347
Location
Indiana
I use OnX on my desk top to scout. When I get to my unit to hunt I have already eliminated much of the area and then can go scout the way points that I had made months earlier from my laptop. It is very beneficial and a time saver. I have used Google Earth and goHunt to scout as well but even in the 3D version it still doesn't give you the actual view of the landscape. Nothing beats boots on the ground. I also always have paper maps and a compass with me. I make sure to use it a little each time I am out just to keep up on my skills using them. Tech is great as long as there isn't too many features. I prefer simple and less "buttons".
 

kwyeewyk

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Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
1,030
Location
Washington
I started out using paper maps and compass, flagging azimuth shots to relocate field sites, etc. When GPS came along and I had access to Arc products, I'd print custom topo and naip maps with hillshade and ownership overlays and utm grids. I'd know about little pieces of public that most people didn't know was there, but I could definitely tell when onx and other mapping apps came around because suddenly there were other vehicles at my "secret" spots.

Hunting out of state I use onx and GE to narrow down my focal areas, then put boots on the ground. Once I've seen an area in person it feels like the escouting becomes even more productive.

I can only imagine how frustrating the technology is to someone who has hunted the same area for years, knowing all those eyeballs can look right at the honey hole and that some of them will eventually find it. In the end, like all technology, it will be self defeating, and feed the tragedy of the commons.
 

wllm

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Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
14,956
Location
Boston
Hard to say, with my professional background I basically had my own OnX laboratory back in 08'.

Mostly new techs have been helpful in aggregating data so I don't have to spend as much time and effort finding stuff, but other than some efficiency I'm not sure how much it's changed my behavior.

For actually "hunting" I'm not sure escouting is all that helpful truth be told, I've had just as many epic failures as success going to spots.

I think where these resources has really changed the game is public access, ie helping folks realize where there public lands are located.

Prior to OnX I drove around MT with a gazetteer and a pile of maps on my passenger seat. I'd take photos of topo maps, georeference topos, and then overlay the PLSS layer from the BLM to find public spots.

More than a couple of times I got "kicked off" public lands by some crusty dude trying to claim my public lands as his own.

So I guess my argument is those pissed about OnX are just mad that technology has made it harder to cheat their fellow public landowner, sorry not sorry.

So to the original question I use it all the time to figure out where public lands are and how to access them. Those service disappearing would have 0 effect my hunting.
 

HuntDon

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Idaho
I use google earth and onx almost everyday. Google earth allows me to find places to focus on. I then go out scouting and see if it is an area worth hunting. It also allows me to find good glassing spots, how to get away from roads, and access points. Marking waypoints on onx is so useful. With that being said, what I see with my own eyes is often different than what I see on google earth or onx.
 

rke

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
54
Location
Central CA
No trail cams, but onX and google earth play a big role. I checked 5, because even though I use those tools, I still try to lay eyes on the new area in person before the season.
 

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