What to look for in a GPS?

VPHUNTER

New member
Joined
Jan 20, 2001
Messages
25
Location
Loudon NH USA
Well now that the 21st century has been here for over a year I think it's time to drag my sorry ass into to 20th century!!!I've begun to hunt/scout a variety of new areas to me and am interested in GPS.I know basically nothing about them other then the obvious that you can set in your locations, and find your way back to it.I would like to record/register locations of bedding areas, rubs, food plots etc.I would then like to take this info, gathered over time, and lay it out over a topo map of the area I'm scouting.I will probably gather info in a couple of areas for every season for several years.This is were I reach my problem.I don't know the first thing about GPS and all the different makes, models, and features.I would really like AS MUCH INPUT AS POSSIBLE from all on this board.What features are needed, and what are simply bells and whistles?What are enough options, and what is not quite enough?I don't mind spending good money for a unit as long as it will meet all my needs.My biggest concern is that I buy a unit thats AFFORDABLE and it turns out to be cheap!!! and doesn't have what I need.
Thanks in advance for all your input.
Happy Hunting to All!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike ( VPHUNTER)
 

cameras eye

New member
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
8
Location
Southeastern Wisconsin
Greetings VPHUNTER,
I'd like to reply to your gps question. I've been using a gps for years. It started in the deserts of Utah and has been incorporated into my hunting. First and foremost, gps equipment should never be used as your sole navigational tool. I usually have three different types of directional finding tools on my person. (My GPS, digital compass built within my watch and a traditional inexpensive compass).

Now onto your question about GPS Equipment. Most modern GPS Units will do what you want. If you don't own a computer and plan on using hard copies of Topo Maps, then most units will help you find your chosen location assuming you know how to read topo maps. If you do own a computer, then I would suggest looking into a GPS unit that can be hooked up to your computer and transfer, back and forth, GPS data directly to Topo Software installed onto your computer. In practice, I'll give you an example of how this can work. Over the years I've kept GPS data on hunting locations I've been to. I hook up the GPS unit to the computer and then transfer that data to my computer software and overlay those locations directly onto the map software. Once stored, I can go back to those locations where I had good luck seeing bucks, study the topography of the land and look for other topographical locations with the same layout. When I find a location, I mark it on the software topo map and then send the location to the GPS unit. I then print a hard copy of the location so the next time I go scouting, I simply follow the GPS data to that location. By using this method, I've found new hot hunting spots without ever being there to before. Your idea is sound. Now for some suggestions on equipment needed. First, if you plan on using a computer, then the U.S.G.S. has topo maps on cd that you can use with your computer as a data cd. Fugawi is the name of a computer software that I use along with the U.S.G.S. data cds. As for the brand of GPS, I can only tell you that I've had two GARMIN GPS Units and both are fantastic. I've never had any trouble with them. They are very durable. They both work very well with my computer and GPS software. The older unit is over fifteen years old. It has been on several trips to the wilderness of Utah and is now my GPS used with Microsoft Streets and Trips in my car. The newer model is the Rhino. It has performed perfectly since I removed it from its box when new. I hope this helps a little. Hopefully, others will help with their experiences and ideas. Trust me, what you want to do with a GPS is a lot of fun and can improve your quality of hunt and reduce scouting time. Good Luck.!

You have a great idea about incorporating the use of a GPS and TOPO Maps into your hunts.
 

cameras eye

New member
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
8
Location
Southeastern Wisconsin
Greetings VPHUNTER,
I'd like to reply to your gps question. I've been using a gps for years. It started in the deserts of Utah and has been incorporated into my hunting. First and foremost, gps equipment should never be used as your sole navigational tool. I usually have three different types of directional finding tools on my person. (My GPS, digital compass built within my watch and a traditional inexpensive compass).

Now onto your question about GPS Equipment. Most modern GPS Units will do what you want. If you don't own a computer and plan on using hard copies of Topo Maps, then most units will help you find your chosen location assuming you know how to read topo maps. If you do own a computer, then I would suggest looking into a GPS unit that can be hooked up to your computer and transfer, back and forth, GPS data directly to Topo Software installed onto your computer. In practice, I'll give you an example of how this can work. Over the years I've kept GPS data on hunting locations I've been to. I hook up the GPS unit to the computer and then transfer that data to my computer software and overlay those locations directly onto the map software. Once stored, I can go back to those locations where I had good luck seeing bucks, study the topography of the land and look for other topographical locations with the same layout. When I find a location, I mark it on the software topo map and then send the location to the GPS unit. I then print a hard copy of the location so the next time I go scouting, I simply follow the GPS data to that location. By using this method, I've found new hot hunting spots without ever being there to before. Your idea is sound. Now for some suggestions on equipment needed. First, if you plan on using a computer, then the U.S.G.S. has topo maps on cd that you can use with your computer as a data cd. Fugawi is the name of a computer software that I use along with the U.S.G.S. data cds. As for the brand of GPS, I can only tell you that I've had two GARMIN GPS Units and both are fantastic. I've never had any trouble with them. They are very durable. They both work very well with my computer and GPS software. The older unit is over fifteen years old. It has been on several trips to the wilderness of Utah and is now my GPS used with Microsoft Streets and Trips in my car. The newer model is the Rhino. It has performed perfectly since I removed it from its box when new. I hope this helps a little. Hopefully, others will help with their experiences and ideas. Trust me, what you want to do with a GPS is a lot of fun and can improve your quality of hunt and reduce scouting time. Good Luck.!

You have a great idea about incorporating the use of a GPS and TOPO Maps into your hunts.

For Every First There Is A Last! Knowing This, Enjoy Everything In Between.
 

Jimbow65

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
10
Location
Western Pennsylvania
I bought a Delorme PN30 for my western hunt this year. I was very pleased with how it performed. and the features of not only the GPS but also the Delorme software maps and aerial images available. The aerial images were some of the best available for the area we hunted and I had them at my fingertips in the backcountry. the base maps on the GPS are very hood topographical maps to start with. The battery life was good, I didn't leave it on constantly, and used it consertively to track routs, mark and find waypoints, and the batteries lasted all week. I thinks delorme advertise 14 hour battery life. The only negative I found was it does not like alkaline batteries, but performs well with energizer rechargeable batteries.
Jim.
 

NChunter

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
378
Location
North Carolina
I have a Delorme PN20. The maps and aerial photos that you can download are great. The unit works well, but I think the new PN60 should work even better. The new one has more memory and a dual processing system so it should be a lot faster.
 

angels2011

New member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
145
I would suggest a unit that is compatible with the hunting gps maps software. you can get it with or without topo. I don't know if they have every state but i do know they have MT.
 

Bowhuntrben

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
1,794
Location
SE Minnesota
I agree with cameras eye...definitely bring more than one navigational tool. I have been using a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx for a few years now. I bought it a few years ago in preparation for my first elk hunt (which occurred this last fall). I used it for shed hunting mostly before the trip just to acquaint myself with it. It is an amazing tool to have in the field. I was able to mark my trail one night and backtrack the trail exactly the next morning before light to get to my spot. This GPS is very durable as well.
Being paranoid that the one I have now might quit working when I really need it, I did go buy another one recently to have as a backup. My new one is the Garmin GPSMAP 62st. I have not yet gotten to use it much in the field, but so far it seems to be even nicer than the 60CSx. The compass seems to work better, and the graphics are better. It also works better than the 60CSx (in my opinion) for adding additional maps or waypoints from the computer.
The only thing I wish was different about the Garmin is that I could put the maps from my DeLorme software onto this GPS. It is not a huge deal, however, as there are other sources for maps out there...many of them free.

Check out the following website for free maps for your GPS:
http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/

Like cameras eye, I also carry a regular compass and map just in case.

I have never tried another brand of GPS to have any meaningful opinion on them.
 

Bowhuntrben

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
1,794
Location
SE Minnesota
Hmmmm...I didn't see mconway951's message until after I hit Enter...good call..haha...hopefully he got one by now!
 

barefooter19

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
181
It might be 10 years old but alot of guys still have the same questions when it comes to gps....get the Garmin Oregon 450 for hunting....great unit.
 

Brentster7189

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
399
I agree, the Garmin Oregon 450 is a good unit, and the price has come dramatically down the past few months, so now you can get the unit and the maps for the same price it would have just cost you for the unit....WHAT A BARGAIN!
 
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