Staci and I were roaming around the woods on a piece of property that she knew. It was snowing and we were chasing deer tracks to see if we could find some early sheds. It was a perfect day to be out in the woods and we were relaxed and not really paying attention to where we were going. We knew the border of the property and we knew that if we walked long enough we would hit roads or the bog and find our way back.
We got to a point where we thought we knew where we were but we were not sure. Staci got out her compass to take a waypoint to make sure we were going in the right direction to get back to the truck. I took out my phone and turned on OnX. Within seconds we knew where we were, where the property borders were in relation to us and we could watch the dot (that represented us) on the map move as we walked out of the woods and got closer to the truck.
In another adventure, my son and I headed out on a shed hunting mission. When we got into the woods, I turned on the tracker function of OnX and we watched where we walked, how far we went and I added a few waypoints as different things of interest popped up. It was a great way to also see which part of the property we had searched and which ones we didn’t.
Technology has come a long way for hunters and there are many options to help you create comprehensive maps to plot your stand placements, trail cam locations, bedding areas, feeding areas, track how far and where you are going on a particular piece of property and pattern that big buck that you are after. With apps like OnX, you can even find out property owner information, which is incredibly valuable if you are on a public piece of land and need or want to contact neighboring private land owners.
And it’s not just for hunters and trappers. These types of apps let you mark great mushroom sites, where that chunk of chaga was that you want to go back and get, where you found sheds, which birds you are seeing in which locations… it is an all-encompassing way to journal what you are seeing and finding on the property that you are on.
You can easily become more aware of what is happening on the property when you review the information that you have plugged in. It’s amazing what kind of patterns emerge when you look back six months of even a year. While some of us are reluctant to dive into technology like this, with spring getting closer it’s a perfect time to try it out. I encourage you to see if it makes a difference in your scouting, hunting, and hiking this fall. And then let me know.