So I didn’t know this earlier, but apparently, in some circles of the hunting community a GPS is not considered a necessary tool. I’d like to present you with an argument as to why that is not the case. A lot of people seem to think that hunting is something out of shape beer guzzling middle-aged men do.
But that is not true at all, when hunting larger game you will likely find yourself chasing your kill, and that calls for maximum endurance (I’ve not yet heard of a time that the elk somebody was hunting made it easy for him).
Now, what happens when you stop worrying about the direction you’re headed and start worrying about chasing your prey? That’s right. You lose track of where you’re at. Hmmm…… I wonder if there is a product that could help us in moments like that…..
GPS maybe? Okay but that is just one reason (a rather important one by the way). Perhaps you are the hunter that uses tree stands; you don’t need one right? Wrong! If you’re going to use a stand you want to make sure you build it in a high traffic area.
This is yet another spot that a GPS shines brightly. You should be using your GPS for scouting, any time you see game annotate on the GPS.
Eventually, once you have built up a large enough index, now you can determine where the areas that have the greatest potential are. Another way that you should be using a GPS when hunting is when tracking the animal you shot.
Granted you don’t always need this, a blood trail is easy enough to follow, but for those times your elk ran several miles before he finally fell, a GPS can come in handy.
It works like this when a trail – umm trails off – (couldn’t find a better way to say it) you can use your GPS to mark the last definitive spot the animal was. That information can help you narrow down his possible whereabouts. Okay, so now you’ve got an understanding as to why a GPS is such a useful tool. Now let’s get into the details of which ones I think are a good fit for hunting and are the best GPS for hunting.
Best GPS for Hunting
With 250,000 preloaded caches, you are bound to find some places that the hunting community has already tagged for you to visit. It also has a track log that gives you the ability to follow a route from waypoint to waypoint, making sure that you never have to worry about forgetting a stop. As with all Garmin GPS units, it comes with one year free of birdseye imaging satellite subscriptions. This will come in handy for sure, being able to see high-resolution images of the area you are headed is pretty useful. The 8-megapixel camera is also a pretty good addition to this especially if you want to snap some shots of the area you are in so your hunting friends can see what you have accomplished in your trip.
This one is terrific for hunting trips, especially during group travel. It has a 2.6 inch 65k color display and glove sensitive buttons (for those cold weather trips some of us enjoy taking). But where it stands out, in my opinion, is the 5 watts FRS/GMRS two way radio, giving you the ability to communicate from up to 20 miles away using GMRS.
The three-axis electronic compass and barometric altimeter help ensure you know where you are at all times, from your six digit grid to your altitude (something that is more than useful when hunting in mountainous terrain.
This has a decent amount of battery life for a device that does so much, but 14 hours may not get you as far as you might think. I’d recommend bringing some extra AA batteries to give you the added four hours. It will be worth the minimal amount of added weight. Another shining feature of the Rino 650T is that its barometer is capable of predicting the weather, so you will never have to take any unnecessary risks when going on your trips.
I have reviewed a product very similar to this one before, but I feel like this is the highest quality product you can get for the best bargain. So I felt that it would be worth giving another mention. The Garmin Oregon 650 has an amazing screen quality. You will struggle to find a screen that is easier to read in heavy sunlight than you can with the Oregon (that it not to say others aren’t capable of matching, just that none beat it).
It is a dual band, so it utilizes GPS and GLONASS giving you fast and accurate global positioning no matter what the climate is outside or how far you are into the forest. My favorite aspect: the dual battery system allows for the use of “AA” batteries and the rechargeable battery pack. This GPS also has an upgrade option for an 8-megapixel camera if you deem that necessary.
Wrap – Up
I genuinely hope that I was able to sway some people on the usefulness of having a GPS for hunting. With that said there are some cases that a GPS simply is not needed, for instance, when you are out hunting in your territory.
But aside from that, I stand by my original statement “you should be using a GPS when hunting”. If you want my opinion, the best GPS for hunting is the Oregon, it is the best bang for your buck, but it depends on what you are looking for in a global positioning satellite unit.
Do you need a handheld GPS for a hike? We recommend this one here.
Looking for a GPS watch? Read more about our favorite one here.
Want to learn about the best GPS for hiking? Check it out here.