It has happened to me more often than not; I’ll be excited for a new area to hunt then get out there to scout around and once I’m done I will start heading back to the truck only to find out I have ventured further than I thought. I have found myself assuming I was on a particular ridge while I really was one over. I am good with directions and I can read a map, but there are times where I am very excited to just get out to the area that I have looked at the map long enough and assumed it would be easy enough to navigate. Well after wandering around and coming out a couple ridges higher than what I thought, I told myself I needed to be more sure of myself rather than assuming.
Using a GPS
I’m sure there are some of you who are like me and have always wondered about using a GPS and then there are others who are saying, “What took you so long to get a GPS?” I have been more or less a creature of habit and have hunted in a lot of the same places where I was very familiar with and didn't have to worry about getting turned around. I have always had luck seeing animals, but I have started branching out to different areas due to hunting pressure. This is where a GPS has helped out tremendously.
Christmas time came around and my mom and dad surprised me with a Garmin etrex 20 for Christmas. I guess they wanted to make sure I wasn't lost when I headed out. I am still getting to know the ins and the outs of the etrex but so far it has been very easy to learn. I love how compact it is and how light it is. A great GPS.
The Garmin etrex is perfect for the budget and it gets the job done. I thought that it would only come in use for when I was venturing into a spot that I had never been. I started playing around with it and I have to say, I take it everywhere with me basically. It comes in handy for more than just a hunting situation in the back country.
As many of us hunters know, hunting a new area can be challenging and in most cases what we are looking for once we find that perfect spot is whether or not public land. I hunt strictly public land so I am always looking for those hot spots that are public yet far enough off the beaten trail to distance myself from other hunters. Sometimes this can be a daunting task and when you do find that spot you want to make sure that you don’t cross that boundary onto the private land.
Hunting GPS Maps
One key tool that I have found that has helped me is Hunting GPS Maps. This micro SD card fits right into my Garmin GPS and gives me PLAT map information on the land in Idaho. They are state specific cards and they give you information that is vital for public land hunters. It shows you land ownership, land boundaries for public or private land, and even shows you land owner names. One of the quickest ways to ruin a hunt is finding out you are trespassing and get hit with a hefty fine.
A GPS is one of the most important pieces of equipment that I pack with me every time I hit the woods. I highly recommend using a GPS especially if you are hunting new areas to avoid getting lost. The GPS along with Hunting GPS Maps will help you as you navigate your way around new areas and will take the guess work out of whether or not you are on public or private land.
As you can see, the Hunting GPS Maps shows you the different parcels of land and their ownership. You will be able to clearly see if you are on public or private land. This also comes in very useful when you are trying to gain access to hunt private land by giving you the land owners name. No more guessing, you will be able to know the persons name and then you can go and ask them for permission.