New App Takes Scouting to Next Level

There are a ton of apps that put a simple map on your phone. There are also quite a few that attempt to simulate GPS functionality. Once we discovered OnX it drastically changed the way we scout, hunt, and use our phones in the woods. OnX is the only mapping solution that 100% turns your phone into a fully functioning GPS with more useful tools, layers, and options than you can shake a stick at. No service, no problem. New property, no problem! Download the free Hunt App trial on your app store and let OnX guide you to a successful hunting season! 

As hunters, we know the key to success is hours spent with boots in the dirt exploring hunting grounds. Sometimes that is just not possible. Work schedules, travel time, and budgets do not always allow for multiple preseason trips to a hunting area, especially when hunting out of state. This is when using mapping solutions such as onXmaps can be a saving grace by bringing your hunting landscapes to your fingertips using your cellphone, tablet, and computer.

onX has many different avenues to explore to access to a new era of GPS  You can access their entire collection of layered maps via their onX Hunt app or their website where you can access the onX Web Maps. Once you have downloaded the app and logged in with your onX Hunt Membership, you have access to many different mapping options.  They also offer GPS chips for Garmin devices. Using a variety of base maps, layers, and map tools, you have a variety of scouting and navigation tools at your fingertips

Basemaps are available in three different views. The Aerial Basemap provides actual photographs of the terrain taken by satellite making it easy to orient yourself and find roads, cities, and other major landmarks. The Topo Basemap provides the best way to view elevation changes and landscape contour. The third is a hybrid of both the Aerial and the Topo Basemaps. The Hybrid Basemap shows the topographical information over the satellite imagery to give you a clear understanding of your surroundings. 

To enhance your use of the Basemaps, onX Hunt provides well over four hundred layers of specific national and regional information.  The Private Land Parcels layer shows private land ownership, property boundaries, parcel divisions, tax addresses, and acreage. The Government Lands layer shows subsidized lands including local, state, and federal owned lands and GMUs.  These two layers alone can help know your hunting boundaries and acreage of hunting lands. You can also use the Private Land Parcels layer to possibly gain access to new hunting lands with permission.  The Trail Slope and Trail Mileage layers indicate steepness of every trail to the highest detail possible and mileage between trail junctions. Each state has a variety of layers available specifically designed for navigation of that particular state.

Other layers can help you determine the quality of area you are hunting. The USFS Timber Cuts layer provides areas of logging operations since 2002, acreage of the cut, name of the project, and the year it was completed. The Historic Wildfires layer uses a color-coded map  to represent how recent fires were and can give additional fire information such as fire name and acreage burned.  A new innovative layer is the Randy Newberg’s Roadless Areas Layer that uses a heat map coloration to show areas of terrain furthest away from the roads to allow hunters to “get away from it all”.  onX even offers a layer in partnership with the Boone & Crockett Club that appears as a color-coded heat map of high quality game animals.  A portion of the sales of this layer goes to support the mission of the Boone & Crockett Club. Just a few other layers offered include Points of Interest, Species Activity Data, and Weather. 

Once you’ve used the layers to explore the area, onX provides map tools to help you further. It provides you with longitude and latitude coordinates for the center of the map, scale bar, and current location marking. The Draw Lines Tool allows you to draw straight lines or a series of straight line and measure distance between them. The Draw Shapes Tool allows you to draw a shape of at least three points and the area inside of it will be displayed. This tool is especially helpful when planning out food plots. They also offer a variety of Waypoints you can drop on the map to help locate stands, cameras, animals, etc. The onX search tool allows you to search for map features, locations, and landowners to quickly locate items on the map.

Using all of the aforementioned features, you can navigate through your preseason scouting, planning, and land access, but once you are out in the field, onX goes a step further to help you even in the most remote locations. They have an option so save your maps to your phone to use when cell service is unavailable to load your maps. Using the Off-Grid Map feature allows you to save either a high resolution map with maximum detail, layer visibility, and zooming capabilities or a lower resolution map that allows for a larger area to be saved. They also provide a Tracker feature allows you to record a visual representation of your path as you travel. It records time, distance traveled, average speed, and elevation gain also for later reference.

While no digital scouting is a true replacement for time in the woods, having a game plan will be a true time-saver when you are in a crunch and need to knock out preseason work. You’ll save time and sweat by knowing right where to begin by pinpointing areas where deer are naturally funneled through. Get right to the spot you choose to put a trail camera and stand. Know exactly where and how large you want to set up your new bean crop food plot, and have the confidence that you won’t get turned around in the thick woods because you will have the navigation tools of onX right at your fingertips.

 

Sarah’s Equipment List

Bow- Mathews Halon 6

Stand- Muddy Outfitter

Camo- Sitka Elevated II, and Subalpine

Essentials- Thermacell, Vortex binos, OnX Hunt App

 

Sarah Akers- LABH Contibutor (Schriever)

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