To boost their chances of filling a tag, most hunters will take any assistance they can get. And today’s smartphone technology can put a wide range of helpful digital tools in their quivers, some of which can even prove almost as critical to the success of a hunt as their rifles and bows.
Among the most popular smartphone apps that can offer help on the hunt, the majority focus on navigation and mapping, hunter education, hunting-party communications and weather monitoring and forecasts. And these five (and mostly hunting-focused) apps are among the top choices in each of these categories:
- onX Hunt: While most GPS-powered map apps offer varying map views, such as street view and satellite view, users can typically only see one of the views at a time. This can be problematic when seeking out multiple types of map-based information simultaneously, as hunters often do, because it requires switching back and forth between the different views.
But the onX Hunt app from onXmaps delivers a fix for this problem by letting users see multiple types of map-based data at once or just one at a time via turning layers on and off. Further, the app offers hunters more map-based information than most do with available options including boundary lines for private and public lands, landowner information, topography, and color-coded land-designation information. It also provides weather conditions and forecasts, along with hunt-relevant details on wind speed and direction.
onX Hunt is free and available for download to both iPhone and Android users.
(Note: While the onX Hunt app and many of its features are free of charge, the app is installed with a Premium State Membership trial activated. The membership is complimentary for one week then incurs a $29.99 annual charge if the user chooses to retain its additional features. These include benefits such as public land hunting maps, landowner names and property line boundaries, and the ability to save maps for use when outside of cellular network coverage.)
- GoWild: GoWild is a social media platform created just for hunters and anglers and the associated GoWild app provides easy access to all of the valuable resources it can provide. Among them, the app houses a variety of instructional videos and articles to help outdoor enthusiasts hone their hunting and fishing skills along with gear recommendations and reviews and interactive shopping opportunities with gear vendors and manufacturers. It also offers social components that allow users to share their photos, stories, advice and gear wish lists with the GoWild community. And by sharing their photos, stories, trophies, gear reviews, etc., users can even earn points that help them unlock rewards such as free and discounted gear and trips.
The free GoWild app is available for download in the Google Play Store.
- Zello PTT Walkie Talkie: Sure, members of a hunting party can communicate during the hunt via texts and phone calls. But to make group communications even faster and easier, Zello’s PTT Walkie Talkie app can turn users’ smartphones into walkie talkies. The app supports public and private chats containing up to 6,000 users and it enables both push-to-talk and texting functionality, in addition to showing users’ availability and text status. And with support for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile data, it works even in areas where data connections are on the weak side.
The app is free and available to both Android and iPhone users.
- AccuWeather: Of course, knowing what the weather will bring is critical on the hunt. And the AccuWeather app can be trusted to deliver live local weather forecasts and radar views with high levels of precision. Live alerts and detailed reports can let users know when concerning conditions are approaching and the app’s MinuteCast feature offers a minute-by-minute breakdown of the conditions expected over the following two hours. AccuWeather also delivers a range of other weather-related details that hunters need to know, including wind direction and speed, temperature, and barometric pressure.
The free AccuWeather app is available for download in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
- HuntStand: Last on this list but certainly not least, HuntStand brings together a collection of the most sought-after hunting-app features, combining them to create something of an all-in-one app for hunters. Its wide-ranging features include GPS tracking and maps showing need-to-know information like topography, parcel boundaries and property lines; as well as at-the-ready weather reports that include details on lunar phases and wind direction. The app also offers the ability to document and save game sightings and pinpoint the locations of stands, blinds, trail cameras and water sources. Additional features include a measurement tool for calculating distance and area and even a few networking and social offerings.
HuntStand is available for free download in the Google Play Store.
(Note: While the HuntStand app and many of its features are free, an in-app purchase of a HuntStand Pro subscription at $29.99 per year delivers added benefits such as the removal of all ads, unlimited property parcel inquiries and the ability to view maps in 3D.)
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