Hunting and smartphones are two terms that don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence. After all, a part of hunting is a return to our primal instincts, studying the lay of the land, tracking prey, and waiting for the opportune moment to take it down.
There’s not much in a smartphone that equates with that. At least, there didn’t use to be. Now you can map out your entire hunting area, take advantage of satellite GPS, locate property lines, check seasonal image data, and socialize with fellow hunters.
Some of the apps on this list get specific enough to tell you the current wind direction across large sections of real estate. That’s important information to know because the wind you’re experiencing in the stand may not be the same out in the open or 100 yards down range.
If you’ve never thought to use your smartphone for something other than treestand selfies or Tik Tok, now you have nine good reasons to integrate your hunting style with your smartphone.
9 Best Hunting Apps
1. HuntStand – Best Hunting App Overall
It used to be that onX Hunt ruled the roost in hunting apps. Not anymore. You will frequently spot HuntStand at the top of the list, with outstanding reviews in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
When you first sign up with HuntStand, you get most of the basics for free, including maps of your immediate area, pinned deer sightings, created paths, marked treestands, blinds, and trail cameras, wind directions, and locations of water sources.
If you decide to jump over to the Pro version, the ability to create property lines and view current property lines becomes available. If you’re a landowner, this is a handy tool. It’s the perfect hunting tool, especially if you spend most of your time hunting on private land.
2. Scoutlook -Best Free hunting App
Scoutlook is just like HuntStand, without the premium features. The app is completely free, and if you love some good mapping features, you’ll find it all here. The only downside is the ad pop-ups, which you will have to deal with from time to time.
Scoutlook uses your smartphone’s GPS to create detailed maps that you can overlay with your plot points if you need to. It also provides you with wind information, both directional and speed. The best part is the built-in weather app, so you’re getting two apps in one.
3. onX Hunt – Best Runner-Up Hunting App
With this app, the primary focus is property lines, and the app is designed for landowners who hunt their own land or hunt private land most of the time. It’s a $15/month feature, and without it, you essentially have an app that’s about as effective as Google Earth, without the details.
If you fork over the monthly payments, onX Hunt is incredibly useful with clear property boundaries. It also separates and labels private and public property lines. The app also allows you to download all your maps for offline use, which is useful if your tree stand is well away from civilization and cell service.
4. Quiver Hunt Tracking
The Quiver app is useful when you are actively hunting. Outside of that, the best feature is a useful weather tool so you have an idea of how the weather will hold up throughout the day. This app is all about observation, using your camera to record events.
The app has built-in note-taking capabilities, as well as automatically tracking and recording current moon phases and the time of your note. This is a very personal hunting app that compiles and saves information.
If you’ve just moved to a new area and you want to know where all of the best hunting and fishing spots are in the area, Powderhook is the app you want. It’s still a mapping app and it will use your smartphone’s GPS to generate a map of your location.
Like Google Earth, you can choose from multiple overlays and Powderhook will generate all of the best fishing spots and hunting areas along with public and private lands differentiation and a small social component for sharing locations.
Huntwise is part hunting app, part social app. The app is packed with information, and it’s designed with a focus on sharing that information with other hunters in the area. It includes GPS maps, solunar calendars, and weather forecasts.
It’s not designed for a specific type of hunting either. It simply provides you with several important factors you need to know before you ever walk out the door in the morning.
7. Fishing & Hunting Solunar Time
This app is interesting because it is based on Solunar time, which means that it focused on the habits of several species. The idea is that you can pinpoint the perfect time to be in the stand or out in the field based on when those animals typically eat.
It includes moon phases, which play a role in the overall predictive nature of the app. It also allows you to create locations, and the app includes a basic GPS mapping feature.
8. BaseMap: Hunting GPS Map
BaseMap turns your smartphone into a map and a compass while relaying information you choose to share amongst the hunting communities in your area or abroad. The mapping features and the compass work with or without a cell signal, so you don’t have to worry about losing out if your signal drops.
9. Gaia GPS Hiking, Offroad Maps
While this app focuses on hikers, it’s still very useful to hunters. It includes GPS maps of the areas you are hunting in, along with information on public and private land borders and locations. It also features weather forecasts and allows you to mark areas on the map known as “waypoints.”
Those waypoints can be trail cameras, tree stands, blinds, or areas where you have spotted deer in the past. You can also share the maps with friends or other hunters, including the waypoints you set.
While not every app has a primary focus on hunting, they are still effective tools for hunters. Even Google Earth should be something you include in your smartphone apps just because of the unique mapping and detailed features it presents.
You don’t just have to stick with one app either. Combining a few of the above-listed apps is a good idea. The more information you have, the better. Plus, the social aspects of these apps will help connect you with hunters who are bound to have helpful information.
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