Tracking Your Outdoor Adventures

By: Jim 'Ike' Eichinger
By: Jim ‘Ike’ Eichinger

My how times have changed. You can never go wrong with a compass in your pack, but in this day and age, technology is putting you in places you never thought possible. Handheld GPS, iPhones, on line mapping and so much more. As satellites have increased in our universe, so has the ability and capabilities of your hand held GPS mapping. I personally use a Garmin, and have installed the onXmaps micro SD chip. Now mind you your standard GPS mapping was good, add in the information that onXmaps has been able to give its customers is absolutely amazing. You can order individual states you plan on hunting, and as information changes you will be notified of updates.

As a hunter and trapper, the information available with the most recent updates is crazy. I access 99% of my outdoor adventures on public land. This is important to me for the simple fact, I have to spend the time in the woods, studying and patterning animals in the more difficult way then most that have private land. We can’t plant food plots, we cannot cut trees or create man made funnels. This is basic hunting. With an iPhone or GPS at my disposal, I am able see boundary lines, find public land I couldn’t access before, or in the case as a trapper, getting information on parcels of land with owner information to see if I can gain access to set a line.

Years past I would walk the woods and basically draw myself a map of our area, or look at aerial photos and mark spots that we saw wildlife or what we presumed to be well defined trails. Now with the GPS mapping I can mark spots for trail cameras, Deer runs, trap lines and so much more.

There are arguments of what will you do with no signal or if the batteries fail? Carry a compass always! But there are back up batteries in my pack as well as the mini remote chargers they have for your equipment.

trails

Why this is all so important to today’s hunters? I prefer to start making mock scrapes with Kishel’s Mock Scrape kits at the end of April. Crazy you say? You need to start thinking like a deer. They are constantly communicating all year long, not just in the fall as most would believe as Rut begins. If you want to get a pattern on deer, see what type of herd is in the area, this by far can save you a lot of time hoping to pick a tree in the fall. This is where my mapping becomes so important. As the season rolls into spring and summer, your foliage will change 10 fold. Areas that were wide open, have now become areas new saplings and other vegetation you wouldn’t have seen before. As of this writing, we have 8 different bucks hitting the scrapes. I can pinpoint each camera using my GPS and download to my Computer.

Camera areas are marked on the screen, saved waypoints. Now your adventure in the dense woods you can pinpoint your sets within in 5 yards or less. Many of us are working stiffs and our time in the woods is so valuable. Once you get home from your excursions you can download the info to your laptop and review the terrain and now your season has begun. Mirror this information up with your onXmaps readings from your GPS, and you know have set the stage for the season to come. Your outdoor adventures can now get a little more exciting, taking you places you never knew possible.

So ask yourself, Where will your next adventure take you?

For more please go to: Jim ‘Ike’ Eichinger