If you are a hunter or shooter planning your next trip, there is one accessory you cannot leave home without: your smartphone. Although a smartphone’s internal camera is fine for taking pictures or videos of your hunt, there are a plethora of dedicated hunting and shooting apps that will make your hunting trip much more enjoyable. Many of these apps require the use of a larger phone, such as an LG V10, to get the most from the experience. However, there is an entire new world available to hunters at their fingertips that take the pain out of the trip. The following represents just the tip of the iceberg:
It seems as if all of the scope manufacturers and some of the ammunition manufacturers have a ballistics app these days. Most of them can be downloaded free of charge.
For the ammunition companies, there are apps from Nosler, Winchester, Federal, Sako and Norma that allow you to plug in the data and help determine where your rounds will impact. These apps, which are perfect for load development, use components made by these companies to get you ready before the hunt without toting reloading manuals and computer printouts to the range.
When dialing in a scope and fine tuning your reticle, there are apps by Meopta, Swarovski, Burris, Leupold and Nikon. Some of these are extremely helpful if you are using MILDOTs or a company’s proprietary reticle system for the first time and are not used to the differences from a traditional crosshairs-type scope.
Another favorite of hunters is called Mil GPS. This is a military GPS app that costs a little bit of money but provides your exact GPS coordinates almost down to the inch as well as your altitude. Besides geocaching, this app comes in handy should you need to call for help if you find yourself far off the paved road and first responders need a reference point if traveling by air or vehicle. You also can couple this one with Google Earth to get terrain maps of where you want to go.
Another recommendation in the same vein is Trimble GPS. Formerly called Cabela’s Recon Hunt, the basic version is free and an advanced version is available for $4.99. This app provides terrain and satellite maps, property boundaries, the weather forecast and phases of the moon. It also pinpoints ideal hunting locations, tracks wildlife and keeps a log of all the stats for each hunting trip.
If you use trail cams and need an app to monitor them, Hunt Force and Deer Lab are good apps that monitor your trail cams, save pictures and notes, and go as far as to tell you which tree stand is the best one to climb in order to get your buck next season.