Hunters venture into the woods and fields to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the noise and mental clutter of the office. However, just because we leave our worries and stress behind, we don’t have to check out of the modern world. These ten technological advances have helped hunters be more comfortable, successful, and safe while pursuing our favorite gamebirds and animals.
It’s easy to lose track of your position while sneaking into range of a gobbling Osceola in a Florida swamp or chasing chukar across the wide open west. GPS units virtually eliminate the fear of getting lost and allow hunters to focus on the hunt. Always remember to pack spare batteries and a map and compass for back up.
Modern Archery Equipment
Bows and arrows have come a long way from the simple stick and string. With the aid of cams, pulleys, and cables modern compound bows hurl arrows up to 350 feet per second. Crossbows, with their smaller and lighter bolts, can shoot even faster. Even traditional archers have benefited from the use of carbon arrow shafting.
Trail cameras allow hunters to keep an eye on a deer scrape, elk wallow, or a promising game trail 24 hours a day. The latest cameras are fully digital and can be left in the field to record thousands of images on a single SD card and a set of batteries. Valuable information gleaned from trail cam photos can be crucial in developing a hunting strategy.
Gone are the days when hunters chasing deer, elk, bear, or sheep stalked their prey with a cigarette hanging from their lips. Modern hunters know that these animals use their sense of smell to alert them to danger. Scent elimination sprays and scent adsorbing clothing help hunters fool the noses of these wary animals.
Electronic Training Collars
Electronic training collars are used and recommended by nearly all of the nation’s top trainers. Until these handy gadgets were invented, trainers and gun dog owners relied on long check cords to administer corrections and, once a dog was off leash, verbal corrections were their only option. E-collars allow dog handlers to give the dog a warning beep, administer an electric shock of varying levels, and some models are equipped with GPS (a nice feature when your dog is locked on point in tall grass.)
Google Earth gives hunters a bird’s eye view of their hunting area. This allows them to identify pinch points, food and water sources, and habitat types without the time and effort of boots on the ground. Best of all, this valuable resource is available for free.
Laser Range Finders
Setting up for a 35 yard bow shot on a whitetail or a 400 yard rifle shot on an elk used to require a large amount of guesswork, not anymore. Laser range finders help hunters know the exact yardage to their target before taking the shot. Coupled with long range rifles and ballistics calculators, laser range finders help hunters take animals at ranges that were once unheard of.
Electronic callers allow the hunter to place the call up to 300 yards away and operate it with a remote control. These calls are highly effective on predators and waterfowlers chasing the huge snow goose migration will appreciate the ability to sound like a flock of feeding birds.
In 1991, the US Fish and Wildlife service banned the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting and upland hunting adjacent to wetlands. Non toxic shot has come a long way since then. Plated steel and heavier than lead shot offers hunters the killing power of lead without the negative environmental effects.
Hunting specific smartphone apps allow deer hunters to monitor wind direction at their favorite stands. Waterfowlers can view migration charts. Upland hunters can view property lines to avoid accidental trespassing. Whatever your species and style of hunting, there’s an app for that.