Smartphones have changed the way hunters navigate and plan their time in the field. Modern technology has changed hunting forever, for those who embrace it.
Search one of the more popular apps, like iHunter Alberta, iHunt Alberta, or ScoutLook Hunting, and you’ll find everything from Wildlife Management Unit maps and information on open seasons and limits, to weather forecasts, moon phase, animal activity times, and other conditions that affect game movement.
In Alberta, there are specialized and regional options to help hunters get more from an app. Some provide purchases within an app, such as county maps with landowner information, which can be instrumental when trying to gain access permission.
Experiment with hunting apps and find the one to make navigation easy. Do you have a built-in compass, or can you get turned around in the woods? Plotting your trail or watching your movement on an app makes it easy to return to your starting point, even after dark. The GPS in your smartphone or tablet is used within the app where you have internet or cell signal.
Most of the apps are free, and a quick download and test drive will help you decipher which ones are right for you. In most cases, you will find several apps that offer the best of different services. Look for maps that load quickly and accurately every time as a satellite, topographic, or a street-view map.
Most apps allow you to log in and save your favourite hunting locations. You can manage each parking location, access point, treestand, blind, or specific game trail with a waypoint or hunting log, or even share them with family and friends. You can also add pictures from your phone or trail camera as a layer of information in that waypoint log. It makes it easy to revisit your saved waypoints and best hunting locations and ensure you are in the right place at the right time. The logging system maintains enough information that you can start to pattern game and see it on your maps.
A useful app for Alberta hunters is the Alberta Discover Guide. It is a free app, with information for close to 800 conservation sites, most with foot access for hunting. Each site has map capabilities and can provide directions to the exact location. All sites are conserved by Alberta's hunters and anglers, and by our many partners, including Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Fish & Game Association, and Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Go to www.albertadiscoverguide.com for more information and direct links for downloads.