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Blades, Bows and Tools Discussion of non-firearm weapons and camping/survival tools.

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2017, 11:05 AM
capitolaoz capitolaoz is offline
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Default gps and range finder units for hunting

I'm looking to get a small/reliable GPS unit for hunting any advise would be awesome! Also curious about people's opinions on an decent hand held range finders. Thank you!

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Old 11-28-2017, 11:28 AM
voodooridr voodooridr is online now
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I've got a little Garmin e-trex 20 with the topo card that I take with me whenever I'm doing outside stuff, screen could be bigger IMO but plenty clear and easy to read with lots of info

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Old 12-01-2017, 8:47 AM
capitolaoz capitolaoz is offline
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Originally Posted by voodooridr View Post
I've got a little Garmin e-trex 20 with the topo card that I take with me whenever I'm doing outside stuff, screen could be bigger IMO but plenty clear and easy to read with lots of info

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Thanks for the info.

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Old 12-01-2017, 10:06 AM
tamalpias tamalpias is offline
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your smartphone has a built in gps. i use onx app to download all my hunt areas for when i am out of data service. no need to buy a unit, this will tell you exactly where you are at and let you know if you are trespassing or not.
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Old 12-01-2017, 1:56 PM
CVShooter CVShooter is offline
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Rangefinders are fine for range work but why do you need one for hunting? Seems to me that if you need a rangefinder for hunting, you're clearly too far away. Get closer or let it walk.
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Old 12-01-2017, 3:13 PM
the0thermrt the0thermrt is offline
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Rangefinders are fine for range work but why do you need one for hunting? Seems to me that if you need a rangefinder for hunting, you're clearly too far away. Get closer or let it walk.
I use one all the time.
coyote hunting I'll range all likely avenues of approach so I know my drops when something comes in. 5 inch kill zone is pretty small at 600 yards. Once you get into the steep draws and cross canyon shots ranges get hard to estimate.
deer hunting I'll range a deer, and range a stalking approach so I know the spot I want to take a shot from is within range regardless of weapon.
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Old 12-02-2017, 1:03 PM
tamalpias tamalpias is offline
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I use one all the time.
coyote hunting I'll range all likely avenues of approach so I know my drops when something comes in. 5 inch kill zone is pretty small at 600 yards. Once you get into the steep draws and cross canyon shots ranges get hard to estimate.
deer hunting I'll range a deer, and range a stalking approach so I know the spot I want to take a shot from is within range regardless of weapon.
perfect answer! this is exactly how my friend and i stalked his buck in wyoming this year.
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Old 12-02-2017, 9:54 PM
brent.ratley brent.ratley is offline
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Op could be archery hunting


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Old 12-02-2017, 11:54 PM
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Divehobo Divehobo is offline
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your smartphone has a built in gps. i use onx app to download all my hunt areas for when i am out of data service. no need to buy a unit, this will tell you exactly where you are at and let you know if you are trespassing or not.
+1, just make sure to download offline maps to your phone, otherwise when out of cell range, blank screen with blue gps dot showing where your standing
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Old 12-03-2017, 9:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tamalpias View Post
your smartphone has a built in gps. i use onx app to download all my hunt areas for when i am out of data service. no need to buy a unit, this will tell you exactly where you are at and let you know if you are trespassing or not.
The area that I hunt in Colorado, there is no cell phone reception, which makes using a cell phone useless. Cell phones do not use satellites. I use a Garmin etrex Vista, which uses satellites to determine your position and it is not dependent upon cellphone data.
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Old 12-03-2017, 9:47 AM
capitolaoz capitolaoz is offline
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Rangefinders are fine for range work but why do you need one for hunting? Seems to me that if you need a rangefinder for hunting, you're clearly too far away. Get closer or let it walk.
I don't know many people that can judge yardage accurately of an animal wail hunting. Or anywhere for that matter. Myself included. Since I'll be bow hunting I'd prefer not guessing so I can make sure to execute an ethical shot.

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Old 12-03-2017, 9:53 AM
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Originally Posted by CVShooter View Post
Rangefinders are fine for range work but why do you need one for hunting? Seems to me that if you need a rangefinder for hunting, you're clearly too far away. Get closer or let it walk.
A rangefinder is usually light and easy to carry. In the area where I hunt elk, there are some opportunities to take long shots, and having a rangefinder to verify distance is greatly valued. When I am in a position, I estimate and then verify distances with my rangefinder, after awhile, this practice makes my estimations much more accurate. For me, a rangefinder is an item that I never leave behind.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:06 AM
tamalpias tamalpias is offline
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The area that I hunt in Colorado, there is no cell phone reception, which makes using a cell phone useless. Cell phones do not use satellites. I use a Garmin etrex Vista, which uses satellites to determine your position and it is not dependent upon cellphone data.
that is why i said you download the maps prior to your hunt. you can use it offline and your gps is satellite based so it will work but is only useful if it is superimposed on a map for you to see where you are at in relationship to the map. if you are in san jose i will show you.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:26 AM
CVShooter CVShooter is offline
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Originally Posted by capitolaoz View Post
I don't know many people that can judge yardage accurately of an animal wail hunting. Or anywhere for that matter. Myself included. Since I'll be bow hunting I'd prefer not guessing so I can make sure to execute an ethical shot.

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For rifles, a simple mil-dot reticle can let you range targets in a quick n dirty way as long as you know the approximate size of the animal. That gets you within the kill zone within 300-400 yards. A simple duplex might be more difficult but still usable. I used to carry a simple dope chart on the stock of my .308 for ranging & holdover. You can set one up in your back yard if you have 25 yards and can do basic math (4.5" at 25 yards = 18" at 100 yards, which is the approximate back to brisket size of a mule deer). Take your measurements, confirm with a morning at the range & you're good to go. But even open sights should take you out to 200 yards with no holdover in most cases using the MPBR of the rifle. If you can't get that close, let it walk. You take the time to know your gun & ballistics. Get to know your quarry. Between the two of these, err on the side of being ignorant of your weapon and know your quarry in as much detail as possible. That's why it's called hunting, not shooting. I know guys who kill way more deer than I ever will and they couldn't tell you the first thing about ballistics, the grain weight of their bullets, etc. All they know is their rifle will kill within 200 yards if they put the crosshairs in the boiler room. But they know their deer. And they know their woods. And they know whether they are within 200 yards or outside. Anything questionable gets a pass.

For compound bows, one sight pin can put you within the kill zone out to 40 yards. You don't need to know the yardage, just know that you're within 40. Again, if you can't get that close, let it walk. A good compound shooter can hit the mark out to 100 yards or more but those aren't ethical shots on live animals. One step and that perfect shot becomes a wound or a miss. There should be virtually NO time for the animal to react to the sound of the bow or move enough to botch the shot. That puts a max range of 40 yards for a relaxed animal. Closer if alert. If you want to run multiple sight pins, you can use these to range animals just like you would using a mil-dot reticle. No rangefinder needed. It's quick n dirty but it gets the job done within the ethical limits of the equipment.

For traditional bows, most start dropping pretty fast after 25 yards. I shoot heavy arrows so I top out at 20 yards. One gap works for 0-20 yards. I can't always tell if I'm at 28 yards or if it's 30. And that matters a lot for a stickbow. But I always know if I'm within 20. Pretty hard to mess up. If you have a stickbow and the animal is past 20 or 25 yards (or might be), let it walk.

Nothing against rangefinders for target work & practice. It's fun to dial things in & deliver a well-executed shot at long ranges. But it seems to me that if you're relying on one for field work then you're efforts are better spent building woodsmanship rather than shooting tech. And there are many lifetimes of learning to do there. Plus, less gear to haul means you can go farther, faster, quieter and more comfortably. Just some things to consider. You'll save a couple hundred bucks and might end up being that much better a hunter for it.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:29 PM
Forest Crawler Forest Crawler is offline
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I use a Garmin 400t unit and the onXHunt maps. I also have onXHunt for my phone and I love it.

For a rangefinder, the Vortex 1500 is hard to beat. Can be used when rifle hunting or bow hunting. It has angle compensation and works fast.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:13 AM
ARBeast ARBeast is offline
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This is an area where I wouldn't skimp, make sure you go with quality, spend a little extra on a quality garmin unit like this one: http://amzn.to/2l1mbKf
It's the #1 best seller for a reason, it actually works.

For a good quality range finder go with the Bushnell 202208, you can get it here: http://amzn.to/2B5Ajbx , It's accurate within a yard and has 4x zoom and is great under 200 yards. Anything higher you might want to move up to a more expensive unit, but for the price the Bushnell will serve you very well.
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