GPS Unit For Hunting: Where To Start?


It’s early February. The Super Bowl is on. And what am I doing?

I’m searching around the Internet for a new GPS unit for hunting and a mapping solution that will provide some sort of overlay data for public lands. Can this be considered obsessive behavior? I sure hope so.

In the interest of full disclosure, I readily admit that I don’t exactly hunt public land by choice. It’s simply a fact of life. Would I prefer to hunt my own private piece of whitetail heaven? Well, yeah. But that’s not how it works. Access to prime private land is tough to get. Booking with a good outfitter isn’t out of the question, but it’s not something I can do very often. Thus I spend my time seeking out those pieces of public land that are productive and overlooked.Also in the interest of full disclosure, I have found plenty of public areas that I'd choose to hunt over private land in a lot of places. The key is finding that right piece with all the right ingredients.

I actually sort of enjoy the challenge of finding new public lands to hunt. I really like finding pieces that are productive because unlike private land that's hunted by permission or leased, public land will be there forever. I like that. And the challenge of finding public areas has gotten a lot easier in recent years thanks to some cool new tools like Google Earth, improved GPS units and customized maps. Learning how to best use these tools takes some time. In future Brow Tines and Backstrap entries, we’ll go over some of the methods I like to use.

But for now, I’d like some input. I'm in the market for a new GPS unit and having a mapping option that shows public land boundaries is critical. Which GPS unit do you use? Have you found any units that include a good base map that shows public land boundaries? Or have you discovered a way to make your own maps with public land boundaries on them?