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Hunters have a ton of options for apps that can improve their hunt. Adding the best hunting apps to your toolkit can improve success in the field. Figuring out which app is the best for you can be a major challenge. We have compiled this list of the best hunting apps based on features, awards, and reviews from real hunters.
The best hunting app is the onX app - and here's why...
This powerful hunting app has a lot to offer any hunter. The main function of this app is to provide hunters with highly detailed maps. But, it does a lot more than just provide a map, it includes private and public hunting boundaries on topographical and 3D maps. Hunters can use the app to track their route and record elevation data and save maps for use offline. Custom map layers let hunters record locations of stands, blinds, feed plots, and numerous other sites.
The ability to overlay more than 300 different layers over the maps gives hunters tremendous power to customize points for their favorite spots or even spots you simply dream of hunting one day. The 3D maps and terrain charts are a tremendous help in plotting your trek. Weather updates are a great feature. Boundary mapping is precise and a fantastic way to make sure you are hunting legally.
As powerful and versatile as this app is, there are only a few things that it lacks. We would have liked to have seen a bit of information about target animals based on location. This is really a nit-picky lack and we are sure that hunters using this app will always trust it.
If there is just one hunting app that you want to use, make it this one. It will do practically everything you need and a lot of things you didn’t know you wanted in an app. You’ll find the maps and boundary markers to be invaluable when you hunt.
When we say that our choice for the top app was a struggle, it is because of the HuntStand app. This app packs a lot of features into its easy-to-use interface and is one of the most popular hunting apps in the U.S. This app combines powerful mapping features with a range of useful utilities and predictive tools that will help on the next hunt.
Let’s start with the mapping options. This app uses satellite imagery. Hunters can use shapes and lines to mark out various hunting areas, roads, obstacles, and more. The app includes 50 markers and 20 colors that can be added to any of the seven layers. A unique 3D mapping feature helps show elevation to help plan your route and see the locations of important features.
The mapping function also provides detailed boundary lines to show public and private property, even giving hunters the name of owners, but hunters will need to upgrade to the Pro plan to access this information.
The app includes several interesting utility features. It includes a logbook for recording your hunts that can include mapping data, a hunter to-do list, and even a public marketplace to help hunters find hunting property that is for sale.
On this app, it isn’t so much what it doesn’t have as it is the fact that to access the most powerful aspects, you’ll have to pay-to-play. We understand the need to make a profit, but it is somewhat frustrating to download an app thinking that it will offer you all the benefits you need only to realize that you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use it.
HuntStand is one of the world’s most popular hunting apps because it combines useful features with detailed maps. It offers tons of features that any hunter or outdoor enthusiast can use, but it does require a monthly fee to get the most out of it.
The HuntWise app is a top-download app and is one of the smartest hunting apps we have ever tried. This app provides maps with up to 350 layers of customizable details you can add to make your hunt a success. While many apps offer the benefit of detailed maps and layering, this app also includes a built-in weather station that is unlike anything we have seen from other hunting apps.
Sometimes, the difference between successful hunting trips and wasting a day in the woods comes down to knowing when and where to hunt. HuntWise does the heavy-lifting by providing detailed weather conditions including wind direction and speed that often will determine where the animals you are hunting will go.
It gives hunters an accurate estimation of the best times and locations to hunt based on species and weather conditions. It even offers a graph to help you determine the best time to target rutting deer - making it the best deer hunting app you can find.
The user interface can be somewhat clunky at times and the lack of offline mapping features means you might need two apps when hunting.
This app also requires a subscription to use the most valuable features including the unique WindCast feature that predicts wind direction based on location.
HuntWise was one of the most popular hunting apps until very recently when the others on this list began to offer impressive new features. The most valuable part of this app is the ability to predict wind direction which is a critical factor in successful hunts.
The proper mapping app can be the difference between getting to the spot you want and getting lost. The Gaia app boasts some of the most incredibly detailed maps that we have ever seen and provides pin-point location data, even offline. While it does require a subscription to access all of the features, the basic free version gives you the basic mapping tech you need. We like the reasonable subscription price and the fact that the premium version often goes on sale.
Without a doubt, this is the best pure mapping app on the market. We actually learned about this one from an off-roading group that was using it to navigate the backcountry. Having the ability to use maps and track your progress without a connection to the internet is key to what makes this app so special. Premium features add lots of essential add-ons. We recommend going with the top-tier premium version that gives you access to offline maps and features and connects you to a community of outdoor enthusiasts.
This app is designed more for hiking and off-roading than it is for hunting, so you won’t find some of the hunting-specific features you’ll see on other apps. This one lacks things like species identification and public hunting boundary information that other apps offer.
When it comes to having the best maps possible, you won’t be disappointed with the Gaia app. Upgrading to the premium subscription is essential for getting the most out of this app, but the reasonable cost makes it worth every penny.
Garmin made its name as the world leader in GPS technology, so it is only fitting that the company’s outdoor adventure app makes our list. The Explore app has some unique features that are not included in any other hunting app that we have found.
Lots of apps provide maps, but none of them are from Garmin. These are the most up-to-date and accurate maps you will find. You can even open the app on your laptop or desktop computer and create custom routes, then share the maps to your cell phone.
Our favorite features of this app are its ability to interact with other Garmin products. You can sync the app to your hunting dogs E-collar and monitor its speed and location in real time. This is a fantastic add-on feature that makes hunting with your dog safer and more enjoyable.
Maps can be stored in the cloud and the app can connect via satellite to offer several cool features. One of the most valuable is the SOS feature that can alert emergency services when you are lost or hurt.
There are no weather monitoring features included with this app. Since changing weather can impact a hunt, this omission can be problematic for some hunters. The app is geared more toward hiking and outdoor adventure than hunting, so some of the features you’ll find on our top picks are lacking. For example, there is no species information about animals you can hunt in a given location.
The ability to pair this app with an e-collar and to use it as an emergency SOS beacon make it an excellent addition to your hunting kit. The off-line mapping abilities and the useful sync features between devices makes this the easiest mapping app to share your route with others.
Just a couple of years ago, it would have seemed silly to try and use an app to improve hunting trips, but the advances in technology and the ability to use satellite connectivity and cloud storage have made mapping apps some of the most powerful tools you can use in the field.
Most of the best apps require a subscription to access all features, but several of the ones that we discussed today have reasonable prices or functionality through a free download. It is worth taking the time to explore these apps in detail to determine the features you will need the most for the type of hunting you plan to do.
Also, check out our blog summarizing the Best Beginner Compound Bows too!