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Estimating Range with a GPS??

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Unread 12-15-2006, 05:04 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,420
Re: Estimating Range with a GPS??

I have used my Magellan to measure target distances many times while groundhog hunting. While out locating prime areas with active holes I just set waypoints at the cluster of holes.

Next day, week or month when walking and spotting hogs I just set a "go-to" to any given waypoint and get the range.

However, I will admit that the laser rangfinders are 1,000 times easier and faster for ranging out to 750yds or so.
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Unread 12-17-2006, 02:47 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 521
Re: Estimating Range with a GPS??

Also, error with a gps is anywhere from 1 foot to 30 feet depending on the unit and if you are receiving the waas signal. Then you need to keep all your waypoints straight or you could really be off! Also, you must have prescouted which maybe works for varmints, but not so great for big game. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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Unread 12-17-2006, 07:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Nevada
Posts: 2,782
Re: Estimating Range with a GPS??

Ian M,
Simplicity in action. Well done. I never thought of using it like that. It will definately help in the future, the Lord willing. I have three GPS and when hunting at least there is always one with me. Thanks!

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Our Lord Jesus said that as it was in the days of Noah and
also as it was in the days of Lot so it shall be in the days...
It's happening again!!! God sent to us His prophet, and His Word
to this generation and we once more are rejecting it as was prophesied!!!

---> As promised, God Sent His Prophet to us!
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Unread 12-17-2006, 11:20 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,875
Re: Estimating Range with a GPS??


Well its never to late to learn a neat trick and your
use of a GPS to find a deer intrigued me.

So I set up a series of test to see how well it would

First test= A frend took a tennis ball and walked accross
an open field an stopped at about 650 yrds an stood there
long enough for me to range him and get a compass heading
on him and droped the ball.( the idea was not to be able
to see the target.

Next I took my coordinates and added 632yrds and compass
headingto the GPS and took off walking.

With out looking for the ball I walked untill I got to the
mark and to my supprise I was within 8 feet of the tennis
ball. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

Test #2 = I ranged and took compass heading's on trees and
bushes (like hunting condition's) put these numbers in the
GPS and took off, (worked every time) Worst error was about
45 feet.

So if your hunting with a spotter he can stay and direct
you to the kill. But if you are alone this could save your hunt.

But as far as using the GPS to range the target I trust
the range finder more so for now I will stick with it.

Great idea THANK's
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Unread 12-07-2007, 11:43 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 122
Estimating range with a GPS

I've wondered about this issue while I've been out hunting with my Garmin 60CSx, since I've felt the need and also have a background in GIS. Sometimes I could do a decent job because I was looking at a craggy peak or other specific landmark. As for meadows, I eventually added outlines of them to custom topo maps I created for my Garmin.

I've been able to come remarkably close estimating range just by making it a practice to look at known objects from a known distance. I know it sounds silly, but I have a 67' Bug parked behind our garage and by measuring off 300 yards down the alley in 100 yard increments and repeatedly looking at it from those distances when out walking the dog, I trained myself to know what something 4-5 feet across looks like at each distance. I'll probably by a rangefinder someday but that just means more weight and one more device to keep track of and not break. And time to get a shot off is sometimes awfully short.

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