GPS and Long Range Hunting

Ian M

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
Sask. Canada
Yesterday we did some long shooting in the CWD reduction area and had several deer down in a fairly short time frame near the end of the day. Did the pickup in reverse order to the shooting, The sun was dropping fast. Last couple of deer had to be looked for in the headlights. Was over a half hour until we got back to the retrieve the initial critters. All the deer where dead on the ground, just had to find them, terrain was an alfalfa field cut fairly short and pasture land.

Went to the shooting location, did a waypoint on the trusty Garmin and since we knew that the shots were at 705 yards, took a bearing at the rough location and headed across the big field. GPS has a compass, kept us moving in the right direction and the Garmin told me when we were approaching 700 yards - had the deer in minutes.

Intend to use the Garmin more, that was slick and saved a lot of search time.
I have also used the gps to get fairly accurate distances past my lazers ability. This was handy since we shoot across canyons mostly here. Take a target reading when you place it and a shooting position reading, route will give you a pretty accurate distance. I have also used arial photo maping programs for this. They go to the hundredth of a mile, if you are careful with the mouse you can split the 100th. I have found this to be accurate to +/- 35-40 yards @ 1560 yards. Not first round hit accurate but it will allow you to lay out some long distance shots.
My problem has been to remember to use the Garmin - seems even tho I have the unit along I forget how slick it would help out. Great examples of what we need to do to get good distances. I need all the help I can get with this stuff...

Biggest mistake a guy can make is forgetting to GPS his camp or starting point, then getting caught in poor light and not knowing exactly where to go. Bad situation made worse when you are carrying a GPS in your pack and it is absolutely useless since you don't have a waypoint for your camp. Duh, yea, I done it more than once. Getting old is hell when it comes to using the new technology. Would really like to get into one of those little pocket dealies with a simple program in it that would tell me where in hell to set the turrets, but then I would have another battery operated toy to keep track of. The numbers I can squeeze onto the tape on my Pathfinders are about as complicated as I can handle /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
Sounds like one more reason for me to get a gps... I use my trusty dial caliper and my 1:15000 topo maps from Im sure its not nearly as precise as the gps, but it usually gets close enough for a meaningful spotter shot, or for roughing out fixed target (gong or paper) locations. More accurate than any other non electronic rangefinder past 1000 IMO.
If you have your map along (which you always should)and know where you started on the map (which you always should), it is fairly simple using the UTM method to program camp's location. Very handy, but spare batteries and a compass still needed! GPSs fail in the wrong time.
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