There was once an unspoken rule that hunting should involve as much “sport” as possible and give the prey a realistic chance of actually winning the battle. Die-hard traditionalists felt long-range rifles made it too easy to call hunting a sport, while others argued that sitting around in below-zero temperatures for hours waiting for a single shot at a duck or goose isn’t “easy.”
Hunters from 50 years ago would likely view some of today’s technology as more video game than sport. But hunters, especially beginners learning the ropes, can have a lot of fun and success with some of the latest tools available for your hunting exhibitions.
TrackingPoint 750 Series Smart Rifle
Debuting at the 2014 National Shooting Sports Foundation SHOT Show in Las Vegas this past January, the 750 series smart rifle is a must for those who can afford one. It uses TrackingPoint’s trademark Tag Track Xact system that allows precision shooting from up to 750 yards away. This technology allows hunters to track moving targets from extreme distances, while video recording every single shot. The videos can either be streamed live online via its built-in Wi-Fi server or viewed later as a personal learning tool.
The smart rifle comes in several calibers, including 300 Win mag, 7mm and 308 Winchester. It features all components of TrackingPoint’s XS Line, including the guided trigger and networked tracking scope. The lone negative about the 750 series smart rifle is its hefty price tag, but based on most reviews and videos of hunters already using them, the $9,950 price is well worth it for those who have the means.
Garmin Astro 320
Keeping track of your four-legged hunting partner(s) without worrying them getting lost or injured can hinder the overall experience of a relaxing, productive hunting trip. Not anymore.
The Garmin Astro 320 is a collar with a GPS transmitter that communicates with a handheld device. The LCD screen allows you to see whether your dog running, pointing, or sitting from up to 9 miles away. You can track up to 10 dogs at once, with the display showing each of their names and distance away from you. The battery last upwards of 54 hours and “rescue mode” adds extra time in case one of your dogs come up missing.The Astro 320 sells for about $500.
Satellite Phone Technology
Hunters who travel deep into the woods or mountains know they better make every necessary phone call before setting up camp, as reception will range from extremely weak to non-existent. That is where satellite phones become your other best friend. Satellite networks, unlike those of cell phones, can be reached pretty much anywhere on the planet. They are so reliable that U.S. military commanders use them out in the field.
Satellite phones are available for rent over short periods of time, or through a contract, through companies like Roadpost that guarantee you will be accessible from anywhere.
This multipurpose device is not only very affordable, but extremely useful for any and all hunting adventures. The Raptor is a solar smartphone charger, weather radio, compass, thermometer and barometer all in one pocket-sized device. Its also contains an LED flashlight and an AM/FM radio tuner. The thick plastic design makes the Raptor extremely durable in the most rugged situations and is also water resistant.
Old school hunters will have to adapt to the times or fall behind to the new generation of tech-savvy sportsmen.