Hunting and technology have always had a symbiotic relationship. Some examples of ancient tools include the bow, which was developed 18,000 years ago, and spears, of which fossils have been found in Asia that date back 16,000 years ago. Hunting techniques and technology have continued to evolve since this time, as shown by the following examples:
Duck calls have been used as decoys since 1678. When it first began, hunters would trap wild ducks and provoke their calls to attract other wild ducks. In 1870, Elam Fisher patented a wooden duck call that was a tongue-pincher-style call. The call went through many improvements throughout the 20th century, mainly on the reeds and tone boards, to sound more realistic.
Today, hunters have easy access to electronic duck calls available on smartphone apps. For example, the Duck Hunting Call app by the Pico Brothers has seven professional duck calls for hunters to use. The Pico Brothers have released additional call apps for other varieties of game, as well. When these apps are paired with a smartphone’s advanced audio technology, such as the HTC Boom Sound on the HTC One M9, duck calls can be taken to the next level. Both wooden and electronic game calls have been reviewed to be effective, so the choice of going for the traditional or new method of calling is based on preference.
Optical aiming technology has been integrated into hunting methods since the 17th century. The scopes hunters attach to their rifles have improved drastically from 1835 to the present. The early scopes were refractor telescopes, which used a lens as its objective to form an image. However, these were soon replaced by reflecting telescopes, which provided larger openings, or apertures. The design was again improved upon in the World War II era with the release of eye relief scopes, which let the viewer see a wider range of angles. From these technologies, scopes quickly improved to adapt to low light with the integration of infrared night vision devices.
Some smartphones are replacing scope attachments because they can attach directly to a hunter’s rifle and be used with the help of apps, such as Inteliscope. This app does more than just provide an improved optical range with a 5x digital zoom, but it also records the hunt so the hunter can watch it over again. It also provides you with a compass, GPS positioning, a shot timer, flashlight and strobe, ballistic drop compensation and a library of selectable reticles. Although many hunters enjoy this new technology, some criticize it for making the hunting experience feel more like a video game. The app averaged a 3.5 rating from 773 users. Reviews praise it for the quality of the mount, but also criticize its inability to auto rotate.
As hunting technology continues to move forward, it seems like the path leads to primarily electronic adaptations, which give hunters accessible, multi-faceted tools they can take anywhere.