Many hunters & outdoorsmen/women, including myself, are guilty of relying on their phones for a plethora of everyday things. In a tech-driven world, it can make your life much easier. Scouting during your lunchtime on Google Earth, jotting down GPS points into your memo app, reconfirming season dates, and checking bag limits from a PDF you tucked away in your phone. One cannot deny it – It definitely makes us more efficient and informed hunters.
However, many hunters that I’ve seen and observed (Yes, we were hunting THAT close on public land) stay on their phones once they are in the field.
You know exactly what I’m talking about – the hunters that runs in half hour before shooting time, cursing while they’re setting up their blocks, and then sitting down on their phones for the next half hour. How do I know this?
Because every 2 minutes their faces would be illuminated by that all-too-familiar blue glow of a cellphone screen…
Hey! BUDDY! When you’re outside – Stay outside…physically and mentally.
So without further delay – the top 10 reasons I use my watch for hunting:
1.It gets your lazy butt out of bed.
Alarm One:This one requires no lengthy explanation. You don’t wake up in time, you won’t beat everyone to that awesome spot of yours and your hunting partners will probably leave you behind.
2. It gets you out the door on time.
Alarm 2: Just as important as it is to wake up on time, it’s also important to LEAVE on time. Yes, once you’re awake don’t sit back down on the couch in your waders and take a quick nap. Once that second alarm rings – you should be pulling out of your driveway.
3. You’ll know when it’s shooting time…without looking at your phone.
Alarm Three: This lets me know when it’s shooting time without me having to check every five minutes on my phone. One soft beep and a quick illumination from the watch and I know its legal shooting time. This third alarm can also serve as a way of telling you you’re incredibly late and should do everyone a favor, turn around and go home
4. You won’t get lost and people won’t find your spot…Hopefully.
My watch’s compass is incredibly accurate and I tend to use it a lot. It’s a great way to navigate in the dark without having to pause every 5 steps in the middle of a marsh to see if you have GPS signal on your iPhone. If you go with the latter, you’ll end up looking like a lost tourist in Washington, DC relying on Google Maps to find the White House. Having a compass also helps with navigating to your spot without the use of hunter’s tape or reflective pins. This is done by simply remembering key landmarks, jotting down and noting the direction to the next landmark, and knowing the approximate distance to each landmark. The last thing you would want is for someone to catch a glimpse of your trail and follow them to your hard-earned honey hole you spent all summer scouting.
5. It can track how long it took you to get to [Fill in Destination]
This one is self-explanatory. You start the timer when you leave Point A and stop it once you get to Point B. Very useful when you are scouting in the summer or found a new spot and would like to time how long it takes to drag your gear to it. Knowing how long it takes to do such things can go a long way once the season comes along.
6. You can keep track of wind direction
Along with your compass and assuming that you know your hunting area relatively well (I hope you do…) your watch can be used to keep track of where you are in relation to the wind. This is extremely helpful once you get to the hole and want to confirm your decoys are set up in the correct location and orientation.
7. You can predict where the sun will be when it rises
You know the whole “Rises in the East and Sets in the West” deal? It’ll come in handy if you’re ever forced to relocate in the dark. If you need to set up in a new location or had to move your blocks to a new hole, your compass can ensure that you are facing the right direction when the sun comes up. Marshes, wetlands, and open water can disorient you rather quickly when you are frustrated and in a new area.
8. It can keep track of season opening dates
Luckily, my watch can store different dates and events throughout the year. Naturally, instead of putting in my family member’s birthdays (Don’t worry Mom, I have yours in there…) and such, I choose to punch in all the opening days for every species I am looking to hunt that year. This way I can obsessively check my watch every five minutes to see when the season will come. This results in a lot of anxiety followed by depression until said day arrives.
9. It reminds me to stay hydrated
Okay, folks. This may seem pretty stupid, but when all your drinking is a huge thermos full of coffee the whole day and eating venison jerky – water is very important. Even on day hunts, a hunter/huntress can expel a lot of water through sweating. Dehydration can make or break your hunt if you’re not careful. I set my watch to remind me to swig water every 15 minutes.
10. It’ll tell you know when you took down that [Fill in Species here]
Self-explanatory. You look down at your watch after making the big shot and smile. It’ll also let you know that all the time spent in the field – truly is worth it.