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Hook & Barrel
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Technology, or tech if you’re a cool kid, is no longer a four-letter word for hunters. I know that can be a controversial statement in some hunting camps, though it is 2022 and tech is here to stay. The best tool in tech we hunters have access to is something we carry on us at all time, our cell phones. That’s right, the greatest advancement in hunting tech in the last 100 years has to be your smart phone. Here are 3 of the top outdoor apps and tips to make your phone your new Swiss Army Knife from your youth.

1. AllTrials

This outdoor app may be a little obscure to a lot of people. But this it is a great way to plan routes in and out of backcountry. And often times will have photos of terrain and feedback on trails from other users. It is AllTrails and is the perfect way to find trailheads and routes to the country. If you have used this app in the past then you know how detailed it is. You also have realized the extensive amount of hiking and biking trails this app will show you.


  • Easy to use
  • Free
  • Great resource for trails


  • Limited to established trails
  • Funny looks you will get at the trailheads

Expert Tip: Make sure to lock your vehicle and don’t leave anything too expensive in plain sight.

2. OnX

Next, we have the hunting map software from OnX. And unless you have been living under a rock for the past 5 years or so, you have heard of OnX. It is a great GPS-based mapping system that is at the forefront of hunting apps. There isn’t really a lot to say about it that its countless ads and sponsored shows haven’t said already. It simply does what it is supposed to and works without service as long as you download the map you need beforehand.


  • Simple interface and functionality
  • Great waypoint tracking
  • Neat icons for different waypoints


  • Expensive
  • If you forget to downloads maps, it’s pointless without service

Expert Tip: Watch some of the hunting YouTube channels to get a discount code.

3. Your Pre-Loaded Note App

Another tool on your smart phone is one that most of us may use to make honey-dos or shopping lists but is often overlooked while in the field. That’s your notes app. Taking notes on animal movement, roads traveled, and routes taken can be a life saver from day-to-day and season-to-season. Documenting notes daily may be the difference between filling a tag and eating tag soup.


  • Free with phone
  • Easily accessible without service
  • Can transfer from device to device


  • Your have to remember your cryptic field notes
  • Very low tech

Expert Tip: Be sure to make a key for abbreviations so you know what you wrote later on.

These are just three of the 100’s of outdoor apps available to us as outdoors people beyond Google Maps. Next time you are out in the field, don’t forget your most valuable piece of hunting technology to date, your cell phone.

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