It’s typically higher to be fortunate than good. This text takes a have a look at how onX may also help you create your personal luck chasing Midwestern whitetails.
Each actual deer hunter I do know right here in Kansas believes in luck — or destiny, karma, kismet, serendipity, likelihood, no matter you need to name it. However, not like the typical hunter, a superb whitetail hunter makes their very own luck.
Info is energy, and as hunters within the fashionable age, we have now a couple of benefits the outdated timers didn’t. Digital scouting has modified the sport, and onX is spearheading the subsequent step in that evolution.
So possibly we are able to all make a bit extra luck of our personal with the know-how on this app. Check out how I exploit onX to get after it.
Earlier than onX, I used to be obsessive about Google Earth for preseason deer scouting. I ultimately found out tips on how to place pins and combine state walk-in searching areas. However land possession and public searching boundaries didn’t present up, and the know-how was usually cumbersome for the duty.
Then, two years in the past, I used to be launched to onX, a comparatively new digital map software program firm designed particularly for hunters.
I’ll be approaching this evaluation of the platform from the attitude of a Midwest whitetail hunter. Nonetheless, onX is simply as precious to the Western hunter navigating massive blocks of public land.
Land Possession Info
The primary function that basically stands out with onX is the land possession info. In contrast to public land elk in Wyoming or Montana, an enormous a part of searching whitetails within the flatlands includes getting permission to hunt non-public land.
A few of us are fortunate sufficient to have entry to high quality public lands. However the common deer hunter needs to discover a chunk or two of personal floor to hunt.
To entry landowner information, merely left click on on the parcel you’re thinking about, and the possession info will seem. It’s as much as you to do some sleuthing from there.
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Digitally Scouting Terrain
At its most elementary, onX combines satellite tv for pc imagery, possession boundaries and names, and an non-compulsory topographical map layer to assist find terrain options. These options assist you to weed out the “possibly” spots from the “positively” spots. In fact, I’d by no means inform somebody to low cost a spot as a result of it didn’t look promising from a satellite tv for pc. However all of us want a bit effectivity in our lives.
As soon as I discover a spot that appears promising with the assistance of onX, I need to put my eyes on it. The entire recreation right here is narrowing down the checklist to these two or three areas on a given tract that match the invoice. When you’re there, it’s time to dive in.
Like most platforms, the app isn’t as user-friendly because the desktop model. But it surely’s simple sufficient to stay a useful gizmo for capturing info on the fly. If I see a spot and I’m fortunate sufficient to get permission, the subsequent step is strolling as a lot of the place as attainable within the late winter and early spring.
Rubs, scrapes, trails, and beds present up rather a lot simpler that point of 12 months. Every a type of will be added as a waypoint utilizing the app. After a superb day of scouting an 80-acre tract in early March, I usually have a good concept of how deer use the land and the way completely different variables would possibly have an effect on these patterns.
This features a change within the meals supply, climate, time of 12 months, and many others.
I pay particular consideration to rubs, bedding areas, scrapes, and noticeable trails (particularly once they cross at pinch factors). The onX app allows you to add waypoints with labels for all of those factors of curiosity.
It’s superb how a lot clearer deer journey and conduct change into as soon as all this info is in the identical place.
I like to depart notes underneath every waypoint: buck vs. doe mattress, the freshness of scrapes and rubs, and some other piece of knowledge that may assist construct a clearer image of deer conduct.
As soon as I’ve a good suggestion about basic areas of curiosity, it’s time to get boots on the bottom and undergo the excruciating means of selecting a tree. I’m horrible at this half. Indecision has turned loads of one-hour jobs into two-hour jobs.
However as soon as the stand is within the tree, you mark it on the app and label it.
I like so as to add in the popular wind path for a sit if it isn’t apparent. Typically the topography can play with the wind and create “mini-thermals” or bounce the wind round in unpredictable ways in which wouldn’t be intuitive by merely wanting on the map. This will all be denoted within the waypoint label with detailed info within the notice part.
One of many nice instruments with this app that I uncovered after actually stumbling my technique to an early-season stand location is the Tracker function. Stealthy entry will be essential to success, particularly when the deer change into warier because the season progresses or after rifle season wraps up.
The tracker function on the platform lets you create a path from truck to tree to make use of as a reference later when it’s 5:30 a.m. and also you don’t know the path in addition to you thought you probably did. I’ll admit to having been misplaced within the pre-dawn darkness a couple of occasions. However utilizing the tracker means it gained’t occur once more — fingers crossed!
Listed below are a couple of different notable options for the whitetail hunter:
Sharing is caring! Now you can share factors (stand websites, entry factors, trails, and many others.) with a buddy. This may turn out to be useful when your out-of-state pal wants a spot to hunt. You possibly can share the waypoint of your third-best rut stand.
CWD monitoring: The High quality Deer Administration Affiliation and onX partnered to create a layer that tracks counties with confirmed circumstances of persistent losing illness. This lets me know if the illness is prevalent within the space. I can use this info if I would like to check a deer.
Off-Grid: This function might be extra helpful for the man getting misplaced within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Space for every week. It allows you to save a map after which go “Off-Grid” so that you don’t should depend on cell service to see your location and cargo the map. Considered one of my spots has actually sparse reception, so it’s good to make use of this function and keep away from draining the battery throughout a sit.
Darn Good, However Not Excellent
General, onX has vastly modified how I hunt whitetails. I like the performance, and it has positively helped me put together for a brand new season. My largest critique shouldn’t be a lot that it does something poorly — simply that a couple of extra instruments might turn out to be useful, particularly for the typical whitetail hunter.
Looking whitetails is a recreation of patterns and tendencies. And onX is sweet, however not but nice, at capturing the data I prefer to have at my fingertips. I hold a searching journal and seize as a lot info as I can in regards to the circumstances, sightings, and some other element I believe would possibly assist create some luck for me sooner or later.
An built-in calendar permitting for extra detailed and accessible information entry would assist improve onX’s usefulness within the discipline. It might be good to make use of it as a digital searching journal, seamlessly incorporate at present’s info with final winter’s scouting, or to enter path digicam info in an accessible and usable format.
All of this info is at the moment obtainable to be tied to a waypoint. However a extra organized and accessible interface could be the cherry on prime.
Ideas From the Flint Hills
I’m a greater hunter due to onX. One aspect impact of utilizing onX within the woods is that I began to really pay extra consideration to indicators. As hunters, we’re at all times making an attempt to determine what a deer’s subsequent transfer might be.
An enormous a part of why I get pleasure from deer searching a lot comes from the technique. That is concerned all the way in which from choosing a tract of floor to discovering the proper stand location.
onX has introduced that course of into the data age, giving the fashionable hunter greater than sufficient instruments to make essential choices. It’s a superb factor there isn’t a software program program on the market that may kill a deer for you. However onX will certainly assist you to make your personal luck.
Joel Mason is knowledgeable beginner hunter chasing whitetails and bobwhites within the Flint Hills of Kansas. He likes to fling flies when it’s not searching season and is a real small recreation admirer and aficionado. He believes poison ivy exists to discourage morel hunters from discovering his secret spots.