HUNTING

Best Hunting GPS: Find Your Way to Your Target

Best hunting GPS
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Any hunter needs to have a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) to avoid getting lost while out in the woods. Finding your best hunting GPS is an important purchase. It can make your experience better and help you find the right spots to hunt. They can save your locations, allowing you to find the place again and again by saving the coordinates.

Handheld GPS devices let you log and store data while hiking in the woods. They are designed to withstand most weather conditions and be durable enough to handle drops. While you may use your smartphone for most road trips, there is hardly any signal while off in the woods. A handheld GPS allows you to access satellite signal when your cell phone would never find any.

Features to Look for in The Best Hunting GPS

There are so many different handheld GPS devices on the market, so it can make the selection process more difficult. To help you decide, there are some features you may want to look for in a GPS.

Reception

This feature is the most important. You want a GPS that can connect to a signal no matter where you venture. The response is needed to pinpoint your exact location.

Hunting GPS reception

The best hunting GPS can get reception while standing under trees in a dense forest. Ideally, there would be an external antenna to help keep your location accurate.

Storage

You want your GPS devices to have an internal memory as well as the ability to insert an SD card. The SD cards allow adding more memory for data, topographic maps, points of interest and more valuable items. You want some internal memory because it is needed to store intended destinations.

Quality of the Display

You need a screen that is easy to read in direct sunlight and under thick clouds. You may be hunting at night or in a sunny field with sunglasses. The quality of your display matters greatly. Another feature that many hunters like is gloves capability. In the cold weather, you want to use a GPS without needing to remove the gloves.

Weight and Size

Handheld GPS devices are typically stored in your pocket or carried in one hand. Some people also hang them from their bags with rings. A larger device may have a larger screen, but it also makes it harder to carry. The weight matters; you don’t want to feel as if you have a brick in your pocket.

Weight and Size

A lightweight GPS is easier to transport, but the heavier ones feel sturdier and tend to be more durable.

Battery Life

A hunting trip can last half of a day or longer. You want a hunting GPS with a rechargeable battery with an extended life. The last thing you want is the device to die before you can make it back to your original location.

Versatile Features

Just like any other product, you want your best hunting GPS device to have a multitude of features because it provides versatility.

First, it needs to be waterproof; Mother Nature is hard to predict. A shock proof design means you won’t break your new purchase when you trip over a tree root. It should connect to your computer with a USB cord to update maps and upload images.

Hunting GPS Features

Also, a built-in compass and altimeter are essential for backpacking through the woods. You won’t find these features in every GPS, and you may not even need them. However, they may not be necessary for you. Another nice feature is the capability to share your waypoints and images with other compatible users. This option is great for safety.

Knowing all the features you must look at before you make your decision, it’s time to see what the market has to offer in this department.

Top Products of 2017

Garmin GPSMAP 62S Handheld GPS Navigator

Garmin GPSMAP 62S Handheld GPS Navigator

Weight: 0.57 pounds

Dimensions: 2.4 x 6.3 x 1.42 inches

Specific Features: Handheld, Finds Satellite Quickly, Large Memory, Heart Rate Monitor, Long Battery

Description: The Garmin GPSMAP 62S is a rugged, handheld GPS, perfect for hunting and geocaching. Users rave about its ability to find satellite signal everywhere.

he display is crisp with 160 x 240-pixel resolution. No matter where you are, the built-in 3-axis tilt compensation helps keep your electronic compass and barometric altimeter aligned correctly.

Users can share your points, routes and geocaches with other Garmin compatible devices. This feature is handy if you are hunting in a group; you will know each other’s location.

There is a 1.75 GB of onboard memory and a slot for additional information. Many people like to upload road maps and topography maps. With 20 hours of battery life, the 62S is a great choice for the best hunting GPS.

Garmin Oregon 600 3-inch Worldwide Handheld GPS

Garmin Oregon 600 3-inch Worldwide Handheld GPS

Weight: 7.4 ounces

Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.5 x 2.4 inches

Specific Features: Good readability in sunlight, GPS/GLONASS positioning with dual-band, all sensors (compass, barometric altimeter, accelerometer), BT/ANT technology, auto screen rotation

Description: The Garmin Oregon 600 has one of the largest screen sizes available for a handheld GPS – measuring 3.75 square inches. They added a new reflective display technology that keeps your screen bright and easy to read even in direct sunlight.

The Oregon 600 is a touchscreen that can be used with gloves on, which is needed for cold weather!

The Oregon 600 has a built-in 3-axis electronic compass that helps show you were to go no matter where you are standing. The altimeter lets you know your precise altitude.

You can use the Oregon 600 to share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches with other wireless compatible Garmin devices. It is a great option for hunters; it is a great size, good weight and offers useful features on a crisp screen.

Garmin GPSMAP 64s Worldwide

Garmin GPSMAP 64s Worldwide

Weight: 5.8 ounces

Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.3 inches

Specific Features: Easy to Use, Physical Buttons, Large Internal Memory, Shaded Relief, Strong Antenna

Description: The Garmin 64S replaced the GPSMAP 60 version, which was one of their most popular sellers. The 64S has the same popularity, except it has better features.

The menu is easy to use in comparison to other hunting GPS choices. The screen is bright and clear. Besides the eTrex 20, this GPS by Garmin is one of the few that still have physical buttons instead of a complete touch screen.

The 64S has one of the largest internal memories available – an incredible 4GB! It also comes with a built-in, worldwide base map with shaded relief. You can use photo navigation with downloaded, geotagged pictures and then navigate to them.

The 64S has a quad helix antenna that can pick up a satellite almost anywhere. The reception is unparalleled. You can get reception in densely covered areas.  It has some great features that make the Garmin 64S one of the best hunting GPS options available!

With almost 20 hours of battery life, you can go anywhere with the 64S. You are sure to think it’s one of the best hunting GPS devices.

Garmin Approach G6 Handheld Touchscreen

Garmin Approach G6 Handheld Touchscreen

Weight: 3.4 ounces

Dimensions: 3.7 x 0.8 x 2.1 inches

Specific Features: Rechargeable Battery, Waterproof, Touchscreen, Simple to Use

Description: The Garmin Approach is a favorite for golfers because of some great features. For example, Garmin preloaded over 25,000 worldwide courses. There is an internal rechargeable battery.

However, you can still use the Approach G6 as one of the best hunting GPS choices. It is glove friendly, waterproof, and has a bright touchscreen.

The internal rechargeable battery and it can last 15 hours. Garmin took the simplicity route with the Approach G6. Overall, if you happen to golf and hunt, you cannot go wrong with the Approach G6!

Garmin eTrex 20x

Garmin eTrex 20x

Weight: 4.96 inches

Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.7 x 2.2 inches

Specific Features: Affordable, Lightweight, Easy to Carry, Long Battery

Description: Garmin’s eTrex 20x is their least expensive option, perfect for a novice hunter and new geocachers. The eTrex is also a lightweight choice, weighing less than 5 ounces.

You can fit this little GPS right into your pocket. Garmin stuck with the tried and true for the eTrex; there is no touchscreen.

It may take longer to understand the eTrex 20x. The menu uses 2-3 buttons and takes practice to learn. The BaseCamp software lets you organize maps, waypoints, routes and tracks. There is a trip planning software that allows you to share plans with your friends. The eTrex 20x has some nice features like 25 hours of continuous battery life, clear and bright screen and a friendly price tag.

Garmin Oregon 650 3-inch Worldwide Handheld GPS

Garmin Oregon 650 3-inch Worldwide Handheld GPS

Weight: 7.36 ounces

Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.3 x 2.4 inches

Specific Features: Touchscreen, Glove Compatible, Bluetooth Technology, Accuracy, Affordable

Description: If you want a handheld GPS that is touchscreen, the Garmin Oregon 650 is a smart choice. The unit has a 3-inch touchscreen that users can view in the sun.

It has multiple touch capabilities so you can use complex gestures. One of the nice things is you can use the touchscreen with gloves; this feature is needed for hunting in colder environments. If you want a touchscreen, you want glove compatibility.

The Garmin Oregon 650 is accurate and has detailed topographic maps, even in unlikely areas. Hunters can benefit from that! It also has a 3-axis compass, an accelerometer, and an altimeter. Overall, Garmin created a superb, well-designed, affordable GPS for hunting.

Bushnell 360500 BackTrack Hunt

Bushnell 360500 BackTrack Hunt

Weight: 6.08 ounces

Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 10 inches

Specific Features: Backlight, Sun and Moon Times, Large Storage, Quality Optics, Affordable

Description: Bushnell is a well-known company in the hunting world. If you want a straight forward GPS without unnecessary features, Bushnell’s 360500 was made to have quality, needed features. The 360500 has a display with a blue backlight that shows sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset times.

This feature is helpful during a hunt because many animals are more active during certain periods of the day or moon cycle.

The 360500 can store 48 hours of trip data and 25 locations. However, the only downside is it is less durable than other models. The plastic can wear over time, so it isn’t the ideal choice for an active hunter.

The GPS calibrates the digital compass and gets the latitude and longitude coordinates. It also tracks mileage, temperature, and bearing. The BackTrack has roughly 16 to 20 hours of battery life so you can follow the rain or sun for a day trip with users.

Garmin RinoAr 650T

Garmin RinoAr 650T

Weight: 7 ounces

Dimensions: 1.8 x 2.4 x 7.4 inches

Specific Features: Sensitive Receivers, Radio Capability, Base Camp, Real-Time GPS, Tons of Features

Description: RinoAR has one of the most sensitive GPS receivers on the market. You can get a signal no matter where you venture. The Rino 650t can find your position everywhere.

It comes with a barometric altimeter, pre-loaded maps and other great features like the 3-axis compass. Garmin added over 100,000 thousand maps.

When you are deep in the woods, you can use the conventional FRS/GMRS radio capability so you can call other members of your group for emergencies. It also allows you to send unit-to-unit text messages. These are great features for hunters.

The Rino will alert you to hazardous weather by sending your warnings. BaseCamp lets you organize maps and routes. However, Rhino is the most expensive option on our list. If you want the best hunting GPS you own to have a multitude of features; the Rino has everything you could need.

These eight handheld GPS devices are impressive! Also, they all have something in common – excellent reception and display screens. Whether you want a touchscreen or prefer to use physical buttons, we included an option for you.

Making the final decision is hard. The Garmin RinoAR has every feature a hunter could desire from their handheld GPS device, but it is the most expensive choice. Most people can’t afford it. However, the Garmin 64S is an excellent option. It has a long battery life, tons of internal storage, and a bright, crisp display screen.

If budget is your worry, the Garmin eTrex 20x is wallet friendly without losing any of the essential features. Instead, Garmin excluded unnecessary features and brought quality to the most basic of features.

Found Your Way?

Any of these eight choices would be great. Is your favorite GPS on this list? Let us know about your favorite hunting GPS.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

  • Zack Lorigan

    I have been using the Garmin GPSMAP 64s for a few months, when I first purchased, there were a few reviews that suggested the GPS wasn’t accurate, however, I’ve found that comments on poor accuracy can be found in almost every GPS brand and model on the market. In my opinion, the 64s GPS has proven to be highly accurate, though, in the interest of transparency, the tracks function does wander slightly when standing still. The screen is a little smaller than some of its competitors, however, I’ve personally found the clarity to be better than most, working well in low light conditions and equally as well in daylight. Solid battery and plenty of memory, highly recommended.

    • Shawn Harrison

      At this point, there is no pinpoint-accurate GPS available in the market. They have their inaccuracies, but I believe they still get the job done and prevents you from being lost. In addition, inaccuracy is also quite subjective and the opinion varies depending on the user.

  • Gary Cooper

    If you are looking for an easy-to-use, reliable hunting GPS you’ll struggle to do better than the eTrex20x. It is relatively light weighing (approximately 5oz) and is compact making it incredibly easy to pack and carry whilst on a hunt. It has excellent battery life, running for around 5x 10 hour days on two high-quality AA batteries.

    The GPS is accurate and it can quickly lock onto a location, perhaps the only negative is the standard maps which seem to lack an awful lot of detail, however, these are easily replaced with good-quality free maps.

    • Shawn Harrison

      I agree with the very basic-looking map detail. But if the user can get past through this small problem, then eTrex20x can be one of the best hunting GPS that you can get. Its battery life is indeed phenomenal and can keep on running for days.

  • Jerry Trevor

    I am so getting a Garmin Oregon 600, it has all the features that I wanted. Most of all, a colored screen display! It really seems portable and a big display seems like a plus! I am thinking of purchasing it since Shawn recommended it as a great catch! Thanks Shawn for really briefing all the advantages of this device to me! Really helped me out! I hope you keep writing such articles!

    • Shawn Harrison

      You’re very welcome, Trevor! I have only good words with the Oregon 600, and yes, it is one of the hunting GPS options with amazing screen.

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