HUNTING

Best Hunting GPS: Find Your Way to Your Target

Best hunting gps
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Are you one of those outdorsmen that don’t like getting lost on the map and get confused by the compass, but are more fond of phones and their GPS maps? However, you have to agree that while you may use your smartphone for most road trips, there is hardly any signal while off in the woods. That is why you need to consider a different solution, and the best hunting GPS will keep you on the radar with respect to location even in the dense forests.

Any hunter needs to have a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) to avoid getting lost while out in the woods. Finding your best 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.

To make your selection and search process less time intensive, we are going to show you what to look for in a hunting GPS as well as give you a variety of GPS devices to make a selection. We have done all the relevant research so that you don’t do any. First, check the table below for an outline of the reviewed handheld GPS devices.

Our Top Picks

Product NameDimensionsWeightData InputPrice
Garmin GPSmap 62s2.4 x 6.3 x 1.42 in8.1 oz.Buttons onlyCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Oregon 6001.3 x 4.5 x 2.4 in7.4 oz.Touch screenCheck price on Amazon
Garmin GPSmap 64s4.2 x 1.4 x 6.3 in5.8 oz.Buttons onlyCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Approach G63.7 x 0.8 x 2.1 in3.4 oz.Touch screenCheck price on Amazon
Garmin eTrex 20x1.4 x 1.7 x 2.2 in5.0 oz.Touch screenCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Oregon 6504.5 x 1.3 x 2.4 in7.4 oz.Touch screenCheck price on Amazon
Bushnell Back Track Hunt6 x 2 x 10 in6.1 oz.Buttons onlyCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Rino 650T1.8 x 2.4 x 7.4 in7.0 oz.Touch screenCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

There are so many different handheld GPS devices on the market, so these can make the selection process more difficult. There are some features you may want to look for in a GPS to help you decide. These include, but not limited to, the following;

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. A good device will not lose the signal after receiving them.

Man with garmin gps

Image credit: sportingnews.com

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 accurately. However, when making a purchase, look for an option that has a strong inbuilt antenna.

Storage

You want your GPS devices to have an internal memory as well as the ability to insert an SD card. You want some internal memory because it is needed to store intended destinations. Most of the GPS devices have free 50 – 100 MB and that is enough space for an average user.

The SD cards allow adding more memory for data, topographic maps, points of interest and more valuable items. Also, if you use your GPS device as an mp3 player, you will be required to store the music on an SD card. Sometimes new updates to the software and maps require extra space.

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. Most of the devices have brightness control buttons to suit the lighting level.

Magelan gps

Image credit: blog.priceok.ru

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. Unfortunately, a majority of the devices with a touch screen do not work well when you operate them while wearing 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 since you don’t want to feel as if you have a brick in your pocket. 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.

Garmin 650T

Image credit: garmin.com

To keep it safe, you can always carry backup batteries or a recharging system that relies on solar energy. Whichever the case, ensure you have all the mechanisms put in place to keep your GPS on. You can’t afford to lose track of your target points while in the middle of the jungle.

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 shockproof 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. Also, a built-in compass and altimeter are essential for backpacking through the woods. Another nice feature is the capability to share your waypoints and images with other compatible users. This option is great for safety.

Best Products on Today’s Market

After 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. Given below are the best options for GPS devices that have been tested and proved effective with time.

Garmin GPSMAP 62S GPSGarmin GPSMAP 62S Handheld GPS Navigator

Price: Approx. $290

Weight: 8.1 oz

Dimensions: 2.4 x 6.3 x 1.42 in

Data input: Button

Specific features: Handheld, finds the satellite quickly, large memory, heart rate monitor, long battery life

Best use: Hunting

Description: The Garmin GPSMAP 62S GPS is a rugged, handheld, perfect for hunting and geocaching. Users rave about its ability to find satellite signal everywhere. The display is crisp with 160×240-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 their 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. We found that useful for uploading roadmaps and topography maps. With 20 hours of battery life, the 62S is a great choice for the best hunting GPS.

In order to get a comprehensive and relevant data on your device, it is essential to check the types of maps in the device, and see whether they will be relevant to you. Otherwise, you might end up spending more than $100 buying detailed, useless maps.

PROS:

  • It has preloaded topographic maps
  • Can be used to create and mark waypoints
  • You can download all the created points to a computer
  • It can create permanent reference points
  • Waterproof and rugged
  • High USB connection

CONS:

  • Lacks detailed maps

Related: A handheld GPS system has an internal memory to store the critical information relating to the usability of the device. The Garmin 62s has a slot where you can put a micro disc in case you need some external memory space. The SanDisk MicroSDHC Memory Card with a capacity of 4 GB is good for the additional functionality expected of these devices. You can even use the memory card to put music in case you need some entertainment in the course of the hunting.

Check the price on Amazon

Garmin Oregon 600 Worldwide GPSGarmin Oregon 600 3-Inch Worldwide Handheld GPS

Price: Approx. $240

Weight: 7.4 oz

Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.5 x 2.4 in

Data input: Touchscreen

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

Best use: Camping

Description: The Garmin Oregon 600 Worldwide GPS 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. You can add a waypoint through a one-touch button, thanks to the customizable features of the device.

The Oregon 600 has a built-in 3-axis electronic compass that helps show you where to go no matter where you are standing. The altimeter lets you know your precise altitude, and the accelerometer enables you to track the moving patterns and location changes.

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.

With its high sensitivity WAAs and GLONASS enabled GPS receiver, it is able to maintain its signal even in dense vegetation areas or valleys. You can also pre-plan your trip in advance by the use of the Basecamp software that comes installed in the Oregon 600 GPS device.

PROS:

  • Big screen display
  • Multi-touch screen capability
  • Sunlight readable
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Dual battery usage
  • Friendly and intuitive interface

CONS:

  • It requires a steep learning curve

Related: Phones are great and they are almost inseparable from our daily lives. However, sometimes they are just unreliable. With the goTenna text & GPS on your phone required text and GPS device will keep you connected even when your GPS handheld device stops working for any of the unforeseen devices. It costs approximately $170 and really gets you ahead of everyone.

Check the price on Amazon

Garmin GPSMAP 64s GPSGarmin GPSMAP 64s

Price: Approx. $220

Weight: 5.8 oz

Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.3 in

Data input: Button only

Specific features: Easy to use, physical buttons, large internal memory, shaded relief, strong antenna

Best use: Hunting and camping

Description: The Garmin 64S replaced the GPSMAP 60 version, which was one of their most popular sellers. The Garmin GPSMAP 64s GPS 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 has physical buttons instead of a complete touchscreen.

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.

Also, this GPS device 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 it one of the best hunting GPS options available.

With almost 20 hours of battery life, you can go anywhere without worrying that you will get lost.

PROS:

  • Easy to use menu
  • Clear screen that is readable in the sun
  • Large internal memory
  • Excellent signal picking capability
  • Dual battery system
  • Wireless connection capabilities to mobile phones

CONS:

  • No touchscreen

Related: Most of the Garmin devices that are a dual battery, use rechargeable as well as triple AAA batteries. Garmin Rechargeable NiMH Battery for GPSMAP 64s is the most convenient for these devices. It is specifically made for these models which do not accept the regular rechargeable AA batteries.

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Garmin Approach G6 Handheld GPSGarmin Approach G6 Handheld Touchscreen Golf Course GPS

Price: Approx. $340

Weight: 3.4 oz

Dimensions: 3.7 x 0.8 x 2.1 in

Data input: Touchscreen

Specific features: Rechargeable battery, waterproof, touchscreen, simple to use

Best use: Hunting

Description: The Garmin Approach G6 Handheld GPS is a favorite for golfers because of some great features. For example, Garmin preloaded over 27,000 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 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! The device will give you the accurate location of your flags in case you go golfing and when on a hunting mission, it will keep track of the marked pathways and points.

It is also an effective range finding device if you are hunting games with a bow or short range guns which require precise yardage to bring down the target effectively.

PROS:

  • Water resistant
  • Bright touchscreen
  • Rechargeable internal batteries
  • Free subscription course
  • Sleek and slim design
  • Doubles as a digital scorecard

CONS:

  • Small screen
  • The screen goes to sleep after a very short time

Related: These handheld GPS devices can get really messed up if you do not get a storage case for them. The Vertical Leather Case for Garmin Approach G6 is an ideal solution to ensure that your device does not get scratched easily. It also makes it possible to hook it on the belt and be easily accessible while on the move rather than holding it with your hands.

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Garmin eTrex 20x GPSGarmin eTrex 20x

Price: Approx. $150

Weight: 5 oz

Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.7 x 2.2 in

Data input: Touchscreen

Specific features: Affordable, lightweight, easy to carry, long battery

Best use: Hunting, camping, hiking

Description: Garmin 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 as there is no touchscreen. It may take longer to understand the eTrex 20x, because 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.

The Garmin eTrex is well loaded in terms of storage since it has a 3.7 GB internal memory. In addition, it has an SD SLOT where you can put the card of your choice depending on the amount of extra space you require. With its hotfix satellite and GLONASS support you, it is able to pick signals faster and hold on to it even in dense vegetation area or deep canyons.

PROS:

  • Upgraded display that enables you to read it even in the sun
  • Highly sensitive GPS receiver
  • Basecamp software for planning trips
  • Can track both GPS and GLONASS satellites simultaneously
  • Highly affordable

CONS:

  • No comprehensive loaded maps

Related: One of the main things that negatively affects devices that have a screen for display, are scratches. The best solution to this is the Armorsuit Military Shield Screen Protector. It has a lifetime warranty, highly responsive to touch, anti-bubble, and is compatible with the eTrex 20. It is made with a self-healing technology that generally eliminates small scratches from the screen and renews its brightness and clarity.

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Garmin Oregon 650 Handheld GPSGarmin Oregon 650

Price: Approx. $330

Weight: 7.36 oz

Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.3 x 2.4 in

Data input: Touchscreen

Specific features: 3-axis compass, accelerometer, barometric altimeter, dual battery system, uses 2AA batteries or rechargeable NIMH battery, has an autofocus camera, digital zoom feature, flashlight

Best use: Hunting, camping

Description: If you want a handheld GPS that has a touch screen, the Garmin Oregon 650 Handheld GPS is a smart choice. The unit has a 3-inch touch screen that users can view in the sun. It also has multiple touch capabilities, so you can use complex gestures.

One of the nice things is, you can use the touch screen with gloves. This feature is needed for hunting in colder environments. If you want a touch screen, 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.

The device has a worldwide basemap with shaded relief and a faster process, and these increase the usability of the device. It can also take photos and share them with friends through Garmin Adventures. Each photo is geotagged with the location it was taken and these are important reference data.

PROS:

  • Multi-Touchscreen capability
  • You can use with gloves
  • Wireless and Bluetooth technology
  • Accurate and affordable
  • Dual band satellite positioning

CONS:

  • Complex to use

Related: Backpacking trips can be tiresome and dehydrating. Walking for long distances, sometimes under the hot sun requires regular water intake. You can get the Lifefactory 16-Ounce Glass Water Bottle which does not give your drinking water a plastic taste and it has a wide mouth. This makes it really easy to use the bottle.

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Bushnell BackTrack Hunt GPSBushnell 360500 Back Track Hunt

Price: Approx. $170

Weight: 6.08 oz

Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 10 in

Data input: 4 button control

Specific features: Backlight, sun and moon times, large storage, quality optics, affordable

Best use: Hunting, camping

Description: Bushnell is a well-known company in the hunting world. If you want a straightforward GPS without unnecessary features, this product was made to have quality, needed features.

The Bushnell BackTrack Hunt 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.

It 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, which is quite enough for a day hike in the outdoors.

PROS:

  • HD clarity
  • Logs up to 48 hours trip data
  • Weather resistant
  • One year warranty

CONS:

  • No touchscreen

Related: Bowhunters sometimes require tree stands so that they can have a clear view of the area below. It also enables them to take to get off any dangers associated with hunting on the ground. Being up in the tree can be a little nervous and you might require a Hunter Safety Systems Bowhunter Harness. It ensures that even if you were to lose a footing on the stand you cannot fall, since it tethers you to the tree.

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Garmin Rino 650T GPSGarmin Rino 650T GPS Device

Price: Approx. $500

Weight: 7 oz

Dimensions: 1.8 x 2.4 x 7.4 in

Data input: Touchscreen

Specific features: Sensitive receivers, radio capability, base camp, real-time GPS, tons of features

Best use: Hunting

Description: RinoAR has one of the most sensitive GPS receivers on the market. You can get a signal no matter where you venture. The Garmin Rino 650T GPS 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 device you should look for a multitude of features and the Rino has everything you could need.

The Garmin RinoAR has every feature a hunter could desire from a handheld GPS device, but it has one downside; it is the most expensive choice and most people can’t afford it.

PROS:

  • Text message sending capability
  • Touchscreen and button system
  • Powerful radio communicator
  • Easily finds location and maintains it even under dense vegetation cover

CONS:

  • Expensive

Related: When you are in places where you require GPS connection, ability to see far is an added advantage. You can easily see whether there is anyone on site or just use the sight-enhancing device to view the area better. The BFULL Foldable Waterproof Binoculars are designed for easy carrying and operating, they will last you long, and the field of view is excellent.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

After reading through the entire content, we believe you found value and it will be easier to make a purchase decision when the right time comes. However, some points are worth highlighting, the weight, size, display and the reception capabilities as these features are what determines the quality of the gadget you will get.

There are many brands of handheld GPS hunting devices, and one of the most outstanding is Garmin, their products are mostly dual battery enabled and over the versatility expected of a good GPS. The brand you choose will be determined by the conditions under which you hunt. Some have a touch screen, others buttons and others have SD cards slot. All of them are adapted to different conditions. Any of these eight choices would be great.

Is your favorite GPS on this list? Let us know about your favorite hunting GPS by leaving a comment in the comments section below.

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.