Like it or not, smartphones are now considered by many deer hunters to be an essential item for your hunting pack. The smartphone is, at its worst, a time waster, a dangerous source of distraction, and can steal your attention from what really matters – the deer movement around you!
Essential Deer Hunting Apps
These apps are the cream of the crop. You don’t need each of these apps, but you should seriously consider how each one might be able to enhance your hunting experiences.
Free with the app comes the ability to see hunting unit layers, game management units, maps with topography, roads, rivers and lakes, the use of GPS, waypoints and icons for navigation, including to your vehicle, camp, lookouts and blinds.
You can use photos you take to make waypoints for scrapes, rubs, wallows and sightings. A premium membership is also available.
SAS Survival Guide
This premium app provides useful information to help you survive in any situation. Written by an SAS solider, it is filled with training techniques used by Britain’s elite fighters. The survival skills detailed in the app cover the world, from the mountaintop of Kilimanjaro to the Kandahar desert, while still being useful in your close-by national park.
Included are 16 videos, photo galleries of animal tracks, knots, plants that are edible, medicinal or poisonous, types of sea creatures and snakes. It has a device to signal Morse code, a checklist, sun compass and tips for extreme climate survival in the polar, tropical, ocean or desert regions. The first aid section is especially valuable.
HuntForce is a leading trail camera management tool that aims to organize your entire fleet of trail cameras and all the images that you accumulate. Within the app you can pin each camera’s location on your property, keep notes on each, and tag photos accordingly.
You can eliminate the hassle of trying to sift through photos on your computer by uploading all your photos into the HuntForce system, and selecting only the ones you care about to be added to your profile.
Over time, HuntForce will allow you to track specific animals, and ultimately help you pattern and harvest your target bucks.
HuntForce is not a mobile app, although you could use it on a table or phone through your mobile web browser.
Cost: Starts at $5/monthly https://huntforce.com
DeerLab is very similar to HuntForce, in that you can organize and monitor all of your trail cameras in one convenient place. DeerLab allows you to pattern and track specific animals, even giving them unique names. The app wants you to learn which treestand you should climb, and when, to have the best opportunity to take that particular deer.
In your DeerLab account, you can filter through your library of photos by date, property, camera, weather conditions, and more. You can also create albums to share with your buddies and family.
Cost: Starts at $8/monthly http://deerlab.com/
Deer Calls and Tactics
Tactics provides tips and tactics for the 12 most effective deer sounds, including contact call, doe grunt, doe bleat, doe estrus bleat, breeding bellow, buck grunt, buck bawl, tending grunt, tending click-grunt, snort-wheeze, sparring and rattling.
It provides descriptions and dates of rut phases, tactics and tips for each of the phases, ratings for solunar days and a lunar calendar.
Act In Nature Hunting
ActInNature offers three essentials for the serious hunter. It has mapping, tracking and navigating capability. Before you start out, it helps you prepare hunting zones and places of interest like feeding spots or fox holes.
It provides detailed moon and sun phase info and weather forecasts, all of which you can share with other hunters. It allows you to navigate by POIs, compass or distance circle as well as observe positions, speed and directions of other hunters. You can record your experience in a private journal, or put images and video in the gallery for others to view.
Whitetail Freaks Property Management
You can manage hundreds of properties, if you choose, and organize each with your own custom name, and your personal notes. Serious hunters will find this app to be an organizational savior.
Use the map and overlay filters to locate each and every trial camera on your property, quickly and efficiently. Never lose another trail camera again. It’s like your own personal assistant you can take with you in your pack.
The hourly forecasts, seven day forecasts, and especially the radar, are extremely useful for planning your hunts, as well as monitoring the current conditions.
In addition, the severe weather alerts are useful for hunters who are out in the field, and advanced notice of needing to pack up and head in is always a good thing.
For hunters, this is exciting because you can get close up details of the terrain and features of your hunting property.
There are other apps that use topographical maps and satellite imagery, but Google Earth is the standard for 3D terrain visualization of hunting land. Use it to identify natural funnels, creeks, marshes, ridges, and more.
Best Free Deer Hunting Apps
Not all good hunting apps will cost you money, and here are some of the best free hunting apps that are available today.
The HuntStand app is a hunting land management tool that works whether or not you have a mobile signal. The patent pending “HuntZone” tools can calculate your scent zone based on wind direction, speed, distance, and time.
You can completely map out your hunting property and use any of the 40+ icons to highlight places of interest, like trail cameras, tree stands, feeder, and whatever else is important to you. In addition to that, you can measure area and distance to gain accurate data on you land.
This app is an all-in-one app for deer hunters, helping them plan their hunt, manage the deer and keep abreast of weather conditions. It combines comprehensive weather features including wind mapping, solunar times, tides and moon and hourly changes in barometer pressure.
Hunters get real time logging that requires no typing, since the app use simple drop-down menus. It is easy to review your logs using ScoutLookWeather.com. For each locale, it automatically tracks ratios of buck to doe, and buck ages.
The app saves specific locations in fields for scrapes, rubs, water holes, food, camera sites and blood trails, among others. The weather details pinpoint environmental conditions so you can make the most of your hunt.
Where to Shoot
The app is maintained by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and uses their extensive database of shooting ranges across the United States and Canada.
This app is useful for those times when you are out of town and would like to get some range time in. Also included in the app are videos of shooting tips and resources, making it ideal for new hunters and shooters.
ScoutLook Hunting Weather
It effectively integrates details like radar and wind with solunar times and phases and hourly changes in the barometer, all information that a hunter will need when deciding when and where to hunt.
The app shows you 72-hour wind forecasts visually with ScentCone and SetZone. When you know the full range of wind data that affects hunting, it makes it much easier to select the right tree stands and duck blinds.
These apps give hunters easy access to park information, such as hours, telephone numbers, trails, campgrounds, and GPS terrain maps.
Certain PocketRanger apps can also assist you in locating places to hunt, the rules and regulations, as well as specific license and permitting information for each park.
Cost: Free http://www.pocketranger.com/
Best Apps for Both Android/iPhone
Where to Hunt
Where to Hunt is an app that allows you and other hunters to “check in” to the app and display your GPS position on the map. This allows you to lay claim to your spot, as well as see ahead of time if other hunters are nearby, saving you time finding an open area to set up in. You can also use this information to find alternate routes around the other hunters to reach your preferred ground.
You can also enable a private group option to keep track of everyone in your hunting party, while hiding your location from the general public. This is great for keeping track of your friends and family, and help everyone enjoy a successful hunt. Another benefit of this feature is your loved ones back home can see your position in the map just in case you may need help.
HappyHunts is an app/website that aims to connect outdoorsmen and women with guides, lodges, and private landowners. You can use the app to inquire about renting lodges for multi-day hunting trips or booking guided fishing outings. The other major portion of the app is for listing and renting hunting leases. Many avid hunters know how difficult it can be to find hunting land, and this ap connects you with landowners looking to offer hunting leases. HappyHunts handles the entire transaction, calling themselves an “Outdoor Marketplace”, almost like the Airbnb of the outdoors world.
Cost: Free to Download
This app has a highly advanced prediction formula to let you plan your hunting times for deer, turkey and waterfowl. You can ensure the best results by making use of its algorithm that uses seven variables to interpret weather patterns scientifically, which in turn helps you predict the movement of wildlife. Using GPS technology, it provides you with five-day hunting predictions for your next trip.
Make the most of your time by getting up-to-date information about when your game is on the move. Check the Go Hunt or Stay Home graph to be efficient with your hunting schedule. Plot your locations and manage all your data for each hunt. View hourly weather forecasts and check sun and moon times for your best hunting outcome.
Shooting Hours is a sunrise and sunset calculation app that uses your GPS location to determine the times of morning and evening where animal activity will be highest. This app replaces the need for sunset and sunrise tables, and eliminates the guesswork wondering if the tables are accurate.
Use the custom shooting hours settings to adjust for your local hunting regulations, so you are always sure of the legal hunting hours in your specific state. The app will vibrate your phone to notify you of the start and finish of the “shooting hours” for that day.
Shot Simulator is an interactive 3D app that teaches you perfect shot placement for whitetail deer hunting. The DDH Shot Simulator uses a 3D model of a deer, skeleton, organ, and all, to understand the effect of shot placement and angles on the animal.
The simulation provides you with step by step details based on your arrow or bullets flight path to teach you how best to track and recover a shot deer. Several reviewers have mistakenly thought this was a game, but it is in reality an excellent visual teaching tool.
This app offers everything you need to plan and research a hunting trip, and then record your memories. You can add photos and video quickly and easily. Among its essential features are a diary, trophy gallery, statistics log, planning info and weather forecasts and the ability to manage your hunt locations. You can record the type of game, the time it was shot, amount and weight.
With GPS devices, you can get an exact position, find out weather conditions like temperature and wind and check the phases of the moon. It is simple to log shooting and escape distance, hunting areas and stands. You can visually lay out your hunting area using symbols. This helps both for planning and on the day of the hunt to navigate to precise areas.
Hunting Light and Blood Tracker
The colored filters include: red for stealth, green to help preserve your night vision, blue to make green items stand out and white for standard lighting. There is also an SOS light.
The Blood Tracker helps you trail a wounded animal. The Game Track ID shows you images of tracks from common game animals as well as important features so you can identify tracks correctly.
With Lift you can train yourself to be more consistent with taking target practice, getting into the best shape of your life to be able to hunt longer, and with more effectiveness.
Lift is a habit building app that hunters can use to improve on almost any aspect of their hunting skills and abilities.
Phone Skope Camera
This practice is most commonly called digiscoping. The Phone Skope app has built in image stabilization to help you get clear camera shots of animals through your optics.
You will need to purchase an additional phone adaptor for you particular binoculars or scope, so that your camera lens properly aligns with the optical lens.
Cost: $3.99 https://www.phoneskope.com
Best Hunting Apps for Android Only
It is critical that owners handle data management for personal firearms effectively, and this app does just that. It provides total security for your info, including firearms, ammunition, permits, memberships and range sessions. Using 256-bit AES encryption, your personal information stays completely secure.
You can safely record sales info for each of your guns and even view or print a PDF of the bill of sale. You can store photos of each gun, as well as photos and scores of targets. In case a gun is stolen, all your details are readily available for reporting. You can check firearms and CCW laws state-by-state.
Cost: Free Android
Gun Vault Pro
This app keeps track of every firearm you own, including two photos, serial numbers, and other details about each gun. It makes it easy to handle paperwork and research for insurance purposes and when buying and selling.
It has a handy Gun Law/Concealed Carry Reference Guide for the entire U.S., a transfer form for private sales of firearms, an Ammo Tracker, and the ability to search all shooting supply stores and ranges in your locale. It is password lockable, so security is ensured. Gun Vault Notes lets you write secure notes. It even provides you with a news feed to the NRA.
Cost: Free Android
RealTree Weather Base Station
This RealTree app for Android is one of the most comprehensive weather apps available for hunters, fishermen, or others who regularly enjoy the outdoors, using radar, weather and moon phases. It has a Game Activity index, data about lightning strikes and forecasts for barometer pressure.
The Game Activity index uses a combination of solunar information and several weather factors to give you the most accurate and up-to-date predictor of game movement in your hunting area.
The lightning feature points out all areas of the country where it is currently striking. The barometer trending feature provides a helpful four-day forecast of pressure to help you anticipate game activity and location.
Cost: Free Android
Best Hunting Apps for iPhone
Quiver App promises to help you track deer movement and provide real time weather analysis for your specific hunting locations.
Quiver lets you log events such as deer sightings, capture photos, when a shot was taken, and tag a “Deer Down” when you recover an animal. There is also an easy to use note taking function, allowing you to record as much detail about your day as you want.
The weather portion of Quiver App tells you all the things you want to know like sunrise and sunset times, wind direction and speeds, moon phase, temperature, as well as barometric pressure activity.
Cost: Free iTunes
The ability to monitor them allows you to figure out if your arrows are balanced to ensure optimum flight. You can find your accuracy percentage and watch your progress over time.
The app logs your shooting sessions on a graph with easy touch placement of the arrows on the target. It also helps you find your way back to locations you have stored and then back to your vehicle when the session is done.
Cost: $4.99 iTunes
It comes loaded with a library of over 5000 projectiles and factory loads, plus rangefinder, range log and an advanced head-up display.
The wind kit in the advanced version easily configures complex wind situations for up to eight sets of wind sources. It has 3D imaging for trajectories. You can easily sync features like the range log with other devices.
Cost: $12.99 iTunes
Hunting Season Countdown
For photos, use the camera that is built in or pick one from the camera roll. Easily let friends and hunters in on the countdown via email, text message, Facebook or Twitter.
For social media, the app automatically adds a screenshot. You can schedule alerts easily and even add special occasion alerts a year in advance!
Cost: $0.99 iTunes
Predator Hunting Calls
This iPhone hunting app lets you call to predators just like the most experienced tracker. It contains more than 12 of the most commonly used sounds for effective hunting, including coyotes, bobcats, foxes, wolves and cougars.
Designed for hunters by seasoned hunters, it provides the sounds you need, available on your mobile device. Enhance the sounds by plugging in external loudspeakers, letting sounds be heard over wide areas.
Some of the other predator calls on the app are jack rabbit scream, woodpecker distress, cottontail scream, coyote pack howl, hurt fawn and hurt pup.
Cost: $1.99 iTunes
Primos Hunting Calls
The app uses sounds that have proven themselves, like The Gobbler, “The Original Can,” Hoochie Mama, and the Heart Breaker.
These calls were adapted by professional hunters Will and Jimmy Primos and others. When you’re ready to strike, shake, grunt and rattle in the big ones, this is the call app to use.
Cost: $1.99 iTunes
Experienced hunters know how critical this type of information is because deer and other game can easily run off when they get a whiff of your scent.
Using the compass built into the iPhone, this app tells you at your current location the direction the wind is coming from and how fast it is going, with just a glance.
In fact, it will tell you the wind direction at any location, whether you are present or not. The app also lets your store locations to your Favorites.
Cost: $0.99 iTunes
RealTree Archery Tips
This exclusive app for the iPhone is a handy reference for all types of bowhunting. It contains tips to make you a better hunter, techniques to maximize your shots, correct types of setups and the right type of gear for the hunting you are doing.
It is easy to swipe through the deck to locate exactly the information you need. For example, on the go you can check “Why Use a Peep Sight?”
Expert illustrations by noted artist Chris Armstrong give you detailed visual information. The card stack interface is intuitive and easy to use. In landscape mode, you can use easy card skimming.
Cost: Free iTunes
RealTree Turkey Tips
At the iTunes store, this app has a complete list of tips, tools and even games for beginning to advanced hunters. Distilling decades of experience from RealTree, it is a reference guide that is easy to use and full of practical information.
Simply swipe through each card to find the exact reference you need. For example, you can check “Locator Calls” for turkeys while out in the field, right from your iPhone.
With illustrations by noted artists Chris Armstrong, it uses an intuitive card stack interface. In landscape mode, you can easily skim the cards.
Cost: Free iTunes
This is North American Whitetail magazines companion app. It keeps you connected to the Whitetail community, letting you share photos from the field. You can literally post pictures of the big buck moments after you shot it.
The app also lets you post questions to the community and get answers from other users and even from the editors of the magazine, all of which are accessible to you on the NAW website.
As an added bonus, you accumulate points to enter into to gear giveaways and other contests.
Cost: Free iTunes