If you’re serious about deer hunting, you know that it’s important to take note of when and where you sight big bucks and does, and the local weather and wind conditions when you do. If you’re a member of a hunting club, or if you just hunt property with several friends on a regular basis, you also know how helpful it is to compare notes and observations among each other between hunts.
Deer are creatures of habit, but those habits change with hunting pressure and changes in environmental conditions. One of the keys to success is paying attention to the various factors that affect the behavior of deer over successive hunts and scouting trips.
Combining and analyzing the data helps to gain a general understanding of the deer population in a particular area. This allows you to forecast where the deer are most likely to be when you head out into the woods. Keeping detailed data has been a manual job, and it was a matter of time before someone uses technology to make it easier.
Keeping a Hunting Log
Most hunters just take a mental note of these things and hope to remember them from hunt to hunt. Some enterprising individuals will carry a small logbook and write down their observations in the field or shortly thereafter.
That’s a fine habit to have, and it’s certainly better than just walking out into the woods, and taking your chances by hunting a random deer stand. But what if there were an app that would allow you to input all of your observations from the field?
Or maybe an app that lets you share that information with your fellow hunters and compile your combined data to analyze and suggest the best places to hunt on any given day?
A Digital Hunting Log
HuntLog is a new iPhone application that was designed to change the way you hunt. The app allows a hunter to record observations in the field in real time. Save essential data such as deer sightings, weather conditions, wind direction, plus location, and time of day. It even stores you or your clubs combined harvest data, with pictures.
The free version of the app stores your aggregate hunt data. But the Pro version ($19.99/yr or $3.99/mo) is where the value is. It can analyze your hunt data and recommend the best tree stands and locations for a hunt based on current conditions and recent sightings.
The great thing about HuntLog is that the more information it has to work with, the more accurate and valuable the output will be. This makes it especially useful for hunting clubs and groups of friends hunting a specific property.
Related: Top Android & iPhone Hunting Apps
HuntLog has been very easy to use. There are only a few screens to which you enter data or get stand recommendations. There’s no need to have a cell phone signal to input data. Just enter your information, and when you get back to an area that does have a signal, HuntLog will automatically sync that data into a general database that can be shared with your hunting buddies. Some of the best features of the app include:
Stands – Over time, HuntLog can suggest the best place to hunt every day, based on the current wind direction and recent sightings and pressure in the area. This is probably my favorite feature and only comes with the paid version of the app. You can get a yearly subscription, or just pay for the months you hunt, and pick it up again the next year with all your old data.
Create a Club – This is another great feature only found in the paid version. It allows you to compile and analyze the data from all the people who hunt on a property, giving everyone the most accurate and up-to-date information on where the deer might be on that day.
Statistics – The free version keeps basic statistics from all your hunts. In HuntLog Pro, you can keep track of the ratio of bucks to does, an important statistic for herd management. You also get the average number of deer you see on each hunt. With the information gathered over a period of time, this feature gives you the data you need to keep the deer population on your property at its optimum healthy proportion, and that means more venison in the freezer. I found it especially useful to log the deer from the various trail cameras on my property.
Harvests – Everybody likes to see pictures of the deer their group has harvested, as well as show off their own most recent trophies. With HuntLog, pics can be uploaded at any time or on the spot. You can scroll through the harvest list and relive those memories.
Simple Interface – HuntLog has been very easy to use. It only takes a minute to log deer sightings, and I find I forget to do it much less frequently.
Is It Worth The Cost?
The HuntLog basic version is free on the Apple iTunes store, and the HuntLog Pro Edition is $19.99 yearly or $3.99 monthly. So is it worth it? If you or your club is serious about deer management, or just want to tilt the odds of scoring a trophy buck in your favor, then it most certainly is. At a price less than a set of broadheads, it’s a small but worthy investment.