We live in a high-tech world and though there are some drawbacks, there are a lot of useful tools to help us out no matter what we are doing. There is no knowledge out of reach. We can find the answer to anything in seconds. Even the hunting world has been invaded by the app but that’s ok because we find the top 7 best hunting apps of 2020.
These apps aren’t fluff. They are full of information that can improve your time in the field, be that scouting a new location or on the hunt itself. Some of them can help you locate new hunting grounds or new hunting partners while others will help you stay up to date with the weather or just help keep you safe.
If you carry a smart device daily, these are apps you are going to love and are so inexpensive there is no reason not to try them. Some are even free!
Unlocking your potential as a tech-savvy hunter will change the way you hunt, making you more effective and better prepared. The best thing about these apps are that you will learn to be a better hunter without them should you ever need to go without them.
No matter what your chosen game animal is there are apps for you. Let’s get into them.
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7 Best Hunting Apps for 2020
1. Huntstand – Best App Around
The Huntstand app has a lot of different functions and does all of them well. That is why it takes the top spot in our app rankings. As a matter of fact, Huntstand covers so much ground that it could take the place of a variety of the other apps below.
Among other things, the Huntstand app is a mapping app, probably the best available to the hunter. It allows you to take existing map data and customize it to your needs by adding marker locations, lines for trails and roads, and even area mapping to cover your whole hunting area or food plot.
But it doesn’t stop there. You can measure any distance or area on the map see parcels and land for sale (where available), and even log sightings and kills. The most advanced mapping features are the one that allows you to see your scent spread for deer and calculate landing sites and direction for waterfowl. It is a do it all mapping app.
If it stopped there, this would still be one of the best apps for hunters but it doesn’t. Huntstand also tracks weather, wind direction and speed, and solunar cycles. But none of that is what lands Huntstand in the number one spot.
The reason we love Huntstand is for the social aspect of the app. You can use it to locate and keep track of hunting friends and share your success stories. You can also use it to create or find events in your area, set up message boards for local hunters, and even share your maps to get everyone on the same page.
Like I said, there is little this app can’t do.
- Great maps – Some of the best
- Great Mapping Tools
- Weather Data
- Ability to Plan your Hunt
- No offline data mode for most features
2. onX Hunt – Best Mapping App
It’s hard to move on after the Huntstand app but there are better tools for mapping, at least one anyway. If you are looking for a pure mapping app, this is it. It doesn’t have a lot of features to outshine some of the other apps that provide a mapping service but it does have some of the best maps and map data available.
There are a few features that make this app better for mapping than others. The first of which is its amazing dictionary of data covering all 50 states. It has great maps of public and private land, parcels and ownership, and over 400 overlays to accomplish a variety of tasks.
The second feature that we loved was the ability to layer map data so you could see things like topographic lines on aerial photographs. As a part of this functionality, you can create your own waypoints for navigation and use those to get directions as you move around your hunting area.
But by far the best feature of this app is the ability to save maps for offline use. No data, no problem! Upload your maps from Wi-Fi and take them with you. This feature kills so many other mapping apps that it isn’t funny.
- The Best Mapping Tools
- Ability to Use Maps Offline
- Create your Own Maps
- No additional features
3. Scoutlook – Best Free Hunting App
Scoutlook is like a light version of Huntstand with a lot of the same features, except this time it’s free. Well, it’s free if you can deal with some pop-up ads from time to time. They aren’t that intrusive or annoying and are easy to live with but you can upgrade to the paid version and get rid of them if you choose.
Scoutlook’s maps are rather limited compared to some of the other apps, with only roads, topo, or aerial photography available as a base map. You can overlay plats like you can with the other mapping apps and use markers and navigation with your phones internal GPS. There is even a cache function to allow you to view maps offline tough it is rather limited.
Like Huntsman, there is a function to display scent spread hour by hour and keep track of where your downwind side is. It has the same landing information for waterfowl as well. Neither of these are quite as advanced as Huntstand but they are functional and helpful.
Scoutlook has a solid weather app that does what all weather apps do. Well, it does more than that. It offers data on peak hunting times and game activity by the use of the data it has on hand such as cloud cover, solunar data, weather, precipitation, and barometric pressure.
Though not as advanced, for a free app Scoutlook is a good tool. One you should probably try out before you head into the land of paid apps. Of course, some options with Scoutlook will require an investment.
- Solid Mapping Tools
- Good Weather Data
- Track your Hunt / Navigate
- Offline Maps Available
- Pop-Up Ads
- Not as User Friendly as Huntstand
4. SAS Survival Guide – Best App if Things Go Wrong
Whether you carry it for when things go bad or just for the fun of having it, this is a superb app that every hunter should have. Sometimes things go bad and this has plenty of information that really could be helpful if they do. This isn’t some fluff app but a serious tool!
If you aren’t familiar with ‘Lofty’ Wisemans bestselling book of the same name, this app has it. All 400 pages of it to pass the time when things are a little slow. But it has more than that, far more!
It has 16 videos converting a variety of the most important topics in the book as well as illustrated guides on edible and poisonous plants, knots, animal tracks and one of the most comprehensive guides on field first aid that you could ask for. This is all invaluable information!
But it has more… Morse code, a survival checklist and quiz, and a search function to help you find what you need when you need it. Plus, the latest version comes with the urban survival guide that is packed with information on all things you may encounter out of the woods on your way home.
Seriously, if you don’t have this app, go get it!
- Loaded with Great Information
- Could Save your Life
- Tons of Fun!
5. AccuWeather – Best Weather App
I bet you didn’t know that there is one app that is used most often by first responders, emergency personnel, and search and rescue. That app is AccuWeather, the best weather app available hands down!
Why is it so much better? It actually has live forecasts and people behind it that are doing the groundwork to make things as accurate as possible. Most apps just feed data from an online source and never put any thought into it.
If there is anything that a weather app can do, this one does it. Along with all the standard weather data, sunrise/sunset times, and radar, the AccuWeather app also provides you with local alerts which can be very handy to have out in the field. It has a long forecast summary and historic weather trends. It has all things weather!
There is nothing good about being caught in inclement weather and while I have never known a weatherman who could be accurate all the time, the AccuWeather folks do a very good job. Don’t leave home without it.
- Most Trusted Weather App
- More Information than Other Weather Apps
- Predictions Come from a Real Person
- Weather Alerts
- Requires Cell Signal to Work
6. Powderhook – Best Social App
Powderhook doesn’t do a lot but what it does do, it does very well! Though there is a mapping component to Powderhook it is so far behind the other mapping tools available that it isn’t worth discussing. You don’t get Powderhook for the maps, you get it to get it for the amazing people and places it can help you find.
If you are a first time or novice hunter, Powderhook has the best feature to help you: Mentorship. You can get on Powderhook and ask questions that will be answered by experts in the field and even find someone to take you under their wing and teach you the ropes. Of course, if you are a more experienced hunter you can sign up to be a mentor.
A lot of the brands we love as hunters are also Powderhook users and share a lot of content about their stores including sales and special events to keep you up to date on the hunting community in your area.
I wouldn’t call this a necessary app but I will say that there are no group of people out there trying to do more for the hunting community. Powderhook is currently trying to introduce young people to hunting and grow the number of our future hunters. It’s a lofty goal and one that you should be a part of.
- Great Mission and Goals
- Helpful to New Hunters
- Great way to Meet Hunting Friends
- Find Local Hunting Events
- Maps Aren’t that Useful
- No Other Functionality
7. Shot Simulator – Most fun and Educational App
This app borders on novelty but for a new hunter, it can be really helpful. It only does one thing but that one thing is something that no other app does. It uses an animated deer with accurate anatomy to track the shot you just made and to make the next shot better.
The process is simple and starts with positioning the deer and yourself where you were when the deer was shot and your hit location. This will help it calculate angles through the body. Once you have that down, the model will simulate a hit to the deer in that location from the angle your arrow was fired.
Once you have your shot data completed you can peel away the layers of the deer to see what damage was done and what organs were hit. The models are quite accurate and represent things well.
From the hit information, the app can tell you a variety of things about your hit such as blood loss and time to death. This is all estimated of course but it’s interesting and fun information to have.
This is a great app for teaching our younger generation about shot placement and how best to shoot a deer from a variety of angles. Most kids will pick this up quick and start experimenting. It’s a great tool to have just for the fun of having it.
- Great Way to Teach New Hunters
- Fun to Play With
- You Won’t Use It Often
- It is a Novelty App
The Final Word
Never before has the world of hunting been so open to so many people. While many of us grew up hunting and learned it the old way, some were not so fortunate and came to hunting late with no help. These apps are great for those folks.
That doesn’t mean that even the tried and true hands at hunting can benefit from a little technology. Some of these apps do things that our forefathers could not have dreamed of. Sure, there is value in preserving the old ways and the old knowledge, I will be the first to stand up and say so but that doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to the tools that can really help us.
Give a few of these apps a shot, I am sure you will find something that you like and that makes your days spent hunting just a little more productive!