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I forget the year (back in mid '90s) but it went like this for me. I had a cow tag for elk in the Savage Run Wilderness of the Medicine Bow Forest, Snowy Range, Wyoming.

I was stillhunting (what else?) a big, forested ridge watching below me well into the day when I spotted an elk head seemingly suspended in a ray of sunlight. To make a long story a little shorter, I shed my pack and belly crawled down the ridge toward the elk. At about 50 yards I slid into the divot left by the root-wad of a small pine tree that had blown over. It was like a foxhole with a small berm. After catching my breath I peeked over the edge.

I could see six or eight cows and calves, and a nice bull bedded below me, chewing their cuds. Remember, I had an antlerless-only tag. I studied the group and picked a cow that did not appear to have a calf at her side. She was bedded, facing away with only neck and head exposed. I aimed for the base of the skull and squeezed off the shot from my Rem. 700 Mtn. rifle in .280 Rem.

All he!! broke loose at the shot. Elk came out of the woodwork. Instantly, about twice as many elk were up and trotting straight at me. The shot had echoed off the facing ridge, confusing them. About the time they got even with my position they all stopped, several on either side. The bull followed and stopped right in front of me, peeing on himself and looking generally clueless. I had ten or fifteen elk, including a very nice bull, within spitting distance. I remember thinking, "If I wanted you, Big Boy, you'd be mine!"

Then the senior cow decided to move on. They all fell in line and trotted off over a wrinkle in the ridge behind and above me, the bull bringing up the rear. Suddenly I was alone in the quiet and the dappled sunlight. It was like a dream. I thought, "Oh, sh!t, what if I missed the head shot?"

Slowly I walked down-slope and there she lay, as if she had just fallen asleep. What a relief!

I got her all quartered up and hung the pieces on a deadfall that slanted up off the ground. It was late afternoon. I started back out to the truck, about a mile. As I went I hung strips of old, white, T-shirt on tree branches and made notes in a small spiral notepad. It was near sundown when I reached the truck and drove home for the night.

The next day was another beautiful, Indian Summer day in the Rockies. My wife went with me to pack out the meat. We followed my notes and rags until we came to a dead-end: no meat and no more rags in sight. The woods looked familiar but where was the meat? We worked up and down the ridge, back and forth...nothing. I was getting pretty confused. It was like an old episode of "The Twilight Zone." (Some of you aren't old enough to remember that TV show.)

Finally, I told Mary, "Stand right here by the last rag. I am going to drop off the ridge to the bottom. If I don't see something familiar, I don't know what we are going to do." I walked about 15 yards to where there was a line of "Christmas Trees" that blocked the view below, and stepped through them. There, not 20 yards away, were five bags of meat hanging in the slanted deadfall. From that point on it was old fashioned backpacking to get the meat out to the truck.

That was in October. I told my father (who lives in Missouri) the story of the "lost meat" and come Christmas I had a first-generation GPS (Magellan) unit. Dad figured I needed it!

That unit is long retired but it and subsequent units have (almost) avoided repeats of the "lost elk meat" story.
 

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I was scheduled to hunt Elk and Deer in Colorado and was given the GPS coordinates of where to meet my hunting party. After driving 1400 miles I got there a day ahead of everyone else and set up camp about 100 feet from where the others had camped the year before. That was with a cheap Garmin etrex. I have had one with me every time I hunt since that day. It has been great to be able to get back to stands in the dark and to find down game after dark.
 

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I use mine to mark holes when ice fishing(for the next year), dead elms when hunting morel mushrooms(in the fall when they're turning gray) downed game, tree stands (that I look for before daylight) and many other activities in the out-of-doors. I take a way point when leaving the truck. Possibilities are endless? Mine is an old Garmin III.
Steve
 

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I have hunted the wilderness areas on Montana all my life and know from personal experience that I am capable of getting lost in the garden. After hunting for a day in Idaho with a Montana elk tag (I walked of the wrong side of the ridge in a snow storm), I bought a GPS. Dense timber and frequent cloudy skies and the nature of the mountains mean that my wife insists that I hunt with a GPS (She never seems to think of the life insurance. I'm worth more dead than alive). I like the Garmin Vista and have all the topo maps of my hunting areas in it. It is nice to be able to hunt and find my way back to the truck, camp, or horse. I like not having to flag my way back to a kill, knowing how to get to a favorite spot, and being able to determine the direction and distance to the beer cooler. My internal compass has never worked and I still carry a Silva just in case the 6 spare batteries in my fanny pack wear out. My only complaint is the low resolution of the Garmn topo maps. My old Delorian maps had 25 feet between contour lines.
Tim
 

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I got the first GPS unit to hit the local Wally World, some where around 92 or 93 I think. Garmin GPS 40, IIFC it was near $400. I still have it and it still works as good as ever. It's got a little bad spot on the screen but that's it. I've marked everything I come across (just like an old dog), use it mostly for marking fishing spots in Baja from San Felipe to LA Bay. One of my pards has a 76CSX and there is not 2 feet difference between them spot for spot.

D R
 

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didn't think I'd need one .... I never go that far into the boonies that I can't find my way out again, not too adventuresome in that way.

then I went hunting one day with a pal and we walked down a canyon with a lot of small creekbeds. No biggie. But on the way back uphill we couldn't figure out which creekbed was the correct one. We got back to the car no problem, but we walked an extra few miles we didn't need to walk.

bought a bottom-of-the-line Garmin eTrex soon after that and discovered how easy life can become with a few more ounces of technology.

Cheers,

Carl
 

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Took a trip from Wisconsin to Worcester, MA in 2001 to meet my sister in law from Austin so her and my wife could do some genealogy. I'd been toying with the idea of buying a GPS and after looking at a street map of Worcester I ordered the Street Pilot III from Garmin. I called my sister in law and told her to email me the addresses of all the places she wanted to go, and I received a list of a dozen places in and around Worcester. I got online and converted the addresses to coordinates and sent them to the GPS. That trip went so smooth I was sold and haven't used a paper map since. I'm on my forth GPS for the car and added three handhelds to my collection.
 

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Started back in late 70's with loran on my boat. It made wreckfishing possible in the ocean when out of sight of land. Also made it possible to find my way home in the dark and or fog. Later in 2000, bought a new boat with a new gps, same reason. Just natural to put one in my car, use it all the time, and this year I'll be getting one for the woods to.
 

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I got into GPS the same way I got into everything I've ever gotten into: As cheaply as possible! :biggrin: It's not because I'm cheap though, It's because I'm broke.

I bought a TomTom from a pawn shop for $60 and we've been best friends ever since. When I went into the pawn shop I asked to see his GPS devices. He had about 7 of them, and they were all the same price. I set aside all the small ones, and the ones without windshield mounts, and attempted to power the remaining ones up. One didn't power up, so it was eliminated. The rest powered up, so I poked at them for a few minutes to see how easy the menus were to navigate. The Garmins and the TomToms seemed about the same (though I'd heard from several people that the TomToms are easier), but the TomToms had more recent maps, so I selected one of those. I love my TomTom, but I'd never pay full price for a new one. ;)

For hunting and hiking, I use my Android phone. There are several Free GPS programs available on android, but I use OSMDroid and OSMTracker. OSMDroid is a map viewer. I make sure to look at all the maps of where I plan to go before I get there, so that they are cached in the phone's memory in case there is no data signal to the phone.

OSMTracker is a tracking program. It records your coordinates every second, so that you can review your path later. It has the ability to record landmarks and to take notes and mark them at your current location. It's only flaw is that you can't review your trace on the device, which would occasionally be useful. I record my traces while scouting, and then I add trails and landmarks to the OSMDroid map when I get home. I find it best to start new tracks whenever I enter or exit my car, for easier map editing.

The OSM ( openstreetmap.org ) data is Licensed under the Creative Commons license, which is very similar to being Public Domain, but is also protected from prioritization (public domain is not). What that means is that you can update your map data at any time free of charge, and you can add data (roads, trails, landmarks, etc...) to the map as you see fit. It is very much analogous to Wikipedia, and many people simply describe it as "The Wikipedia of maps." I know that it probably seems like a lot of work, but I like maps and mapping, and I only have to do it once, and then anyone can benefit from my labor of love.

There are also Android apps that can combine OSM maps with Geo-Caching locations, and OSM Navigation apps. I have found that OSM is generally more up to date than Google maps, and Bing maps, but that sometimes it is unaware that an overpass is not an intersection. For that reason I prefer to use my stand alone TomTom for car navigation, but I do correct overpasses in my area and those that I come across in my travels.
 

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Iam a firm believer in gps's also.. I have several of them.. there a must have on the water.. I got one for my truck about 15 years ago an never used a paper map again.. I have a garmin nuvi series now an they have so much more info other than just directions. You can look up anything, e.g, closest gas station, motel, food, hospital, dentist, atm, just what ever your a needin. I bought one for my mom, nephew, niece.

I got one of the bushnell back tracks because it was smaller an had less buttons on it to use huntin in the swamps. Its very basic, but it works perfect for going to point a to point b situations.

One thing with hand held gps's make SURE you have spare batteries.. Its USELESS without batteries..
 

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One thing with hand held gps's make SURE you have spare batteries.. Its USELESS without batteries..
I agree 100%, and if you don't have one with replaceable batteries (a phone for example), be sure to have a battery powered charger for it. It's also a good idea to keep it inside ziplock bags if it isn't waterproof.
 

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I got my first GPS a garmin deluxe V to use traveling on motorcycle. You had to download maps all the time. Then I discovered geocacheing. I did it for a while and loved it. Then My computer messed up and I lost my mapsource to load different states. So I upgraded to the garmin nuvi It has all the maps loaded in it so it was a lot simpler to use. My nuvi is several years old now and says I need to update it. I will probably just buy a new gps with current maps. I have 2 friends that have tried to update their nuvi's and the unit quit working. Just buy newer gps and it will have all the updates already installed. I have had excellent service out of my nuvi and a new one is in order. I have used the one I have now a lot with no problem at all its super easy to use and portable so I can use it in whatever I want from my atv to my boat or any of our vehicles. The nuvi recalculates super fast and keeps me right on track wheever I want to go. The old deluxe V was slow to recalculate and I would be past the next turn before it found it sometimes. The nuvi does it in seconds where the old one sometimes took minutes.
 

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I bought my first handheld GPS in the nineties just because I like techie stuff. I bought my first car GPS when my wife and her sister in Austin wanted to go to Massachusetts to do some genealogy. We were going to Worcester and some of the smaller outlying towns. I emailed the tourist people in Worcester to get some area maps and when I got them and started looking at them I thought the way the streets ran in Worcester looked like a nightmare. It looked like they turned a herd of cows loose and wherever each cow wandered they made it a street. I called a place and ordered a Garmin Street Pilot III. I called my sister in law and got all of the addresses that they wanted to go to, got on line and converted them to GPS coordinates. The trip turned out to be the smoothest trip we had ever taken. Right now I'm on my forth handheld and my forth car GPS. We haven't used paper maps since 2001.
 

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Started back in late 70's with loran on my boat. It made wreckfishing possible in the ocean when out of sight of land. Also made it possible to find my way home in the dark and or fog. Later in 2000, bought a new boat with a new gps, same reason. Just natural to put one in my car, use it all the time, and this year I'll be getting one for the woods to.
I, too, started with Loran. Wreck fishing and diving in the Gulf of Mexico was my passion at the time and a Loran and bottom unit were as important as a rod. Loran numbers were closely held secrets for most people. I've pulled anchor and left at the sight of a boat on the horizon to protect my spot.

GPS is so much more accurate. I have units in my cars, boats and handheld units. Being old and old fashion, I still use a map and compass in new areas and as a backup. A GPS is like a pocketknife. The more you use it the more uses you find for one. I rarely carry less than three pocketknives; but that is for another post.
 

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Got a Magellen about twenty years ago. I had it 'on' a couple of time's. Still got it around here somewhere. I've alway's used a map and compass, and when I started climbing, an altimeter. With those three I can still pinpoint where I am on a topo map very closely. My altimeter is about thirty five years old, made by Gischard in Germany, and I use a Silva 'Ranger' compass for serious work, but use a simple style most of the time as cross country isn't done much anymore. Don't use the orienteering skill's, but still set a compass for direction of road by setting back az heading with the 'direction of travel arrow'.
 

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first time using a gps it was built into a fishfinder (early 90's)

caught a lot of fish by getting back to honey holes out in open water. Did really well opening day of walleye one year fishing a big flat. there were lots of boats milling around flipping jigs.

In moving around we noticed a 'trench' one foot deeper than the rest of the flat that must have been for cables out to an island. We trolled that trench using the gps and caught a ton of fish in among a lot of boats that caught nothing.

Use gps's all the time now, in the car, handheld in the bush. But I still always carry a compass
 
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