Apps for hunters: seven smart downloads for the woods and range

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A ballistics calculator for your bow, ArcheryPal calculates arrow speed, kinetic energy, and trajectory. It will map your shots over time, giving you information that can help correct your form or tweak your bow sight. Packaged with archery tips and a no-frills GPS navigator, it’s worth the five-spot.



Here’s a good ballistics calculator for your deer gun, with info on more than 4,800 projectiles and factory loads. You can change variables for drag, atmospheric conditions, and sight picture. The $20 Advanced Edition includes a display for real-time use: Select your preprogrammed load, quick-scroll the distance, automatically factor weather conditions, and then … fire.


Of course, we have to tell you about Rut Reporters, the social-media super app that tracks rut activity on a national scale. See exactly when bucks get wonky in your woods, based on user-submitted field reports from your area. Read how-to advice, tips and tactics, and scouting report right from your tree stand.



Take a picture of a leaf, flower, or fruit with your smartphone, and Leafsnap tells you what tree grew it. Developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian, the database currently includes only Northeast species. But stay tuned. Broader electronic field guides are in the works.


There’s no shortage of hunter-based GPS mapping apps out there. MotionXis my favorite because it does the most for a dollar. You can download topos or NOAA maps. Set waypoints and determine the speed of travel, elevation changes, and other data. And share it all with Google Earth for an easy way to record your season, step by step.


This simple app from Primo’s maps winds currents over your current Google Maps location. Graphically, it looks better than just about everything else out there but might be redundant if you have ScoutLook (see below) or a GPS program. Still, as a no-frills way to visualize wind, you can’t beat it.


This hunter-centric weather app lets you drop pins for stand locations, bedding areas, sign, and 16 other possible categories. The ScentCone map shows wind direction over a 72-hour period to help you stay downwind of that big buck you’re after.

Caption: Wind Check Today’s apps offer archery tips, turn your phone into a GPS, and tell you which way the breeze will blow.

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