Technology and the Outdoors
As an old-timer priding myself in the old school ways of hunting and fishing, I found it difficult to move into technology for the outdoors arena. Whether it be fishing apps, hunting apps, trail cameras or Livescope they can all help. Forward-looking sonar has taken the fishing world by storm and shows the fish moving on your bait. Garmin even has an app that wirelessly updates your unit and allows you to plot your day’s trip from the comfort of your recliner. Pretty cool stuff out there.
Had I not chosen writing as my career I might have never crossed over. However, with all the questions I receive about the available options today I felt that I needed to explore some of those modern-day outdoor technologies so that I could write about them with more insight. Also to give more knowledgeable answers when asked. I can say now that I’m all in with outdoor technology. After just 10 minutes fishing with Livescope by Garmin, I was sold. I had one bought and installed in 3 days.
As more and more digital equipment entered my arsenal it was like a kid at Christmas as I learned and added new techniques and tactics to catch more fish. These new tactics evolve with the application of these new technologies, and they create a whole new world of angling that some find exciting. As these new technologies enter the world of fishing, like any new thing, they have their critics. All I can say is if you enjoy the old school way of doing things then by all means continue. I will warn you, however, that if you are against the new technologies and techniques then you best not try them out yourself or you just might be eating crow.
Livescope has taken the fishing world by storm. Is Livescope technology worth it for the weekend angler? I would say without hesitation yes. The cost is a sticking point for many, and I get that for sure. It was a big sticking point for me until I saw it in action. The cost got a little less sticky. If you fish a few weekends a year and you fish up shallow for spawning crappie, then I would say Livescope might be more than you need. I will say that Livescope will help you catch more crappie, even up shallow but the cost-to-use ratio might be too big.
If you fish a lot, especially in the summer and winter when fish move to deeper water, or you want to maximize the time spent on the water then I would say that Livescope is for you. The Livescope technology can cut your time finding fish tremendously. Even as important it helps you locate baitfish and where they are in the water column. You can also see how fish react to your presentation. There is no doubt whether a fish is interested in your bait when you see it on the Livescope. You know when to leave to find more active fish. This time savings alone will be the deciding factor in biting the bullet for a Garmin Livescope unit for many anglers. The fun of catching them and the fillets for dinner will eliminate any buyer’s remorse you might have.
Hunting apps are another great technology for the outdoors that I hesitated on. Until one day I saw a friend using a hunting app and I was sold. I now use hunting apps to hunt whitetails and have a wealth of information at my fingertips. This includes notes I’ve made from previous seasons that help a lot. They are always available with a click of an icon on my phone or IPAD. As a public land hunter, I can research and plan the next day’s hunt right inside my camper or my tent. I mark stand sites based on the direction of movement. It will help you locate bedding areas of a buck. The trail camera along with the hunting app has revolutionized hunting. This technology in the outdoors is a problem for some hunters and I understand but it is here to stay.
Much like Livescope, a fishing app slowly worked its way into my routine and is a worthwhile technology for your outdoor pursuits. Over the years I have attempted to keep a journal of my fishing trips to look back on. I carried a little notebook and pen with me. I jotted down water temp, location, weather conditions that day, and whether the fish were biting. This went on off and on for years and I found that when I was able to look back on a date or time of year and read my notes it helped me. The problem was there would be huge gaps in the journal sometimes yearlong gaps. Various reasons for the gaps in journaling, the book got wet, the pen stopped writing, or just too much trouble.
Today I use a fishing app to keep a log of my fishing trips. I see much fewer gaps in the trips logged. My notes on the fishing app becomes invaluable at times. The fishing app that I use is The Brushpile Fishing App. With the app right there on your phone, it’s easy to record your information. A lot of the fields are done for you. Logging all the weather conditions, lake conditions, wind direction, and what the fish were biting that day can all come in handy down the road. I check the app and my logs to come up with a plan for that day. It doesn’t always work out as fishing is fishing, but oftentimes it does.
When trail cameras first started coming out, I was not even interested. As a public land bowhunter, I was not interested in going in and pulling cards from my trail camera. Especially in the prime areas I wanted to hunt. I’ve always kept a low profile and penetrated the core areas that held deer as little as possible. Then the cellular trail camera came out. I was still hesitant but knew that it wouldn’t take much to convince me to start using trail camera technology.
I finally decided that if I was going to be of any help in answering questions or writing about trail cameras, I would have to use them. This was my first season to use a trail camera and I can say it will be a part of my deer hunting arsenal going forward. Trail cameras are just too invaluable when searching an area for quality deer, especially the cellular trail camera. Much like Livescope, trail cameras provide more information than you first realize.
Once you start using a trail camera for deer scouting and applying old school woodsmanship, they will help you get on a good deer. The frustrating part is you know he is there. When you’re unable to get a glimpse of him you begin to reevaluate your hunting system. I learned a lot this season and am still using them to create a game plan for next year. I will be sharing more on this subject going forward. There are a lot of lessons to be learned about deer when you can watch them 24/7.
This article wasn’t about how to utilize a fishing app, a hunting app, a trail camera, or Livescope technology. It was more of an attempt to spur you on to use technology in the outdoors. It’s not for everyone I know. It took a while to accept it myself but since I have, I am learning a lot and loving it. I have even caught myself naming big bucks, something I thought I would never do.