Published by Frank Biggs on 14 Aug 2015
The technology is here for all to enjoy accurate mapping in the field!
How many people know that Wyoming was the first to make jumping B.L.M. corners a trespassing violation? It is the same in Oregon, as I have tested the waters on this one.
There is technology and mapping resources to keep you from unintentionally trespassing in the State of Oregon and many other states in the continental U.S. that has private land and public land in a mix of blocks with fences and without fences. In many cases a person can gain access to public land using the technology.
For many years I have been helping hunters find places to hunt for big game in the State of Oregon. In the four years I have been involved with new mapping technology and giving coordinates or waypoints to hunters at NO COST monetarily, none of my hunters that use the technology have ever had an issue. I have expected them to buy a GPS (Garmin) (colored screen) (SD Micro Ready) that interfaces with the Topo Mapping Software from onXmaps HUNT. Recently I have extended free service for those that are using Android and Apple devices. In this case with the onXmaps HUNT software loaded to the device, I can send them a Google Earth KLM file. This keeps it simple and fast for me to get them into the area, saving a great deal of time in the scouting of an area.
A bit of humor though, when checking back with the hunters after the hunt, I have asked where the pictures and short story are, some have told me “I didn’t find an antelope at the waypoint!” “But I did get kill one close to the spot!”
For those who are savvy with a computer to have the software on the computer and on a colored screen Garmin GPS there is limitless opportunity with the knowledge gained from using the technology.
The great thing about using onXmaps HUNT is that in many states you have the private, private timber lands, BLM, State Lands and National Forest lands distinctively marked for easy reference. In many counties you will see the blocks of private by land owner name. The onXmaps HUNT Information Technology team is always updating the maps when needed!
What does amaze me daily that many hunters who let’s say have waited 12-20 years for a pronghorn tag, still come back to me when they are using their computer to find me and my services and tell me they can’t afford a GPS or they tell me, “I have a paper map.” I don’t even carry paper maps in the field any longer.
The major problem with paper maps is that most are outdated and most will not show the small blocks of private land that are on Bureau of Land Management, State Lands (sometimes) or National Forest. Just one example is near Sumpter and Granite, Oregon where there are privately held mines on private land. Always interesting to see the names of the mines in some Oregon’s and other state’s remote locations. You won’t see that on most paper maps, little along on other mapping software. I can guarantee with a National Forest map or road map, you’re going to get a trespassing ticket if you rely on that source to keep you legal. A landowner up in this neck of the woods on an active mine, might not take too kindly to someone trespassing. Now if you had the onXmaps HUNT mapping, you might be able to find the landowner and get permission to hunt. Remember, asking is not that hard to do!
Yet to this day in a moment of compassion, I will print a map from my onXmaps HUNT program, scan it and send it to a person so they can hunt. It is just not the same doing this rather than to have the waypoints on a GPS and while at camp, look at them on a laptop for the next day’s hunt. You can make a route to get to that hard to reach spot. For those that don’t have a Garmin, they might only get txt files and try to figure them out on a map. Land ownership and boundaries change over the years, just look at the boundaries of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation today versus 15 years ago.
Having a local tell you, “Once you get to the store in Hampton, there is a road that goes to the north out of town, travel for about a mile, stop at the first tree on the left, turn then once you cross the stream on Grade 7 road, then travel about 1 mile, then turn right at the big boulder with class of 70 painted on it, then up the hill until you see the pine tree, then take the second dirt road to the left” is utterly confusing. Most of us get lost!
I hear of hunters or outdoor people getting ticketed every day for trespassing unknowingly. The fine alone, if they get a good judge with compassion, you could have bought a new Garmin Montana and onXmaps HUNT SD Micro Card, and many sporting goods stores have package deals!
The other amazing thing is that the GPS and the mapping software will give the hunter or outdoor person and insight into the unknown. You’ll find places you can go, that you never knew existed. These places aren’t advertised, but once you locate them by using the equipment, you can make the call or let’s say check with ODFW on private lands on which the public can hunt. Do you really think that timber companies advertise for the public to hunt their lands? They might have some lands open, but they also have some not opened to the public and yet both are posted the same way!