There is an old saying by Sailors’, “is you’re “Ditty Bag” complete?”   A sailor would rely on the “Ditty Bag” to have his most important items in it…   No “Ditty Bag” with the essentials for the hunter, outdoor adventurer, fisherman or hiker is an incomplete tool bag.   Today’s “Ditty Bag” will appear as a duffle bag or backpack of sorts.

I see it everywhere, the youth and now even the older generation using mobile devices.  There are so many APPS out there; a mobile device can do just about anything imagined.   APPS have made it easy for everyone to navigate through a daily routine.


“Ditty Bag” A major essential for the complete outdoor person would be an IPad or IPhone or Android Device and last not lest a Garmin GPS (Color Screen – Micro SD Slot).   My mobile device is Apple IPad that seems to go everywhere with me and has the onXmaps APP.   It is the great research tool that I have in my “Ditty Bag”, it’s like a talking encyclopedia, only it is visual and easy to understand.  As simple as turning on the device, opening the onXmaps HUNT APP and then letting my fingers do the work.

There are three (3) ways to think of the essentials when it comes to mapping in my mind.  The mobile device is for scouting and in the field use.  The laptop (most common computer) is for scouting and the GPS is all about in the field and scouting secondary.

I have 18 layers of information that overlay the 12 available basemaps, also with 5 western states PLATS loaded on my IPad.   The operator gets to decide which overlay or overlays, basemap or basemaps they want to use in their research or the use in the field.   Many outdoor people use their phone such as an Android or one of the many Apple IPhones for everything.   The onXmaps HUNT APP makes it quite easy to use in the course again of daily routine.

onXmaps HUNT  - So easy to use!

onXmaps HUNT – So easy to use!

I would like to mention the number of layers that are available and what some of the key ones are, just to mention a few of them at this time.

The List:

COMPLEMENTARY:
USFS Roads
USFS Recreational Sites
USFS Motor Vehicle Roads, Trail (MVUM)
Current Cloud Coverage
Current Nexrad Radar
Current Wind Conditions
App Plat Coverage Learn about private parcel coverage
NATION:
USA Trail
Points of Interest
Forest Visitor Maps
Prairie Dogs (For Real) Where to find in the West
Current Wildfires
STATE:  My Active
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Private Lands
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Government Lands
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Possible Access
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT (WMU’s) Wildlife Management Units
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT (OR) Access and Habitat Program

Then there is the BASEMAPS that you assign and many can be used offline.

The list is long, but each and every layer & basemap is a valuable tool to those that want to gain knowledge!  One has to study the land and learn the habits of the game to be successful.

This what one of my website hunters might get given to them.

This what one of my website hunters might get given to them.

Many times I get emails, especially on Pronghorn for both Oregon and a number of the other known Pronghorn states in the West.   The hunter’s statement and questions normally come in as such:  “I have 15 preference points, what hunt unit can I harvest a recorded class Antelope?”   It has been told to me by and old friend who happens to be an O.D.F.W. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) Biologist, “Every hunt unit in Oregon has at least one Boone & Crockett Pronghorn, and you just don’t want to shoot the first village idiot!”   This statement means that most that wait a longtime for a tag sometimes shoot to fast without studying the animals.   I have suggested too many hunters to go by a sporting goods store and study heads and look at pictures of big bucks.  An example in the Portland Metro area in Oregon, Sportsmen’s Warehouse has two (2) Boone & Crockett Pronghorns on the wall.  One is only 14 ½” in length and the other is 16 5/8” in length with the smaller scoring bigger…   A hunter may not be able to harvest a Booner, but surely can find a good buck.  This will lead into the next paragraph on the B & C (Boone & Crockett) layer.

When you touch the area on the B & C Layer this is what you will see.

When you touch the area on the B & C Layer this is what you will see.

So with the Boone & Crockett layer, W.M.U. layer, PLAT map and the Government layer the hunter can find where all the entries come from to help make the right decision when applying for the long awaited tag.  So if you’re serious about becoming the 10% of the hunters that harvest 90% of the game, then don’t wait any longer to get the tools you need to be successful.  What I have found out from my own experiences early on that, I had a mentor to guide me in my youth to become successful in harvesting good animals and some outstanding animals.  The onXmaps HUNT APP has become a major mentor of technical knowledge.

One last layer (State Plat) I am going to talk about is the Private Lands.   A scenario that comes all the time to hunters that have had a bleak day of hunting, you pull into the local service station or small store you get into a conversation with the attendant or the cashier about your day or they ask you about your day.  I have had a number of hunters tell me that the attendant has given them a name of rancher that wants some game reduction done on his place.  You can hit the magnifier on the screen and type in the name and guess what, the landowner’s place shows up majority of the time.  Now if one is real smart about gathering INTEL, they will have the Whitepages booked mark on the mobile device.  The name normally equals phone number in many cases.  I will check out new Blacktail deer spots in the valley during the evenings, find the game and look up the landowner to get permission to hunt.  The onXmaps Hunt mapping makes that possible.

onXmaps - Taking paper maps and making it easy, no more laying them on the hood of your truck and trying to figure it out!

onXmaps – Taking paper maps and making it easy, no more laying them on the hood of your truck and trying to figure it out!

Another thought is that we meet a lot of people in the field and most like to talk about their hunts or adventurers; I have found many to give road numbers, landmarks and whatever else embellishes the adventurer.  End result is that I am going to absorb the information and it is loaded to my IPad, GPS and laptop.

As you note in my “Ditty Bag”, I also have my Garmin Montana GPS, this is also a must when in the field.  Sometimes, in a deep dark canyon, you might not have mobile device reception and I rely on my Garmin to be accurate in tight areas…

The savvy hunter or outdoor persons will purchase the whole meal deal, everything for the mobile device and for the Garmin GPS (colored monitor-micro-chip slot) and or download to the computer to up-load to the GPS, then back to the computer.  I back-up my waypoints and adventurers to my laptop.

I have only touched surface of what this great mapping tool can do for you, it is time for you to buy and check it.

My “Ditty Bag” has the following items in it, Garmin Montana GPS/onXmaps Hunt software, IPad/onXmaps Hunt APP, Benchmade Knives (2), 12×50 Bausch & Lomb Binoculars, Nikon SLR Camera, Oregon Hunt/Fish License/Tags, rubber gloves, matches, Leatherman, toilet paper and money! Everything else, I pack in my hands or on my body…

My lasting thought to all that read this is, with this technology, inertly trespassing is a thing of the past.  In many states, it is the requirement of the trespasser to know where they are and law enforcement and landowner does not have to prove you were trespassing…

#huntsmarter #teamhunt #onxmaps #bwanabubbaadventurers

Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba