Big Game Help In Our Sportsman’s Paradise?
There’s An App For That!
It’s open season for apps that target the most tech-savvy adventurers among us.
Depending on where you live in Louisiana, deer season can start as early as September 19 and migratory bird hunting can start as early as September 5 this year. With more than 277,000 hunters in Louisiana hunting a combined 5.2 million days and spending more than $564 million a year, according to the latest Census figures, why fall prey to competition to bag an 8-pointer, a duck or a dove? If you have a pocket in your camouflage big enough to hold a tablet or cell phone, you might just get the edge on the thrill of the hunt.
No Louisiana sportsman should be without the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries app. Launched in 2012, this free app offers crucial information for outdoor enthusiasts. When called up in the field, the LDWF app helps users identify species in their crosshairs to see if they are in season with just a few clicks. Information about permits and bag limits, snake and alligator identification are also readily available.
The iSportsman Journal app created by Mandeville, LA’s Chain Interlynx LLC, is a $.99 app for hunters and fishermen who want to name spots and mark positions for deer cameras, deer stands, duck blinds or fishing holes. Users post their own photos, access GPS coordinates and check weather, sunrise and sunset stats. Chain Interlynx LLC states they won’t collect your information and won’t steal your favorite hunting spot in the wild.
The HuntSoft app is the brainchild of Baton Rouge’s Randall Nachman who said his “total system” helps users hunt smarter to avoid pitfalls and decoys. His software utilizes all hunting-related data that stalkers gather each season and lets users create custom interactive maps of hunting properties and add their own coordinates for stands, cameras, feeders and blinds.
Whether you store, organize and track data points from “trail cam” images, sightings and kills, or predict patterns with their reporting system using their proprietary algorithm, by using the HuntSoft app you’ll be connected to hunter-focused communities where it’s easy to share outdoor experiences with friends and family on the site’s social network.
The software can be used for managing leases and for personal or commercial hunting properties for unlimited property boundaries and locations. It also logs lunar and weather conditions.
There’s a free version of HuntSoft, but users can snare a more comprehensive one for up to $17.99 a month if additional data storage space and reporting options are needed.
What The Hunt Louisiana (WTH Louisiana) is an app that costs $1.99 and features hunting seasons listed by date and not by game, so by selecting any day of the year you’ll find out pretty quickly what’s safe to shoot. Subscribers also get access to lengthy lists of all species in their area. Creator Heartland Hunters want users to be able to plan their vacations and see what’s available to hunt ahead of time or in the field.
Internet access is not required to use WTH Louisiana. Instead, users download periodic updates when in WiFi range. Each version of the app will get you access to 1 year of updates.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, hunting is a safe outdoor recreational pastime in terms of injuries per 100,000 participants, but, Randy Book, who invented the StandBoss app from his Riverside Computer Solutions computer company in Natchez, MS, said safety is still his primary concern and worth the cost of membership to his site.
“I built StandBoss for hunter safety,” he said. “There was no way to tell where everyone was in the woods before. Now, this app can pull up how many members are around you and where they are hunting.”
Book said his clients are mostly members affiliated with hunting clubs all around the nation including Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and as far away as North Dakota, New Jersey and Washington D.C.
Launched in January 2013, StandBoss also focuses on animal management. When you take the demonstration tour you’ll find you can log in with a member name and/ or stand name, post what time you occupied your stand and when you left it and post how many does, bucks, coons, duck or pigs you harvested. Options allow users to log hunt and kill histories by location to manage animal movement.
There’s also access to a live interactive aerial map that tracks other members, stands and campsites and lets you know which stands are occupied or vacant, when the area was last hunted and what game was found there. Users can mark their territory by providing longitude and latitude coordinates to create their own official GPS locations.
To double down on safety, StandBoss tracks where members are at all times and sends text and email alerts to users’ loved ones if they did not check out of their stands or didn’t make it out of the woods.
Individual, private access to the site costs $85 a year, or $50 per member of registered hunting clubs. There’s also a one-time $50 fee option for GPS service for stand locations. But, it will cost you extra if you want StandBoss to send their surveying crew to your site and place all of the stands, camps and property lines on the aerial overlay for your application.