In years past, hunters headed afield with nothing but their trusty firearm, a healthy dose of perseverance and the skills they had built through seasons of trial and error. While skill still plays a very large role in hunting success, many companies now offer electronic devices that, when used properly, can help hunters enjoy even more success. From electronic motion decoys to game cameras, these devices can give you the edge this fall and winter. Here are 10 types of electronic devices that can help you be a more successful hunter for many different game species.
This Mojo electronic dove decoy can bring doves to your hunting spot when stationary decoys fail to do the job. walmart.com
Decoys are effective tools for hunting many game species. For waterfowl, they’re practically must-have equipment, since without them ducks and geese are virtually impossible to attract. They’re also quite effective for hunting turkeys, dove, predators and even some big game species like deer and antelope. Modern electronic decoys are even more effective than stationary ones as they add movement that ensures approaching game that the decoys they are seeing are, in fact, real animals. That’s extremely important for waterfowl hunting, especially on days with no or little wind when decoys just sit stationary. For predators, a moving, fake rabbit can be just the ticket for bringing them into easy rifle range. And in big dove fields with many hunters spread around, a dove decoy with spinning wings can be just the ticket for filling a limit.
This electronic predator call from FOXPRO can be operated with a remote control, drawing the predator’s attention away from the hunter and to the call. walmart.com
Calls are effective for many kinds of game animals. Deer respond to many vocalizations, as do ducks, geese and turkeys. Hunters who want to be successful on predators like coyotes and bobcats also use calls frequently, and electronic calls are very popular with those hunters. These calls can be turned up loud or down very low, whichever the occasion requires. And they can be set up several yards away from the hunter, making the targeted coyote look toward the call instead of straight at the hunter, possibly seeing the danger and escaping. Note that electronic calls are illegal for waterfowl hunting at most times in most places. But for the spring conservation snow goose season, they’re nearly a necessity. When you have 5,000 screeching geese, a loud electronic call—or several—is needed to get their attention and bring them your way.
This rangefinder from Bushnell will range out to 1,000 yards and features selectable bow and rifle modes.
A good rangefinder can make the difference between whether your next big game hunt is a successful one or you go home empty-handed. Truth is, many times hunters miss game animals with bows and guns because they miscalculated the range to the animal. Because of gravity making your arrow or bullet drop as it goes farther along its path, knowing the exact distance to your target is of utmost importance. A rangefinder can give you that exact distance to within a yard or two, so if you know the ballistics of your weapon, a good shot is much easier to make. When shopping for a rangefinder, you should consider several factors, including magnification, size, lens coatings, display type, whether you will be hunting with a gun or bow and the maximum distance a unit will range.
This 30-gallon Moultrie tripod feeder has a digital timer that you can program to feed up to six times a day. walmart.com
Feeders are useful for hunters to attract deer to their area and keep them there during the hunting seasons. They can also be helpful in providing additional nutrition to the deer herd in your hunting area. While some feeders are gravity activated and let food fall as it is emptied from the opening, most are electronic. These units have a timer that can be set for whatever time you want them to dispense feed. The timer starts a motor that spins a small spinner plate below the funnel, tossing corn for whatever duration you select. Other electronic devices associated with feeders that can be useful to hunters include solar panels to keep batteries charged and feeder-filling augers. Note that some states do not allow feeders for deer hunting, so check regulations where you hunt.
This Scent Crusher gear bag provides an easy and effective way for hunters to eliminate smells and odors before and after the hunt. walmart.com
For big-game hunters, a scent-free regimen is one of the biggest keys to hunting success. The white-tailed deer—North America’s most popular big game animal—has one of the most incredible senses of smell in the animal kingdom. Just consider that humans have about 5 million olfactory receptors in their noses. In comparison, dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors. White-tailed deer, on the other hand, have 297 million olfactory receptors in their noses! While scent-free products and cover scents are very effective, some companies offer machines that make and keep hunting clothing scent free, even during transportation to your hunting area. If you’re really serious about killing more and bigger bucks, this type of product can be a great addition to your hunting closet.
This Moultrie game camera features 0.3-second trigger speed, 80-foot detection and a 100-foot flash. Plus, it will shoot full HD video. walmart.com
Game cameras have revolutionized deer hunting as much as any other gear advancement, enabling hunters to know what deer are using their hunting area, when they are visiting and other critical information. Place a good-quality game camera in the perfect location and you’ll even alleviate the need to do much on-foot scouting, which can push the buck you are hunting out of your area. Along with hunting uses, many people also utilize game cameras to keep tabs on who, or what, is hanging around their cabin, barn or home. When looking for a good game camera, there are several features to consider, including photo and video resolution, detection range, trigger speed/recovery time, battery life, flash capabilities, presence of a viewing screen and any other special features you might need for your particular application.
Game Camera Accessories
This Stealth Cam portable card reader allows hunters to view their game camera images while in the field. walmart.com
Along with game cameras, game came accessories can make life a little more convenient. When using early game cameras, many hunters were forced to trek to their camera, pull the SD card and carry it back to their truck to view the images on their laptop. Many newer cameras have built-in screens so you can view the images on the spot. Many game cameras, however, still don’t have viewing screens. Fortunately, several companies offer small, portable SD card readers that you can take with you anytime you are out in the woods, allowing you to quickly and easily get a look at what deer or other game animals have been passing through your area. Solar chargers are also available that can be used to power game cams, eliminating the fear of batteries going dead right before the season opens.
This night-vision monocular from Barska features 3x magnification for better image resolution at night. walmart.com
Binoculars, an essential piece of equipment for many types of hunting, are fairly simple devices with no electronics required. But along with the rangefinders discussed early, several types of electronic optical devices can make hunters more successful in their quest to harvest wild game. A night-vision monocular is one such product. While hunting for most species is not allowed at night, scouting is, and night vision can allow you to glass a field in the dark and see what kinds of animals might be feeding there. They’re also useful for checking out nighttime noises outside your home. Also, some companies make rangefinder binoculars that serve the dual purpose of helping you spot animals at a great distance, then letting you get the exact distance to that animal with the same device.
This Bear crossbow package comes complete with an illuminated scope for easier aiming in low-light conditions. walmart.com
Illuminated scopes can be a blast, and have many applications, especially in sport shooting. 3-Gun competitors love them since they can be turned to 1x and used like a red-dot for close shooting, then cranked up and used as a conventional scope when aiming at distant targets. While illuminated scopes are not legal for deer hunting in some states, many states do allow their use on crossbows, and they can make a lot of difference in shot accuracy. Not only do they let you see targets better in the low-light conditions often associated with big game hunting, but many have an illuminated dot in the center of the reticle for easier aiming in those same conditions. Once you’re tried an illuminated scope on your crossbow, it’s doubtful you’ll ever choose to use a conventional scope again.
This Big Bite electric grinder is made of stainless steel and can grind about four pounds of venison per minute. walmart.com
The many electronic devices discussed so far are all focused on helping hunters have more success at harvesting game animals. But what about after the shot? Electric devices make venison preparation much easier too. In years past, most hunters ground their chili meat the old fashion way—feeding meat into a manual grinder with one hand while cranking the grinder with the other hand. Modern electric grinders can make the job easier, and most will grind hundreds of pounds of meat per hour. Once the meat is ground, vacuum sealers allow hunters to package meat in an air-tight manner that can help avoid the freezer burn so common with meat wrapped in butcher paper or sealed in zipper style plastic bags.
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