Recently there was an article published in Field & Stream (October 2017) about a father and son hunting and getting lost in the rugged Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon. One never made it back… The other his son forgot his GPS and Phone when heading back out to find his dad, he was lost for a number of days… Searchers finally located him!
“From 1997-2016, 80 have been found dead and another 76 not found” In this region of Oregon
Some of those that were never found, could have had other issues, such as venturing into a spot they did not belong in…
I know this number could be a lot less, if one were well prepared to the venture into the rugged mountains of the North America. Most feel they know all the ways back to camp from any location. Think about being in the Snake River Canyon in the morning at 65 degrees and sunny chasing a herd of Elk and in the afternoon the weather changing to a blizzard with the temperature dropping to below freezing and your horse has been moved from where you tether him up on the trail, plus you must venture into dark timber and any hint of daylight is about gone…
There is no hiker, hunter or outdoor enthusiast that has not gotten mixed up while in the field… Today there is so much technology to keep you from staying mixed up, lost permanently, or dying in the outdoor from being lost…
So many time when trying to help hunters find places to hunt, I request them to have a Garmin GPS, onX HUNT mapping for both the Garmin GPS (colored – microchip capable) and mobile device, such as the smart phones which 90% of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts carry with them 24/7.
The Garmin GPS, at least in the 21st should have WAAS (Wide Area Augmentable System) Note: Global Positioning System GPS is made up of at least 24 satellites, working in all conditions 24 hours a day and is FREE.
I would say at least 40% tell me they are “Old School” and use paper maps and a compass (that is maybe on the compass).
Just one little note with onX HUNT on the mobile side there is a trail layer that features trails old and new (CONUS). Another tool that can help in many hunting areas.
Let’s get real about paper maps, most are outdated, and boundaries change all the time. I threw out all my paper maps, that I have had for more than 30 years with all the X’s on them, moving the X’s to my GPS. Paper maps are outdate in field use and lacking the ability to Zoom in. Even if you mark your map with routes, it surely isn’t going let you do an active route back to camp or truck as a GPS would do. As for the compass, it’s Okay, if your batteries go dead or enemy decides to use an electromagnetic pulse or EMP while you’re in the back country.
Beside the Garmin GPS, Mobile Phone with the onX HUNT APP and chip, there is the 2 Ways such as Motorola handheld communicators, and last but not lease is an Emergency Locator Beacon, just in case you’re in real trouble and are immobile…
We must remember to have them in our backpack or ditty bag (U.S. NAVY), along with the other tools used in the field. Frank Biggs
This article is a two part article that has to do with
Public Land Access and Private Timber Land Access
Changing times are upon us!
The following article are my thoughts and opinions on the subject public and private timber land use!
Like the wind, the environment of hunting changes without notice. Over the many years of hunting and being able to hunt openly on State, Federal, B.L.M. and Timber company’s properties, plus horse trading to hunt private, it was pretty easy to find a place to hunt without hassle in Oregon.
Not too many years ago I or We were able to hunt a great parcel of BLM in central Oregon near Madras, Oregon. Since the land was rugged we would use quads to get from point A to B, glass and then hunt the game down. Prior to quads from the days of hunting the great Snake River for Rocky Mountain Elk, horses were the key to non-motorized entry for our team.
A number of years ago the neighboring landowners were able to get the rules changed with BLM; no quads or other motorized allowed. Strange that there are many old ranch roads and BLM roads on the land, now closed to the public, yet the adjacent land owner can use quads… Just as strange motorized is allow on another parcel BLM land very close by. The BLM is connected actually by a county line to the south. I will tell you it was not a rancher or farmer that lobbied to get it closed!
Wanting to find new lands on the west side of the Cascades Mountains in Oregon, using my Garmin Montana GPS and the fabulous onXmapsHUNT software a new world open when scouting, finding such lands as Weyerhaeuser, Port Blakely, Longview Fiber (NOW OWNED BY WEYERHAEUSER), BLM, State Lands, plus small parcels of National Forest. Mainly interested in Blacktail Deer though Roosevelt Elk can be found on the same land, scouting during May, June and July before the Oregon Archery season, it was great to find many great Blacktail bucks.
With regular maps you would never know the private timber conglomerates, yet alone small parcels of state owned or National Forest lands without using the onXmaps software. In many western states there are mining claim that the public can pass through, but there are many small land parcels (50 – 200 acres) of mines on BLM and National Forest that you’ll never see on a paper map. Miners don’t take to kindly to trespassing and they might not call the law to Enforce a trespassing law…
Port Blakely allows some free hunting, but one better know the phone number and check prior to the dates wanting to access the land. I am going to give a Hoorah to PLUM CREEK, as they allow the public to use their land with NO CHARGES.
This is where it stops; recently I made a call to an old hunting buddy about his elk hunt during the archery season in Oregon. I was informed he received a $350.00 fine for trespassing on Weyerhaeuser property during the season. What! An area he has hunted for more than 30+ years for elk and deer.
For years the Weyerhaeuser properties have been open to public access. Well things change and now you have to have a permit to hunt. A number of ways to do it, open permits or bid on the total access to parcels.
Stop and think about it for a second, most likely these giant timber companies get tax breaks and I can tell you some it about public access. In the N.W. Weyerhaeuser owns 6,000.000+ acres, the size of Rhode Island in the United States and controlling 12,000,000 acres in Canada on long term leases.
There is now great controversy about Weyerhaeusercharging for access to their lands.
If you go back far enough you’ll find some of the tainted realities of land grab, via the railroads, government and the buying and giving of our timberlands.” I remember the term cut and pay as you go.” Think about making revenue without paying first, well in the timber business it has been done.
For years I have vented my thoughts and anger about BLM and other public land trades, in which there might be blocks of separated lands. What I have seen and many others that fight for our public lands are normally bad changes, with the public getting short end of the stick.
There is one large section of BLM in Oregon in which some our most liberal politicians want to swap great elk and deer hunting land with a group. In the rules of engagement of this particular land swap the two private land owners want to control the road, closing it off during the winter months. They want the county road to be vacated. The swap itself isn’t too bad, but the old wagon road from the 1800’s needs to be the dividing line with open access to the public. No one private individual should have the rights to stop the public from going into public land on a trade such as this.
So where is all of this leading, well it is leading into a fight for survival of hunting and public access to public land. In the meantime it is very important for land users, whether fishing, hiking, hunting or evening just driving around to know the lay of the un-marked lands. No matter who you are you need a Garmin GPS (colored-microchip capabilities-modern) and the onXmapsHUNTsoftware loaded on the GPS and my personal recommendation on your laptop and your mobile device. I have said since mapping GPS’s came out it is better to know where you are going then to know where you have been. I love to search via onXmapsHUNT (APP) Google Earth and see new spots, thus adding them to my GPS for the next outing to investigate.
In Conclusion: There are some private timber companies in the west and mountain states that allow the public to use their property for recreation. It is important for everyone to know where they are and not take for granted they have access. Use equipment that will keep you legal, safe and open new avenues in your outdoor ventures. Make your voice go forward about what is right! Please remember that it is illegal to try and jump from corner to corner on public land that is encompassed with private…
I personally do not leave home without my Garmin Montana and my onXmapsHUNTupdated for travels in Oregon!
The following article are my thoughts and opinions on the subject of GPS & Mapping Systems
I would have to say my interested in the GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment started in or around 1998 after I started to work for a large Sporting Goods Company in the Portland Metro Area in Oregon.
This will be a two part (2) article about GPS Products and then about Topo (Topographical) mapping that is designed for hunters, hikers, walkers, fishermen and anyone else that might use a GPS in the great outdoors of the U.S.A.
Over the course of many years of working with GPS products I have come to the conclusion of what I feel is the best GPS products to use in the field. Now this is my opinion and may not be everyone’s opinion!
I have had the opportunity to try every large name GPS products out there that have Topo mapping that is their branded line of mapping. There are many good GPS products out there, but they are not the best!
I want you to think about support, updates, ease of putting in waypoints, transferring waypoints to and from the computer! Garmin is by far the easiest that I have worked with. With Garmin one can zoom in to about 80’ and that is great when you have detail TOPO (Topographical) mapping to go with it.
As for support it is the best out there via the net or on-line, as I have used both and the last time when I could not get it done on my own, I called support and actually got tech support in my local state, which meant a lot when I was communicating my problem.
Another item of importance is that you need a GPS that has a high sensitivity internal antenna and WAAS system. It also needs to be a colored screen vice black and white. It should have capabilities for an SD Micro Card or have enough internal memory. Much of our hunting, hiking or exploring is done in dense timber, or in areas that there might have a canopy. My latest GPS Garmin Montana will work inside of my office building.
Most of my hunters that I help did not realize that Garmin has a free software download called Base Map (Computer interface program to GPS device). This is a big deal to me and my hunters that are willing to get the proper mapping and GPS.
The mapping is from another company (Hunting GPS Maps) that is not a Garmin product, yet is able to be used with the Garmin Base Map and Garmin GPS products.
I believe that Garmin’s Blue Maps and City Streets mapping is great, but I am not a fan of the Garmin Topo Mapping. There is not enough detail or no detail of private lands within National Forest and it does not show B.L.M. Lands. Matter of fact there is only white (no way to know other public lands) for all other lands except National Forest which is green.
The inner face is easy and once you have the software load on both the computer and the GPS you have one of the greatest tools in the world.
If you are not computer sassy you can obtain a HUNT ONXMAP Micro Chip and install it in a Garmin GPS product. The importance for those using the product is that you will know the public land (BLM, State, and Federal) private lands and in many cases the landowners name, then there are the private timber lands that are white with dots. Much of the private timber lands in the west are open to the public. The information regarding which timber lands that is open to the public should be listed with the most State Game Departments, which it is in Oregon. Everything is color coded for the easy identifying of lands, National Forest is Green, State Lands are usually Blue, Private Lands are White, BLM is Yellow, City Properties can be purple or maroon, and the Private timber lands are White with Dots.
Just think about being out there hunting and crossing into a piece of this land thinking you are hunting National Forest and it is a Gold Mine in Eastern, Oregon or maybe a mine in Utah. One might not like the experience they might have with an old miner.
A GPS is one of the most important pieces of equipment to have when you are hunting in areas of mixed land.
I will tell you since I first started to write this page, that my friends aHUNT ONXMAPS have come out with a new product for those I Pad and I Phone users, such as my son. You are now able to get the same mapping for their usage. Hopefully you have a connection when out there, as least you can be legal when working the zones.
I tell my DIY Antelope-Pronghorn hunters that it is a must for them to have a product that gives the boundaries. Just look at a place like the famous Steen’s Mountains in Southeastern, Oregon. There are many parcels of private in the middle of BLM that is hard to tell what is what, since there is so much cross fencing. Yes you can have a paper map from the BLM, which is fine for reference, but of course you’ve had the map for 20 years or got it from a buddy who had it for 20 yards and BLM had done land swaps. Don’t get me wrong, I came from old school with paper BLM and N.F. maps.
I know from experience how important a GPS is with trespassing and these products can save a hunt. How many times do hunters get stopped on B.L.M. or even N.F. by ranchers that might have cattle rights on the public land? Telling the hunter they are trespassing! Oh! It happens a lot in the West! The Foreman of the famous Hay Creek back in the day would stop hunters on public roads going along the ranch and into B.L.M. and the National Grasslands. It is one thing to get stopped by law enforcement, but not by a private citizen on the public land!
When I help hunters find places at this point for FREE, I expect it to be quick and easy on my part. The idea of helping hunters in this hectic busy lifestyle we have to shorten the scouting time in land they know nothing about. Get waypoints to them in good hunting areas and go from there.
There is some much one can learn about a spot that they might only get to hunt a few times in a lifetime, since most special tags take so long to get. With a Garmin Colored GPS with SD Micro slot, Garmin Base Map (Computer), Hunting GPS Maps and Google Earth, you can go from Novice to Expert in a very short time prior to your outing.
Do you really want to get Coordinates and plug them into your GPS without knowing what you are looking at?
Be smart and move up in technology and you’ll find new avenues to hunt and be confident in the hunt!
As most that know me, know that I am a user of the Garmin GPS (Global Positioning Systems) for many years. I would have to put myself back to around 1998 with the first being a Garmin XL. I have had many Garmin GPS’s over the years and still have some that are pretty old. Those are ones that I will loan out; knowing I might not get them back or in good shape. A number of months back I bought a new Garmin Montana 600, the latest in technology and very fast in the field. I loaded it with the onX HUNTsoftware that comes out of the great state of Montana. One of the reasons I am posting this post is about the great service I received about 3 weeks ago. I was having problems with the Montana 600 when it came to typing in names of waypoints and locking up while doing so. It had made it through the fall hunting season which was good. This is the first Garmin to ever give me issues that I could not fix by doing an update on-line. I sent an email to technical support at Garmin and told them the numerous issues on the Montana 600 I was having. When I sent the message off, I got an email back to my home email that it would be three (3) working days for a response on my issues. The next day I get another email that had someone to call and a name, if I remember it was James M. In the message I was told that Garmin Technical Support felt I could do a Master Reboot on the device and that should take care of it. I did the Master Reboot and it helped a little, so I did twice more to see how it would really work. It did not fix the problem! Now what was I going to do! The next day I decided to call the 888 number and explain that the Master Reboot did not work and that it was the first Garmin of the many I have or have had to not work properly. I got a young man name Chris on the phone within like one (1) minute of the call! Such a deal someone answers the phone and was very polite. I talked with Chris for a few minutes and within those few minutes he told me he lived in Salem, Oregon and had worked for Garmin for a number of years. Now I was floored that I had someone living in the U.S.A., doing support and be able to understand them. Now here is the good part of our conversation about the Montana 600, Chris felt that I needed a replacement (new), since the Master Reboot did not work. He told me to get it in the mail and that he had sent all the codes and address to my email with instructions. The next day I got the Montana 600 into the U.S. Mail to Kansas, yes the U.S.A. Kansas. Chris told me that it would be about 3 weeks before I would get the replacement in the mail. Well turn around was 2 weeks total for me to get my hands on the Montana 600 new in the box. Before the Garmin Montana 600 was sent off, I contacted Matt with onX HUNT software Matt let me know that he would give me a new un-lock code to load the Hunt Oregon for Garmin or Hunt Northwest for Garmin on the new Garmin. Two great companies to work with when it comes to GPS products! Garmin makes a superb product for everyone, whether it for the hunting, aviation, hiking, fishing, automobile, motorcycles, Recreation Vehicle and runners. There is software updates for the devices that are always Free. You can do this via your computer via the Free Web Updater software.
First off I can read a map, Military Training and the days of only having paper maps, but these days paper is for backup only, as GPS systems are so accurate and what they have to offer, such as backtracking, there is no way I would leave home without one!
In the old days the Global Positioning Systems could tell you where you have been via way-points and tracks.
Oh! One could plug in coordinates, but it still was a plot system. I use my laptop with mapping software all the time to locate new spots and then viewing it with Google Maps. If I have something good that I want to venture it is loaded to my Garmin GPS with mapping.
I have updated this POST with new Mapping Software that will enable the Hunter and Outdoors person the freedom to not have to look over your back and wonder if you are hunting public property. Recently I have put new mapping software to my Garmin Map Source on my Laptop and then download to the Micro SD Card that is in the slot on my Garmin Oregon 300.
With this software you will be able to see BLM, State Lands, City Lands, Private Lands and National Forest Lands and Timber Company Lands are also on the software. Being I am in Oregon I went with the OR-PLAT4GPS. It is almost unbelievable what you see. I fee that everyone should have a Garmin that has a color screen, high sensitivity antenna and capabilities to accept a Micro SD Card.
Now the GPS can tell you where you have been, where you want to go and how to get there.It is like looking at a TV and understanding what you have in front of you. With the TOPO maps a GPS it can greatly make you get a gripe on the reality of using the GPS in the field.
If you understand Topo maps, you can identify with the lay of the land.Be able to find the shortest way out using the GPS.These days I can look at a map, have an idea of a place I have heard about or I want to visit.Plug it in, even go to Goggle Maps these days and see an aerial view of the place I want to hunt or have hunted.
Now we have new products that have GMRS and the mapping.If one has a partner with the same like GPS they can pinpoint each other.One has to love technology and what it can do for you.I have had great results with the Garmin Products!It is very easy to get the latest software updates from Garmin for your GPS Unit. You can view some their fine trail products at the following website.
Just think when you zoom in on this mapping for more detail, you might even find the name of the landowner of the private parcel. This is the greatest piece of mapping software that I have ever seen or had the privliage of using.
Just the other day up on the Santiam River in Oregon, I wanted to check out an area that I had seen elk a couple of years ago. What I found with new software was that they were in BLM, but next to a timber company. In checking with the timber company allows hunting. I am going to share this information with the waypoints to a customer of mine.