New GPS Units Offer More Sophistication


Dave Watson, popular country musician and TV host, thought his dream had come true. With a brand new GPS device in his hand, he convinced his professional hunter to allow him to wander the African bush alone. After lots of persuasion, the PH relented. Watson set out for parts unknown and experienced many of the delights of Africa, without even unleashing an arrow. As the day wound down and the sun hung on the horizon, Watson fetched his GPS from his pack and made a startling discovery. He’d forgotten to save “home.” He’d paid little attention to landmarks and was now hopelessly lost. Worse, he’d convinced everyone in camp that he’d be OK and not to come looking for him. Luckily, someone turned on the camp generator around midnight and Watson got a bearing and made it back safely. Satellite navigation is wonderful, yet savvy hunters know to do their homework, which includes plenty of at-home practice. Fortunately, GPS units have become simpler to use and more sophisticated in the field. Here are two prime examples:

s7_270078_999_01[1]Garmin Montana: This unit feature a large 4″ touch-screen display with exceptional 272×480-pixel resolution and true dual-orientation capability, which transitions seamlessly from portrait to landscape mode for enhanced, wide-angle map views. The premium 65K-color, transreflective TFT LCD offers smooth, highly responsive user interface, high-contrast color, and crisp image clarity in all light conditions. Each is pre-loaded with the Worldwide DEM basemap for navigation around the globe. The Hot-Fix satellite prediction pinpoints your location faster, even in heavy cover and low-lying areas. Every unit features a three-axis compass and a barometric altimeter. Share data wirelessly with other wireless-enabled Garmin units. Micro SD card-compatible for expanding memory. High-speed USB interface. This series also pulls double duty as an automotive GPS with spoken turn-by-turn directions (available with auto mount and City Navigator NT maps, both sold separately). It supports Garmin BirdsEye satellite imagery (sold separately). The device is powered by three AA batteries (20-hour run time with alkaline batteries, 16-hour run time with lithium-ion). Each unit comes with a USB cable and a quick reference guide. The 650T features a 5-megapixel camera and a large 3.5GB internal memory.

s7_270123_999_01[2]GPSMAP 62SA Bundle: This ruggedly built workhorse of a GPS packs a wealth of Garmin’s best features, including 3-D mapping capabilities, wireless connectivity and high-speed USB interface. The bright, 2.6″ sunlight-readable TFT color display has a 160×240-pixel resolution for graphics that pop and are easy to see in direct sunlight. It comes pre-loaded worldwide basemap with shaded relief supports Garmin custom maps and BirdsEye satellite imagery. A high-sensitivity receiver with HotFix speeds up satellite acquisition times. Wirelessly share routes, tracks, waypoints, and geocaches between compatible units. The three-axis compass provides accurate heading without being held level, while a barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude and monitor weather conditions. Load optional mapping using the micro SD-card slot. Other features include a high-speed USB and serial interface in a waterproof design. The Garmin is powered by two AA batteries (not included) for up to 20 hours. Check Garmin’s website for these and other models.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.