Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Question for you compass smart bowhunter

Messages posted to thread:
Crow#2 08-Oct-21
fdp 08-Oct-21
Phillipshunt 08-Oct-21
PEARL DRUMS 08-Oct-21
George D. Stout 08-Oct-21
1/2miledrag 08-Oct-21
Onehair 08-Oct-21
Nemophilist 08-Oct-21
George D. Stout 08-Oct-21
Jon Stewart 08-Oct-21
Live2Hunt 08-Oct-21
Onehair 08-Oct-21
PECO 08-Oct-21
MikeT 08-Oct-21
JTK 08-Oct-21
Deno 08-Oct-21
Nemophilist 08-Oct-21
Stubee 08-Oct-21
Andy Man 08-Oct-21
N Y Yankee 08-Oct-21
Flinger1 08-Oct-21
Phil Magistro 08-Oct-21
Harleywriter 08-Oct-21
Red Beastmaster 08-Oct-21
Nemophilist 08-Oct-21
Live2Hunt 08-Oct-21
Nemophilist 08-Oct-21
Rooty 08-Oct-21
DanaC 08-Oct-21
hawkeye in PA 08-Oct-21
Kelly 08-Oct-21
Skeets 08-Oct-21
David McLendon 08-Oct-21
Crow#2 08-Oct-21
hawkeye in PA 08-Oct-21
fdp 08-Oct-21
3D Archery 08-Oct-21
Dartwick 08-Oct-21
Blue Duck 09-Oct-21
DanaC 09-Oct-21
Crow#2 09-Oct-21
fdp 09-Oct-21
LDB 09-Oct-21
Scoop 09-Oct-21
Babysaph 10-Oct-21
Bob Rowlands 10-Oct-21
Bob Rowlands 10-Oct-21
reddogge 10-Oct-21
Elkpacker1 10-Oct-21
lawdy 10-Oct-21
msinc 11-Oct-21
Sasquatch73 11-Oct-21
Ron LaClair 11-Oct-21
Two Feathers 11-Oct-21
fewfeathers 13-Oct-21
Scoop 13-Oct-21
Stubee 14-Oct-21
2Wild Bill 14-Oct-21
DanaC 14-Oct-21
Longcruise 14-Oct-21
MikeT 14-Oct-21
From: Crow#2
Date: 08-Oct-21




I've never really knew how to utilize a compass.Ive always thought I could use one to keep in a straight path in the 26,000 acres where I go and would come out on a road eventually. I do not have maps of this place. Is there any basic or more advanced techniques I could learn and with no maps be able to get my self back to safety. At 64 yrs don't know why I need this but always felt I did but never got serious.

From: fdp
Date: 08-Oct-21




Spool...if is the parcel surrounded by roads on 4 sides?

You need to take an orientation course or get a good book or 2 and get out and learn how to use your, if you don't it's most worthless.

From: Phillipshunt Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Oct-21




Yep I learned compass navigation in the Army. It was hard to switch to the new phone navigation devices, but there is no comparison. I can still navigate with a compass but being able to look at a screen and see your exact location +or- 3-4 feet on an areal photo is miles ahead of a compass. Now if your wanting to do things old school then try google there’s several videos on how to use your compass and then it’s just practice

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 08-Oct-21




Using a compass the right way will take up most of your time as you try to hunt or scout. You have to keep a pace count, use ranger beads to keep up with that count and look at your map consistently. Get a GPS or a nav app on your cell phone. Most work without cell service while your phone is in "airplane mode". David pretty much summed it up.

From: George D. Stout
Date: 08-Oct-21




The hardest thing about using a compass is believing it. I got turned around once and argued with the compass, then it took me an hour more to get back to the truck. Guess who was right...me or the compass?

You have all of this techno-wizardry at your beck and call nowadays, use it. But....learning to use a compass will help when you forget to charge the thingy that's supposed to show you the way. :) If you're like me and don't own a smart phone, well...then you learn the compass or go with someone who has a "thingy".

From: 1/2miledrag
Date: 08-Oct-21




I never learned how to use one either. I have a mental image of the geography. If I go north I hit coastline and road eventually. Go south a road eventually. Can go a long ways east and west before hitting anything.

From: Onehair
Date: 08-Oct-21




Just curious about the phone apps. I have Hunstand but have no idea as to how to navigate to a waypoint.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 08-Oct-21

Nemophilist's embedded Photo



I was trained to use a compass and maps while in the U.S. Army so I have 100% confidence in using them. Pace counting beads and learning how to do a intersection and a resection are some of the basics that are helpful also. Eight years of training with a compass has given me more confidence with a compass than with a GPS. No batteries to go dead in a compass. Of course I always carried extra batteries for my GPS. I figure if my GPS and compass are telling me the same thing then I'm good to go. Even when I hunted out west and had a GPS I always had a compass and maps on me also. When hunting the terrain pictured it's best to not take any chances.

From: George D. Stout
Date: 08-Oct-21




Onehair, defer and refer to directions for that thing. LOL...you can find it on Google if you don't have it in printed form. My buddy has one and that thing is awesome.

From: Jon Stewart
Date: 08-Oct-21




Crow, take the time to learn the use of a compass. I own my hunting property but it corners 25,000 state acres. I know my place but I don't know the state land that well. When a deer is hit in the evening and the blood trail takes us to the state land we need a compass to get out of there.

From: Live2Hunt
Date: 08-Oct-21




I use a compass all the time still, don't like brush busting the big woods without it. But I do have Onx on my phone. Cell service is very spotty in spots that I hunt and if I don't keep my phone on airplane mod, it eats the battery up fast. My compass has no battery.

From: Onehair
Date: 08-Oct-21




Watched the Huntstand videos and still fairly weak explanation. You can look at the map and estimate your direction to a waypoint. You also can trace your path and maybe get a better view as to if you will land at your destination. It ain't a GPS for sure

From: PECO
Date: 08-Oct-21




I learned a little about a compass in Boy scouts, but really learned how to use it in the Army. Like Pearl Drums said, to do it right, it takes up all of your time. I like the phone apps much better, as also stated above. I still carry one just in case phone dies.

From: MikeT
Date: 08-Oct-21




If theres a chance of being in the woods for more than a day, theres a neat little box that will completely recharge your phone a couple times (and it has a little flashlight). I dont have cell service where I hunt, but onX works great offline, and airplane mode really saves the battery. Using the tracking, it shows your exact path you walk, and waypoints.

From: JTK
Date: 08-Oct-21




It's a "trad" thing...GPS is same as crossbow.

From: Deno
Date: 08-Oct-21




I was a US Army Land Nav Instructor for a bit. Do yourself a big favor....take a course. If your injured it may save your life. And PLEASE get a map of where you hunt.

Deno

From: Nemophilist
Date: 08-Oct-21




Interesting.

From: Stubee
Date: 08-Oct-21




I’m not trained but there are simple things you can do while hunting to help yourself get out when “turned around”. Take a bearing when you leave the trail or road you entered from and then use landmarks such as VERY distinctive trees etc to keep tabs on your heading as you hunt. Understand the “fail safe” direction to get back to a road, trail or stream you can follow to get back to the entrance point, and that means knowing where impenetrable swamps etc are between you and those trails etc.

I always carry a compass and while my iPhone etc is great and I have an app that I can use without cell service I also hunt where I’d hate to rely on anything but a compass.

From: Andy Man
Date: 08-Oct-21




my phone has been known to do some real weird stuff

Compass more reliable for me but then again, I just need a basic direction where I hunt

From: N Y Yankee
Date: 08-Oct-21




In today's world, a compass is almost useless, what with GPS, Cell phones, roads going everywhere. How many of us actually hunt wilderness so big that we cant figure our way out. Many of us who hunt big woods have been there before and know the way out to the truck. Yes, there are people who do hunt wild territory but a compass alone is only good to point the way. If you don't have a map of the area, how do you know where you are going.

Check out David Canterbury and Corporal's Corner on YouTube. They have good video's on basic and advanced navigation and will show you what is a good compass to have.

As for an emergency, have a good signal mirror, whistle, strobe light and fire starting materials on hand. If you get lost or hurt and cant get out, someone should come looking for you if you have given notice where you are going. You do that right?

From: Flinger1
Date: 08-Oct-21




Buy a garmin e-trex

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 08-Oct-21




I carry two compasses and use Gaia GPS on my phone. Rely mostly on the compasses when moving about. The GPS is helpful to mark locations I want to find at later dates.

If I have phone service I send my location to my wife at various time of the day just in case.

From: Harleywriter
Date: 08-Oct-21




Not much is more rewarding than using a maps and compass to strike off and find something like a small spring a mile or two away in rough unfamiliar terrain. It’s a real good tool for elk hunting in big icountry. George is right-trust the compass and not your brain.

From: Red Beastmaster
Date: 08-Oct-21




I have a Browning Backtracker. It can give you direction and distance to three previously set points. It basically can get you back to the truck.

I have zero sense of direction. Can't help it, just the way it is. Our annual hog hunt can be intimidating to say the least. The Backtracker gives me just a bit of calm on the few times I left the trail in the SC swamp.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 08-Oct-21




There is a big difference between someone just talking about a compass and actually knowing how to use one. Being lost in the mountains is not the time or place to learn how to use one. The U.S. Army taught me but I'm sure there are certified people who can teach others. Just make sure the person telling you how to use one knows what he is talking about.

From: Live2Hunt
Date: 08-Oct-21




It also depends on the terran you are hunting. Mountains and hilly country is pretty easy to navigate. Swampy flat terran can get you in trouble. We have some big country in northern WI that will get you turned around in a heartbeat. People have died up in some of that area. A compass will give you a direction, but you had better use distant objects to keep you in line. Everything looks the same is a lot of it.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 08-Oct-21

Nemophilist's embedded Photo



You can also use a watch with hands to get you in the right direction ( north, south, etc ) and keep you in a straight line.

From: Rooty
Date: 08-Oct-21




Yes George.

From: DanaC
Date: 08-Oct-21




Just remember about which way you walked in. If the road you're parked on runs north-south, and you go in on the east side, walking west should bring you back to the road. Maybe not right at your truck.

Everything else is fine-tuning that basic idea.

From: hawkeye in PA
Date: 08-Oct-21




It's that left or right thing when you hit the road. And after dark is way worser.

Unknowingly crossing the continental divide will play with your head, the compass is wrong because that's the same creek and it flows that way! LOL

From: Kelly
Date: 08-Oct-21




#1 thing to do-get a topographical map of your area, print it off and carry it with the compass you already have.

#2 watch a video, go to the library or take a course in how to use a compass.

#3 buy another compass and carry it, too. Never know when one can get damaged.

Most of the time just knowing the features on your map goes a long way to getting back or somewhere. Be observant!

From: Skeets
Date: 08-Oct-21




Wow! I am surprised to find out that anyone didn't know how to use a compass. Crow, use your computer. Go on "google maps" or or something and get the satellite view of the area where you are hunting. Then do what Kelly said. Have you ever been in the woods after dark? Worse yet, after dark trailing a deer. A compass will save you a lot of walking getting back to your vehicle, with or without a deer.

From: David McLendon
Date: 08-Oct-21




Take an orientation course, good info is available on Youtube, Check USGS, they can probably provide topo maps of your area or show you where to download them.

From: Crow#2
Date: 08-Oct-21




Sheets I'm terrible with computers. I've got a Garmin 64S. Just want to know compass and map. I can go over into a ravine knowing that if I head up the revjnee I will come to where the trail I left comes together with another trail that also borders the same refine. I still get a sense of LOST. Pretty silly I know. So I head back up yo the teail and everything looks different and I start think where's the trail. Got turned around last year and done some backtracking trying to find familiar. Found out another 100 yards and I would have been where I wanted without backtracking. Hate to admit but being list is a fear of mine.

From: hawkeye in PA
Date: 08-Oct-21




Crow, I used to hunt with a very intelligent outdoorsman. That said he was lost if it got dark. He was a excellent hunter but he had no woodsman ship.

From: fdp
Date: 08-Oct-21




If you have that much of a fear of getting lost, are directionally challenged, and unfamiliar with basic compass use, your best bet is to always mark your trail by some means.

There are lots of ways to do that and many of the methods are not permanent, or use bio degradable products.

From: 3D Archery
Date: 08-Oct-21




I was a Pathfinder for five years in the Army, we were expert land navigators. We used terrain navigation the vast majority of time, not a compass. A compass was a back up and rarely used for navigation.

Like others said leave markers at easy to spot areas, usually within eye sight of each other. Learn the cardinal directions by things you can see, be it terrain, a sound from something like a highway. Always pay attention to where you are, that is where most people go wrong.

Land nav is a perishable skill. The more you use it, the better you are at it.

From: Dartwick
Date: 08-Oct-21




This talk of using a compass "the right way" kind of misses the point.

You generally carry a compass to help get you out of trouble and to make sure you arent turned around.

Its a very different circumstance to be hiking 3 days into the wilderness vs finding your way back to the road in a 3000 acre lot after you got turned around.

From: Blue Duck
Date: 09-Oct-21




Why don’t you have maps? A compass isn’t much good without one. Even a print off of a google earth aerial with hand drawn roads, fences, drainages, landmarks, etc.

Map a compass are my base. Then phone, GPS, etc.

From: DanaC
Date: 09-Oct-21




Dartwick, yeah, there are two levels of 'compass use' - serious back country navigation' vs. 'just getting out of the woods sorta near the truck'. Depends on circumstances ;-)

I did find, long ago, that 'practicing' map-and-compass in safe/familiar woods is a good idea for when you truly need them. And even a modest-size patch of woods can surprise you - like a new beaver pond that you need to find a way around.

From: Crow#2
Date: 09-Oct-21




Blue duck I don have maps because I'm a computer dummy. And smart ph dummy. If I can give the quadrant name or # the state DNR office will not print a map for me. Even if I say just print the whole county. Just one count. The gal says ok give me a list of all quadrants in the count and we will print them.For a fee.

From: fdp
Date: 09-Oct-21




Crow, they will help you to identify the quadrants you need if you ask.

From: LDB
Date: 09-Oct-21




For wilderness lake travel, we draw magnetic north lineson the compass.When you wish to cross a lake and hit specific point, (a marked campsite),lay the compass on the map, line up the lines in the compass to the lines on the map and set it so you can get a reading of the degrees on the compass. If you have a lensaic compass you can also aim at a land mark that matches those degrees, visible in the mirror, and follow that giving you the choice to step from one known point to the next. Or or even better, You make a Norwegian compass, take an empty Copenhagen can and stick a round makeup compact mirror inside. It won't show you where to go, but it will show you who is lost.

From: Scoop Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 09-Oct-21




That’s funny. With a little marketing you could sell a lot to our spouses at Christmas time.

From: Babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 10-Oct-21




If you go east and hit the ocean you have gone too far ??

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 10-Oct-21




This is a long post and I didn't read the thread. A compass is always in my pack, and never needs batts. But compass absolutely is not the savior modern technology can be.

As an aside on this thread, I have huntonx app on my iphone. That tells me WAY more about where I am than my compass can.

It shows my exact location, on a real world photo map, that gives me a real world visual of exactly where I am. 2d, or for a fast visual relief, 3d, which is WONDERFULL for instantaneous visual identification of the area you are in.

As long as there is power in the phone, AND you have waypoint marked your vehicle, your path is recorded on that phone to your current position. I mean exactly, as in within a few feet.

Reverse your course to get back, even on a moonless night in heavy forest and no trail, regardless of weather, night, etc. Have a headlamp with you so you don't get poked in the eye at night. A ship on the blue ocean has zero visuals about their location, and they ALL use this basic type of technology nowadays.

I carry two fully charged skinny lightweight slim line battery packs in my pack to recharge my phone in the field. That's good for an entire days trek in country I am TOTALLY unfamiliar with. I charge these batts and my phone in my vehicle at night.

In my experience, huntonX is a wonderful thing to have. Pitch black moonless night, cold inclement weather, heavy timber, fog, snow, etc., getting back to your vehicle with this technology is FAR and AWAY superior to any compass.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 10-Oct-21




One more point, totally off topic. If you travel by yourself through unfamiliar rugged country out of cell service, for an entire week to ten day hunt, and you get seriously injured in a fall, from treestand, or for whatever reason, having a satellite device can save your life. It sends an emergency signal about your EXACT location so help knows where you are. No guesswork, no mirror flash, no smoke signals, none of that 'iffy' old school stuff.

My son has one. He can check in with his wife and his mom every day. That right there gives peace of mind to loved ones. There's no 'what if' at all. Additionally any changes in time about 'when you'll be back' are easily addressed. Yeah this stuff costs a few bucks. imo, bfd. It can save your life.

From: reddogge
Date: 10-Oct-21




Get a good topo map of your hunting area and look for a Boy Scout Handbook. It will tell you everything you need to know about orienting with a map and compass.

From: Elkpacker1
Date: 10-Oct-21




go to a boyscout meeting and ask to show you.

From: lawdy
Date: 10-Oct-21




I take a heading upon entering the woods, take a track, and never pull out the compass until I either kill the deer, or get ready to head out, mostly in the dark. I never hunt or scout without at least two in my possession and a couple headlamps. I have spent a few nights in the woods rounding up hounds and dragging a deer a couple of miles. Said the hell with it a couple of times and built a fire and snoozed until daylight with two hounds for company.

From: msinc
Date: 11-Oct-21




Having been a coonhunter just about my entire life yes, I carry and use a compass. The statements made above about taking up a lot of time "doing it right" are true...if you are doing everything you possibly can to hit an exact spot. But there is a difference between hitting an exact spot and getting "unlost"...and it really doesn't take a lot of skill, knowledge and time to get unlost with a compass. Example [also as above} would be real simply you go in from a road or power line. The road runs north and south, you head in the woods off the left side of the road heading west....when it's time to come out you head east and hit the road. Might not be exactly at your truck, but getting to the road is 99% of the battle. fdp has a good point and it's foolproof, marking your trail will work every time and you don't need to mess with a compass. But I would say if you are going to do that carry and watch the compass anyways, it will build your confidence. The number one thing about a compass has also been already posted...the compass don't lie!!!!!

From: Sasquatch73
Date: 11-Oct-21




Join the Army. They made us find our way at night.

From: Ron LaClair
Date: 11-Oct-21




Rooster who post here occasionally can verify this story.

I was hunting near Fred Bears old stomping ground one year. My gear was a Roberson 65# recurve smoothing big snuffers. A doe came out in the rye field I was hunting near from my perch in a big pine tree. It was near dark and the shot was a long shot. The arrow took the deer too far back in the guts. I could hear the deer running and then a crash and all was quiet. I took a reading with my compass and climbed down.

Rooster soon came to pick me up and I told him the story. We looked but there was no blood. All we had was our flashlights but I told him we could follow the compass reading. We made our way through the brush with only the light from our little lights.

Rooster wanted to go back to camp to get lanterns and some help. I told him no I'm on a line and soon I saw the white belly of my dead deer. The big snuffer didn't go out the other side of the deer and as it ran the broadhead went through the diahapram into the lungs. All the blood was inside the deer and none left a trail to follow, only my compass reading led us to the deer.

From: Two Feathers
Date: 11-Oct-21




Back when I went through officer candidate school at Quantico they put us through a compass course. They would start you out with a azimuth and a distance to the first check point. At the first check point you would get a new azimuth and distance to the next checkpoint and that would continue until you completed the course. That went OK for awhile but somewhere along the way I missed the check point and got lost big time. I ended up coming to a road and hitchhiked back to the barracks. They were just putting together a search party to come look for me. Besides getting lost the only other thing I remember about that day was that I saw my first ever wild turkeys.

From: fewfeathers
Date: 13-Oct-21




Common scenario: You plot a course back to the truck. You get to the road and don't see the truck. Is it to the right or the left? It takes a lot of time and energy to find you went the wrong way. Solution: When plotting the way back plot a deliberate error. That way, when you hit the road, you know whether to go right or left.

From: Scoop Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 13-Oct-21




Few feathers is right, especially for me on the desert when bad weather socks in and you have to detour something like a lava rock reef, and the only landmarks are sagebrush at 20 yards and they all look the same. A short or even a mile walk on the two-track is done in great confidence knowing your truck will be there.

Sidebar: A couple near Idaho Falls, Idaho was just rescued when they went for a hike in Hell's Half-Acre--a lava flow/juniper/sage mixed area west of the interstate highway, but rugged as heck and almost inpassable if you get off the trails. Snow blew in and high winds. They were able to call out-of-state to a friend and give coordinates as phone was dying. S&R deployed and found them within a couple of hours. They were treated for hypothermia and came out ok. We are not far away and got a foot of wet snow.

All of us have taken that "hike" in good weather and things turn bad. A few items make a difference sometimes--compass, phone, bit of extra clothing, lighter--you know the drill.

From: Stubee
Date: 14-Oct-21




I’ve been enjoying the stories. As I said earlier I’m not an expert with a compass but I know how to use one well enough to tell me I can get back to a trail or creek I can ID enough to keep from getting into serious trouble. If you don’t understand the value of a compass then a dark night stumbling through a swamp without one will help, and if that doesn’t work then set yourself adrift at night on a big lake in fog so thick you can’t see bright lights at 50 yards and look at your lighted compass and report back. It of course helps to know which way to head, and the compass reading you took at launch will be a boon. I’ve been there.

One of my best friends used to carry a vest compass + two pocket models in the woods. He told me that when he got turned around he knew the vest compass was broke when it tried to steer him in the wrong direction, and then the darned second l one was also broke because it was just as errant, so he’d resort to the 3rd compass and as he was out of misguided newfangled devices he’d believe that one and follow it. Like he said, “I know I’m not very bright, but I’m not a complete idiot”. I do miss him dearly.

From: 2Wild Bill
Date: 14-Oct-21




Outdoor Navigation With GPS, by Stephen Hinch

While teaching to learn the GPS he discusses the use of a compass, and how together they will help you find your way.

From: DanaC
Date: 14-Oct-21




A I stated elsewhere, you can get a bearing with your GPS, set that bearing on your compass, then use the compass without worrying if your GPS can find a signal.

I found this particularly useful under tree canopy back some years ago, maybe the newer units have better signal reception?

Anyway my 'new' used Brunton compass came in yesterday and I plan to take it for a walk soon.

From: Longcruise
Date: 14-Oct-21




Remember that there is a difference between Geographic north and magnetic north. It varies with your location. Most topo maps I've seen and had showed the declination between the two on the map.

The sun doesn't always shine but it can be used to help you maintain a straight line of travel. The angle is going to change as the day goes on so you need the compass as well to make corrections. Just one of those things that helps to keep you moving rather than constantly checking the compass.

The moss DOES grow on the north side of the tree. If there is any moss at all. And if you are not in a rain forest where it will probably be growing on every side of the tree. LOL

I just dead reckoned for a long time and did just fine with it....until I didn't. It can be discouraging to be far from camp and sitting on a hillside watching the sun set in the east. 8^)

From: MikeT
Date: 14-Oct-21




This land I`m hunting has metals in the ground that renders a compass useless and no cell service. The onx offline maps works pretty darn good.





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