When Philip began searching for the homestead that we now call Kowalski Mountain, the ability to hunt the land was one of the most important features he was looking for in a property. While many aspects of hunting have remained unchanged for generations, many aspects of hunting have evolved with the advancements in technology. HuntStand Pro is a hunting app that we use on the homestead. This app is useful not only for hunting but for any homesteader that wants the ability to map their own property. Here are some of our favorite features in this Huntstand app review.
HuntStand is available on both IOS and Android phones as a FREE download. Once downloaded the user will create a personal profile to gain access to the features. Hunters can log in online and view many of the same features online as available in the app. My use of HuntStand is limited to the app only, as I most often use it in the field.
There are multiple levels subscription levels at HuntStand. For many years, I used only the Free Version. Most of our guests to the homestead, typically use the free version as well. The free app has most of the same functionalities but has ads displaying while using it. The ads are not obtrusive though I will admit, the removal of all advertisements does make my use of HuntStand Pro more enjoyable. A paid subscription to HuntStand Pro is affordable at just $29.99 a year.
Since recording the video and beginning to write this review, HuntStand has added another level of membership called Pro Whitetail. This membership level gives insight into the Whitetail Activity Forecast and includes a Peak Rut Map which Philip is highly interested in. It also has additional mapping layers and monthly satellite imagery. However, at $69.99 a year, he felt it was an expensive upgrade to access these additional features.
As hunting season approaches, HuntStand has a lot of great features to make your scouting and hunting experiences more fruitful. Using the invaluable mapping tools, you can create personalized maps of your hunt areas, regardless if you hunt on public lands or private land. On our own homestead, we used the mapping tools to map our homestead. This helps our guests navigate the trails on our property and gives them a map in their pocket if they get turned around.
Map Editor Tools: Creating the Ultimate Map
The map editor is probably one of our most used tools in HuntStand. Hunters create “Hunt Areas” where you can create individualized maps of your hunt area. In our case, we have created a map of our homestead. However, hunters can create hunt areas on public hunting lands as well. This is useful to mark scouting areas and placement of equipment as allowed by the management of your public lands system.
The mapping editor uses a combination of Map Objects, Shape tools, and Line tools to create custom maps of a property or hunt area.
The map objects are an invaluable tool to add important objects of interest to your custom map. Property attributes include “Club/ Camp”, “Gate”, and “Hazard”. There are a total of six property attributes you can choose from when creating your map. The objects have easily-discernible custom icons so you can tell at a glance what each object is.
There are four different icons for hunting stands: tripod stands, hang-on (lock-on) stands, removable climber stands, and ground blinds. This very specific information is helpful to guests that may be hunting your property. For myself, I don’t care for lock-on stands, there is nothing worse than getting all the way to the stand in the dark and realizing that the stand you picked from the map is one you don’t care for. When labeled accurately, guests will know exactly what type of stand to expect when they arrive at their destination. It also allows you to keep a good inventory of the exact stands you have in place.
You can map objects like bait piles, feeders, mineral locations, traps, and food plots. The Scouting mapping objects include objects like rubs, tracks, sheds, buck scrapes, and many other scouting-specific objects. Plus they include an entire collection of objects specific for turkey hunters. Each object can be assigned a color, with a total of 20 vivid colors to choose from. Your maps can be as customized as you like, or keep them simple using the preselected options. When objects are moved, they are easy to delete or relocate.
Filtering the Maps
Philip marks a lot of information on the maps that I don’t use. While the information he gathers when scouting is useful to plan his hunts, the information makes the map cluttered with so many objects. To alleviate this, I use the filters to hide the objects I don’t need. Objects can all be hidden or you can select the specific objects that you’d like to hide. I usually hide all objects and add back the ones I want to keep.
Never lose a game camera again! Mark each camera on the map using the special Trail Cam marking symbol. The notes section allows you to document exactly what type of camera is where. While we have never tried it, the game camera footage can be synced with HuntStand so you can keep camera-specific photos and videos in one place. Watch the movement of your favorite deer from camera to camera. This cool feature can help you identify patterns of movement throughout your hunting area to better triangulate the best stand to get a good shot at your favorite deer. When cameras are moved, they are easy to delete from the map or simply move to a new location.
Shape Tools and Line Tools
The shape and line tools are useful for mapping the boundaries of your property. The app uses easy-to-add “points” to map the shape you need. The line feature can be used to map fence lines or other straight features on the homestead. The flexibility to mix and match shapes or lines makes this a versatile mapping tool.
The Trace Tool is very useful to mark trails on the property. Simply select the trace icon and drive the trail on a four-wheeler. When creating trails, it’s best to make each trail an individual line. If the trail is altered in any way, the trail can be removed from the map and updated to reflect the changes. We have mapped over 2 miles of trails on our 68 acres. Most of our trails have names that describe them in some way. Each trail can be labeled to make giving directions simple.
The trace tool can be used for a variety of purposes other than trail marking. Maybe a hunter wants to mark a game trail they discovered while scouting. Simply activate the trace feature, walk the game trail, and label. Possibly a landowner wants to measure the distance of a particular trail or portion thereof, the line traced will give a specific measurement once saved. The trace tool can be activated to create a record of the specific area where a hunter blood-trailed a deer while trying to recover a kill. If you get turned around and lose the trial, you have a record of where you have looked. Plus it’s fun to look at how far you traveled to recover your prized deer.
These advanced measurement tools can also be used to measure the area that has been mapped. HuntStand uses accurate map-based distances to provide the measurement information you might need. This might be useful if a homesteader needs to purchase seed for a pasture or food plot. HuntStand can help you get a specific measurement of the coverage area to ensure the proper amount of seed is ordered. Maybe you need to replace a fence line, if your fence line is mapped in HuntStand, you have a record of those distances without ever leaving the office.
Using the Mapping Tools in the Field
Now that you have created the ultimate map, how do you use it? Using the app is easy in the field. We are lucky enough to have good cell signal in the woods, actually, our best cell signal is in the woods, so it’s never a problem to use HuntStand on our homestead. To show you all the ways we use HuntStand on our homestead, I have created a video of our favorite features. Come for a walk with me and see exactly how I use HuntStand Pro on our homestead.
Sharing Your Map
Once you have created a property, you can share it with other HuntStand users. This is how we allow our guests to use the map of our homestead. Most of our guests use the FREE version of HuntStand. As a property owner, you can lock your map, so that your guests only have the privilege of viewing the map, that they can’t change the map attributes that you have worked so hard to create.
Using HuntStand Off the Grid
If you plan to be hunting in an area that will not have access to cell service, you can still use HuntStand. Their core function is to create a revolutionary app for all hunters and let’s be real, many of the best hunting areas are off the grid! The GPS signal from your phone will still interact with the offline maps. While I have never tried it, this tutorial from HuntStand gives instructions on how to use it. It does take some preplanning to download the maps in advance while you have a signal. But once downloaded, the GPS in your phone will interface with the downloaded offline maps to give you the tools you need to stay safe in the woods.
HuntStand allows hunters to keep personal harvest records. Harvest can be added just like map objects. There are 10 different symbols for different types of animals harvested. My favorite is that HuntStand has two symbols for harvesting deer. Both a buck and doe symbol are available if you want to be very specific in the deer you harvest. As always there is a note section to add any pertinent details.
One of my favorite features is the Friend Finder feature or friend locator. Our homestead is 68 acres, which is not a huge parcel for multiple people to be hunting. It’s very important to communicate well with each other and be aware of exactly where each hunter is. Like other social media apps, you can friend other users who are using HuntStand. Once friended, the friend locator, lets you see exactly where your hunting friends are as long as they open the app when they arrive. The friend locator is only available if you choose to turn it on. If you choose to leave it off, you also can’t use it to locate your friends in the area.
The friend locator does not track you. If you open the app once you settle into your stand, other friends can see where you are. If you move, the app will not automatically update your position, you have to open the app for it to get a new position on you.
Philip and I used this when we were tracking a deer off the property. We had to split up and as long as we opened the app every so often, we could keep track of each other. I also really like Philip to make a point to check in when he is hunting alone. For safety’s sake, I like knowing where he is on the property just in case he fails to check-in.
The HuntZone is a cool feature that checks the current wind direction for 100 yards circling the area you want to check. It’s really easy to use, click on the map where you plan to hunt and the HuntZone lights up on the screen, The green zone indicates your hunting zone where the wind is in your favor. The red zone of the HuntZone is the area where deer might scent you.
The HuntZone has an interactive chart for the next 12 hours. You can slide the bar to the right to see how the wind speed will change during that time frame. If you flip the chart, it has a static chart that shows the predicted wind changes over the next 72 hours.
Weather and Solunar
HuntStand also has in-app weather and solunar features. The weather tool provides the current weather forecast as well as three and five-day weather charts. The HuntZone is also displayed on the weather screen. The current weather radar can even be viewed on your custom map! Solunar provides information on the sunrise and sunset. It also indicates the peak game activity that can be expected for the morning and evening over the next 5 days.
HuntStand Pro also has a feature that allows you to check the nationwide property boundary registry. You can click the parcels of land surrounding your hunt area to determine if they are public or private lands. Private lands in North America will provide the owner information and owner names of each parcel. This includes the private property boundaries. This might prove to be especially important if you need to track a deer onto someone else’s property to recover it. The private property inquiries are unlimited as a HuntStand Pro subscriber.
HuntStand App Review Final Thoughts
Overall we love HuntStand Pro. Both Philip and I use the app while hunting and while in the woods. While I am very familiar with the trails in our woods, I like having useful interactive maps in my pocket. The great thing is the cost of the renewal makes HuntStand Pro an affordable option for all hunters. Philip is very intrigued by the new features in the newly released Pro Whitetail, but the steep price has kept him from making the jump. HuntStand is not the only hunting app he has tried but other hunting apps lacked the features he was looking for. Of all the apps he’s tried, HuntStand is the best hunting app he’s tried that has the features he wants and needs.
While Huntstand Pro has many tools that I find invaluable, there are also many more features that I haven’t even tried. Since I have only hunted on private property I haven’t had an opportunity to use the many types of maps that HuntStand offers. There are maps specifically for the public lands hunting areas as well as topo, tree cover, and contour maps. There is a group board feature that users can chat in if they are sharing their map with other hunters in a hunting lease.
I personally feel that HuntStand is a useful app for anyone who spends time in the woods. We encourage all of our guests to download the app whether they hunt or not. Having a map as they travel the trails in the wooded part of our homestead is invaluable. If you are an avid hunter, I highly encourage you to check it out and start creating custom maps of your hunting areas.
NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. While we are an affiliate for HuntStand Pro, this post is an authentic review of the HuntStand Pro app, we were not compensated by HuntStand for this review.
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About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.