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Consider that the first generation of Americans to grow up in an era of pervasive cell phone use and widespread Wi-Fi access is now reaching adulthood.

The products of the tech takeover of the mid1990s have transformed every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate to the way we shop and even the way we hunt. In the modern “there’s an app for that” universe, even sportsmen and -women are connected.

But not all apps are created equal, and some have risen to the top as the most user-friendly and feature-packed add-ons for shooters and hunters. Here’s a look at eight of our favorite apps.



COST: Free

MANUFACTURER: Hornady Ammunition

WORKS WITH: Apple, Android

Hornady’s new 4DOF (Four Degrees of Freedom) app offers the most advanced ballistic data available today, thanks to the use of advanced physics. Traditionally, ballistic apps treated bullets flying through the air as if they exited a firearm and remained in one orientation throughout flight, with the bullet’s nose parallel to the line of sight. And they only accounted for elevation, windage and range. The problem is that bullets actually change orientation in flight—pointing up, leveling off and then falling. And that’s where the fourth degree— angle of attack—sets Hornady’s app apart. If you’re serious about pinpoint accuracy at long range, this app— which is free—will get you on target. You can customize it for multiple rifles and change environmental settings in a hurry.



COST: $29.99/year app membership of your choice, web map use and free chip updates; $99.99/year for all 50 states and chip upgrades $119.99 for a single state Hunt Chip


WORKS WITH: Apple, Android

When you’re hunting in unfamiliar territory, it’s easy to accidentally cross unmarked boundaries. However, onX Hunt makes it simple and easy to not only determine where you are, but to also identify whether or not you’re still on the property—public or private—you planned to hunt. Map layers show hunting zones, big-game districts, topography and even parking access points. Additionally, the GPS feature allows you to follow your exact route and monitor how far you’ve traveled each day. Use this app to keep out of hot water with landowners and also as a resource to help organize hunt data for future scouting and stand-selection chores. If you don’t have service, you can access saved maps—and the GPS works offline. State Hunt Chips offer the most detailed information about hunting areas, boundaries, topography and access points.



COST: Free (in-app purchases range from $7.99 to $9.99 per item)


WORKS WITH: Apple, Android

ScoutLook Hunting has become a very important app for hunters, because it provides up-to-date, pinpoint weather forecasts that are essential to a successful hunt. You can save and store unlimited hunting locations on this free app (stand and blind locations, access points, camera locations); and, perhaps most importantly, you can see how the current winds will affect your stand location so you know how to approach your hunting location without spooking game. It’s also a must-have when hunting in areas in which sudden inclement weather could be a safety concern. There are also posts that give you the most up-to-date hunting advice and information when you are in the field.



COST: Free


WORKS WITH: Apple, Android

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is offering its Where to Shoot app for both Android and Apple devices. This is one of the most-used apps on my cell phone. I have used it to find the sporting clays and IDPA clubs at which I shoot close to home, but it’s also a valuable asset when you’re on the road. Are you planning to hunt in Wyoming but need to be sure your rifle is still zeroed? Use the Where to Shoot technology on your phone to determine local ranges at which you can verify your accuracy (or, in some cases, figure out why you’re missing). I also use this on family trips. So, when you’re tired of hanging out at the beach on vacation, you and the family can head to a local range to break clays or shoot a few targets.



COST: Free (Pro version: $1.49)



This app won’t help you find deer or anticipate animal movement in the face of an upcoming weather front, but every hunter and shooter needs this app. Gun Vault serves as a digital record of all the guns you own—make, model, serial number, purchase date and even when the firearm was last cleaned. You can also add photos of the firearm so you have visual evidence of ownership (in case a firearm is ever stolen). You have all the data available when filing a report. It’s a secure—and free—way to ensure peace of mind as a gun owner.



Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the February 2018 print issue of Gun World magazine.