Digital Mapping Applications

Show Notes

In this episode of the Hunting Gear Podcast, Dan Johnson and Jeremy Dinsmore discuss their experiences and preferences when it comes to hunting apps and digital mapping services. They talk about the importance of detailed maps, high-resolution imagery, and the ability to view different dates and seasons. They also discuss the value of journaling features, weather information, and the ability to drop pins for scouting and planning. They mention popular hunting apps like OnX, Huntstand, Spartan Forge, and Deercast, and share their thoughts on the predictive movement algorithms offered by some of these apps. In this conversation, Dan Johnson and Jeremy discuss different hunting mapping apps, including Spartan Forge, OnX, and HuntStand. They highlight the importance of imagery and ease of use in these apps, as well as the ability to import pins and access property information. They also mention the value of features like 3D imagery, topo lines, and the ability to track your location. While each app has its strengths and weaknesses, they both agree that having a reliable and user-friendly map is essential for efficient and successful hunting.


  • Detailed maps and high-resolution imagery are important features to look for in a hunting app
  • Journaling features can be useful for recording hunting data and details
  • Weather information is a standard feature in most hunting apps
  • The ability to drop pins and track distances can help with scouting and planning
  • Predictive movement algorithms may not be a significant factor for some hunters Having a reliable and user-friendly hunting mapping app is essential for efficient and successful hunting.
  • Imagery and ease of use are important factors to consider when choosing a hunting mapping app.
  • The ability to import pins and access property information can be valuable for planning hunting trips.
  • Features like 3D imagery and topo lines can provide additional insights into the terrain and deer movement.
  • Tracking your location accurately can help you navigate and make informed decisions while hunting.

Show Transcript

Dan Johnson (00:01.223)
Alright ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of the hunting gear podcast. I got my cup of coffee this morning. and today I'm with the man from antler up. Mr. Jeremy Dinsmore, Jeremy, how are we doing today?

Jeremy (00:17.358)
Good, Dan. How are you doing, man?

Dan Johnson (00:19.048)
I'm doing okay. Man, summertime is a weird time. And I thought during the school year was crazy. Summertime's multiple. Like you just multiply everything. Kids are at home, it's crazy. This week, my kids are at camp and I am, I don't know, I'm just grinding, trying to get as much work done as humanly possible.

Jeremy (00:23.118)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (00:43.788)

Dan Johnson (00:46.952)
but I still feel stressed for some reason. So what's summer like for you at your household?

Jeremy (00:54.143)
Alright, so this is gonna sound your people are gonna be cursing me I bet because obviously being a teacher and my wife is a teacher We're both home, right? but but this same that's like a It's a double -edged sword because now she wants to get everything done like she could be sitting there and she looks I could just see when the gears just start turning and I'm I Just I say to myself. shit. Here it comes

Dan Johnson (01:01.735)
Okay, yeah.

Jeremy (01:20.075)
And she's just like, yep, she's like, we need to do this. We need to do that. So then there's that honey do list a hundred percent gets made. and then kind of like what you said. So my daughter who's 10 and then I have a baby that is six months. She, you know, so the other day, all three of them went to my in -laws and I said, I'm going to crack out all these items. I got a good bit done, but at the same time,

Dan Johnson (01:20.295)
Here it comes.

Jeremy (01:45.599)
It's like you said, still stressful. So even though it sounds like I might have more time on my hands, which I do, but I don't, if that makes sense, just because this is when everything gets done.

Dan Johnson (01:53.897)
Yeah, no.

I know what you're talking about, dude. The other day, this was, okay, so we had a rotted board on our deck. And this was what, last summer? This was last summer, we had a rotted board on our deck. And something that should have, just could have been easily replaced. Yeah, we were looking at a new deck, building a new deck. And I just, all I really needed to do was replace a single board. But, God bless my wife.

but she started leaning on me about a deck and leaning on me about a deck, leaning on me about a deck. And it was like, I'm just like, hey, let's get one more summer out of it. And then we, you know, we'll, I'll do it next year when I've had time to prepare. Okay. Leaning on me, leaning on me about it. And one day I just, sorry for my language, but I threw the pocket card and I went straight to Menards. I bought.

Jeremy (02:44.809)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (02:53.642)

Dan Johnson (02:56.52)
all the stuff, put it in my truck, and I started ripping that deck out. And she's like, what are you doing? I'm like, exactly what you want me to be doing right now, right? You can't complain about something and then ask me what I'm doing. You want me to build the new decks. And so then for the next like, I shit, that's like two weeks. Because I didn't ask for anybody's help. I did it all myself. And then.

Jeremy (03:05.033)

Dan Johnson (03:23.048)
She just saw me out there dripping sweat. So at the end of it, she didn't say too much. Well, she got a brand new deck, of course, but yeah. So yeah. the old honeydew list. Sometimes they'll sneak up on you, man.

Jeremy (03:29.575)
deck. Yep. Now that's funny. yeah, but it's just so funny, though. Like I said, we could she could be happy go lucky. And all of a sudden, there's like that silence for five minutes. And I could just see it going. I'm just like, shit, what am I going to have to do now? Yeah, yeah. Yep. Yep. Yeah, exactly. man, it's good.

Dan Johnson (03:48.01)
almost like a Terminator, right? Like, I see, you know, like there's a crack on our ceiling, we need to fix it. yeah. All right. So where are we at this summer so far, dude? And you, like, if you're anything like me, I'm not, I have done zero to prepare for the upcoming hunting season.

Jeremy (04:08.158)
Yep. Yeah, man, like I said, my cameras have been out for a little bit. Last time we talked, I finally made a plan to go with my dad and another plan to go with some of my buddies to go up to the New York property. And so right now, our discussion that we tabled for today will actually kind of be good because this is what I've just started kind of doing a lot more of, having more time to do.

Dan Johnson (04:32.604)
Yeah. Yeah.

Jeremy (04:34.917)
So yeah, so I'm kind of in that same boat. We're in that same, I think, realm of like, man, I haven't really been out in the woods doing too much at this point. So I'm excited to talk about this just because this is what I've been doing a little bit more and plan to do more of in the future too.

Dan Johnson (04:51.723)
Yeah, yeah. I drew Kansas, OK? And I also, you know, for the past however many years I've gone to South Dakota, right? It's a draw now. I drew it the last two years, so I'm happy about that. But Kansas is a new state, never hunted. So tons of e -scouting that has to be done yet. Looking for like basically putting a plan together of where I need to go check out once I go down there. That's the same thing with

Jeremy (04:55.588)
Nice. Congrats.

Dan Johnson (05:21.676)
Same thing with South Dakota. I have a ton of pins there already. However, every year I try to look for new and unique places to go that are maybe out of the way, maybe have a little bit less pressure, whatever the case may be. All right, so we're in agreement. We both use hunting apps.

basically digital mapping software for our for scouting for planning for preparation for collecting data. Okay. So what does Jeremy Dinsmore look for in a hunting app digital mapping service?

Jeremy (05:51.97)

Jeremy (06:01.89)
Honestly, my number one thing has been the detail of the maps. that to me, I think personally, Dan, the last maybe two, three years has been my biggest growth with my woodsmanship to allow me to get into the woods and actually be, maybe see something on the map because of a specific type of detail or maybe the vegetation and actually get boots on the ground and get in there.

Dan Johnson (06:08.107)

Dan Johnson (06:20.395)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (06:30.529)
and find a spot like within a spot, if that makes sense. So honestly, I mean, one of my, and we'll talk about it later, but there's apps that have so many different features and great features, but honestly, my number one thing that I look for is those really good high resolution maps and different things that allow it to see when the foliage is on, see when the foliage is off, see maybe like what...

like other imagery opportunities that offer. So that's, that's my number one thing just because it helps me be a little bit more efficient when I get out in the tent, it actually, you know, boots on the ground.

Dan Johnson (07:12.813)
Yeah, yeah, that is very, I think that that crystal clear digital high resolution imagery that you can zoom in on as much as the app or the map allows you to. It is huge. And I will use an example. I think it's huge from a water standpoint. Right.

Jeremy (07:19.232)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (07:29.088)

Jeremy (07:39.232)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (07:40.045)
different shades of green, especially when you get out West and kind of some of these drier climates. You like, I'm looking for, man, like what am I looking for? I'm looking for just like subtle changes in greens, which will allow you to know that there's water in this drainage or there's water here somewhere. Maybe there's a cattle tank. Maybe there's something that you can go just looking at a cattle tank itself.

Jeremy (07:54.72)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (08:10.318)
having the detailed imagery to zoom in and go, okay, that's a water source or that's a potential water source. And usually on, and I'm just giving a very detailed or a very specific answer here is if you can zoom in on the cattle tank and you can see that there's green around it, then guess what? There's usually water there. And so.

Jeremy (08:12.447)
Mm -hmm. Right.

Dan Johnson (08:33.326)
that allows you to make certain assumptions like, okay, that's a water source for these deer or whatever you're chasing antelope. Or it also means there's cattle there and it might be a place you wanna avoid too if there's too much cattle. So detailed imagery, like you said, is very important because it allows you to get not the whole story, but allows you to tell a story, like get enough information to start the story of

Jeremy (08:46.367)
Right. Right.

Jeremy (08:53.566)
that allows you to get.

Dan Johnson (09:02.701)
these areas too.

Jeremy (09:03.997)
Yeah, yeah, the key, the key is with that diversity of different things coming together, you know, and again, the app that I'm using, it allows you to go through certain dates depending on the location of the satellite imagery. So like you could technically look at what it looked like October week 15th. And then, you know, what does it look like November? What does it look like in December? What does it look like in January and so forth?

Dan Johnson (09:07.597)

Jeremy (09:31.228)
So it is those things like you said, Dan are very critical when you could zoom in and see those little minute little details.

Dan Johnson (09:39.277)
Right, right. What else do you look for?

Jeremy (09:42.621)
Honestly, you know, some of these other cool features are really neat that you could potentially use, like say, you know, predictions and all that type of stuff. But honestly, I like being able to have a journaling feature as well as like, like obviously like weather. I mean, all apps have the wind, all apps have like that type of stuff, but those little, little tidbits I really like because I really use the journaling feature this past year on

Dan Johnson (10:00.302)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (10:11.1)
A lot of my hunts, especially here in Pennsylvania, I was very, honestly, I'm going to say I was, I was lucky, but I used my historical data and just kind of piece and things a little bit better together where my first, my first four of six hunts, I killed a deer. and what I was basically doing was just journaling from the past and on what I was successful this year. I made sure at that point in time to hit the journal button.

type in what happened, what I saw and all the details from that day as far as weather goes, barometric pressure and you know, anything related to that information gets plugged in. So I don't have to go back and be like, okay, I know I killed a doe October 10th or whatever. And I saw this, what was the weather doing that day? I don't have to go back to weather underground in my app. It already will have that detail. So that's, that's, that's really cool. And so

Dan Johnson (11:00.046)
Cough cough

Yeah. Yeah.

Jeremy (11:09.531)
You know, those are the little things that I like to really focus on. And then, you know, other things are just bonuses. But again, that journaling aspect is probably what I really like.

Dan Johnson (11:20.592)
Yeah, and I think as far as all of these hunting apps are concerned, they all have weather. It's a standard feature now, right? And so the longer it takes, like the further we get into this technology, I feel like all of these apps are starting to equal out with some of the same features because back in the day, there wasn't much

Jeremy (11:28.602)
Mm -hmm. Now, yep.

Jeremy (11:43.609)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (11:49.519)
there was some differences, big differences between these apps. And now I think they've all kind of gotten closer together.

Jeremy (11:55.129)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (11:59.161)
Yeah, just think three years ago when, on X released, I think they were the first ones to release the 3d imagery and it was like, holy cow. You know what I mean? And now obviously everybody go hunt has it and, and, you know, Spartan four, every brand has that 3d feature, but yeah, a couple of years ago when they were the first, I was like, man, now you could really see. And, it's like Google maps now on your phone that you could have it like that.

Dan Johnson (12:06.159)
yeah. Yeah. Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (12:19.889)
Yeah, and I don't think there's probably one that stands out more than the other. You know what I mean? I think they like as far as functionality, there's probably just a little bit, but they're not, you know, they're not really, there's nothing that's like these huge disparities or gaps between technology in any of them.

Jeremy (12:34.456)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (12:45.688)
Yeah, I think it's coming down to almost to like personal taste, like what have you been using for so long and you're so comfortable with it? and, and, you know, it's kind of those types of details. And then, like I said, that's where, honestly, that is where, if you have the great detail in your maps,

Dan Johnson (12:49.936)

Jeremy (13:03.096)
That's where I think you really stand out amongst other. Cause like you said, Dan, a lot of them do have a lot of the same features you could do in one stop shop, right? With the weather, with journaling, with other predictions, all that type of stuff. But if your map is better than so -and -so's map, I'm going to use the better map service. That's just plain and simple.

Dan Johnson (13:03.248)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (13:12.24)

Dan Johnson (13:21.074)
Yeah, 100%, 100%. How much do you pay? Well, that's probably not the right question. What do you think is a fair price for a monthly or annual subscription to a hunting app?

Jeremy (13:42.454)
No, that's a great question just because I'm a cheap ass. So like when it comes down to it, I mean, I know certain, certain ones are, you could get everything for like 50 bucks and then there's other ones where it's everything for 99 .99 and then it's because you could spend this and you get other features packed into it or whatever it be. Man, you could even go, I would be okay with even going somewhere in the medium that has other features and

Dan Johnson (13:46.353)

Dan Johnson (14:04.561)

Jeremy (14:12.533)
the really good detail. I would, I think a 74 .99, you know what I mean? A $75 price tag would, would be okay. I think that's where I would lean towards. Like, and when, you know, and that's where I think other models are like, Hey, you only need one state. Here it is. It's only this price, but guys like you, yourself, myself, and you know, that you might be traveling other States like that ends up, that adds up pretty quickly. So to have a one -stop shop, man,

Dan Johnson (14:21.681)

Jeremy (14:40.725)
50 would be ideal, but I would personally for sure pay 75. When it gets past that, I'm like, what could I get away with type of ordeal?

Dan Johnson (14:48.081)
Yeah, exactly. And I, so I, I'm the kind of guy who, as far as what I look for, I'll just tell you what I look for in a digital app like this. I want a map that can be three, like for three options. I want topo lines. And to be honest with you, the closer the topo lines together,

Jeremy (15:12.724)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (15:17.777)
the better because I really wanna see every subtle change in the terrain, especially when you get into flatter areas or even in, for Iowa, there are some apps out there that I use, but the top of lines are further apart and there are subtleties that do not show up like a dip in a ridge, specifically what I call a spur ridge, a little ridge that comes off of a main ridge.

Jeremy (15:43.475)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (15:47.377)
And that subtlety can, man, it can really, really be used by the deer. I mean, but it won't show up on an app, okay, or on a map. So if I, the more detailed the topo lines, the better. Like just for anybody listening, if you're a mapping guy, man, the ability to change topo lines would be an awesome function where if you could go, okay, I want to see 30 feet.

Jeremy (15:59.348)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (16:16.24)
or I wanna see 10 feet or if I wanna see five feet increments to really show the detail of that, that would be great. And then again, satellite imagery and then hybrid. Really that's all I use. And most of the time it's kept on hybrid. So I'm able to see whatever's there. Now outside of that, the ability to drop pins, right? That's it.

Jeremy (16:28.883)

Jeremy (16:36.658)

Jeremy (16:44.721)

Dan Johnson (16:44.881)
Okay, here's an elk, here's a mule deer, here's where my trail camera is. Here's like all the different options of pins, love it. Okay, here's what else I use. I use line tracking or a distance, okay, to where I like to track out, like when I look at an access route, especially if I'm going deep in on public, I gotta go to here, then I gotta go to here, how long is that?

Jeremy (16:54.097)

Jeremy (17:00.273)

Dan Johnson (17:12.882)
Okay, then I can plan for how long I need to, how long it's gonna take me to walk so I know when to leave in the mornings specifically, and how long it's gonna take to get back at night or something like that. Like area, like the ability to highlight an area to see how many acres I'm dealing with is great. And then man, to be honest with you, that's it. The weather, obviously if it's there, the weather is great, but.

Jeremy (17:38.449)

Dan Johnson (17:42.994)
I'm looking for most of the time when I'm hunting, I'm hunting no matter what the weather is doing. I just have to know wind direction and I have to know whether or not there's gonna be rain to prepare for rain or not. Or if I'm in my truck or at the hotel room or at my house and I got, well, I'm sitting this one out because rain's coming today or something like that. So whether I'm on public or whether I'm on private, like I don't...

Jeremy (17:56.015)

Jeremy (18:03.567)

Dan Johnson (18:13.043)
really get into all the bells and whistles. Like I just want it, I wanna drop pins, I wanna collect data, period. As much data as I possibly can. And so I count data as pin drops. And then you can zoom out and you can go, okay, I can see trends in this terrain on how deer use this. Okay, so that's a little bit how I use it. So there is, yeah.

Jeremy (18:15.759)
Mm -mm.

Jeremy (18:20.911)

Jeremy (18:33.295)

Jeremy (18:39.152)
Let me ask you this, Dan, to kind of, cause I've started doing this the last like two years and I've me personally, because of the life that I live with my family, basically, you know, time's precious in that sense. I've known that if I've been into a spot and it's like, Hey, I want to get a little bit more in there or check it out and understanding the features a lot better looking at the map and reading that understanding that I'll map out.

Like, Hey, if my, if I'm going out tomorrow morning to go scout a spot, like what you were saying, I'm drawing those lines of like, Hey, this is my rough estimate. I don't obviously I could deviate from that. Right. That doesn't mean I'm, this is the line I'm sticking to and walking to, but that allows me what you were saying. Hey, I might be four hours just because it's going to be two hours, you know, getting one way and in two hours coming back.

That is kind of, it's made me quote unquote speed scout more efficiently and allows me to, okay, Hey, I need to deviate. And like you said, this spot, man, there's a bench here that I'm not seeing on the map. I'm glad I walked this, but whatever. do you do like, do you do any of that on maybe new pieces or fine tuning, anything like that, where you preset your scouting trip with some sort of already detailed route and then you could deviate from that or, or no. Yeah.

Dan Johnson (19:32.046)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (19:45.554)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (20:00.275)
Not really, not really. I mean, however, when I am scouting, I'm dropping pins on rubs, on old scrapes, on bedding areas or like what I do a lot of is when I'm scouting, especially on new properties or even current properties, I find sign that I really like and then I find a tree to hunt that. Right. So so in Iowa, you know, it's either it really is either a south wind or it's a north northwest wind.

Jeremy (20:04.976)

Jeremy (20:12.72)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (20:29.877)
most of the time, those take up the two biggest. Now, are you gonna get straight west winds? Yes. Are you gonna get southeast, east winds? Yes, you're gonna get those. So what I do is I go into a location, I find the sign that I'm looking for or a crick crossing or an awesome staging area, and then I'll drop a pin in there. Then the next time I pick up that phone or I'm on my desktop or whatever it is, then I'm going in and I'm saying, okay,

I found a tree for a wind, like a south wind or a west wind or a northwest wind. Now, how do I access this? Right? And in my head, I'm just, I'm going, okay, if I park here, I can come in on this wind and I can do this. And then I just basically brainstorm about how I can hunt that same same area with really any wind direction. Right? Because, you know, deer are going to be there. If it's a good, if it's good location,

Jeremy (21:22.348)
Right. I like that.

Dan Johnson (21:30.293)
barring, barring, like, you know, like if, if, if you got, let's say a south facing slope, right? Yeah, south facing slope. That's going to be great on a north wind, but just in case I see some movement there on a south wind, then I also want to be prepared for that as well. And so I usually try to, like, if I find a really good spot, dude,

Jeremy (21:43.5)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (22:00.214)
I gotta try to find a spot to be in there every wind direction, any and every wind direction. So yeah. Okay. Outside of what we've all like, I'm simple. Like I don't need all these bells and whistles, okay? Is there anything else that you do a lot of on your maps?

Jeremy (22:04.266)
him yeah I like it yeah

Jeremy (22:24.651)
Honestly, just like you said, just dropping pins left and right, every little thing. And, and, you know, that ended kind of going back to the reason why, how I was saying about the journaling aspect of it. That also happens immediately within this app that I'm using. Basically it will drop a pin right there. And, you know, it's that one stop shop where I don't have to go back. So that pin gets dropped and then that information that I could type in for the details, but then all the weather and everything else, information's on that. So.

Dan Johnson (22:27.733)

Jeremy (22:53.259)
Other than that, I'm simple too. Like you said, it's just give me as where I could put in the pins and the good mapping imagery. I'm sold.

Dan Johnson (23:01.206)
Yep, yep, okay, all right. All right, now let's talk about brands here. The two that I am the most familiar with are of course, Onyx and Huntstand. I've used those two the most out of all of them that have ever been made. What about you?

Jeremy (23:21.835)
For me, for sure, Spartan Forge and OnX, those are the two. More so recently, the last couple years, obviously, since Spartan Forge has come out, I've used Spartan Forge more than OnX.

Dan Johnson (23:24.982)

Dan Johnson (23:35.447)
Okay, all right. I want to have a serious conversation here before we get into the mapping side of it. Spartan Forge and companies like Deercast, and I think there's a couple other ones out there. They have some form of deer predicted movement.

Jeremy (23:49.77)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (24:03.318)
type of algorithm built into it to try to let you know whether or not you should go hunting in a certain area. Okay. With that, I'll let you talk about that first. Like how important is that to you on a hunting app or a mapping app? Yes.

Jeremy (24:12.042)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (24:22.793)
Very little, honestly, very little just because I'm going to hunt when I can hunt. And if it says it is only a core area, it's only a normal pattern, as far as movement goes, it's only a core area as far as pattern, it's normal, I'm still going because you could get in there and the wind shifts and next you know it, you're...

Dan Johnson (24:41.528)

Jeremy (24:47.592)
you're in an opportunity, you know, arises for you. So honestly, that has very little to me. I know, obviously, Spawn Forge has that, Deercast has that, Huntwise has those different things. Honestly, that really is not a selling point for me whatsoever.

Dan Johnson (25:03.895)
Yeah, I'm going to be honest. Like I understand why, why people might find that interesting. But if you're a working man and you have the ability, like on a weekend, you're like, okay, finally, like I got an opening in my schedule. I'm going to go hunt. And you look at something that's telling you, conditions are not favorable for deer hunting. Are you really going to listen to that?

an algorithm tell you that you shouldn't go hunting on a day that it's your only day available that week? That is nonsense. So essentially these apps are telling you to spend less time in the woods if that's your only opportunity that week to go, right? On top of that, some of these are based off of collared deer studies, okay? Meaning as deer tend to start hunting

moving different times years, we don't even really need to get into all that, right? However, those collared deer studies are in a different state than what I live in. Or it's like, hey, I live in Florida, but the algorithm is kicking out information from Illinois or Ohio or wherever the studies are done from. Like what does that have to do with Florida if the information's coming out? Even in a different county.

Like where are these collar deer at? Right? Are they on high -pressured public? Are they on low -pressured private? Are they in a conservation area that there's no hunting? I need to know more information before I'm trusting any of that. So to me, and then the other one is like algorithm based off of hunting experience.

Right? Like one of the other apps, it's like, okay, well, the people who put together this algorithm have over 80 years of combined hunting experience. Hunting my farm? Do they have 80 years of experience hunting my farm? No. Do they have 80 years of experience hunting your farm? No. No. So why would I listen to somebody who doesn't hunt my farm? Period. Like to me, to me, that's great. Cool.

Dan Johnson (27:29.817)
It's a fun little option to where, but if you're a guy who is listening to that, especially on a week, it's like, okay, I've worked all year long. I'm gonna use five days of vacation. I'm gonna hunt the rut. this device says that I shouldn't be out there today. That's bullshit, man. That is, like, don't, like, I would say do not listen to any of that and just go out and hunt.

smart as how many can period period.

Jeremy (27:58.112)
when you can. Yep. Yeah. I agree with you that that Nazi and that's where I think people maybe new to hunting or whatever could really get wrapped up into things. Like if you're, you know, you want to nerd out and maybe keep track of it just to see how it like how it plays out while you're actually out there. But like you said, Dan, don't don't have that dictate whether you're going out or not. You know what I mean? That's that's just plain simple. I mean, to be completely honest with you, there is a

Dan Johnson (28:07.864)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (28:13.848)

Dan Johnson (28:20.024)
Mm -hmm. Yup.

Jeremy (28:24.992)
The video of my first deer that I finally self filmed and killing this past year, the where it was on a location where I knew I had a high success opportunity to maybe get something. And it was quick. It was after school when I was done teaching. I get in there. I got in, I slipped in, not being detected. And the wind was calling for it to me, you know, having a, it was like on the fringe. It was either okay for me or okay. More, more beneficial for the deer.

Dan Johnson (28:34.232)
Thank you.

Jeremy (28:54.335)
And as I was, as I was in the timber, luckily it was early October. So it was still foliage on the ground or, you know, on the trees. So wind was kind of, you know, maybe died before it got to this, but where it was showing on the app was blowing right. Exactly where I killed the deer from, like my, like she, like she should have winded me and, you know, the wind was, I think just dying a little bit. But again, if you are even just saying, man, that this is a, a.

Dan Johnson (29:10.808)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (29:22.271)
Southwest wind right now. I should not hunt that. I mean, I get it, you know, but like where I hunt man, for what the app says, it's usually wrong in all of them. and I would just be completely honest just because of the terrain features that I actually hunt. Cause and it could be right on one spot, but it's wrong where exactly where I am just because of what is the actual terrain feature presenting itself.

Dan Johnson (29:36.28)

Dan Johnson (29:45.626)
Yeah, exactly. Nobody knows the properties that you guys hunt better than you. Right? And that's why, like, as far, especially on the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast, that's why I love interviewing guys and gals from all over the country, because, like, every, like, everybody takes a little bit different of an approach to an

to a season and still gets the job done for the most part. If you understand deer movement, you're gonna find a way to kill deer. And I don't know, man, it's just like, you're not gonna get a red light, green light from an app. Especially if the data is coming from people or data that's not your farm. Like, I'm literally perplexed.

Jeremy (30:29.726)

Dan Johnson (30:42.041)
of how people like take that information so seriously. I don't understand it. I don't understand it. Okay.

Jeremy (30:47.485)
Yeah, yeah. That's why I think the imagery is king. To me, the imagery is king, and then right below that is what you said earlier, is all the variety of pins that you could potentially use and all that stuff.

Dan Johnson (30:52.697)

Dan Johnson (31:02.169)
Yep, yep. Okay, now let's get into the brands. All right. Why don't we start off with Spartan Forge? Because you have the most experience with that. I have a little bit of experience with that. And so what do you like? You use, it sounds like you use Spartan Forge the most.

Jeremy (31:06.717)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (31:12.189)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (31:24.029)
Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent. So what's really nice is, whether I'm using it on my laptop or on my phone, is, is the imagery. I think, for me personally, like where I hunt, I have no issues with that. I know some people, you know, met whether you're maybe out West or whatever that, but in the state of Pennsylvania, in New York, in Ohio, Maryland, I'm talking to states that I mainly hunt. I've had nothing but great imagery and going back to what I was mentioning earlier, I'm able to click on.

the UAV mapping and actually see, Hey, what does it look like right now? And then what did it look like last fall? So I could literally see when the foliage starts comes coming, coming off the trees and I could really get a good idea of, of maybe trails, all that stuff. And then now throw in that LIDAR, which generates basically even more detail underneath. Basically now you're seeing what's underneath the canopy.

Dan Johnson (32:01.752)

Dan Johnson (32:16.826)

Jeremy (32:22.428)
I mean, that's huge. I mean, you like we're saying earlier, as far as like drainages and benches and maybe trails. And once you turn on the water, so like it is going back to what I said earlier with my time, I just want to be maximized, my efficient, you know, scouting trips the best I can. That feature with the LIDAR has made it a lot easier in a sense of getting, spending more time.

in better locations instead of just chasing my tail like I used to, which was fun. Don't get me wrong, but like now let's be a little bit more efficient. And that's, that's what I mean by being easier. It's not as like, man, that looks good. And then I would get in there and it's like, Holy cow, this sucks. There's no sign. There's no this. And even though it has on the topo lines, what it, what deer should be, you know, should live in here. now I could find those little, little faint trails.

Dan Johnson (32:53.113)

Dan Johnson (33:03.353)

Dan Johnson (33:09.529)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (33:19.513)
it's, it's really awesome to see that. So in all honesty, Dan, like, like Spartan forge also has that ability to, of doing the, topo line contour lines. Like you could go 10 feet, you could go 20, 30, 40, you could turn it off. So having those 10 feet, topo lines on that is, is awesome. It's a really nice feature. and then that's where like, again, finding those benches are really nice because you could then really see that separation there. so yeah. And then.

tons of different, pins that you could drop, which are awesome. You know, like I felt like onyx does a good job. They offer a bunch of colors. So does Spartan forge, but now you could really differentiate from like a cell cam or a camera trail camera just on that app. And then you could also have a scrape underneath it. And now you know, Hey, that's a camera over a scrape.

Like that's pretty cool. Instead of just typing that in, like you just know that's what that is already.

Dan Johnson (34:19.643)
Right, right. Elaborate a little bit more on, like, when you use your LIDAR, excuse me, LIDAR map, are you able to overlay that with topo lines? Okay, all right, cool. And so that's really cool because it allows you,

Jeremy (34:26.999)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (34:34.263)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeremy (34:40.695)
And slope slope angle to Dan in that. Yeah.

Dan Johnson (34:44.214)
really? Yeah, yeah. So now you're looking at like, can you walk up it or not? Basically, if it's too steep, you can't walk up it or maybe you'll have to go sideways up it or things like that and you can prepare for that. That's really cool, man. That is, that's the next thing. That's the cool thing about Spartan Forge is they always seem to be a little bit ahead of the curve when it comes to the next, the next thing. And later.

Jeremy (34:50.135)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (35:08.695)

Dan Johnson (35:10.746)
LIDAR is definitely the next thing.

Jeremy (35:14.868)
Yeah. And the one thing, and on top of that too, like Bill does a really good job of wanting to improve it for the user. I will give him that. I mean, it's him. I mean, that's the other piece that like, if you are having an issue, I love being able to just be like, Hey Bill, I'm having this issue. And he'll be like, we got to do this and he'll fix it. And then if it's, if it's happening again with more people, obviously it's a bigger issue and he'll hold, he'll try to fix it. But like the new thing now, like everybody always complained about.

Dan Johnson (35:21.818)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (35:40.602)

Jeremy (35:43.988)
the user Being able to switch from map to map to map right well now the latest one Which is awesome is the presets like now you could go in there and on your toggle on the map icon You could just do you could set your preset one so like what you were saying Dan. That's your hybrid, right? So you could go on there hit what you want on there from the distance of your of your Contour lines you could hit if you want water you could hit if you want private public you could hit

all these different other kind of tidbits for it that you want it to show or not show. And then you could name it and save it as like preset one. And then preset two, it could be just your topo. And then now for preset three, it could be your lidar. And then all it is on that map icon, you just swipe it over and then that app or I'm sorry, that map will show exactly that within your preset. So.

Dan Johnson (36:27.673)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (36:36.883)
That's been the newest thing and that has been awesome because that again is what a lot of people were complaining about. It's like, hey, make this a little bit better. Well, that to me that made it a lot better.

Dan Johnson (36:48.668)
Absolutely. And that's one thing that I didn't mention earlier of the things that I'm looking for. But I feel like now it's just standard, right? Obviously property owner information, right? Obviously public versus private, obviously boundaries, obviously units, especially if you're going out of state and you need to be in the right unit.

Jeremy (36:57.427)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (37:05.907)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (37:10.716)
All those things, for me, we've hit a point in this technology where those are all standard now. Yeah, so they don't have any of that stuff, I'm not using that app. So, okay. What else? Now, you've talked a little bit about some positives. Are there any places where you feel that Spartan Forge lacks?

Jeremy (37:17.459)
It's injured. Yeah.

Jeremy (37:30.739)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (37:38.331)
or you get frustrated using some of their stuff.

Jeremy (37:41.811)
So for me, and I, again, just because I haven't been out much as I would like to, I think the tracker, that's where like I use the, you know, that, you know, that's the term on, on, on X. I think Spartan Forge uses that one too. You know, if I hit like where I'm going from now, from if it's a new spot, I hit it from the truck and then see at my distance, how far I'm going, all that stuff and where I'm walking to. I find on X might have that one over.

you know, over Spartan 4s, just because other times I'm like, if I'm looking, I'm like, man, why is this almost in two different lines here? So that's probably always been my biggest gripe. And that's something where that's important. You know what I mean? If you are scouting a new piece and you're like, where the heck am I going? All that type of stuff. If you're not that, you know, woodsman ships savvy and you're really relying on that, that's a, that's a huge thing.

Dan Johnson (38:19.419)

Dan Johnson (38:26.075)

Dan Johnson (38:37.661)
Yeah, 100%. 100%, especially if you're trying, like your blood trailing an animal. Last year, it even happens with me on Onyx when I was trying to, okay, I was on tracking or shed hunting and I'm like, okay, I need to know where I'm gritting to look for antlers. And then, so I started it. And then when I went to go pick it up, I don't know, hour or so later,

Jeremy (38:42.387)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (39:05.756)
it had stopped and then started and then stopped and started. So there was gaps in my line and that's kind of frustrating, especially on a blood track, on a blood trail. So.

Jeremy (39:10.035)

Mm -hmm.

Right. So I would say, again, it's not like a huge, huge negative thing. And it seems like to all of them have their, their calm when it comes to that. But I mean, for how much awesomeness there is in the maps and all that stuff, I would say that's also another little important feature that where like majority, if not all of them could do probably a better job on.

Dan Johnson (39:20.764)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (39:36.924)
Right. Okay. Do you have any experience with Onyx or HuntStand?

Jeremy (39:43.426)
Hunstan, no, on X, yes.

Dan Johnson (39:45.916)
Okay, all right. What about Go Hunt?

Jeremy (39:48.563)
Go hunt a little bit, but not a lot.

Dan Johnson (39:51.356)
Right, the only thing that I've really ever used GoHunt for is just the unit information, right? Draw odds, just like mostly everybody else does. But like I've been using that and I do use it. However, now all my information is on one, like mostly on HuntStand and mostly on Onyx.

Jeremy (39:59.539)

Dan Johnson (40:19.262)
Right? And so I don't necessarily need to use that mapping, that mapping, but I think they're a little bit behind if I had to guess on some of these other ones like Spartan Forge, Go Hunt and Hunt Stand just because they started that process later than them. However, the big benefit is like draw odds and information and the community there that they have access to, you know, to talk to people and things like that.

Jeremy (40:36.403)

Jeremy (40:47.55)
which is great, Dan, because Spartan Forge actually partnered with Eastman's Hunting Journal. So now they have that feature too. So like, again, we're talking about like people becoming the norm and setting standards. Like this is where, man, if it's like, if one person does it, if the next doesn't do it, we're falling behind. And now it is something where, again, Spartan Forge does it. And that's where, when we were talking about pricing,

Dan Johnson (40:54.557)
Mm -hmm.


Dan Johnson (41:01.757)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (41:08.253)

Jeremy (41:13.747)
I don't, please don't quote me. I mean, I could, you could probably Google, but I think Spartan Forge is what like 60 bucks and you're getting, that might be a little added price onto that. You're getting all the, the, the, you know, hunt units and draw odds, all that stuff too. And I know Onyx does that as well. So I mean, again, standards where all these companies are kind of staying together like neck and neck. It's just.

Dan Johnson (41:24.541)
Mm -hmm.

Jeremy (41:39.539)
Again, to me, I'm going to go back to it. It's going to go going to come down to that imagery stuff.

Dan Johnson (41:44.158)
Yeah, exactly. Because Go Hunt, I think I'm off and on depending on if I'm gonna try to, like I don't even think I'm a Go Hunt insider right now. But when I go look at my Wyoming preference points or I'm looking to go do something else of when I should probably go do that, I'll probably get an insider's membership for a year so I can prep and plan for, you know.

Jeremy (41:59.219)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (42:11.805)
the best route for that stuff. It's very easy to use. You can click on units and states and things like that. Okay. So, ONNX. I wanna talk about ONNX last. Hunt Stand. Okay. So, man, it was like either last year or two years ago, I was working with Hunt Stand to do

They bought an advertising slot on the network and on the Nine Finger Chronicles and I believe even on this show. All right. And they gave me a membership and I was trying to use it like I was using Onyx. Okay. So this like, I didn't use it a ton and I'll tell you why. I don't know if you, here's my phone. Okay.

So for those of you who are listening to this, I'm going to try to describe this as good as I can, okay? So you hit the app on your phone and it doesn't even take you to a map right away.

It just gives you all these options. Okay? It gives you all these options. Okay. Do I want a hybrid? Do I want property info? Why can't I get both of those? Do I, I want hunting lands. I want public lands. I want, then I also have the pro whitetail platform, a nationwide rut map, which is kind of cool. 3D imagery. That's awesome. They have whitetail.

They have a map editor where you can, you know, drop all your pins and things like that. Monthly satellite. For a while there, they were really hyping up their monthly satellite. Let's push on the monthly satellite here. It is extremely pixelated. So it's only good from like a 10 ,000 foot view, right? To see, okay, well, here's the city that I live in. You can tell the crops are not in. It's green. The last time it was done, it was in May.

Dan Johnson (44:18.845)
So I'm guessing at the end of this month, they'll update it with June with another okay map, right? It's like, what am I getting? I'm zooming in all the way here and you can see how pixelated it is, right? And maybe it's just my prerogative here. Now here is what happens when you push ONNX, okay? Here's my ONNX, boom, hit it.

Jeremy (44:33.235)
Right, right.

Dan Johnson (44:49.085)

Dan Johnson (44:53.853)

Jeremy (44:57.907)
Right to a map.

Dan Johnson (44:58.301)
Right to a map. Right to a map. And so.

Like I just couldn't get on board with Hunt Stand because number one, it's really whitetail focused on it. And I don't really, like I hunt multiple species. And so a lot of, I believe, I mean, at least when I used it, maybe they updated it, but a lot, what I have used on Hunt Stand is they didn't have an elk or glassing, like a glassing knob type.

Jeremy (45:29.619)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (45:33.6)
It was all whitetail focused. And so it was really hard for me to try to use HuntStand because of just almost overkill in options. Like, why can't I go, like what, why do you need, I understand why you can do why 3D imagery, but now I go to, now I go to, let's go out of here once. Okay.

Jeremy (45:43.859)

Dan Johnson (46:02.367)
I can do 3D imagery just from a click of a button here on Onyx. I can do like, it's just, it's just, I feel like it's way more user friendly. Now, again, I haven't messed around with Spartan Forge that much, but like it should just be, you open it up a map and you're ready to go. You don't have to do all these, all this choosing, right? And so that's, that's my, that's my personal thing. And so that's why I've continued to stay.

Jeremy (46:06.111)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (46:32.255)
with Onyx and pay a little bit more because of ease of use, right? And so, man, I don't even know what I'm paying right now. I have it on auto renew and it's like, I'm probably, I think I'm paying over a hundred bucks for it a month, like 140 maybe. I don't even know. And so like the layers, the units,

Jeremy (46:39.966)

Jeremy (46:46.238)

Dan Johnson (47:01.535)
All the states are there, all the different, I believe any piece of public that they have is on there.

I'm trying to think. And so for me, especially when I am in the field, I wanna pull my phone up, boom, open it up. Here's where I'm at. I can hit the target button on there. It's gonna take me right to where I'm at. I feel like the tracker blue dot is way more accurate on OnX than it is on stand as far as.

Jeremy (47:34.142)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (47:40.254)
how far it goes down into the point. And so it's really like, and maybe they've really out like improved it since, I don't know, a year or a year and a half ago since when I used it. But man, it's just, it's very hard for me to go away from something that I've had a ton of, like I started using Onyx before Spartan Forge was even a thing. And so I have

I mean, if you looked at my pins across the United States, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, I'm getting tons of information from Kansas and even out West when I've gone elk hunting and things like that. It's just, it's a database for all of my hunting experiences. Now, I will say this. I don't know if Spartan Forge can do this, but does, I know that hunt stand, if you choose,

It's probably number one, the most affordable option. I believe HuntStand out of the three that we've talked about is the most affordable. Outside of that, HuntStand also allows you to import all of your pins from outside of their platform. So yeah, so I think that's also now a standard. Like if you want to combine and you're like, okay, man, I got three.

Jeremy (48:58.334)
Yep, Spartan Forge does too, yeah.

Jeremy (49:03.806)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (49:07.807)
three mapping services now, I only need one. Which one do I want to use? You can import all of your pins. I think you have to do that from a desktop though.

Jeremy (49:17.982)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure we're on that one.

Dan Johnson (49:20.094)
Yeah, yeah. Okay, so that's just kind of my two cents on those two, really leaning heavily towards ONNX just because it's something that I'm the most familiar with, to be honest with you, and it's simple and very user -friendly.

Jeremy (49:36.542)
Yeah, that's the, that's the key is that, and that's where, again, Spartan Forged has all those bells and whistles and packs, you know, a punch with, with those things. If that's what you're into and you want to nerd out and figure out like peak rut time and moon phase, all that type of stuff and overfoot, underfoot, all that type of stuff. But again, to me, where it shines is, is those map, like the imagery and, you know, like you said, as soon as it pops on, you hit the, hit the app icon and the map comes up.

and you're not dilly dallying with anything else. I don't know. I know it sounds nitpicky, but it's important.

Dan Johnson (50:12.99)
Well, yeah, I mean, why do I have to sit there? Like, yeah, I understand. But in today's world, having instant, I don't know, not necessarily gratification is the right word, but like I shouldn't have to like go through a step to pull up maps that I, and then I also shouldn't have to pull up, have to pull up multiple maps.

for the same thing, right? I have to switch between satellite imagery and 3D. It should be right there. Pop, done. And so like ease of use and how I use it, which is very minimal compared to all the functionalities that all of these have. I just want a map to pop up. I wanna be able to switch between hybrid and satellite imagery.

Jeremy (50:43.326)

Dan Johnson (51:10.816)
And most of the time I'm on hybrid anyway, like 90 % of the time. And I wanna know landowners and I wanna know property boundaries and I wanna know public land versus private land. I wanna drop pins and I wanna have mark access routes. And outside of that, even weather is extra at that point. I watched the news, I pretty much know.

what the wind is gonna be doing or what the weather is. And if I'm on a hunting trip and I don't have access to a television, I'm looking at the weather app, mostly just for radar. But now that all weather comes standard on all of these, just pop right there. Most of the time it's right there in front of you anyway in the bottom corner or one of the corners of the app. So that's really my thoughts on it. What do you have any...

Jeremy (51:46.718)
the weather happen.

Jeremy (51:55.454)

Jeremy (52:00.062)

Dan Johnson (52:06.976)
in conclusion type thoughts of what we've talked about today.

Jeremy (52:10.654)
No, man, I just think, you know, for me, it's all about how can I be a little bit more efficient and and using Spartan Forge and and the last couple of years, the the progress that that's made, I believe it's also made a big progress in my game, getting boots on the ground, seeing things and seeing how things kind of really, quote unquote, map out and understanding that that's been a really big help.

for that just because I could sit here late at night look at it and when I get there and it's there and There's good sign and there's other pieces that I could you know put together the picture there That's really helpful and that's you know My thing is there's big chunks of public land if I'm hunting here locally How could I find spots within the spots and that's that's been really important and do the same thing also on private?

Dan Johnson (53:03.617)
Yep, 100%, 100%. I think that's it, man. I know there's other mapping services out there, but I'll be completely honest with them. If I haven't heard of them, then they're not worth talking about. I didn't want to do any research on this episode and say, have you checked this out? Well, these are the biggest players in the game right now. And so this is what I wanted to talk about. So outside of that,

Are we good? We good to go? Can we shut her down? All right.

Jeremy (53:35.806)
I like it, man. Get out there. Look on your computers, look on your phones, map it out, figure out what you're gonna hunt this year and have fun, man.

Dan Johnson (53:43.52)
There you go, great ending.