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How to Tell Directions & Never Get Lost While Hunting

Learn how to tell directions and never get lost while hunting from big game hunter "Killer Keith" McDonald in this Howcast hunting video.


Hello. I am Keith McDonald, nicknamed Killer Keith. I have been hunting my whole life, 45-50 years of deer hunting, bear hunting, moose hunting, turkey hunting, you name it I have hunted it. I am a licensed Maine Guide. I have hunted Alaska. I have hunted Canada. I have hunted Newfoundland. I have been everywhere, everywhere hunting.

Getting lost is something that I've done many, many times. I get turned around a little bit. I have never had to spend the night in the woods. I get turned around, figure it out. When I was a young kid growing up, you went in the woods with a compass and that was all you had to get yourself out was the compass. You basically parked your vehicle, you headed into the woods, you hunted north, it was time to leave, you came out south, and basically that is how compasses work.

The problem with that of course is you could miss your vehicle. You could come out south but in the process of hunting for three or four hours you may have moved a little east or a little west so when you turn south and come out you are not going to come right back to your vehicle. So if you miss it, it depends on where you parked it. You could miss it and keep going south until the cows come home and so you are lost. You can't find the vehicle.

Not too many years ago they came out with GPSs. GPS is so much easier, so much better. I will hunt now and I can park my vehicle, get out of the vehicle, lock the vehicle in where I am leaving it as a waypoint. I put initials T.K. That is my truck, lock it in. Head out hunting, hunt five hours, go everywhere, six hours, hunt eight hours, I don't care. When you are done hunting you have probably got a rough idea how much ground you have covered. So say at three o'clock in the afternoon you say, 'Well I ought to at least check and see where my truck is."

So you turn on your GPS and push 'Go To,' go to your waypoint, which is your truck, the GPS says that you are 1.3 miles northwest of the truck. Simple. You know exactly how far you are from the truck. So you head in the direction of the truck until you think you have gone about far enough, turn it on again, look at it, and now you are four-tenths of a mile from the truck and it is due south from here.

You head due south and when you think you have gone about four-tenths, turn it on and the truck is one-tenth of a mile due east of here. Because you cannot walk perfectly straight, but with that GPS, if you go by it says, 'Hey dummy, turn around and go back.' It lets you know.

With a GPS, it is so much easier. But a GPS is an electronic device and so the batteries go dead. You don't want to rely on just the GPS. I think it's important to have the compass to work with the GPS.

I tend to know the area. I will look at topo maps. A lot of times I will take the Maine Gazetteer, I will tear that page out when I am hunting. Fold it up, it's in my pocket. I know everything around me and a lot of the places I have hunted I have hunted before so I know anyway.

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