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Good maps are essential to hunters. More than simply keeping us from getting lost or wandering onto the wrong property, maps are primary scouting tools.

It would be nice if we could put boots on the ground to scout at every location we planned to hunt, but often that’s not possible. Distances are too great and time is too short. But with the quality of maps and satellite imagery available online today, 90 percent of scouting can be accomplished at your computer, on your smartphone, or with GPS in hand.

Quality maps allow you to locate hunting areas, then zoom in with topographical and satellite image layers. Studying these carefully, you can pinpoint the exact tree in which you want to hang a stand or the precise reedy point where you want your duck boat for opening morning. Plus you can determine the best route to reach those locations. And you can do it from halfway around the world.

onXmaps offers maps for Garmin GPS, computers, and smartphones/tablets that quickly become a tool you won’t know how you lived without. Their fast, intuitive topo maps highlight all public and private property boundaries, and their HUNT Map series adds a layer of private land parcels including landowner information. Imagine coming to a fence you’ve never seen before, popping out your GPS or phone, and not only seeing who owns the property on the other side, but having contact info to find out if you can hunt it! And being out of cell service isn’t a problem either. You can cache portions of maps offline to view any time.

Visit  to see all the features and options available. You can purchase chips or downloads by state and by region, and there’s reduced pricing for updates as they come out.