Deer Hunter Tracking App Launched by Pennsylvania Man
Dan Hansel, of Houtzdale, has built on his years of deer hunting experience and the years of experience his father, Terry Hansel, passed onto him as he was learning the sport, in the digital direction dictated by his profession.
The result is the TrophyTracks app, which allows deer hunters to keep track of all their observations, field notes, photos, harvests and weather information for the locations where they hunt.
“I’ve been a whitetail hunter for years,” with years of experiences, explained the assistant IT director at Penn State. “But I have 25 deer stand locations and I’d wake up in the morning and try to decide, ‘Where should I hunt today?’” In archery season last fall, he hunted 23 hours at his most promising spot in Clearfield County.
Experiences like that in previous years, including 2017, when he bagged a 10-point buck, led him that year to ask himself, “‘Why can’t I build this into an app?”
The app, available on Goggle Play and the Apple App Store, is a way for the hunter to record memories in his personal journal, predict the best days to hunt, and hopefully be in the right place at the right time.
The basic, free membership allows the hunter to enter an unlimited number of reports but limits the number of photos he can save to 20. Those photos can include uploads from trail cameras.
The paid pro version allows for more photos, but the photos are not the point of TrophyTracks.
Hansel said that the advanced statistics function is the heart of the app. For example, based on previous reports from 2 different deer stand locations, TrophyTracks gives the hunter the statistic to decide which stand offers the best chance for success under current conditions.
The hunter can enter those reports live while in the field or later at home.
Hansel explained, “It’s your personal log,” like hunting journals that some sportsmen maintain, but more immediate, easier to enter information and amplified with automatic map details.
Like other popular hunting apps, including Onyx and Huntwise, TrophyTracks has a mapping function and that function will be enhanced in future versions to allow functions like Waze-type live-tracking on the hunter’s location as he moves through the hunt, but it’s more than mapping.
He said, “It’s more than just about the map, it’s about your observations.”
The hunter’s own reports, compiled within the app, provide him with “insights into which locations are giving the best results to start patterning the deer to find the right spot at the right time.”
Future enhancements will allow the app to offer predictive analytics, combining the hunter’s statistics with current conditions.
In addition, although the app allows the hunter to input data, including game species other than deer encountered, Hansel plans to make it adaptable to those other species.
In its first partial-year of availability, since mid-September, TrophyTracks has attracted more than 650 users. Word of mouth has been strong, but the coronavirus pandemic has hindered the roll-out by limiting Hansel’s planned informational visits to gun shops, deer processors and similar spots and canceling outdoor shows.
For more information, visit the TrophyTracks website.