We can debate whether cell phones have made our lives better or worse, but there's no debate about how much we use them. That includes in the deer stand.
When I got my first smartphone, I used it to listen to music, read and do puzzles to pass slow hours in the stand. As technology evolved, I listened to football games and kept in touch with other hunters via text and email.
Today's phone apps allow us to keep an eye on weather and wind conditions while in the stand, and pull and browse trail camera photos, not to mention the scouting that can be accomplished with mapping technology and aerial photos.
It's been a few years since I've listened to music in the stand; I've found I rely on my hearing (as bad as it is) much more than I realized. But each to his or her own. If you listen to music, maybe turn it off closer to the key hunting times. If you read in the stand, pause every minute or so to take a look around.
Love them or hate them, cell phones can make slow hours in the stand go by quickly.
The drawback to all this is some of the best hunting locations have poor cell signal. If you've ever noticed a dramatically fast drain of your phone battery while in a stand, it was likely because the phone was working so hard to find a signal. Even a steady but weak signal can drain a battery much more quickly than a stronger signal.
To ensure your phone lasts all day, put it in airplane mode. If you want to check texts or emails, go back into regular mode every so often, but put it right back in airplane mode as soon as you're done. If you're communicating with others in your hunting party, set times for everyone to check in so you can all use airplane mode the rest of the time.
For all-day hunts, consider a backup battery. There are a ton of small, portable rechargeable battery packs available that will charge your phone while you're in the stand. There even solar-based chargers that take up no more room than two cell phones stacked together. Read Recent Tip of the Week:
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