Hunting wild animals, whether for meat, fun, or as a cultural heritage, requires preparation. Naturally, you’ll need a hunting license, permission from the landowner, scent-reduced clothing, and necessary hunting equipment, like a GPS watch.
Since it’s easy to get lost in the woods, GPS watches will help you track your position in real-time, track the route you need to follow to get back, and monitor your progress and movement. In case of an emergency, the device will also help the rescuers locate you.
So, if you’re looking for the best hunting watch, we have gone through different brands and consider Garmin worth your consideration.
To lessen your time checking the reviews of the best GPS watch for hunting, here are our top picks for the best Garmin watch for hunting.
Top 5 Best Garmin Watch for Hunting
1. Garmin Fenix 5X Plus
Fit for adventure and hunting, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is the ultimate multisport watch that estimates heart rate from your wrist and has colored Topo maps to give you a three-dimensional view of the landscape.
This feature is very important for the hunting game since you can locate the slopes, saddles, peaks, and valleys. These crucial data will provide you with insight when looking for glassing opportunities, timber cover, and quality habitat for your hunt and how to move through these areas.
It is also one of the best hunting watches since it features a Plus Ox Acclimation sensor, which estimates the saturation of oxygen in your bloodstream. This is helpful if you have to adjust to higher altitudes.
- Fit for adventure
- Onboard maps
- Supports many sports
- Great build and design
- With wrist-based Pulse Ox Acclimation
- domed sapphire crystal (lens material) with withstand breakage and cracks
- contactless payment solution
- With TOPO maps
- Sunlight-visible display
- Up to 20 days battery life smartwatch only, up to 32 hours if with GPS
- Large in size
- Expensive than other hunting watches
2. Garmin Fenix 3
Garmin Fenix 3 hunting watch is a blend of a multisport watch and an outdoor watch. While its features are specifically meant for the hiking crowd and outdoor adventurers, it also has an appeal for hunters.
Aside from its GPS technology, it also features ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) that all provide comprehensive tracking and navigation functionalities to guide you even off the beaten track during your hunt.
It has built-in sensors that display data on weather changes, elevation, and heading too. It likewise uses the Connect IQ feature so you can personalize your GPS watch for hunting with data fields, widgets, and apps that make your smartwatch smarter for hunting purposes.
- 10ATM / 100 meters1 water rating
- Sunlight-visible color Chroma display
- Built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass
- Up to 20 hours battery life in GPS/training mode, 6 weeks in watch mode
- Suitable for watersports
- Advanced fitness metrics
- Basic on-screen display
3. Garmin Tactix Bravo
Next in our list of the best GPS hunting watches is the Tactix Bravo that is equipped with ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) sensors to provide you important and real-time information.
It has comprehensive navigation functionalities as well so you can locate your starting point. This durable hunting watch has GPS, GLONASS satellite reception to track even challenging environments.
Then, smart notifications allow you to receive alerts, texts, and emails on your watch even when you’re outdoors.
- Sunlight-readable Chroma display
- durable sapphire crystal glass
- With night vision goggle compatibility
- With GPS, GLONASS satellite reception
- Tracks challenging environments
- Lightweight design
- Preloaded with tactical features
- Quite expensive than regular smartwatches
- No onboard music or Garmin Pay feature
4. Garmin Instinct
This GPS hunting watch is designed to withstand the toughest environments and is water-resistant for up to 100 meters. It also has a built-in 3 axis compass, GPS navigation satellite systems, and barometric altimeter that are helpful features for hunters.
The Garmin Instinct GPS watch further monitors your heart rate, stress, and physical activity. You can use this not only in hunting but also when you bike, run or hike. When you’re prepared to train, this watch is pre-loaded with activity profiles for different kinds of sports.
Once fully charged, it likewise can last for up to 14 days in ordinary smartwatch mode, 40 hours when used in Ultratrac battery saver mode, and 16 hours in GPS mode.
- Great battery life
- Reasonable price
- Up to 28 sports modes
- Satisfactory accuracy
- Comfortable and easy to use
- GPS GLONASS
- 3-Axis Compass
- Monochrome screen
- Cannot use third-party apps
- Heart rate monitoring cannot be used while swimming
5. Garmin Fenix 6S Pro Solar
Navigate outdoors with Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar. It has preloaded TOPO maps, ski maps of up to 2,000 ski resorts in the world, and GPS, Glonass, and Galileo satellites to provide you with a high-precision positioning system.
You can even use the preloaded activity profiles not just for hunting, but for hiking, golfing, indoor climbing, surfing, biking, swimming, and more.
This hunting watch also allows you to log daily fluid intake so you’ll be reminded to stay hydrated and lets you see sweat loss data after each activity.
- Hydration tracking (fluid intake and sweat loss)
- Body battery energy monitor gauges when you’re ready to be physically active
- Advanced performance metrics
- Wrist-based heart rate technology
- With TOPO maps
- Supports Garmin Pay contactless payments
- Solar charging lens
- Few users find the map navigation complicated at first
- Power glass lens needs at least 3 hours of strong sunlight
What a Hunter Should Look for When Buying a Garmin GPS Hunting Watch
Long Battery Life
The best hunting watch should have a long battery life since the hunt may require you to travel at a far distance or wait at least half an hour before trailing the animal.
Storm/ Weather Alerts
It is also important that a GPS smartwatch should have precise storm or weather alerts so bad weather won’t take you by surprise during the hunt. These alerts will also keep you safe.
Automatic Shot Detection
Not all smartwatches have Automatic Shot Detection, but it is better to buy a hunting watch with an Automatic Shot Detection feature to keep track of where and when you shoot.
The technology uses the accelerometer of the hunting watch to analyze gun recoil movement and your physical movement pattern itself.
GPS Ability/ Route Preview
You need GPS to monitor the trail you’ve already passed as well as trace back your starting point.
ABC: Altimeter, Barometer & Compass Features
The best hunting watch should have full ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) features that provide important data for your adventure.
Final Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?
All of the hunting watches we listed above are useful for outdoor adventures, but if we are to pick one that stands out from the rest, it would be the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus.
It still is the best, so far, when it comes to sunrise and sunset data and map display. Apart from its hunting-specific and path-tracking features, it has a rugged construction, which means it can withstand tough hunting conditions.
The Fenix 5X plus likewise has a compass, TOPO maps, GPS, barometer, and altimeter features the reason why it’s our top pick.
If you like this review, you might want to read our other reviews at EvesWatch.com.