When going hunting, you have plenty of gear to think about from your rifle and decoys, to a proper layering system to stay warm. One important piece of equipment you should consider is your cell phone. Is it worth bringing, or will it only cause problems?
Why You Should Bring Your Cell Phone
A cell phone is worth bringing on the hunt mostly due to its personal safety value. Should you become injured, an emergency call can be life saving. It's also a great way to regroup with a hunting buddy should you become separated for any reason. Due to the safety value of cell phones, there's no good excuse not to take a mobile phone when venturing into the woods for any reason.
A cell phone is also great for taking pictures of tracks and animals. One of the thrills of hunting, beyond making a kill or spotting a buck, is the amount of wildlife you get to see in its natural habitat. Having photos of tracks and animals to reference when teaching others hunting and tracking technique is worthwhile.
Also, few people see more wildlife than hunters and a cell phone is a convenient device for taking a picture. Wildlife photographers often study the same techniques as hunters so they can find animals behaving normally in their natural habitats. You're sure to have plenty of memorable moments to record.
How a Cell Phone Can Ruin a Hunt
If you forget to turn the ringer off, someone will inevitably call you. Even if you are not within sight of the animal you are tracking, the sound will carry and alert all nearby animals. It will take a long time for the animals in the woods to "recover" from this. After being alerted to your presence, it can take half an hour or more for the wildlife to settle down. Alerting the animals to your presence too soon will ruin a hunt.
Even the vibrate option can cause problems. A deer, for instance, might not hear the quiet vibrating of your cell phone, but a nearby bird might and sound an alarm call. This will alert the deer and send it into flight mode, which hardly helps your hunt.
When bringing a cell phone, consider that it will not only alert the animal you are tracking to your presence, but also the animals in the forest that sound alarm calls. Deer and other large mammals listen keenly to birdcalls to warn them of approaching predators.
How to Handle Your Cell Phone On a Hunt
Always silence your phone completely, vibrate included. Better yet, switch your phone to "airplane mode" so you can use the camera but avoid the problem of incoming calls. You can always turn it on in case of emergency.