A cell phone may be one of the last things you’d want to take to your deer stand, but as annoying as the tiny machines can be, there are a number of cool activities you can do as you wait for that big buck to pass by. Neal Emory took the above picture on an elk hunt in the White River National Forest using a cell phone. A cow and calf elk had fed past his location and this spike seemed content to graze 100 yards below Emory’s location. He had a good rest and experimented with taking a photo and after a number of attempts, got a couple of good shots. “You must have the rifle rested so that you can use both hands to take the photo,” he advised. “Also, don’t get discouraged as you’ll need a number of attempts before getting the camera to focus properly.”

Fall Foilage Action Shots 042Safety is a second reason to carry a phone. It’s best to tuck it into a breast pocket or the outside upper pocket of your hunting jacket, so that you have instant access should an emergency occur. An Illinois hunter fell from a tree stand and feared he had broken his back. He could hear his phone vibrating as his friends in camp tried to contact him, yet couldn’t move enough to answer the phone. His friends fortunately found him before he succumbed to hypothermia, but he still spent nearly a year in a body cast. Keeping your cell phone in a top pocket also keeps the battery warmer, so it will last longer.

Finally, and this one is fun, download a sound-recording app such as “Sound Meter” or “deciBel” and use it in deer camp. It’s great to record those guys who swear they never snore; you’ll have the graphic data to prove it. You can also record the report of your rifle while practicing to help convince doubters that they need to wear ear protection. Sounds of 75 decibels or less are not likely to cause hearing loss, but higher levels become a concern and you can easily measure the sound-damage potential.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.