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Old 07-19-2021, 07:31 PM   #1
Redlegwar
Ten Point
 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Van Alstyne
Hunt In: Collin County-Grayson County
Default Backcountry Cell Service / Satellite Communicators

Myself and 3 buddies were drawn for an archery mule deer hunt in Utah. Its been a fun process reviewing gear and getting all setup just a few main items left.

We had a buddy up last week scouting the unit. He had zero cell reception the entire time. What are your guys preferences aside from buying an expensive SAT phone?

Garmin mini
Zoleo
X-spot
ETC

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also if any guys wanted to sell or potentially rent a device for 8 days we are all ears!

Thanks in advance for the help!


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Old 07-19-2021, 07:33 PM   #2
thegrouse
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: San Antonio
Hunt In: Wilson and San Saba County
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Garmin mini will pair with your cell phone with the Garmin app. You can download all the apps and text via the Garmin. I turn mine on for a month as needed
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Old 07-19-2021, 07:39 PM   #3
Redlegwar
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Originally Posted by thegrouse View Post
Garmin mini will pair with your cell phone with the Garmin app. You can download all the apps and text via the Garmin. I turn mine on for a month as needed

Would your recommend the mini?
Any issues with it? Thanks


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Old 07-19-2021, 08:55 PM   #4
schmalzy
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Richmond
Hunt In: Gulf coast and VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlegwar View Post
Would your recommend the mini?
Any issues with it? Thanks


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I second the mini. Pretty easy to use with phone and figure out. Bring a spare battery bank and only use as needed.


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Old 07-19-2021, 09:30 PM   #5
thegrouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlegwar View Post
Would your recommend the mini?
Any issues with it? Thanks


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None so far, I make sure my phone is in airplane mode and the Garmin settings are set so they do not drain the battery fast, I have also powered down when I am in camp after checking in with family to save battery life. If that fails I keep an Anker power pack. It doesn't weigh much and I clip it on my pack during the day. It is not like texting with an iPhone and LTE service but it does basic communication and can help out in an emergency
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Old 07-19-2021, 10:08 PM   #6
diamond10x
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Helotes
Hunt In: Kinney and Bexar counties
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I’ve got an inreach that I’ve been using for about 4 or 5 years now. Works just like the mini but has more gps capabilities with the bigger screen. No complaints from me.

I really want to try out the zoleo, cheaper all around, and heard nothing but good things about it, but I don’t know if I’ll try it out this year or wait til next season.
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Old 07-20-2021, 12:07 AM   #7
PlanoDano
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Plano
Hunt In: TX, ID, CO
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I had the Delorme inreach SE before Garmin bought them. I have since upgraded to the mini. I mostly use the preset messages, usually sending an "I am ok" every night before bedding down. Recipients of messages can track your location on a map. You can receive a message from outside just in case someone needs to reach you for an emergency. I have not looked at the changes since Garmin bought the SAR company. I used to be protected by a separate policy by belonging to a trek and climb group. I will re-evaluate what I need to carry this year. If you do not need 2-way comms then a PLB might be a more economical choice.
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Old 07-20-2021, 12:24 AM   #8
Hockley
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I use a standard inreach and like it. Ill take the additional weight for the added GPS features in case of a phone failure. Redundancy.
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Old 07-20-2021, 07:09 AM   #9
glen
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Are you wanting it to communicate with others or for life saving emergencies? I carried an EPIRB with me. As far as communication I just called when I went into town to get water and supplies. I usually drive into town about every 6-7 days for ice etc so i stayed in contact
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:48 AM   #10
donpablo
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Odessa
Hunt In: Iraan, Culberson County & Public Land
Thumbs up Spot

I was happy with the SPOT. If you're going to go every year, it would be good to buy one. If not, I have one I can rent out:

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=811821

Take lots of pictures!
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:55 AM   #11
WItoTX
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Hunt In: Wisconsin, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Idaho
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Inreach mini. Love it, no down sides. But now I am going to check out the Zoleo.
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Old 07-20-2021, 09:00 AM   #12
friscopaint
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We had cell service in Utah if we drove to highest point, this was in the Manti and years ago
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Old 07-20-2021, 09:17 AM   #13
7sdad
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I go to get away from it and y'all are taking it with ya.
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Old 07-20-2021, 09:23 AM   #14
BassMaster13
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Location: SETX
Hunt In: SETX, WTX
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Another vote for mini.

Easy to use, I keep mine off till I camped for the night then the wife a present text that also has the gps location. Peace of mine that everything is okay at home we keep you hunting longer and more focused.
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Old 07-20-2021, 09:26 AM   #15
aaronwragg
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Spring, TX
Hunt In: Mostly Sam Houston NF
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I vote the Inreach mini
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Old 07-20-2021, 09:41 AM   #16
MadHatter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7sdad View Post
I go to get away from it and y'all are taking it with ya.
Without a doubt
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Old 07-20-2021, 10:12 AM   #17
Drew51
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth
Hunt In: Hamilton, Commanche, Grayson, and Cooke Counties
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I bought a Zoleo for my elk hunt in Colorado last year, and it worked great! You can either message through your native text app or through the Zoleo app.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:10 AM   #18
Throwin Darts
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Location: Aledo
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I just bought a Garmin in reach. S and S Archery has them, use code ROKSLIDE at checkout for a discount. No tax and no shipping.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:56 AM   #19
graesz
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Hunt In: Freer, TX
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Garmin inReach paired with the Garmin Earthmate app, you sync your contacts and can text on your phone via Bluetooth with the inReach. The only time I have had connectivity issues with the Garmin was rafting the Grand Canyon - service would be spotty depending on location within the ditch and satellites.

You should have no issues with the inReach, regardless of the mini or Explorer+.

I also carry a satellite phone because I like voice at times need to make a business call, get a more accurate weather update from a friend, wife, etc.

Hope this helps, good luck on the hunt!
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:13 PM   #20
db@100
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Colorado used to have what they called "The Buckskin Network". Several times a day they would broadcast on the radio, names of hunters that had an urgent message from home. You would go to a phone and call the network number and they would give you the message.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:43 PM   #21
graesz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db@100 View Post
Colorado used to have what they called "The Buckskin Network". Several times a day they would broadcast on the radio, names of hunters that had an urgent message from home. You would go to a phone and call the network number and they would give you the message.
Wild, how long ago was this?
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Old 07-20-2021, 04:00 PM   #22
PlanoDano
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Plano
Hunt In: TX, ID, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7sdad View Post
I go to get away from it and y'all are taking it with ya.
Never had to use it and have crawled off the mountain with injuries while having assistance in my pack. Same with bear spray, I have never had to use it but you can bet it is hanging from my belt if hunting in grizzly area.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:47 PM   #23
db@100
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Wild, how long ago was this?
Late '70 thru the '80 I think. They would announce the persons name and where he was from. I hunted there from the late '70 through the '90 but I'm not sure when they stopped doing it.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:48 PM   #24
db@100
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Has any of you ever tried this?

https://beartooth.com/
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