Without a doubt, hunting has evolved so much in recent years. In the past, hunters only needed a good rifle and expertise to have a good hunting season. Today, they depend on many hi-tech gadgets, including hunting watches.
These devices can deliver the weather status and your hunting route and current location. In addition, they can sync with your smartphone so you can read your text messages and alerts on the watch display. Most advanced models can give you access to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
Hunting watches do give you a great advantage no matter what type of hunting you prefer. However, not all hunting watches are really good. In this buying guide, you’ll know all the desirable features you should consider when looking for the best watch for hunting. That way, you’ll be better prepared to make a wise decision on your next purchase.
Our Top 5 Best Hunting Watches
1 Garmin Instinct Rugged Outdoor Watch
Garmin Instinct is designed following the U.S. Military standards. This smartwatch can withstand the harshest weather conditions and high impacts. It’s waterproof and can tackle water pressure at a maximum depth of 100 meters. It comes with a built in altimeter and a 3-axis compass.
Garmin Instinct is compatible with multiple positioning systems like GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS. You can check your route and actual position using the app or visiting Garmin’s official website. This tactical watch is perfect for those who enjoy going into nature, without a fixed route.
The Instinct heart rate monitor comes with different training profiles., which makes it a great tool for joggers and runners. This watch gives you real-time information about your current physical condition. That way, you can push yourself to get in shape and improve your endurance level.
Garmin Instinct is compatible with Garmin Connect. In this fitness community, you can share your achievements with other community members. You can receive alerts and check your text messages. That’s the main reason we love this watch. It keeps you connected all the time while you’re hunting on burning some calories on the road.
We like this watch so much because it’s available in 19 different colors. You have so many different options to combine with your favorite clothes! You won’t find such color variety on any other survival watch on the current market. That’s what makes this product so special.
This device has three different saving modes for a long battery life. You can have 40 hours of battery life in UltraTrac mode, 16 hour in GPS mode and 14 days in Smartwatch mode.
- Compatible with GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo
- Built-in barometric altimeter and 3-axis compass
- Monitors activity, stress and heart rate
- Pre-programmed activity profiles
- Constructed according U.S. Military Standards
- Syncs with your smartphone
- Rugged construction
- Durable and resistant
- Easy to use
- The battery may lose its charge so quickly
Without a doubt, Garmin Instinct is by far one of the best smart watches under 1500. In order to boost its water, shock and thermal resistance they’ve strictly maintained 810G of the U.S. military standard.
You can even go 100 meters deep underwater with it on. You wouldn’t have to worry about water contact during fishing or deer hunting. Besides, one full charge would last up to 14 days with active GPS and syncing on.
We were able to get notifications directly from our smartphones, meaning it’s thoughtfully engineered. For us, it’s an unbeatable device for the price and you can’t go wrong buying this.
2 Suunto Core Military Watch SS014279010
Suunto Core watch gives you the weather status, so you can be better prepared when a storm is coming. It’s the perfect gift for any man. This device displays a weather trend graph that shows you the climate fluctuations. So, it can be quite useful in hunting grounds where weather suddenly changes all the time.
Suunto Core has a built in humidity sensor that detects small water drops in the air. It activates a storm alarm when air humidity is high. This device displays your current elevation and tracks your ascent and descent routes. So, it would be a powerful tool for experienced mountaineers and skiers.
With this hiking watch, you’ll never run out of daylight. It shows you the Sunrise/Sunset times of 400 different locations. This makes it the perfect men’s watch for those who tend to lose track of time when immersed in nature.
Above all, what we like the most about Suunto Core watch is its design. The display shows white characters on a black background. This creates a high contrast that improves visibility. That way, the characters are easier to read.
Another interesting feature is it’s built in memory. It can store the altitude and air pressure data of 7 days. In addition, you can set the data recording intervals to 1 second, 5 seconds, 30 seconds or 60 seconds. In this case, the shorter the recording interval, the more accurate the graph will be.
Suunto Core comes with an elegant factory-made black rubber strap. However, this watch is compatible with other kinds of straps. So, you’re free to change the color and material of the straps as you wish.
- Altitude range: 1600-29500 feet
- Temperature range: -5º to 140º F
- Barometer range: 300-1100 mbar
- Weather memory: 7 days
- Built in 3-axis compass
- 2-Year warranty
- Durable and resistant
- Easy to use
- Elegant design
- The buttons tend to get stuck sometimes
- Water may enter through the metal cap that covers the batteries
Certainly, Suunto Core is one of the best watches for hunting with features that you might find valuable on the hunting ground. It’s extremely resistant to high impacts and wear. Without a doubt, a watch made to stand the test of time.
3 Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire
Fenix 5X Sapphire has a full color display with LED backlights. It’s compatible with GPS and GLONASS. With this watch, you can have access to U.S. Topo maps from USGS. You can see your route on the map and know your current location. That way, you’ll never feel lost in unknown destinations.
This waterproof watch can withstand water pressure at a maximum depth of 100 meters. So, you can go diving wearing your watch without trouble. Its stainless steel cover is PVD-coated. Physical Vapor Deposition provides a thinner coating in contrast to metal plating. In addition, it considerably improves resistance and durability of the metals.
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is a great watch for training. While you’re running or jogging, the watch can provide some physiological metrics. For example, lactate threshold, performance condition, stride length, and cadence. It can provide statistics about your performance and share them with others.
Without a doubt, Garmin Fenix 5X has much more functions than most GPS watches. That’s the main reason we like it so much. Incredibly light and responsive, it syncs with your smartphone so you won’t have to stop to read your text messages. This makes it perfect for professional sportsmen.
The Fenix 5X Sapphire is available in 13 different models. Each model is completely different to the rest. While most watch brands only change the colors, Garmin completely changes the style. That’s what makes this hunting watch so special.
- Compatible with GPS and GLONASS
- Built-in altimeter, barometer, gyroscope and 3-axis compass
- Physical performance monitoring
- Pre-programmed running profiles
- Access to U.S. Topo maps
- It syncs with your smartphone
- Easy to use
- The battery may discharge too quickly
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is by far one of the best GPS hunting watches available today. The user interface is simple and easy to use that connects you with other people with the same interests. It also gives you access to a huge map database. So, wearing this watch is like having a portable computer on your wrist.
4 Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400
Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 is especially designed to withstand the highest impacts. Its triple sensor delivers accurate readings of altitude, air pressure, temperature and direction. The cylindrical buttons are reinforced so they don’t get off or break with outdoor use. The button tags printed on the cover are resistant to wear and harsh chemicals.
Additionally, G-Shock Rangeman has a metal cover to protect the skin from high impacts. Each sensor mode has a distinct sound that makes handling in low light much easier. So, you don’t need to see the screen to know you pressed the correct button. The sound tells it all.
G-Shock Rangeman has a database with the Sunrise/Sunset times of different places. So, you’ll never lose the sunlight while you’re wearing this watch.
Obviously, we highly recommend this gadget because of its high resistance and durability. The quality build makes it one of the best trekking watches on the current market. It’s 100% waterproof. So, hunters, soldiers, rescuers and firefighters can absolutely rely on this rugged watch.
We like this watch because of its affordable price. Certainly, it’s more expensive than a regular watch but cheaper than most hunting watches with the same sensors and functions. That’s why it’s an excellent recommendation for people on a budget.
G-Shock is available in a wide variety of colors and combines well with your sport clothes. So, if you like running or jogging, this may be the perfect watch for you.
- Reinforce case and buttons
- Triple sensor
- Sunrise/Sunset time database
- Plastic skin
- 3-Axis compass
- Rugged construction
- Modern design
- Easy to use
- Resistant to high impacts
- Superior durability
- The battery may discharge too quickly
- The backlights seem too dim
Certainly, this watch can withstand the worst treatment you can imagine. High impacts and friction have no effect on this gadget. In addition, its triple sensor is incredibly accurate. G-Shock Rangeman is one of the best hunting watches that you can try out.
5 Casio Men’s ‘G-Shock’ Quartz Resin Sport Watch
If you want a simple well-functioning watch to accompany you during your hunting endeavors, check this out. In fact, this watch is the simplest version of the popular G Shock model from Casio. It has a digital display with backlights for improved vision in low light conditions. Its resin case protects the delicate internal components from high impacts. Water resistant at a maximum depth of 200 meters, this is a great choice for adventure enthusiasts and fans of water sports.
This watch is not as complex as the best watches for hunting under 2000 USD. It only provides the most basic functions like alarm, chronometer, and calendar. You can change the hour format to 12 hours or 24 hours. It’s the cheapest option on our top 5 list. So, if you don’t have too much money to spend on a hunting watch, this is exactly what you need.
We like this watch because it’s simple and easy to use. The perfect choice for a hunter that only needs to know the time to return home.
- Model Year: 2013
- Resin case
- 12/24 Hour format
- Digital display
- Plastic strap
- Easy to use
- The battery may discharge too quickly
- The buttons may get stuck sometimes
This watch is simple, cheap, and easy to use with all the basic functions you can find on most digital watches. The strong resin cover makes it more resistant to high impacts and scratching. Give it a try and see how well it performs in real-life hunting scenarios.
Best Watch for Hunting: Quick Buying Guide
When you’re hunting in the wilderness, you can easily get lost; especially when it’s your first time hunting in the area. When that happens, you need at least a compass or a GPS tracking feature to know your current location and return to a safe place.
However, not many people know how to use a map or a compass. It’s that your case, don’t worry. The best hunting watches can show you your current location on the map and even give you known references like highways or restaurants. That way, it will be easier for you to understand the map.
Only the best GPS watch for hunting have built-in memories to store your recent hunting routes. So, you won’t have to memorize each hunting route where you had success. Additionally, you can access to these routes from your laptop or smartphone. You just need to visit the manufacturer’s official website.
Knowing the weather status while you’re hunting is important. Sometimes, bad weather can affect your visibility. In that case, you have a higher chance of missing your shots. In addition, being exposed to rain or snow makes you prone to hypothermia. That’s why you need a watch with weather sensors.
Modern hunting watches can detect air humidity, temperature, pressure and altitude. Most advance models can emit sound alerts when rain is coming. That way, you can go to a safe place before rain or snow starts falling.
Hunting watches should withstand the harsh conditions of the hunting ground. They should be resistant to wear, high impacts and extreme temperatures. For this reason, it’s recommended that hunting watches have reinforced cases.
Those watches with metal reinforcements are the best of all. They’re considerably more resistant than those covered with plastic. However, they’re more expensive. So, you should be willing to pay more money if you’re looking for the best materials.
Quartz watches are the most accurate. They use a quartz layer that vibrates at a certain frequency when exposed to current. Quartz watches are delayed just a few seconds a month when the battery loses its charge. That’s why is recommended to replace the battery after 1 year of use.
4. Battery saving
Usually, hunting watches with GPS and sensors consume too much battery power. In that case, it’s convenient to choose devices with different battery saving modes. These saving modes deactivate some functions when they’re not necessary.
Hunting watches powered by sunlight are a good choice. They’re environmentally friendly and more durable than battery-powered devices. In addition, they don’t require much maintenance, because you don’t need to replace batteries.
Always make sure the hunting watch you’re going to buy has at lest 1 year of warranty. That way, you can get a replacement or technical service for free. Read the warranty terms. Most of the time, the warranty only covers damage caused by manufacturing defects.
Only the best brands on the market offer long lasting warranties for their products. So, if the watch you want doesn’t have warranty, it’s probably defective or a knock-off.
Usually, best hunting watches are expensive. The average price of these devices is above $300. So, if your budget is short, it’s convenient that you look for offers on the Internet and local shops. Before starting your quest for prices, it’s convenient to visit the website of the product. There, you’ll find the factory price.
You can use the price as a reference to compare with other prices. If something is ridiculously cheaper than the factory price, don’t buy. It’s probably fake. Try to gather as many prices as you can. That way, you’ll have a higher chance of finding an excellent offer.
If the money you have isn’t still enough, you can opt for models from past years. As is usual with clothes and shoes, hunting watches lower their prices with time. You can find second hand watches on the Internet under 100 USD.
Hunting Watch Tips
- Learn how to use your watch before the next hunting season
Before you start using your watch for hunting, it’s convenient that you learn how to use all its features. Take your time and read the instructions and then figure out how you can use each feature on the hunting ground.
You can visit the hunting ground before the hunting season gets started to try out some basic functions on your watch.
- Pay attention to the alarms
Some hunting watches have a useful storm alarm. In theory, the storm alarm should start beeping when rain is coming. However, the storm alarm may activate when air humidity level is high. So, it’s convenient to turn off the alarm in humid places. If you don’t do it, it will start beeping almost every minute.
- Don’t rely on your hunting watch all the time
As it happens with other electronic devices, hunting watches may misadjust. For that reason, it isn’t convenient to rely all the time on the electronic compass of your watch. Sometimes, you can get inaccurate readings. For that reason, it’s convenient that you carry a regular compass on your backpack.
- Be careful with some features
Some common features on hunting watches may consume too much battery power. So, use these features wisely, especially if you can’t try solar charging.
Hunting Watch Maintenance Tips
- Use a soft cloth dampened in alcohol to remove all the dust on the watch display. Rug gently, so the abrasive particles in the dust don’t scratch the surfaces.
- Use a q-tip dampened in alcohol to remove the gunk around the buttons. You can use it to clean the borders of the display.
- Replace the battery each year. It doesn’t matter if the battery still has charge.
- Remove the battery in case you’re going to store your watch for a long time. The battery may explode inside the watch and damage the electronic components.
1. How can I improve the accuracy of WHR readings?
Ans. Make sure your watch is snug and located one finger above the wrist bone. During exercise, make sure the watch is two fingers above the wrist bone.
2. What wrist size do standard black rubber straps fit?
Ans. Standard black rubber straps fit wrist from 5.75 to 9 inches in diameter.
3. Are all hunting watches water-resistant?
Ans. Yes, the best watches for hunting and fishing are usually waterproof while others are water-resistant.
4. Can I use a hunting watch as a timepiece?
Ans. Yes, you can deactivate the GPS and sensors to let your hunting watch work as a timepiece.
5. Can I use my regular watch for hunting?
Ans. While it’s possible to use a regular watch for hunting, a hunting-specific watch offers many additional features and benefits that you might useful in the wilderness. Also, a regular watch won’t be so durable or water-resistant as hunting watches.
6. Can I wear my hunting watch while swimming or diving?
Ans. Some hunting watches are designed to be water-resistant or even waterproof, which means they can be worn while swimming or diving. But you need to check the manufacturer’s specifications to determine the watch’s water resistance level and depth rating before wearing it in water.