An avid hunter and outdoorsman, Eric Siegfried wanted a better way to navigate public and private land.
That was the genesis of Hunting GPS Maps, a Missoula-based company that makes GPS maps that show public and private land, property boundaries, owners’ names and other information.
“He was trying to figure out public access,” said Rob Hart, vice president of business operations at Hunting GPS Maps.
Siegfried originally developed an online product, but soon realized the information would be much more useful if it could be taken into the field.
“It’s slowly evolved from there,” Hart said.
Hunting GPS Maps launched its first product in 2009, a MicroSD chip that fits into a hand-held GPS unit.
“The product has significantly changed from 2009 to now,” Hart said.
Hunting GPS Maps allows hunters to know whether they’re on public or private land. It also shows who owns private land and property boundaries. The map displays which county a hunter is in, the section lines and hunting districts — all useful information for a hunter who needs to know whether he’s hunting where he should be.
“It’s a quick reference,” Hart said. “It’s going to make you more efficient.”
The map is a full 24K topo and includes roads, trails, lakes, rivers, springs and geographic names and features.
Thousands of hours go into developing each map, and data is collected from 10 to 15 different sources, Hart said.
The product also comes with an SD card that can be used in a computer to plan trips ahead of time.
Hunting GPS Maps sells a separate microchip for each state. The maps retail for $99.99 each. The company currently offers maps for 23 states. The product is compatible with all Garmin GPS units with a color screen and expandable memory.
When Hunting GPS Maps got its start in 2009, the company was small, with just Siegfried and Hart working out of their homes. Since then it’s grown to 15 employees working out of a Missoula office.
“We’re a tiny company, and we’re growing,” Hart said.
Hunting GPS Maps recently went through a rebranding effort, including a makeover of the company’s website and logo. It also launched a video explaining how the product works.
The company also is working to expand its market. The Hunting GPS Maps have been popular with more than just hunters, including real estate agents, game wardens, firefighters, emergency responders, hikers and others
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