This Tracking Point promo argues that their precision-guided rifle system increases the odds of an ethical kill over long distances. You can talk about “de-skilling” hunting all you like, but it’s hard – if not impossible – to argue the point. The second bit asserts that the system encourages “pro-active” hunting. In other words, Tracking Point owners are more likely to get their asses out of the blind (or Tyler Kee’s kitchen) and go out and chase prey. Yes, well, humping that big-ass gun through the mountains may not be everyone’s idea of fun. Future, smaller iterations will make that less unlikely. Meanwhile, is this the future of hunting?

62 Responses to Question of the Day: Is Tracking Point the Future of Hunting?

  1. I’m having a hard time believing that Trackingpoint is the future of anything, but they sure do have advertising dollars it seems.

      • +1 TTAG is pretty much the only place I see anything about Trackingpoint. Every one else stopped talking about it a long time ago.

    • I see it as another form of equalizer if a long distance fight ever breaks out. It effectively neutralizes advantages that skilled snipers may have over normal civilians.

      • Not even close to equalizing. You realize the single hardest part of long range shooting is calling wind. This can’t do that yet. Look at every demo they have done. They always have a experienced spotter calling the wind for a inexperienced shooter. You still have to put in your wind call manually. Pulling the trigger with good form is the easy part of sniping, that is why traditionally the spotter is the more experienced shooter in a sniper pair. I have attended two different branches sniper schools and I don’t see this thing being helpful at all.

        • Good point. I don’t see this as the future of hunting as it takes the sport and challenge out of it. Best hunting I’ve done has been bow. But I fan see the attraction for the troohy hunter who has paid $1000s for gun gear travel guide and needs that help to get to their goal. Hunting helps wildlife managers and license and stamp fees help pay for habitat conservation and anti-poaching enforcement.

  2. If Tracking Point is the future of hunting, then hunting has no future. It turns the woods, fields and hills into nothing more than an outdoor slaughterhouse.

    • I’m sure governments can impose restrictions on its use, like they already do with any other form of hunting. They can limit the days that it can be used to hunt, munitions capacity, or even prey limit. Its a good way to promote outdoor hunting for those who express interest but have no skills for it.

    • I couldn’t agree more. The last two deer seasons here in pa ( muzzleloader included) I came away with no venison because I chose not to take a shot at the only deer I saw. He was to far away for my skill set, but I never regretted it. For me, hunting is like chess. Sometimes you make the wrong call and you end in checkmate. when that happens, you learn more. Also, since my family doesn’t depend on the meat, I can enjoy and appreciate the outdoors even more, and that means more to me than bagging game

      • +1. I remember another OFWG and I chuckling after taking the mandatory CA Hunter Safety class and reflecting on the books discussion of “stages of hunters”; beginner, tag filler, trophy hunter, mentor” that they left out the ” burger” stage.
        But I get you…had a shot on a fine buck a couple seasons back on last day of season that I just about took until he tossed his head and trotted out another 50 yds thru the bushes to pause and look back just outside my 8 out of 10 in the pie plate standard. Still a great memory and more proud looking back on the decision than the meat would have been worth if I made it.

    • I do not believe I have seen ANY review of how well this system works on a moving target. The whole process seems a little protracted and unwieldy if/when the target is on the move and/or actively trying to avoid getting shot.

      Also, if you were inclined to use this as an assassination tool you had better be ready and willing to leave it behind when you un-ass the AO, because you will play hell concealing it as you run from your hide.

  3. This will already be illegal to use in a lot of states that do not allow electronic sights or illuminated reticles.

    • And let me guess, these states include one or more of the following: TAXachusettes, Screw-YOU Jersey, BARRYland, SillyNOISE, DISconnectedcut, KOMMIEfornia, or ZOO York.

  4. No.

    Some states, like RI and Mass, don’t even allow centerfire rifles for deer, and the good thing about muzzleloaders is that they’re cheap.

    It may become the future for the well-off hunters, but not everyone until the system costs around $500 to $750. Even that will be a lot for many people.

  5. I don’t see it being used to hunt out east. Way too much money to spend and weight to lug around especially when most shots are under 100 yrs.

  6. It comes down to cost. $300 vs $3500(?) for the same result with a little practice. And 1 mile accuracy isn’t necessary in 100-200 yds of thick brush. This is the same as saying there will be no more artists after the invention of the printer. Both get the job done, but one has more soul. “Great shot” will always be uttered somewhere on this continent.

  7. I think it’s inevitable. The technology will get better, smaller and lighter and cheaper. Remember when a flat screen TV was $10,000? I remember when they were even more. Now you can get a good one for around $500. This will happen with TP and it’s sure to follow copycat products.

    But, like the GPS replaced the map and compass, there is no replacement for the skill of using the map and compass. My organization still teaches old school map and compass work. Pace count, moss on the north side of a tree, watch trick and all for our survival skills and personnel recovery training. There is no substitute for when the batteries go down. And they always will.

    Iron sights gave way to optics. Optics gave way to aimpoint style devices and eventually, having a TP style device will be affordable and common. There is a market for it, so it will happen.

    That said, you’re a fool if you place your trust entirely in any electronic device. They are there to make our lives easier not replace the basic skills of life. I am always amused when I see a younger agent in my organization get totally sideways wen his/her iPhone can’t get a signal or when I am in a place where there is no service. I can see them racking their brains trying to remember their training and that’s when old guys like me show them how to do, whatever it is they were trying to do. What we should be more concerned about is those skills dying a slow death. Every year we get further away from those “hard skills” and more dependent on technology.

    So rather than shoot down the TP technology, we should embrace it, learn it and even use it, but always with the idea that it can and will fail. For every shot you take with TP, you need to take 10 without it.

    • Couldn’t agree more. There’s no substitute for experience, and frankly to me, an inability to function without technology is a character flaw. How many hikers get lost because they didn’t keep track of the light, didn’t bring (or know how to use) a tinder box, and didn’t have a backup plan (even something as simple as, if the SHTF, “out” is east)? Specific to TrackingPoint, I think taking the skill out of hunting/shooting is a bad thing, it just makes it more like a video game. Where’s the challenge in it? What happens to the respect we’re supposed to have for the game? What fun is it to ring the 1,000 yard gong when the computer did all the work? It’s just another device aimed at instant gratification, something we have too much of already.

    • Your example about GPS vs. map and compass is an excellent analogy. I use a GPS almost every time I travel for work. Deeply helpful. However, I have been hiking up a gentle canyon in the foothills outside of my town and come across what I presumed were tourists doing a day hike that were huddled around their GPS. They couldn’t find out where they were because their GPS wasn’t working. I just pulled a map out of my pockets, pointed to the three highest points visible, broadly duplicated the angles from eyeballing things (no compass) and pointed to where we were (generally, without precision) on the map.

      They were stunned you could do that. I thought “Good God, I learned that by age 11 in the Boy Scouts.” Then I found out they were LOCALS – not tourists. We chatted a bit and I pointed them to the local REI store that does free, monthly clinics on basic map and compass. They really did not have a clue that you could do things like that. And I am by no means current on orienteering skills (those aggressive, cross-country days are largely behind me), and do not consider myself a great outdoorsman – just an old Boy Scout.

      Sooner or later, success – which can mean the difference between life and death – in the outdoors, including hunting wild game, depends only lightly on tools and more upon personal knowledge and skills, none of which are outside the abilities of anyone regardless of age (ok, well, maybe not three year olds).

      • When technology fails, a single olde school Boy Scout is more useful than 10,000 yuppies. I still remember trying to track way points that our scoutmaster set up on a course of several hundred acres. Good stuff.

    • Do you still know how to use a slide rule, or even better a log table? Do you even know what a log (logrhythm) table is? Or do you now just use your phone to do the math. How about saddling and riding a horse? Things change. I also wonder if this same discussion was held when the first person tried to add a small telescope to a rifle?

      • Of course it was, using optics was “unsporting” and snipers were once held in contempt. Sniping officers was uncivilized. Until it worked to demoralize the enemy and began to influence the outcome of battles.

      • As a matter of fact, yes. I DO know how to use a slide rule and carry one in my nav kit, along with my sextant. No batteries, etc.

        Understanding how to solve problems at the lowest level is a HUGE advantage. It does not mean you have to do it “old school” every time, but tech is convenience and speed, not a replacement for thinking.

        The most important tool we have is the one between the ears.

      • Yes, I know how to use all of those things, Junior, as well as my HP-41CV calculator.

        And I regularly amaze and confound kids by being able to do math in my head, beat them to an answer and then confound them with analysis of a quantitative situation because calculators don’t do the thinking for them.

        BTW, it is spelled “logarithm” and they most commonly are used in base e and base 10.

  8. Doubtful. People who don’t want to work very hard for their meat… go to the grocery store.

    Varmint hunting, maybe, but the guy who wants to rough it enough to spend time out in the woods looking for deer or elk won’t want to have the whole experience digitized. This is probably the only time in my life I will agree with what I assume is the default fudd position.

  9. Every house hold a tv most have three. Rifle scope don’t quite have the demand that facilitates hyper mass production. So the price will still be high especially if the military is the major client.
    $500 toilet seats and all.

  10. Hardly.

    First and foremost is the sticker price. Oh, wait, scratch that. I meant sticker shock. Even when the price inevitably comes down, like all advanced technology does, it will only be those that today would invest in Schmidt Bender or Nightforce glass that would be buying it. That’s because only they will ultimately be able to afford it at any time within the next 20 years anyway.

    And besides, you cannot ever replace actually knowing how to dope your scope or read the wind. I hate to say it, but I agree with the Fudds on this one.

    For the foreseeable future anyway. YMMV.

  11. 300+ yard shot, it’s probably worth it’s weight in gold, under 300 yards, the hold over change is so minuscule that this thing seems worthless.

    Most hunters are under 300 yard shooters, so it will have its place, just probably not a large one.

  12. Is Tracking Point the future of hunting?

    For the most part I believe no. Here are my four reasons why I believe there will NOT be widespread adoption:
    (1) Tracking Point is expensive. Plenty of hunters cannot afford a quality rifle scope much less a Tracking Point system.
    (2) Complex systems have higher failure rates than simple systems. Thus, a Tracking Point rig is going to be more failure prone than a scope, which in turn is more failure prone than iron sights. For this reason, many will opt for a scope or iron sights over Tracking Point.
    (3) Many people enjoy building the skills to shoot accurately at the ranges they desire whether that is 100 yards or 600 yards. Tracking Point basically eliminates that skill building process which is actually not appealing to many people.
    (4) Many jurisdictions forbid using rifles for hunting and limit hunters to shotguns, handguns, and muzzleloaders — platforms where Tracking Point offers no benefit whatsoever.

    I envision that the typical purchaser of a tracking point system has an annual income at least 3x the average household income in the U.S. and no time to invest in building long range shooting skills with iron sights or traditional scopes. Those people will see a great value in Tracking Point. Most other people will pass for the reasons I already mentioned.

  13. The future of “farming” wild animals maybe, but anything you do with a tracking point should not be called “hunting.”

  14. I could see this becoming more prevalent in hunting with people with disabilities. It is still a new technology and will have to become much smaller and more affordable before it would come close to going mainstream.

  15. If any of the guys in our “cast ‘n blast” group showed up in camp, he would be laughed back into his truck.
    After we shot all his ammo.
    This would only be legal for yodel dogs here in Oregon. No electronics are allowed.
    Having been through sniper/observer school, I’m confident with a regular bang stick.
    Speaking of that, I’m headed for the hills.

  16. Were motor boats and personal water craft the end of sailing? Hardly. This tech will be no different. some will adopt it (though why I don’t know), and most won’t. Most will still cherish good shooting skills. The hunt is not just about harvesting meat.

  17. He said it himself, it allows hunters to take a shot they normally would not take. That means less tracking, less hunting skills required, more animals harvested as a result, and more people calling themselves hunters. If you cant get close enough to make an ethical kill, then you shouldn’t be taking a shot on that animal, and work on your body and techniques to be able to stalk that animal.

    It doesn’t seem like a problem to hunting now because the system is out of the everymans price range. But what happens when the system becomes $1500? Then we have a real problem with over harvesting and readjusting the population.

    Nevertheless, the technology is here. We arent going to stop it, and it will only become cheaper until its available to every hunter who can afford a rifle. What can we do to counter act the negatives that this system brings to hunting? We educate our friends and children and teach them tried and true hunting morals, skills, and values that have been passed down since the days of bows and arrows. A hunter is a hunter regardless of what tool he uses, because his knowledge and ability to track and understand the animal is what defines him.

  18. Sorry, but Tracking Point is not the future of hunting. I don’t need to spend 3, 4, 5 thousand dollars on an XBOX version of a “hunting” gun to take a whitetail at 70 yards in the thick of the Northwoods of Wisonsin. My 1990 Marlin 336, 30-30 with open sights will kill that deer just as dead as your Wii toy gun. And I don’t have to worry about dropping it or charging a battery. Hmmm actual hunting.

  19. Most hunting is done at distances where this would be no help. At < 100 yards, this would probably cost you more shots than it helped you with as you fiddled with extra steps. My 300 winmag is basically a point blank gun out to 300 yards. I have never hunted out west, but from what I gather while you might see distances where this would help, you are also going to be doing a lot more hiking and the extra weight of a system like this will be a problem. As far as hunting goes, this looks like a solution to a problem that does not exist.

  20. Here is a video of a 13 year old taking a big bull at almost 1400 yards, without a TP:
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eIn1G8BeUuc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DeIn1G8BeUuc

    It’s a helluva shot, but unethical as hell, and quite frankly, disgusts me. I’m sure some guides will buy them to help their unskilled, high-paying clients bag a bull with minimal skill. Which I also find disgusting. I would rather walk the mountains 5 miles a day for a week and go home empty handed, than take that thing into the woods.

      • Besides, that sumbitch looks heavy, and hauling it up Sheep Mountain at 12,000 ft isn’t my idea of a good time. Steaks, beer and a bit of scotch after a long day of awesome scenery and clear fresh air is. Especially the scotch part.

  21. I don’t believe it is the future of any sort of “fair chase” hunting. We’re I an anti-gunner / hunter, I would denegrate anyone with so little skill or preparation that they would enter the woods after unarmed quarry with such an electronic aid. I’m close to that already as an avid shooter and hunter.

    Although I may set up a .338 Lapua for long range elk hunting, much of that would be for my father in law who has very limited mobility. I’d certainly try long range hunting, but not with the direct aid of a computer built into my scope. I’ve only taken 1 deer at above 300 yards, if memory serves. That shot was with a Redfield 3-9x scope atop a Win 70 .30-06 shooting prone. No electronics whatsoever. A single miss and that buck would’ve been gone. If that’s not fair chase, its pretty damn close.

    • For someone like your father in law, that could be a good, and ethical, option. Many states only allow crossbows for disables hunters, which I also think is fair. And damn, a 300 gr .338 bullet is gonna knock an elk critter down hard with a good shot.

  22. For the price of such a “system” how much ammunition could one buy and time be spent training and practicing?

  23. While I have a lot of respect for the people that hunt for the right reasons and do it the right way, so much “hunting” now is private ranch-style hunting where you are shooting a disoriented animal that was just released from a pen when the client is ready to pull the trigger… so the acceptance of this technology by those types of hunters is of course no surprise.

    This technology might be fine if you need to kill a lame or rabid animal quickly and reliably, but for the “sport” of hunting, I only see it as “EZ mode” for those not willing to put in the time and effort that “real” hunting requires.

  24. You ever play a video game for a while, then get some cheat or upgrade that makes it too easy? It ruins the game and makes it no fun because it removes any skill whatsoever? THAT is what TP does to hunting. What is the point of even going out there? Why not just go for a walk through the woods then stop at the butcher for some meat on the way home, because that is what it feels like. Also, it won’t be the future because I don’t think they will be around long. The actual products are buggy pieces of shit – talk to anyone who has ever worked for that company…there is a long list of them out there. They will tell you the product is junk.

    • I remember when cell phones had 20min battery talk times, always dropped calls, were carried in bag and you couldn’t hear anything. They were also priced out of reach of most people. I rememeber when GPS units were as big as a suitcase and only planes and ships had them. Then they became as big as a shoe box, and small private pilots could afford them. Then they fit in the palm of your hand and finally, your wrist and now, anyone can get one.

      My point is the all technology started somewhere. There is no doubt we are seeing the birth of a new technology, with all of its bugs, expese and real world problems. But in time, probably closer than we realize, some city dude who doesn’t have the time or desire to learn the slow way will want try his hand at hunting deer and with his plastic, buy a 4th generation $1000 AP device and mount it on his $600 Remmy 700, and show up at a location near you. What are you going to do then? Kick his ass and call him a POS for using an AP device? I thought we were supposed to be embracing new hunters and new gunners?

      I personally don’t like it but it’s coming and soon and it will be available for not much more than a high end scope is now. So instead of deciding to hate, which there’s never a lack of in the world, you, me, I and we should come up with a better answer that F**k that s**t if we want to keep the 2A momentum moving.

      This tech is not going away and as it get smaller and cheaper, it will only multiply. Now it’s for rich guys and gals, but it won’t always be that way. I personally will never buy one but I intend to ask the first person I see with one a lot of questions. I intend to get an eduation on these things and if possible, educate the user on my philosphy too. I hope we both can learn something at that point.

  25. I NEVER sit in a blind…it takes all the fun out of stalking and hunting your prey.

    Tracking Point or No Tracking Point…GET OUT OF THE BLIND AND DO SOME REAL HUNTING!

  26. I don’t think an integrated system such as Tracking Point is the future of hunting. But the technology behind it is the basis for what’s coming next. Integrated range finders, atmospheric sensors, ballistics computers video recording and the like built into the scope are probably on the way. Sure, its expensive now. But how expensive was a laser rangefinder five years ago? Ten?

    I foresee a decently expensive scope ($1500 or so) with a built in ballistics computer where you use your smartphone to punch in caliber, grain, BC, muzzle velocity, etc of your load into the scope’s memory. Its essentially a BDC with some more complicated and expensive options. The integration with the trigger? No, I don’t think that’s going to be widespread.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *