I'll admit my hypocrisy: I've often said "cell phones ought to be banned in the duck blind," yet when ducks just aren't flying, there I am checking social media. However, at least now when my friends bust me on the phone I can claim waterfowl-related research. I've found two great apps worth checking out.
The first is HUNT by onXmaps. It provides a wide variety of aerial, topographic and street maps, but here's the real beauty of it: All public-hunting areas are highlighted, and names of private landowners are listed as well. If you find a farm that mallards or geese are hitting, the app makes it very easy to contact the landowner for a quick chat.
Additionally I find that topo maps are often neglected by waterfowl hunters. Think you know where all the water is? Guess again. I'm always finding and checking new ponds, even in my home area, and topos can be very helpful in that regard.
The second app I look forward to using this fall is "Waterfowl OPS" by MOJO Outdoors. It features a GPS for navigating land or marine environments (with real nautical charting, no less), and it functions even if you lose cell service. Plus it has such waterfowling-specific features as a legal shooting time alarm, duck ID info, waterfowl migration map, updated weather info, quick-entry duck journal, hunting regulations, social media tools and more. Just a host of cool stuff, even a mirror for you face painters.
So, maybe I should rethink my ban on cell phones in the blind. It's not like I've adhered to it very strictly as it is.