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#6385998 - 07/28/16 02:42 PM Drones???
SkiBuck Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 52
Which is the best drone out there and why? I realize using a drone to take any game animal is illigal. What about using it to spot hogs and then sneaking up on them? What about surveying deer? Are they a useful tool, or just a cool expensive toy? Or both? Ha.

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#6386656 - 07/28/16 11:34 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
cblackall Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I'll start by saying I am not tech savvy, nor do I have much experience with drones. But I have spent some time with the DJI Phantom 3 professional (my dad's), and it's nothing short of amazing. Incredibly user friendly, and a blast to fly. You hook up your iPad or smartphone to the remote and see everything the drone sees. There's buttons on there to pan the camera, record video and snap photos. Go online and check out the reviews and features, because it's a long list. As far as usefulness, your imagination is the limit. It is pretty loud, like a ticked off bumblebee, so I'm not sure you're going to be able to sneak up on any game without them spooking. If you've got some semi-open country or fields, you could definitely spot some critters though. If you've got land, one really cool benefit is the ability to basically fly you're ranch. It's like a live version of Google earth. We flew some of my buddy's ranch that I've hunted for fifteen years, and it was like seeing it for the first time.

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#6386782 - 07/29/16 07:32 AM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
Pitchfork Predator Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10847
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Did you happen to find out the cost?
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#6386794 - 07/29/16 07:40 AM Re: Drones??? [Re: Pitchfork Predator]
colt45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 5390
Loc: bastrop county
Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
Did you happen to find out the cost?
interested
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#6386890 - 07/29/16 08:51 AM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
syncerus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
I've got a DJI Phantom 3 (non 4K camera) and it was about $700 when it was bought. The only feature that I really miss is camera zoom. Flight time is about 15-20 minutes, and yes, it is amazing. I've never taken it out to look for pigs, etc., but it's an absolute blast to play with at the park.

Edit: the 4K model is now $599 from numerous locations.


Edited by syncerus (07/29/16 09:01 AM)
Edit Reason: 4k
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#6387165 - 07/29/16 12:28 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
cblackall Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
The professional is running around $899 on Amazon right now. The bundle is $1099, and is worth the extra cost IMO. The bundle gets you an extra battery, a hard case and some extra goodies. The professional also shoots in 4K, but has upgraded features from the "4K" model posted above. Like an upgraded remote and a substantially further flight range (3.1 miles). If you really want to step up, they just released a Phantom 4, and what it can do is incredible. It allows you to "track" an object by just touching your screen. It's ridiculous how smart these things are. You set your home location, (the remote or a specific location on your map), and it will return to that point and land itself at the touch of a button. I really didn't appreciate them, or have much desire to own one until I started messing around with this one. I just figured it was an overpriced toy.

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#6387270 - 07/29/16 01:46 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
Mr. T. Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 1624
Loc: Fort Worth - Hunt in Eastland ...
I'm very interested, but be honest and tell me how many times you have crashed and what that cost you?
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#6387278 - 07/29/16 01:54 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
cblackall Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I've never crashed it. I'm only speaking for the DJI, but it would honestly be really hard to wreck it. It can launch itself and land itself. If you let go of the controls, it hovers in place. It has a return to home button on it, and regulates its battery to start itself back if it gets too low. I'm not trying to sell anybody on it, just speaking from my limited experience. I can't speak for other brands, but this one darn near flies itself. I was apprehensive at first too, mainly because it's not mine and it's not cheap. But once I flew it, I realized how simple and intuitive it really is.

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#6387317 - 07/29/16 02:26 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
Mr. T. Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 1624
Loc: Fort Worth - Hunt in Eastland ...
Thank you for that information. Makes me much less apprehensive about spending that much money for one. After all, that's the price of a new rifle, which I know I just must need very much.
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#6387328 - 07/29/16 02:31 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
cblackall Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I feel you. I always "need" a new rifle.

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#6387392 - 07/29/16 03:22 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: cblackall]
JJH Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 3434
Loc: Katy
What's the "range" IOW, how far from the "pilot" can it fly and still be under control? thanks

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#6387421 - 07/29/16 03:51 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
syncerus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
As I recall, the range is 300 meters, but that depends on signal strength. I would say that the real utility is being able to look down through a canopy of trees so that you can spot trails in thick areas, or rather in areas that look thick from the ground. There's no doubt that it's a pretty cool toy.
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#6387447 - 07/29/16 04:06 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
cblackall Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Range will depend on terrain I'm sure. The one I'm talking about has an advertised range of 3.1 miles! I haven't pushed it that far, but I've flown a 75 acre mesquite covered field without a hiccup. And it covers that distance in a hurry at 35 mph. As I get more comfortable with it, I'll stretch its legs a little farther.

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#6388022 - 07/30/16 06:03 AM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
billybob Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/28/10
Posts: 3502
Loc: Southlake, TX, Billy Bob Ranch...
I've got the Phantom 2. Bought in mid 2014 and it cost $1099 with an extra battery. I think you can buy them for $850 on up now. Fly it all the time at the ranch for deer counts. Easy to fly not so easy to land..most of the time if you release the joy stick it will just hover in position. My range is my property lines furthest point 500 yrd but I fly at 80 ft altitude. Range can be increased at higher altitudes. It flys for 20 minutes and you better be on the way back to the start point. It can be set to fly a prescribed "mission" automatically and return home.



Edited by billybob (07/30/16 06:10 AM)
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#6388790 - 07/30/16 09:17 PM Re: Drones??? [Re: SkiBuck]
Daddybigbuck Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 188
Loc: Haslet / Knox Co.
I have the DJI Phantom 4 and love it. It's unbalivable how easy it is to fly right out of the box. I would recommend searching the DJI Web site and buying one of their kits. You will want extra batteries, propellers and a travel case.

As someone else mentioned the points of interest, and way points are very cool features when flying a property. The 4 will allow you to fly 400' up and 3+ miles away from you if you have a good signale.

They are louder than you would think but with the wind in my favor I have been able to fly up to a group of pigs in a wheat field and chase them. Which was pretty cool just wish I had remembered to turn the video on.

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