onX Discusses the Importance of Going Roadless

Randy Newberg has made a living hunting deep within public lands, away from roads and other hunters. His tenacity to explore wild and roadless areas has paid off with a garage full of antlers and European mounted skulls.

Newberg’s love of hunting off the beaten path is only matched by his passion to keep the hunting tradition alive and well.

These two passions brought Newberg to pair with onX over six years ago and lead to the creation of the all new Roadless Layer.

The Nationwide layer uses color coding to show you areas in the woods farthest from the nearest road. The darker colors represent areas closest to roads, while the lighter colors depict areas farther, with white representing the farthest you can get from roads. Newberg has used this strategy of hunting away from roads for years, but never one this sophisticated.

the onX Hunt App Roadless Areas webmap, developed with hunter Randy Newburg, allows hunters to find the areas farthest from roads.

Before the advent of digital maps, he began with the basics by finding dirt and Forest Service roads on Google Maps and hand drawing them onto his surface maps. Then he got serious and started using Microsoft Paint to highlight the roadless areas.

“Hunters are like MacGyver, we figure out a way to make it work,” he said.

After making a tutorial on how to E-scout this last winter, though, Newberg came to onX with an idea for a roadless layer and onX began to work on his vision.

The effort was always worth it, though.

Newberg read through countless studies and surveys, conducted by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other organizations, about elk relationships to roads, and The Journal of Wildlife Management even printed several studies on elk relationships to roads, with each study reaching the same conclusion. Elk thrive in open timber farthest from the roads.

Newberg sees the layer best used during the general rifle season for finding remote areas for bull elk to travel, heal and rest after the rigours of the rut, but doesn’t limit it to just that.

The layer is just as useful for finding off the beaten areas when elk are pressured during the earlier archery season as well.

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Newberg is already planning his fall hunts with the new layer by refining vast areas of public land down to a manageable size far from roads. Now he can take an area of 2,000 square miles, turn the layer on, find a roadless area and refine the spot to 100 square miles. He then refines that area into 5 square miles to find where he will be on opening morning.

Newberg knows he may get some flack for helping make his hard work and secrets so easily accessible, but recognizes the help it will create for hunters all over the country.

Most people don’t get to spend the same amount of time in the woods as Newberg, and any hunting time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted.

“My hunting days are too important to be floundering around in the woods,” he said.

Far from roads.

Screenshot of the onX Hunt App Randy Newburg Roadless Areas layer.

Use the Roadless Layer in onX Hunt for the ultimate backcountry hunting experience.

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Last updated: July 2018.