How to Track Cattle Via GPS

••• Cattle 5 image by Lee O'Dell from

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It’s common for people to use Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation units to find their location and help them navigate to a destination in their car or while hiking. However, GPS isn’t just for humans. Ranchers have begun using GPS to keep an eye on their roaming cattle. By monitoring where the cattle go on the pasture, ranchers can see which locations the cattle prefer, such as staying near water and keeping on level land, avoiding sloping terrain. If an animal stops moving because it is injured, sick or dead, or if it leaves the pasture area because it runs away or is stolen, the rancher can see this in the GPS mapping display on a computer.

    Purchase GPS tracking units and subscribe to a GPS tracking service.

    Attach a battery-powered GPS tracking unit to a collar.

    Press the GPS unit’s power switch to “On.”

    Place the collar with the GPS unit around the animal’s neck. Repeat this procedure for all the cattle.

    Go to the website of your GPS units’ tracking page.

    Look at a map overlaid with the cattle’s movements as recorded by the GPS units.

    Items you will need

    • GPS tracking units

    • GPS tracking service

    • Cattle collars

    • Computer