How to use aerial maps for deer hunting
Aerial view of hunting lease
Use aerial and topo maps for scouting deer
Most deer hunters have become aware that topographical and aerial maps is one of your best scouting tools for hunting. These are a great tool to help cut tour time scouting even before going to the woods,topographical maps allow you to locate changes in contours and elevations. These shows contour lines that indicate rise or falls in 10 ft. increments which helps locate hilly terrain and identify points, fingers and transition areas. Aerial maps help locate open areas, creeks and water, changes in woodlots and even old roads or buildings. When combined you have an excellent scouting tool for whitetail deer.
If you take the time to carefully study these maps you will find locations that make great funnel areas for deer. You will also find thick areas that make great bedding locations for whitetails, changes in tree breaks, even possible food and water sources that you didn't know existed.You will also find areas that there is no reason for deer to be which keeps you from wasting time. You can look for combinations of changes in trees and contours in one area, find the closest food,water and thick woods and begin scouting there.
There are a number of ways to acquire these maps but, first make sure they are the same scale. I’ve found them available at the local courthouse, with phone call to U.S. Geological Survey [1-800-USA-MAPS] and by going to websites such as www.maptech.com and www.mytopo.com . Another great tool is to go to aerial views from www.yahoo.com/maps or www.mapquest.com/maps and pull up the aerial view of your hunting area; you can scroll around locating agricultural fields, creeks and such from bordering properties looking for funnel and transition areas leading to your property. You can make a number of these maps keeping notes and tracking whitetail sightings,stand locations, mineral beds and food plots. By pinpointing the areas you plan to hunt, you can cut down scouting time and keep from leaving unnecessary human scent thru-out the woods.
How to use the maps
You can use a road map til you find your site location then pull up a satellite map of the area your hunting. Also get a topo map of the same area, combine the two and begin looking for areas you may want to hunt, then zoom the area as much as possible. Now when you go to the woods take a copy of your map and make notes while your scouting. These maps help deer hunters keep track of everything from food sources to hidden openings in the woods.
We've been using these for about ten years, and our hunting opportunities have greatly increased. We track what we've seen each year a copies of the maps, then compare one year to the next has lead us find changes in food sources and travel patterns. When hunting whitetail deer you need any advantage you can get, so with little effort you can narrow your search for the right stand location.
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