Scouting Land Using Online Maps
Aerial and topographical maps are some great tools that a hunter can use. As long as you have internet access, you can view these maps for free and gain valuable information about the land that you hunt. Although maps will definitely help you out, you still need to put some miles on your boots and scout the area in person to get the best feel for where you’re going to hunt. If for some reason you are traveling far and can’t get out on your feet, topographical maps are the next best thing for scouting.
Some of my favorite sites for viewing aerial maps would include Bing Maps and Google Earth. One feature, from Bing Maps that I find very helpful is the “Bird’s Eye” aerial perspective. This gives you a better angle on the viewing area and can allow you to zoom in greatly. In the area I hunt, it is normally pretty hard to get updated maps but with the the “Bird’s Eye” I’m able to at least see large trees that tend to still be in the area. Having the ability to see individual trees is a huge bonus and you can use this only on Bing Maps.
Bing Maps and Google Earth are Great Online Hunting/Scouting Tools
One little trick I like to use while looking at aerial photos, is to bring up topographical maps in a separate window of the area that I’m viewing. This will allow you to better see land elevation, benches, saddles, and points. You can view topo maps of your area by using mytopo.com and these are also free to view.
Click here to see a great post about identifying some of these features on topographical maps
By using some of these tips and tricks you can increase your scouting abilities during times that you are unable to get into the woods. Scouting using maps should never replace the real deal of actually getting out to the woods if you can help it, but it’s a great addition to your arsena. It should be used as a starting point for new areas to help you look at features in your existing area and if you are able, scout on foot from there.
Hopefully this will allow you to better scout and understand your hunting land and new areas that you may not be able to get to often.
Learn more about using maps and how to hunt funnels right here on MorningMoss.com.