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  1. #1
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    Airplane Scouting

    It was suggested to me that I hire a pilot for an hour or two to do a little aerial scouting of a new elk unit before season.
    Has anyone tried this?
    How much would it cost to do this in central Wyoming, and is it worth it?
    Can you go low enough to actually see animals?

  2. #2
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    I hired a guide in nm a couple years ago and he flew my unit twice if I hired him to guide me. I just wish I was in the plane to learn more about the area. I found the elk after he took off with another hunter 8 miles away. Never closed the deal cause there was only 2 days left. You got the money to have them scout by plane, u might as well get in there and learn the area from a google perspective. Yes u can see animals if their a good pilot.

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    I know a few guys that have done it. I considered it too. My bro in law is a pilot. It would only cost fuel for the plane. I think it's a great way to scout.
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

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    I was lucky enough to be able to tag along on a flight in New Mexico. You can see animals with no problem if the weather is good enough. Cloud cover and rain clouds really mess up visibility. I carried my GPS and marked some locations of animals as we flew. I think the biggest advantage was learning the unit a bit better but if I didn't have any extra cash sitting around I would not pay for it myself.

    The pilot has to watch how low he fly's as he doesn't want to mess up anyone else's hunt up. Also you have to watch the laws in the state you plan on doing this to make sure your legal.

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    I have done this a few times, and the only thing it cost me was the fuel we used. You will definitely be able to see animals. I have only flown prior to the season opening as I hate when I get buzzed by a plane while hunting so I don't want to do it to someone else.
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    Last summer another Eastmans member and myself flew a couple Nevada units to get the lay of the land and a few GPS coordinates. For me personally, it was a good experience but my prospective of the terrain from the air really didn't do me any good once the hunt started and boots were on the ground.

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    I've done it, but just as a perk from work. We fly small aircraft over our hunting areas on the way to visit clients. We are usually too high to see much game, but we definitely peak into some spots that are hard to get into.

  8. #8
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    I would first do some checking around before flying if I were you. I've been told that it is illegal to fly in order to spot game in Wyoming but that outfitters do it under the guise of looking for lost stock which is legal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WY ME View Post
    I would first do some checking around before flying if I were you. I've been told that it is illegal to fly in order to spot game in Wyoming but that outfitters do it under the guise of looking for lost stock which is legal.
    That's not true. You can spot or scout game by use of an aircraft, but you cannot relay information to anyone on the ground to put them on said game. There is no restriction like AK has that keeps you from hunting the same day you're in the air. I know the law is violated by ranchers and outfitters because I've seen a rancher flying low during the hunting season on his ranch that's leased by a big outfitter and he darn sure wasn't looking for cattle because there weren't any in that whole section of the property. The guy also happens to be a County Commissioner and it's doubtful anything would be done since all he'd have to do is say he was checking stock, fences, or some such other reason. With all the channels that are now available on radios it's doubtlful if a particular conversation would be picked up and if they were smart all they would need is some kind of verbal code so that only the spotter and ground person would know what was being discussed.

  10. #10
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    You may be right as I have never looked into the legality of it myself. My information actually came from an outfitter who frowned on the practice. The area me and him were talking about was "wilderness" so I'm not sure if the air space laws (i.e. height restrictions) are different over wilderness than over regular forest service land. Flying low over your own private ranch land would certainly be a different deal.

 

 

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