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  1. #1
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    Scouting stragties - New unit

    When scouting a new unit for the first time, how far in advance of the season do you scout?

    When you get to the areas you have chosen to look at, do you sit and glass and if so what information do you expect to draw from that glassing session?

    When looking at maps before you hit the ground, how do you choose what areas you want to check out first?

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    IMO you can't ever have too much scouting. That said I would scout as early and as often as you can. The early sessions would be more for learning the lay of the land. When you scouting closer to season, you should try to limit your impact on the animals. I like to scout from long distance to not disturb any potential areas I will be hunting. My goal in glassing is to learn animal travel routes through terrain and to hopefully locate an animal I want to harvest. I look at maps just for boundary references between wilderness, public, and private. I use google earth to select the areas I want to scout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvidrine View Post
    When scouting a new unit for the first time, how far in advance of the season do you scout?

    When you get to the areas you have chosen to look at, do you sit and glass and if so what information do you expect to draw from that glassing session?

    When looking at maps before you hit the ground, how do you choose what areas you want to check out first?
    Always good to get the lay of the land. It's important to consider in what season you will hunt. Areas and habits change considerably. If I'm hunting a high pressure area then the first thing I look for is roadless country and escape routes.

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    If I'm totally green on the area, i will try to find those mid level benches that elk like to circle around. I will look for the chutes between longer ridges. It is just a place to start. I will try to find all the spring areas where they will likely be wallowing in later in the year. I find google earth to be the best way to find these basic terrain features. Then hit the ground.

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    Thanks fellas. Great responses. I am totally green to the area, so scouting will be extremely important.

    What types of maps do you like to use(electronic or paper), other than google earth?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvidrine View Post
    Thanks fellas. Great responses. I am totally green to the area, so scouting will be extremely important.

    What types of maps do you like to use(electronic or paper), other than google earth?
    I have access to 11x17 color printers at work. I print a small handful(3 or 4) of 11x17 blowups from topo of my target area. Great for making plans at night and general overview without burning up GPS power. I actually post some target camps or glassing areas on the map and the GPS before i go. Helps me out when i get to the trailhead at night, and hump out in the dark. If the terrain is rough, you can load in a route to keep you on the the ridgetop and avoid going off course and wasting precious anergy.

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    You might want to access Google earth great tool to see what the terrain looks like to narrow down the search. Wish they had it 20 years ago.

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    I'm a fan of Google earth. I didn't know much about it the first time I used it for scouting a completely new area. For anyone who has never used it when you go to ground level it doesn't factor in trees so things you can see in ground level on Google earth you can't always see when actually standing in the same place in person. Also areas seem much smaller and hills MUCH less steep, pay attention to elevation changes when moving around your mouse and do distance checks to give yourself a good idea.

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    I agree with the printing maps out! I will cut and paste screen shots from Google earth and or Bing maps into 'paint' and then print those out. I will also get coordinates off of Google earth for points of interest and then plug those into my GPS. I'll name these points of interest so they'll appear on my printed maps along with the coordinates within my GPS.

    I like to have a printed map of the area if possible so I can see where I am at and where I may want to go etc. Even with satellite imagery on your GPS I still like to have a printed map out. (Also a safety feature too)

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    Google Earth is your most important tool. Use it to find the best type of habitat for whatever you're hunting. Find yourself a high vantage point where you can see the most country as possible. Of course this depends on the species you're hunting. Glass first and last light on edges of meadows and pocket parks. Let the glass do the walking. I get lat/longs off Google Earth and enter them in my GPS as waypoints. I have my whole scouting trip planned before I even hit the road!

 

 

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