Many hunters struggle with identifying the perfect hunting location, resulting in spending unending hours to locate an ideal spot instead of hunting. Though there is mapping software for finding the ideal hunting spots, the software may not provide you with all you need.
If you intend to spend more time hunting than searching for the perfect hunting spot, the steps below will help you. Even when hunting in a new area, you can be sure to find a game.
Step 1 – Identify Trails and Road Open to Vehicles
If you’d be hunting on public land, you should consider avoiding other hunters since games will also be avoiding them. Your best shot at finding a game is locating their hideouts.
Forest maps and map software show many trails and roads, but most are closed off. You can download the current Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) to find routes and roads open to vehicles. Though the app doesn’t display topo lines and has only basic features, it shows major landmarks such as trailheads, campgrounds, trails and roads open to moto vehicles.
Getting the current MVUM for the district you want to hunt in and locating areas with no roads and available roads for motor vehicles will keep you at a reasonable distance from other hunters, increasing your chances of finding game.
Step 2 – Locate the Identified Areas on Mapping Software
When you’ve i dentified the areas with motor vehicle access, try locating them on mapping software with high-resolution aerial images. This helps you determine the type of topography and vegetation in the area.
You can opt for the Basemap app. Basemap allows you to toggle between aerial and topography while viewing land ownership. Using a desktop device for this is a good choice because the bigger screen gives you a better area view.
Check the topo layer with contour lines to locate potential areas with good vantage points. If the area is flat, it may be less efficient than steeper areas with better angles for glassing.
After identifying areas with sufficient contours for glassing, toggle from topo to aerial to view the vegetation. The vegetation is as vital as topography for glassing.
An area with heavy vegetation may not provide the best vantage point for hunting, so opt for areas with enough opening to spot the prey. The opening type determines the game you will find.
Some areas have several openings with cliffs and outcropping suitable for goats, but the forage is insufficient for elk and deer. If you intend to hunt for deer, check for areas for good forage that attract game.
Burns and clear-cuts are also good glass points, but ensure the area is open for hunting. Also, check for terrain that supports stalking if you want to stalk-hunt. A good spot for hunting should also have access to several good vantage points.
Step 3 – Identify specific glassing points
Many hunters overlook this point, but you need more than one vantage point to access your game. You can use Google Earth to zoom in to previously identified areas to get a 3D view of the area.
Land your view on ground level and rotate 360 degrees for a better view. This helps in locating the ridges and peaks with good glassable areas.
The best hunting spots have enough contour and a perfect balance between openings and covers. Before going hunting, you can access information on an ideal area for glassing to aid better kills, so you don’t waste valuable time traveling to find your ideal spot.