Computerized Scouting works on Whitetails

Steve Johnson

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Worry and happiness comes over me as I stumbled onto hunting permission for 300 acres just down the road. Happiness because now I have a totally new piece of property to spend time hunting on, which will allow me to put less pressure on the other properties. Worry because it's October 1st. and I have not set foot on this property yet.

With a land plat in-hand, I begin to find the property using some free aerial photo software on the computer. Google Earth, is going to be my computerized scouting tool. I am able to zoom right in on the property and find all the cornfields, pinch points, cut-overs and creeks with ease. You couldn't ask for a better way to scout a property in my opinion. I was able to dissect the property in a matter of minutes all without putting any scent in the woods or alerting any whiteteails to my presence. Granted there is no substitute for finding a great rub line leading out of a bedding area, but Google Earth (and others as well) allowed me to pick my scouting points quickly and not waste valuable time in places that may not hold many deer.

After about an hour carefully going over what I have seen on the aerial photos, I pick my hunting locations based on the wind direction I will be hunting and where I believe the deer will be coming from. I got to the property about 3:00 with my climber on my back and head into what I think will be a great place to sit in a treestand for the evening. As I walk across the cornfield and into the woods I begin seeing deer tracks, trails and rubs. I continue back into the woods about 100 yards to a funnel I located with the aerial photos and begin looking for a trail and the right tree. It didn't take long to locate a well-worn trail leading to the cornfield and the perfect tree for my climber not 15 yards away. The use of aerial photos makes hunting and scouting alot less work, and alot more specific...

As I sat in the treestand that evening I couldn't help be take note of how I was able to pick that tree. Without the aide of computers and aerial photos from Google Earth it would have taken hours and hours to scout 300 acres of property and I would have spooked a lot of deer in the process. That evening I saw 7 whitetails come out of that bedding area and head up towards the field. Only 1 small buck, but anytime you can go in the woods and see deer it's a great day in a treestand.

Try Google Earth next time you want to do some “From the comfort of your own home” scouting, you might be surprised what you locate on properties you have been hunting for years.

Here's a few links to other aerial photo tools on the Internet.

Posted by Steve Johnson under Field Journals on October 7, 06 01:00 PM | Permalink

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