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#6241121 - 03/01/12 how many guys actually use topo maps to locate..  
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340mag Offline
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how many guys actually use topo maps to locate roads,camp sites. water sources, natural terrain choke points and potential hunter access and potential game movement and escape routes.
as I got more experience I found that a few hours of carefully using resources like terrain maps, google earth, and forest service road maps, county property boundary info, BLM maps and other resources allowed me to predict reasonably well the likely game movements as big game in many of the rougher canyon country , could be accurately predicted to leave most of the easily accessed areas near public roads and camp sites, and retreat into areas with far less hunt pressure, now at first we thought that always meant as far from roads as possible but we eventually learned thru trial and error that hunters are generally highly adverse to climbing steep terrain or crossing deeper streams requiring wading, or following a railroad right of way thru private land into BLM lands beyond and having maps and property boundrys and a GPS were valid tools to gain access to some of the better hunt areas

Last edited by 340mag; 03/01/12.
AIH 728 BP
#6241154 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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navlav8r Online content
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ms
I use 'em all.


NRA Life,Endowment,Patron or Benefactor since '72.
#6241156 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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exbiologist Offline
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I do in conjunction with scouting. But, sometimes, like when hunting out of state, my scouting is subpar or nonexistent, but I've done surprisingly well with just maps and Google Earth


"For some unfortunates, poisoned by city sidewalks ... the horn of the hunter never winds at all" Robert Ruark, The Horn of the Hunter

#6241174 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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Alamosa Offline
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Originally Posted by 340mag
how many guys actually use topo maps to locate roads,camp sites. water sources, natural terrain choke points and potential hunter access and potential game movement and escape routes.
as I got more experience I found that a few hours of carefully using resources like terrain maps, google earth, and forest service road maps, county property boundary info, BLM maps and other resources allowed me to predict reasonably well the likely game movements as big game in many of the rougher canyon country , could be accurately predicted to leave most of the easily accessed areas near public roads and camp sites, and retreat into areas with far less hunt pressure, now at first we thought that always meant as far from roads as possible but we eventually learned thru trial and error that hunters are generally highly adverse to climbing steep terrain or crossing deeper streams requiring wading, or following a railroad right of way thru private land into BLM lands beyond and having maps and property boundrys and a GPS were valid tools to gain access to some of the better hunt areas

I'm pretty sure that is the longest sentence I have ever seen.

#6241245 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Alamosa]  
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340mag Offline
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Originally Posted by Alamosa

I'm pretty sure that is the longest sentence I have ever seen.


sorry Im a retired mech engineer , I was spoiled, in that area,I had a secretary that was great at taking what I wrote and getting the sentence structure and punctuation more reasonable.

#6241768 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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I look at maps like some guys look at dirty magazines!

#6242026 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Alamosa]  
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Originally Posted by Alamosa
I'm pretty sure that is the longest sentence I have ever seen.



I think you be right...... grin



Casey




Not being married to any particular political party sure makes it a lot easier to look at the world more objectively...
#6242059 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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On the other hand, two of my favorite elk ambush spots are...featureless--at least from a topo or google satellite. Yet elk pile in there from opening day on. There is nothing obvious to make it special--not feed, not cover, not water, not a natural path to follow.

It even took me a while to convinve myself these were "hotspots".

I have another place in a limited license unit that from a map would look like it's too close to a road and people, yet it can't be seen from the road, there's nothing there to suggest there is something special. But it's a HUGE bench with water, cover, and feed, and there are elk in there from midsummer through the 2nd rifle season.


Casey




Not being married to any particular political party sure makes it a lot easier to look at the world more objectively...
#6242655 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: navlav8r]  
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KC Offline
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Originally Posted by navlav8r
I use 'em all.

+1

I've used USGS maps, and a compass, and USFS maps, and BLM maps, and county maps, for 50+ years and I study them constantly looking for just the kind of items that 340mag mentioned. But I've never seen an elk on the map.

KC



Wind in my hair, Sun on my face, I gazed at the wide open spaces, And I was at home.

[Linked Image]
THE COROLLARY TO FREEDOM IS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.


#6242736 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: KC]  
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Originally Posted by KC

Originally Posted by navlav8r
I use 'em all.

+1

I've used USGS maps, and a compass, and USFS maps, and BLM maps, and county maps, for 50+ years and I study them constantly looking for just the kind of items that 340mag mentioned. But I've never seen an elk on the map.

KC



+2

It can be tough finding elk in new areas but a number of times studying the maps and now Google earth has let me find elk the first time in.


Coyote Hunter - NRA Endowment Life, NRA Whittington Center Life, GOA, DAD - and I VOTE!

No, I'm not a Ruger bigot - just an unabashed fan of their revolvers, M77's and #1's.
#6242797 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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1minute Offline
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Yes. But I have not purchased a paper one for years. With a little surfing and some time, one can typically download or acquire the DRG's (digital raster graphics) for his entire state at no cost. Then there's plenty of free software out there for viewing and everything is georeferenced. Save the desired coordinates and download them to one's GPS unit.

Last edited by 1minute; 03/02/12.

1Minute
#6243017 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 1minute]  
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Personally, I wouldn't use 'em, I'd just make it a point to stay close to the road.



A wise man is frequently humbled.

#6243027 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 1minute]  
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Rock Chuck Online content
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You can open any topo map in the US at http://store.usgs.gov. It will open in PDF format so you can do anything you like with it.


The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Abraham Lincoln
#6243053 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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I'm fortunate to have a entire wing (albeit small) of a university library filled with nothing but maps. That includes just about every USGS topo map ever made. It is a great resource. It also has the USFS/BLM maps which I like better, and many other types of maps.

I use this a lot for hunting. However, I'm not entirely sure that they are essential. They do help with finding access points and, more importantly, areas with very few access points. But they don't actually say "Elk here". Only to the extent that they reasonably depict forest and open parks and other habitat are they really all that useful. Google Earth is better, and more up to date for many of these sorts of features.

The two (maps and Google) used together, are far better than either alone.

There is a website (mytopo.com?) that allows you to put together a custom map of just the areas you are interested in. That saves you from having to carry the whole map library for a small area that always occurs at the junction of multiple maps. Very handy and very quick. I highly recommend them.


Save an elk, shoot a cow.
#6243116 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: BrentD]  
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Rock Chuck Online content
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Some years ago I bought Nat. Geographics Topo! program for Idaho. It has the entire set of USGS topo maps for the state. Since then a number of mapping sites have come online but I still find the Topo! maps to be most useful. I just print out the areas I think I'll need on ordinary 8.5x11 paper. It's not waterproof and needs to be kept in a ziplock bag, but it's quick and easy.


The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Abraham Lincoln
#6243129 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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I do, have had to learn how to do majority of pre-scouting remotely as a NR to any western mountain state. Topo maps are a major part of that pre-hunt scouting.


God Bless America!
#6243164 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: redfoxx]  
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Alamosa Offline
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I like being able to bring up a USGS topo on my PC, zoom to where I want, mark a point, then download those points to my GPS.
I can print a map including my points if I want.

After a hunt I'll upload points collected in the field from the GPS to my PC database.

Over time that database of landmarks, kills, sightings, has become the most valuable component.

I keep a hard file of USGS, BLM, Nat'l Forest, in camp - mostly for the bennefit of the others in camp.

One more odd thing that has been helpfull. I post a plastic 3D relief map on the wall of my RV. Nothing else really compares to having a small scale model of the terrain.

#6243179 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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Originally Posted by 340mag
that hunters are generally highly adverse to... following a railroad right of way thru private land into BLM lands beyond


There's usually a reason for that.. smirk


Originally Posted by captain seafire
I replace valve cover gaskets every 50K, if they don't need them sooner...
#6243264 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Alamosa]  
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Maverick940 Offline
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Originally Posted by Alamosa
Originally Posted by 340mag
how many guys actually use topo maps to locate roads,camp sites. water sources, natural terrain choke points and potential hunter access and potential game movement and escape routes.
as I got more experience I found that a few hours of carefully using resources like terrain maps, google earth, and forest service road maps, county property boundary info, BLM maps and other resources allowed me to predict reasonably well the likely game movements as big game in many of the rougher canyon country , could be accurately predicted to leave most of the easily accessed areas near public roads and camp sites, and retreat into areas with far less hunt pressure, now at first we thought that always meant as far from roads as possible but we eventually learned thru trial and error that hunters are generally highly adverse to climbing steep terrain or crossing deeper streams requiring wading, or following a railroad right of way thru private land into BLM lands beyond and having maps and property boundrys and a GPS were valid tools to gain access to some of the better hunt areas

I'm pretty sure that is the longest sentence I have ever seen.


Agreed. It's like West African sentence composition, or something.

#6243300 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rancho_Loco]  
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CP Online content
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Railroad right-of –ways are private property, and since 9/11, just walking along the tracks can lead to some difficult conversations with the authorities. CP.

#6243391 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: BrentD]  
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smokepole Offline
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
It's not waterproof and needs to be kept in a ziplock bag, but it's quick and easy.


I do the same, but I print on waterproof stock that you can buy at REI or I'm sure other places. It's made by National Geographic and called something catchy like "adventure paper." LOL, they'd probably sell more if they called it "extreme adventure papaer." If you print on both sides, you can cover a pretty large area.


Originally Posted by BrentD
They do help with finding access points and, more importantly, areas with very few access points. But they don't actually say "Elk here". Only to the extent that they reasonably depict forest and open parks and other habitat are they really all that useful.


I'd agree with that. My two best spots were found after doing some map work to find areas with no roads, but they didn't look all that good on the map. I found them walking in, on my way to other spots that "looked much better on the map" but weren't. Elk are where you find them.



A wise man is frequently humbled.

#6243420 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: smokepole]  
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Not to much with Topo maps. I use Google Earth and a lot of scouting throughout the year.


Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a hunting license and that's pretty close.
#6243436 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: CP]  
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I have only been elk hunting once, in 1990, but I used a map a lot. There were not a lot of videos or the internet back then (at least in rural Iowa) but I read every book and magazine article I could get ahold of. I bought topo maps of the area and marked potential spots on them. The first elk I saw was on one of my "x's", which made the whole trip for me, however, the elk I shot was at an unmarked wallow that is now marked on my map. I just thought it was cool that my kitchen table scouting in Iowa really helped with a hunt in Wyoming. Since I hope to elk hunt again in a year or two I am trying to learn my mapping gps better, but I will still have maps and a compass with me.

#6243445 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: duckcall]  
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I like studying maps. But I don't know how much it's helped me really. Just have to find them and know where the private property is.


Steve

#6243453 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Mauser_Hunter]  
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I usually buy the ones for a certain area if I have not been to it previously.Once I know the area, I seldom use them again.

I don't rely on Googel Earth etc to much, as things change. If I am interested in an area, I go there to check it out prior to hunting it.

Back when you could order from USGS for 50 cents a map I had large collection of New Mexico. I gave them away when I left there.Now a t$10 apop,I am a little more selective.


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
#6243662 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: saddlesore]  
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Mauser_Hunter Offline
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I've never found that Google Earth changes in my hunting areas. Which would be high altitude remote areas.

My main concerns are where are creeks, open areas, timber areas, old logging rods that aren't used anymore, and especially altitude changes. Just running the mouse over an area you can instantly see the altitude changes. The faster it changes, the steeper it is. This is most important to an old man like me. smile


Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a hunting license and that's pretty close.
#6243702 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Mauser_Hunter]  
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Originally Posted by Mauser_Hunter
I've never found that Google Earth changes in my hunting areas. Which would be high altitude remote areas.


One of the areas would be NW Colo where all then wells are being put in. What once was good deer country is now filled with well heads and roads.


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
#6243721 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: saddlesore]  
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Yeah, I wouldn't trust GE where man is involved. I avoid those areas. Last year I only saw one other hunter, and he looked lost. smile


Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a hunting license and that's pretty close.
#6243804 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: CP]  
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Originally Posted by CP
Railroad right-of –ways are private property, and since 9/11, just walking along the tracks can lead to some difficult conversations with the authorities. CP.


In most states they are not posted properly.

I use topos, but more and more I use the satellite photos here on the internet. when we were invited to Washington I did some looking, and showed up in camp with pictures of the two areas our experienced hosts pointed us to.

You should not overlook any tool to help you in your pre hunt preparation.


Ignorance is not confined to uneducated people.


WHO IS
JOHN GALT?


LIBERTY!










#6244033 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Siskiyous6]  
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I use all sorts of maps but mostly topo. For those wanting a cool software program to help get the lay of the land and has the ability to view topo and color and B/W aerial photos, check out TopoFusion. It has the capability to do 3-d modeling, downloading GPS points/tracks, and toher cool things. The free version is very usable.

This time of year is the time I spend crafting new entrance/exit and doing pre-scouting of new areas. I spend alot of time looking over maps and then follow up with on the ground confirmation.


Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.
#6244126 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: bwinters]  
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Elkmen Offline
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Last year and the year before I drew a bull tag and cow tag in Wyoming, both ares I had never hunted before. I bought forest maps primarily for land status, talked to the Fish and Game guys and spent hours on Google Earth. I killed a bull in one one of the areas I had written down the GPS coordinates for. Last year our three cows were killed in a little basin a couple of miles in. Nothing beats first hand knowledge but maps and GE can save a lot of miles, and days.

#6246961 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: smokepole]  
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Rock Chuck Online content
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Originally Posted by smokepole
Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
It's not waterproof and needs to be kept in a ziplock bag, but it's quick and easy.


I do the same, but I print on waterproof stock that you can buy at REI or I'm sure other places. It's made by National Geographic and called something catchy like "adventure paper." LOL, they'd probably sell more if they called it "extreme adventure papaer." If you print on both sides, you can cover a pretty large area.


Originally Posted by BrentD
They do help with finding access points and, more importantly, areas with very few access points. But they don't actually say "Elk here". Only to the extent that they reasonably depict forest and open parks and other habitat are they really all that useful.


I'd agree with that. My two best spots were found after doing some map work to find areas with no roads, but they didn't look all that good on the map. I found them walking in, on my way to other spots that "looked much better on the map" but weren't. Elk are where you find them.
They'd sell by the truckload if they called it TACTICAL paper.


The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Abraham Lincoln
#6246966 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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shrapnel Offline
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Jeff and I use a roadmap, then shoot from the truck. Foxworthy, in case you were wondering...


Originally Posted by deflave

If you want to fit in with a new crowd, ask them if they know shrapnel. There is no friggin' way they won't know who that man is. He is the Chuck Norris of Montana and you will have a nice icebreaker to discuss.
Travis


#6246968 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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In the last year, Google Earth and Google Maps have reshot much of Idaho and the resolution is infinitely better. Until then, both were fairly useless except for getting a general idea of what the land looks like. Now you can see individual animals in the fields, etc. By using GE together with topo maps, you can really see what's there.


The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Abraham Lincoln
#6246985 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Elkmen]  
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Maverick940 Offline
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Originally Posted by Elkmen
Last year and the year before I drew a bull tag and cow tag in Wyoming, both ares I had never hunted before. I bought forest maps primarily for land status, talked to the Fish and Game guys and spent hours on Google Earth. I killed a bull in one one of the areas I had written down the GPS coordinates for. Last year our three cows were killed in a little basin a couple of miles in. Nothing beats first hand knowledge but maps and GE can save a lot of miles, and days.


I completely agree with that. Pre-season and/or pre-trip topographical map study and land ownership map study has saved me a lot of time and put me on some great hunting across North America. Can't stress enough the importance of good map interpretation skills.

#6247148 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Maverick940]  
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A man once told me; It's not an adventure if you have a map.
I haven't seen him in a while.


There are no bad days hunting elk, some are just better.
#6247177 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: nclonghunter]  
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Rock Chuck Online content
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A map is like a 4x4 truck. It enables you to get into a lot more places where you have no business going. A 4x4 will get you stuck beyond belief and a map will give you false confidence in your ability to find your way home.


The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Abraham Lincoln
#6247289 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
A map is like a 4x4 truck. It enables you to get into a lot more places where you have no business going. A 4x4 will get you stuck beyond belief and a map will give you false confidence in your ability to find your way home.


I always hang my maps up down in the stalls and let the mules study them a bit.Then let the mules find my way back to the camp.Seems to work, but letting them watch training tapes on the VCR/TV does not. grin


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
#6247582 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: pka45]  
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Originally Posted by pka45
I look at maps like some guys look at dirty magazines!

+1


Don't you ever wonder why
In spite of all that's wrong here
There's still so much that goes so right
And beauty abounds?

The thunder rolls and the baby sighs
And the rain comes down
Don't you wanta thank someone for this?
-Andrew Peterson
#6249270 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Coyote_Hunter]  
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Myself and the guys I hunt with use a combination of topo maps and Google Earth when planning our hunts. Personally, I always take a compass with me while hunting but I usually rely on my GPS with map software that shows public and private land, water sources and a bunch of other helpful features. I especially like the public trails info that my GPS topo maps provides. Sure came in handy on last year CO elk hunt.


Start young, hunt hard, and enjoy God's bounty.
#6249685 - 03/03/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
They'd sell by the truckload if they called it TACTICAL paper.


Nahhh, everybody knows that "tactical paper" comes in rolls.....



A wise man is frequently humbled.

#6250219 - 03/04/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: smokepole]  
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Originally Posted by nclonghunter
A man once told me; It's not an adventure if you have a map.
I haven't seen him in a while.

I love it !

I just started elk hunting two years ago at age 53. And I don't live "in the neighborhood" where I can do preseason scouting. Given that I do not have a great number of years left to learn the business from the ground up, all of my scouting has to be via maps and topo's. I did invest in a custom topo map from MyTopo.Com last year for the area we hunt. Excellent detail. I take a bit of ribbing for being the "map nut". But, before the week is over everyone in camp has looked over the maps at least once. I also like the trail information contained in the maps on my DeLorme PN60 GPS. Have not looked at Google Earth. May check that out in the future.


"Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." John Parker 19 Apr 1775
#6250284 - 03/04/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
A map is like a 4x4 truck. It enables you to get into a lot more places where you have no business going. A 4x4 will get you stuck beyond belief and a map will give you false confidence in your ability to find your way home.


Unless you know how to use it, then it will get you to places others don't go.



A wise man is frequently humbled.

#6250287 - 03/04/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: smokepole]  
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Originally Posted by smokepole
Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
A map is like a 4x4 truck. It enables you to get into a lot more places where you have no business going. A 4x4 will get you stuck beyond belief and a map will give you false confidence in your ability to find your way home.


Unless you know how to use it, then it will get you to places others don't go.


Precisely.

#6250810 - 03/04/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: smokepole]  
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Too far east
Originally Posted by smokepole
Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
A map is like a 4x4 truck. It enables you to get into a lot more places where you have no business going. A 4x4 will get you stuck beyond belief and a map will give you false confidence in your ability to find your way home.


Unless you know how to use it, then it will get you to places others don't go.


+1. Well played.


What happens when you get scared half to death...twice?
#6252524 - 03/04/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: smokepole]  
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Filer, ID
Originally Posted by smokepole
Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
A map is like a 4x4 truck. It enables you to get into a lot more places where you have no business going. A 4x4 will get you stuck beyond belief and a map will give you false confidence in your ability to find your way home.


Unless you know how to use it, then it will get you to places others don't go.

See you next spring. grin


The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
Abraham Lincoln
#6252935 - 03/04/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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Too far east
For you iPad users (and maybe Mac users), you should check out the app called "mytopo maps by trimble outdoors". It's free and it is awesome. You can overlay terrain and topo and there is a slide function so that you can fade more towards one or the other. I love it. You can find something on the topo, then slide the bar towards terrain, and have a really nice google earth style picture. It's two maps in one. I stare at it for hours...for an Illinois guy, it's as close as I'll get to scouting for quite some time.


What happens when you get scared half to death...twice?
#6253966 - 03/05/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
See you next spring. grin


Well, it looks like it's already here.



A wise man is frequently humbled.

#6257538 - 03/05/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: smokepole]  
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As much as I like the satellite photos and all the intel on the computer, once I decide on an area, I want a map I can write on and take notes on with a pencil. Have spread a map out on a table in more than one restaurant or coffee shop making a plan and exchanging intel. Always need a hard copy no matter how good the GPS, IPad or other device.

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