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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.
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#6241154 - 03/01/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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navlav8r Offline
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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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Colorado
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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Southern Colorado
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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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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pka45 Offline
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Auburn, AL
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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alpinecrick Offline
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Western Slope of Colorado
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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alpinecrick Offline
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Western Slope of Colorado


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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Coyote_Hunter Offline
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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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Burns/Hines, Oregon, USA
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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smokepole Offline
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Colorado
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 Offline
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Filer, ID
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.


You can't fix stupid...
but you can numb it a bit with a 2x4
#6243053 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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BrentD Offline
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MN, WI, IL, MI, KS, GA, AZ, IA
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 Offline
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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.


You can't fix stupid...
but you can numb it a bit with a 2x4
#6243129 - 03/02/12 Re: how many guys actually use topo maps to locate.. [Re: 340mag]  
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redfoxx Offline
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TEXAS
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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Alamosa  Offline
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Southern Colorado
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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Rancho_Loco Offline
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The Bozone, Montana
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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Alaska
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 Offline
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CP  Offline
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Wapiti Way, MT
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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Colorado
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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Mauser_Hunter Offline
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Colorado
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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duckcall Offline
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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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Steven_CO Offline
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Steven_CO  Offline
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West Slope, CO
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

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