Is obtaining a Big Game Tag in your state as hard to draw as it is in Arizona?  You probably think that you may win the lottery before drawn.  With tags so hard to draw, you’ll want to do everything possible to grow it.  One of the biggest actions to produce this possible is by conducting a lot of pre-hunt scouting.

Scouting Techniques

The more times you can get inside the field, the better.  When you need to do move out within the field, you need to make sure that your scouting techniques produce effective results.  One of the methods I have found in improving my scouting is by using a hand-held GPS unit.  A hand-held GPS unit is an efficient tool to have with your arsenal, regardless of whether it is just a basic unit.

Knowledge of Use of the Functions of GPS

Before the first scouting trip, it is critical that you just learn how to make use of the functions of your GPS.  On a basic level, you must learn how to add waypoints.  Waypoints are a set of longitude and latitude coordinates that identify a certain point, for example where your truck is parked!  Knowing the basics will make inputting information without headaches while you are out within the field.

Now that you know how your GPS works, it’s about time to escape inside the field.  Along using your typical scouting gear, you need to will include a small notepad and pencil, a good map, a set of binoculars, and some extra batteries for your GPS.

Familiarizing Yourself While using Forest Service Roads

I normally spend the initial scouting trip familiarizing myself while using area forest service roads.  I hold the GPS on while driving with the area, which lets my unit display tracks for my travels.  I add waypoints for that forest service road numbers I run into.  This allows me to pinpoint specific areas for my future scouting trips.  When I encounter easy to get to water holes, those points are entered into the GPS having a small description inked my notepad.  This first scouting trip gives me an elementary lay with the land and potential areas to look into on foot.

Google Earth Help

At home after my first trip, I upload the GPS waypoints to your Google Earth map.  This shows me an excellent aerial view in the unit, as well as an elementary layout of the terrain.  With Google Earth, I can discover with the way water holes, canyons, ridges, saddles, open fields, and other tourist attractions.  Google Earth displays longitude and latitude coordinates of the areas, which I enter into the GPS.  I will then find these areas while hiking through an area of on future scouting trips.  I also enter waypoints of interest found while out hiking, including feeding areas, bedding areas, game trails, animals I encounter, sources of water, and potential camping spots for my upcoming hunt.

Having these details inside the GPS is a great assist in seeking the areas again through the actual hunt.  You also need to make sure to have several unique areas logged to the GPS, you will never know when that prime area you would like to hunt is overrun with other hunters.  You will also have several camping waypoints entered as backups.  And your final benefit from creating a GPS along, helping you make contact with your truck in the dark.

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