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Old 08-06-2008, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default topo maps for dummies.

Anyone know agood book or website to teach how to read top maps correctly.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:19 PM   #2
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

Topo maps take a little practice. The elevation contour lines are set at so many feet/meters in elevation. They will have the elevation on the darker lines so you have a starting point to the elevation you want to know. The closer the lines are together the steeper the grade. A circle on a topo map is a hilltop. A blue line is a stream or river. A dotted & dashed line is an intermittent stream (only flows with meltoff or heavy rains). Other than that, what do you want to know?
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:32 PM   #3
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

I was more or less hoping to learn how toidentify land features ie hilltops, valleys, rigdes. I have understood what most of the symbols mean but you stating that the circles are hill tops brings alot of it together from me. i was unsure of how to read the lines other than on my map they are 10 feet and bold lines are 50 increases.I never know which they went in more hilly areas. Looking at my map now it looks different to me.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:35 PM   #4
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

Glad I could help. Now take your topo map out to the site and identify where you are several times using it. It'll all make sense even more then.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:05 PM   #5
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

YUP, just look at the thing for some place you've been. In flat country they're a bear to really pin point some spots. A circle could also be a bowl. LOL Contour lines will always point upstream and down a ridge finger. The closer lines are together the steeper the terrain. If the lines are further apart leading up to a hill you know it's less steep than the side where the lines are close together. Find a ridge with a couple circles as you say, a circle doesn't necessarily mean a true round circle. It can have many little points, close together sides and all sorts of shapes. Find a couple circles near each other and you probably have a saddle in between. Just get out and play.Before you go mark out some fingers, ridges or hilltops and decide what you'll see when you get there. Is one side going to be easier(less steep) than others. I think you'll find out in no time it's not rocket science to navigate and know what you'll find. Look for shelfs or benches on the sidde of a hill. You'll know it's that as the lines will get further apart on the bench but be closer together up hill and down hill. Have fun.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:08 PM   #6
 
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

Mapping Trophy Bucks by Brad Herndon. An absolutely invaluable tool for someone wanting to learn not only how to read a topo, but also learn how the deer relate to the terrain in which they live.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

Mobow, you beat me to it. Mapping Trophy Bucks is a great book and an easy read. It realy helps you visualize your hunting area and how to take the topo map into real life situations. Highly recomend it.

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Old 08-06-2008, 02:43 PM   #8
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

Or check a local army surplus store for the field manual on map reading. Topo's are basically all the Army deals with. Here's one on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Map-Reading-FM-21-26-by-U-S-Army_W0QQitemZ320282404589QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item 320282404589&_trkparms=72%3A570%7C39%3A1%7C66% 3A2%7C65%3A12&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:23 PM   #9
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

You can download it as a PDF file.
http://www.olive-drab.com/gallery/description_0168.php
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:51 PM   #10
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Default RE: topo maps for dummies.

Yeah I agree about Mapping Trophy Bucks. It is a must read for anyone who hunts in hilly terrain. Here is a good preview of the book on Google Books http://books.google.com/books?id=C3gXZcD_EKkC&printsec=frontcover& dq=mapping+trophy+whitetails&sig=ACfU3U2Jcl9Jf V1yk4Dx0zHYheat76nJlA
It gives you a sampling of what the book has to offer.


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