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finding good hunt spots by map

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finding good hunt spots by map

Old 11-04-2007, 11:01 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default finding good hunt spots by map

Hi,
I want to get off the beaten path and hunt the big boys this year. I live adjacent to the George washington national forest and it is huge and mostly unaccessible to vehicles. So I want to hike fairly deep into a place that has limited accessibility but I don't want to just go into it blindly.
My question is once I find a couple of isolated areas, is there anything I can see on a topo map that would tell me which one would be a better deer spot? Any elevation that is better than others?
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:33 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

Well, you could look for topographic features that would shout 'funnel'. Areas like saddles, ridges and steep cliffs might be a good place to start. You might also want to see if there are any rivers or ponds on that area. Where I hunt it is more or less flat or just rolling hills and it is hard to find any funnels unless you search the area in person. An arial or satalite map can be helpfull too, if available for the area you plan on hunting.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

you can an arial image of any area if you want to down load Google Earth. it can give you arial view and elevations of any point. But definitely look for some funnels. Ridges or maybe look for some hardwoods near an opening.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:47 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

you state DNR website may also have some pretty sweet maps that you can look at online, I know WI does. Otherwise, ditto to what has been said. Pinch points are good, pinch points near food or water sources are better, and pinch points near food, water, bedding areas are the best. The last ones are very hard to find by just looking at an aerial or topo, but they produce. Otherwise, for this time of year, look for any feature that forces deer to move along a certain path between any of those aforementioned hotspots. Find a ridge, draw, streambed, fence, etc. that leads between bedding areas, food sources, etc. or that crosses the direct line going between those hotspots on the map, and you've found a good spot to hang a stand.

One thing to remember as well is wind direction. Most places have pretty consistent wind patterns. The dominant wind pattern for my area is out of the west. Therefore when I'm looking at maps, any spots I find that can't be hunted effectively with the west wind are put at the end of the list. I never rule out a site until I can look in person, but I won't make that the first stop on a scouting mission generally. For example, one of my favorite spots is a place that can't be hunted with a west or northwest wind, but any other wind and I'm in a stand right there.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:09 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

What are saddles? I hunt ridgelines alot because deer seem to travel them heavily....is that what you mean when you say ridges are good to look for? Finally, how will steep cliffs help me?
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:14 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

Saddles are low points or dips along a ridge, deer like using them because it allows them to cross over the ridge but still keep from being "skylined" on top of the ridge as they cross. As far as your ridge question goes, yes that's what we're talking about. Ridgelines can create great pinch points. Cliffs can be even better, because they limit movement even more - can't go up and down like on a normal hill, they can only follow the horizontal paths on top of the cliff or on the bottom. To elaborate more, if you can find the first spot along that cliff where it is possible for deer to move from top to bottom, you've found another spot that could be promising for a tree stand. Anything that limits movement is key.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:26 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

what's a pinch point?
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:45 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

Anything that forces deer to move through a specific location. Example: a small strip of woods going between a creek or river and corn field, bean field, etc. The narrowest point between the corn and the river is a pinch point that would probably be well traveled, set up a stand with favorable wind and hunt it (this is an extremely general, yet common example)

If you want more examples of really general setups and situations - grab a F&S, OL, Peterson's, or other hunting mag - many of those give great examples of general setups and recommendations on how to hunt them. The best way to learn, however, is through experience. Learn the area you hunt and start marking spots on the maps as you scout. Eventually, you'll start drawing on all sorts of movement/feeding/bedding patterns from your notes on the maps you made while scouting.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:19 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

So a pinch point is essentially the same thing as a funnel?

I actually have a saddle in a place that I hunt and I almost always jump deer there but never knew why they hung around that spot.

Why would a streambed be good? I never really see deer deep in the valleys walking up the creek?

On another site a guy said that swamps are great places to look for. Is it because deer will not go through them so they have to funnel around them?

Lastly, what is a draw?

Thanks for humoring me. I actually know what most of this stuff is and evenlook forfunnels but justknew there werewords to what I was doing.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:26 PM
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Default RE: finding good hunt spots by map

Yes, Pinch point and funnels are essentially the same thing - different lingo is all. Streambeds themselves can be great for a couple reasons. In early season, when it's stil warm, deer need to drink. If that drink is near a bedding area or a feeding source, you're in the money. Also, if the stream is deep enough, deer won't want to cross it just anywhere, they'll search for the shallowest spot. If you can locate that shallow spot where they all cross - you're in the money again. If the stream is all dried up and its just a streambed, you have found a route that can be great for travel, though not as much of an attraction for deer as the other reasons. And a draw is just another term for a dry streambed or wash.
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