In order to have a successful hunt, it’s important to study the area, and to locate the animals that you intend to hunt. The most successful hunters will spend several trips in their favorite spots locating animals, and learning their patterns, throughout the different seasons, so that they can have a better chance at spotting the animals that they are looking for during the hunting season. It’s important to learn their eating habits by locating their primary food sources. It’s also important to locate their sources for water. If you find a good source of food, a good source of water, the chances are that you will see game trails to and from those life sustaining nutrients and hydration, that will also lead you to where they hide during the day, and where they will hide when the hunting season starts, and they are under pressure from additional vehicles, and additional hunters, in their area.
OnX Hunt GPS Maps for Planning Your Hunt
One of my favorite tools to help me in my pre-season scouting is OnX Hunt for Hunting. I always have my GPS with my OnX Hunting Maps for scounting and on the hunt. The onX Hunt Chip features land maps for each state, and depending on which version you buy, it also includes land ownership on the maps, so you know who owns the land in case you want to ask if you can hunt on their private ranch land. They have color coded public and private lands, including land owner names with property boundaries. It also includes Geographic information with 24K topo, Section lines & numbers, roads, Water Data, and Key points of interest. It also has State Specific information for Game Management or Hunting Units, Hunter access programs, Conservation and program lands. Also included is Road and Trail Data where you can view city, highway, county, Forest Service, back-roads, trail systems, and more. The HUNT Membership includes maps and information for phone, tablet, and your computers. I use OnXMaps to identify property boundaries. I used to spot deer herds, and big bucks, and not be able to tell if I am still in my zone, or still withing the property boundary of my hunting area to be able to shoot. I always error on the side of caution, and do not take the shot. I would pull out maps, and my gps, and try to figure it out, but it takes too long. With OnXMaps, I always know exactly where the boundaries are, and if it’s ok to shoot. By far the most time saving piece of equipment that I have.
Handheld GPS for Planning Your Hunt
It’s also important to have a handheld GPS to install the OnXMaps onto. I prefer the Garmin Montana 680t handheld GPS as it has some really amazing Features. It has Rugged GPS GLONASS with 8 Megapixel Camera and Preloaded TOPO Maps 4 inch dual orientation, glove friendly touchscreen display 8 megapixel autofocus camera; automatically geotags photos Tracks both GPS and GLONASS satellites Preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K maps. Includes 1 year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription 3 axis compass with barometric altimeter With this GPS you will know your exact location with extreme accuracy, and coupled with the OnXMaps for hunting, you will know whether you are on public or private land, and whether it is legal to hunt. Take the stress out of trying to pinpoint your exact location, take the guesswork out of knowing where the property boundaries are, and do yourself the favor of buying both OnXMaps and the Garmin Montana 680t GPS, and you will be impressed.
Map Books for Planning Your Hunt
If you are into the more traditional paper maps, or want a paper map to supplement your GPS maps, I recommend the Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer. Amazingly detailed and beautifully crafted, large-format paper maps for all 50 states Topographic maps with elevation contours, major highways and roads, dirt roads, trails and land use data Gazetteer section contains information essential for any outdoor enthusiast, such as points of interest, landmarks, state and national parks, campgrounds, boat launches, golf courses, historic sites, hunting zones, canoe trips, scenic drive recommendations and more. The types of information that is available in each map varies by each state. Perfect for sightseeing, exploring back roads, outdoor recreation and trip planning.
Free Satellite Hunting Maps for Planning Your Hunt
One main resource that I use for hunting information is actually free. I like to use Google Maps and turn on the satellite view. With Satellite view you can see your hunting grounds from high overhead to look for areas to target in your hunting. You can look for creeks or watering holes, you can look for meadows and dense brush where the animals may be hiding. I like to scout online in the off season when I can’t hunt, to look for better places to do my hiking and hunting. Valuable resource, and so amazing that it is free. About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Planning Your Hunt Experience Awaits!