Friday, August 14, 2009

Map Your Land

A month or two ago, I read several blogs regarding pre-season tactics for Fall bowhunting. One thing I saw from Hunting Wisconsin's "Bow Season Prep Starts Now" that I really liked was the idea of using a geographical map of the land beforehand to get a feel for the land before you ever take a step into the woods. I've spent many hours wandering the land where I hunt, and I know it rather well, so I decided to take the geographic map a step further and highlight some of the aspects of the land. The finished product was this...

I used the simple Microsoft Paint program on my computer to highlight aspects about the land. I've done this type of work before on a different piece of land, and I've found a couple advantages for doing so. 1) You can test your own knowledge of the land and fence lines. 2) It can become easier to pattern deer movement with a larger view of the land. 3) If two or more people are hunting the same piece of land, you can each have a map and coordinate where you are going to hunt together. You know exactly where they are going to be, and they know exactly where you are going to be. In the past, I have printed and laminated these maps and handed them out before the hunt started. You can also use dry-erase markers on the laminated surface and create a plan of action for your group right on the map. With this map, there is no more fear of firing in the wrong direction.

For my geographic map, I found a handy website that is updated every now and again by Iowa State University. From what I understand, Google Earth will also generate a geographic map for you (and possibly topographic/other helpful maps).


  1. Pretty cool. I have wanted to try doing just this sort of thing for some time now but have never gotten around to it. Hope it helps with your scouting.

  2. We have been looking at topo maps, and aerial maps for years. They are both great tools to use to find different geological features that can definitely help with your hunting success.

    We have also used them as a reference so we know where other hunters would be, just as you did.

    A great tip, and one I use all the time.

  3. It is always a good idea to map your area. It can change from year to year, good post.

    side note: Paul could you email me at
    I was not able to find your address and I have a question about your pictures.

  4. Great post, I'll higlight it on my next Blog Rodeo!

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