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Whitetail Deer Hunting: 3 Mapping Tools Essential to Your Success

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, you must scout your areas before you can head to an area to hunt. Otherwise, you are leaving yourself wide open to surprises. While some of them may be good, most of them will likely be bad and result in you leaving your adventure without a single piece of game. Most people go to the area directly to scout it. However, if you’re planning on hunting out of state or in an area that is too far to simply go and scout, you need to use online mapping tools to your advantage. Here are three different types and what they do for you as a hunter.

Aerial Maps

With an aerial map, you get to look at the ground below from above. You get a clear bird’s eye view of the property. This allows you to see the cover, water sources, crops, trails, and even some topography. Try to find an online map that will give you a 3D rendering of the area as well as the ability to view the land from various viewpoints. An aerial map allows you to identify potential sleeping areas, food sources, and funnels. You can even use a map like this to help determine a few areas that look good enough for your stand.

Topographic Maps

Topography refers to ridges, hills, valleys, and the like. It can be extremely helpful to know if this type of terrain is on your property where you plan to hunt. An online topographic map will allow you to see various changes in the elevation and help you detect features in the terrain that may funnel the movement of the deer. You can locate high ground in the swamps, ridgelines, and even saddles, all of which can help you identify how the deer will most likely travel across the land.

Geographic Information System (GIS) Maps

This type of map is probably one of the most interesting for deer hunters, and the most beneficial. GIS maps outline the lay of the land. In other words, you can view property borders, information about the landlord, acreage amounts as well as many other property-related data. This is crucial information if you are trying to locate land to request permission to hunt on. Aside from that, GIS maps can help you determine the acreage measurement of a certain area, such as a food plot or other area on your hunting property.

If you want to be successful this whitetail deer hunting season, you must scout the area. However, as evidenced above, it doesn’t mean you have to be there in person. Use one or all three of these mapping tools and significantly increase your chances of shooting a deer this season.