Trying to hunt smarter, use of Topo Maps


New Member
Hello all! New to the forum and new, in a lot of ways, to deer hunting. Hope to gain valuable insight so I can hunt smarter not harder this season. Any tips on Topo Maps? Any other maps to consider? Thanks for any help!
Depending on your area Google maps update their satellite images pretty often. I actually find the older satellite maps if you're new to an area as a useful tool. I was able to find an old road and pond that I wouldn't have found unless I stumbled across it. This site is a wealth of information given freely. Focus on saddles and ridges and any natural draws or funnels that could restrict or condense deer movement. Also a topo graphic map of your place with specific stand locations or plots is always a plus. You'll get a lot of advice from people here of where they would hunt if it was there's. Welcome and good luck

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Welcome to the forum. Check out OnX or Huntstand for detailed maps to put on your phone. A topo map only gives clues, not the whole answer to the puzzle. Putting boots on the ground is the final analysis of a good hunting spot, which is called scouting for deer and deer sign and good hunting stand sites. When picking a hunting spot the number one most important thing is to stay downwind of where you expect the deer to pass through or the game will be over before it even started. Number two, try to pick a height advantage like the edge of a knob for a stand location. And always a safety harness if climbing!
Topo and sat maps are best. Topo will show you the general lay of the land while a good sat map can give you some idea of the cover in the area. Nothing will beat boots on the ground. if your in you hunt in the flat central area or do you go south to the more hilly area? I will tell you that even in the flat areas, the terrain impacts how the deer move. Some low spots that you will never see on a topo map will draw deer movement. The sat maps will show you where different cover types cause edges and corners and even funnels of cover depending on how limited the cover is. In IN each county web site should have a GIS sat map available that will show property lines and often times who owns the property should you be needing that sort of info as well.
I don’t know what areas are new to you, but all good advice above. I’ll expound a little on what MM said. Wind direction is critical, not only your stand site, but most importantly the way you access it. If you can’t get in and out without spooking deer even the best stands will sour quickly. I can’t stress this enough.

One more thing, pressure is pressure to a deer, he can’t know whether you’re hunting, scouting, or just visiting. Identify where you want to hunt early, prepare your stand early, run cameras very little, and stay away as much as possible before time to actually hunt. Don’t overhunt your best stands, save them for the prime days.

And welcome to the forum !