Ep. 12: Hunting Pronghorn in Virgin Country and Understanding E-Scouting
Thousands of days in the field this show is about translating my hard one experiences into tips and tactics they'll get you closer to your ultimate goal success in the field as a guide and Hunter I've spent a lot of hunt story it's hunting season you have a tag in your pocket for a place you've never been before now where do you even start in this state for this species where do I begin I just started pouring over my onyx map as soon as I got that tag looking over areas every night pins in places that I like to check out now by the time opening day rolled around I was ready to start hunting I found my spot I did a little bit of He's start opening morning or when you're in the field but the truth of the matter is for me most hunting stories should start weeks beforehand WanNa do on this podcast is cover where do you even start but I mean you talk about the basics of math reading understanding Topa map and then understanding how to put all this satellite imagery in the stuff at your hands together while you're at home so when you get out in the field you can immediately become successful what it comes down to is the time I spend looking over or what I would call each scouting on say my onyx hunt APP check that out I get into that campsite looking around on the way in I'm like man I dunno it looks good but I didn't really see any antelope where I was at he considered an over the counter archery antelope tag you had to put in for it beforehand but everybody that put in drew now having never hunted road trip camped out the first afternoon that I got into the unit season actually been open for a couple of weeks but when I got in their march camp spot start going through different units that are in their outlining places that I can hunt until I started to hone in on what I was looking for now it actually honestly spot and stalk antelope hunting with the bow can be extremely difficult so the way that I hunt them is I pretty much stock every buck that I see because honestly I could probably talk about nearly any hunt I've been on for a story that coincides with this a lot of the honeydew I've never step foot in the area even through this area multiple times so I kind of had a a rough idea of places that I wanted to check out spots that look good to me but at this point I had no spot started marking set up camp and decide to go out for the first evening the first spot that I'd marked pull my Vina's up in here is a group of so that first day start stocking in on the group of antelope on the way over there unfortunately it's always the ones you don't see that mess it up for you at least then I know the more opportunities I have more chance I will get into range and hopefully get shot my wife is actually with me and I was just kind of taking it there's a couple of does and some fawns in between the Group of box in the big group does that he'd seen US bumped off and instead of running up the hill they ran straight and when I'm at my house poring over maps one hunt stands out in particular because it's just so fresh in my mind this season I picked up an pretty much what would the little water source that was there and where they were headed and they're moving single file one at a time now just so happens that the best bucks the drawback shoot make a perfect shot antelope down in an area that I've never hunted toward the other animal blew him out ended up chasing those ones for the rest of the day and thought well figured out we're antelope bar be back here first thing in the morning out in congregating with a group of other bucks perfect I belly crawled down the mountain is probably a half a mile mile of just belly crawling get into I honestly think the best thing out there right now the Weei checked out while I was at home get into that next Canyon and sure enough here's a buck walking right toward me well that doesn't work out but he ended up going down the along she's taking some photos and some videos and other stuff and it was just more of a vacation because we're on our way up to a friend's wedding anyways we thought this would be a sweet hunt to do on the way up next morning get up in their start glossing first light pick up a different set of antelope with another buck in there do a big stock after they bed okay sweet but unfortunately it was while I was moving any just seen us soon as we'd seen him in high tailed it out of there that I'd seen the entire time was in this group all the small buck start filtering pass toward that water big buck is the last one there he stops to rake a Bush right in front of me seemed pretty pretty disturbed at this point so I pick another spot it looked good on the map that I'd marked so far hundred percent on the places that I'd already war and all the spots that I encountered animals I'd found before even stepped foot in the unit position and set up within two hundred yards this group of bucks now they're just chasing each other around and as luck would have it they start moving my direction I put myself in between of the hill and I couldn't get shot they ran away thing that sucks well keep going and getting up to a high vantage glass hello with a decent bucket sweet this is cool all right well mission accomplished now at least found what I'm looking for that's the start give you the best details that I might not even notice that I do but before I do that you I need to really understand Topa maps because that's how I started try a stock on him unfortunately as I get within thirty yards the one that was closest to me happen to be a doe he was just past the ride operating and scouting was just on paper maps it was lines there were no satellite imagery but those lines tell more of a story often than a picture do a big drive through some country they don't really see much but it is the middle of the day that evening the other spots I had marked out sure enough out pops a good buck have going for us the best new technology for hunting is the ability to E. Scout or scout from home I really believe that the onyx hunt APP is the best way to get unfortunately they're moving it doesn't work out now it's midday it's hot not seen as much so I think I'll pull out my map check another spot that I marked started doing that it's really changed the entire game of how I go about thinking about a hunt learning about a hunt or even just first step since a rapid gain in elevation further apart lines are something more gradual or flatter when you're looking at the map anything like a line that in area a makeup species that I'm hunting and then just go through it right now with you here and that way it's easier for me to kind of go through my process and then Kevin never intersecting other lines when you look at that you'll see things on the map like you'll see the top of mount which would be around circle and then coming down certain features in Topa line so we're gonNA talk about a Topa map and then I'll just go through essentially my process for scouting a new area the most from that you'll have your ridges those who'd be the lines that continue around pointing in almost a U. shape down toward a lower elevation and then inside those ridges you'll have your valley yards out blew out game over pull out my map beginning okay. I've pretty much covered this country here I know there is anil up here but shape that you see pointing down orig- pointing up is a valley now contra lines never intersect so one line runs the length of that entire elevation the lines Bendon upward fashion upward pointing valleys that make ahead basin head base because it looks like a head these are things that I really key aligns those should have the numbers of the elevations the way that it works as the lines are closer together that represents something steeper because it's over a certain amount of new with map reading there is so much technology out there it's easy to have maps at your hand but you may not understand the old school way of reading it and that's the way that I relate it to everybody is talking on her head basins but it depends on what species you're looking for so I'm going to open up my APP right now and I'm just going to give you a quick rundown of the things that I'm looking at really hold animals we think about finding say elk or any animal they only need three key things it doesn't matter if you're hunting antelope sheep whatever basic rundown of a Tokyo just GonNa give it to you right here Topa Map includes lines which are contour lines those help create the picture of another tool that I use a lot as google earth where I can see things in three d format but I I like to look for certain features in the Tokyo now just in case you're what the mountain or topography looks like on a flat surface so contrary lines like on the Onyx apper set forty feet apart then you have your index darker thing and seeing that buck move off his does and then bed in a good position stock in and as you know it they spotted me when I was about sixty explain that here in a little bit because the reason I'm looking for those finger ridges and ridges is what they do is they provide multiple areas for micro habitats his finger ridges and head basins so I'll define this for a ridge is just anywhere where we've got that descending elevation on this seems like it wouldn't but what it is doing is those contour lines are telling you preferred habitats of animals and what gives you a really good picture of what that looks like show me public and private ground. I always start my map at the Toba level okay because what I'm doing is I'm trying to key in on key features the map a finger Ridge let's say the ridge goes north south from the top of mountain down a finger Ridge would be anything that spurs down off of that so now I guess call it day to rolls around beside while I'm going to go back to that spot where I saw the big buck last night get in their first thing in the morning spot Abuk a new area because that's where I always start so what I wanna do is I'm going to open the APP I think it's just easier if I start that way open the APP and almost just randomly the habitat in a very small area so late in the season when it's cold they can get son in when it's warm they can get shade they can just choose their bedding and fee but I've got the unit so that's a start now I'm looking for public ground because that's the kind of tag I have I don't have access where I'm going so I'm now going to be having the layers on ah so let's say let's go for this we're hunting elk. I'm going to grab a random unit Montana and then I'm just going to kind of look and say what I'm doing and what I'm looking for things that include food watering cover no matter which way the wind's going or the direction of the sun they have a little bit of everything as well as provide multiple escapes another thing I'm going to look for is what I consider head basins head basins are a great area to really start focusing your search often there'll be water running down the open I'm in Montana randomly scrolling screens lands on a unit. I won't tell you what unique is I'll probably end up giving someone secret spot away particular area and just as I hoped in this head basin there's a nice what I'm looking at right now is a ridge coming down on the north slope is a big grassy open it depending on what the wind or thermals are doing for that day now that I've identified some good basins they'll look at some good head base and some goodridge's and some good finger ages over but they need open is their cover because a user eyesight so you Kinda just have to understand the animal a little bit but you have to find the three things that create good habitat back bedded in a way that it's more comfortable facing downhill so then they can look for danger down below so if you have that your mind you can really start to pinpoint where they might be more shaded which lends to good betting now if you have a head basin that includes both north and south slopes in one micro area what that's doing is creating eating areas based on the time of year in other things it also has food around and it also probably most likely has water in the bottom so they have everything they need right in this slow so the south slope is the gentle slope it's the one that gets the most son it often has the least amount of timber and often more feed the north face is often more timber D- Now I'm looking for elk I'm going to find something that probably has food water uncover in a smaller area where I like to start as I like to start looking at rid it'll area the other thing it offers it offers multiple options for bedding depending on which way the area's going because when animals bed they generally like the wind coming downhill onto the nion and then it offers the animals multiple betting options based on the orientation of the hill so think about slope of a mountain you've got the north face and then you've got doing with this is just looking at the map without any imagery ahead of time. I hit that and I have exactly what I'm looking for a timber north face and open south face just like our planning out a hunt in the area that I've never been okay so the cool thing about this APP is it has the unit so I can start their I've got the onyx for the animals so it's a really safe place for them to hang out so I'm going to start identifying these based on the Topa Lines I'm going to pick a few areas that look really good need the right habitat this sustains them and for that they need food water in cover or some kind of as far as analysts they don't really use it which would be pointing up towards the higher elevations when you get toward the top you have what I call head basins these are the spots that look like little alien heads made out a topa lines almost like a rainbow habitat it looks like some sage flats some other things this. I can mark as well for antelope type country so depending on what you're hunting has different things spots where it looks like they might hang out this will just remind me to check these spots out later now I'm gonNA switch back to the Tokyo and now I'm looking for areas where I can glass around where I can say okay I'm sitting right on this knob what's it look like can I see from here am I going to have a good vantage while it does change a little bit it gives me a good idea of places to go it has water in the bottom and looks like prime out country now from here what else start doing is dropping pins identifying spots where I believe elk will be or good of exactly where to go even though you may have never stepped foot in the area now map reading is very visual thing and I've tried to make it an some of the little features that I'm talking about right now to just give you a little bit of a kick start if you're new to this now if you read maps your whole life I think you'll catch on real quick the type for an antelope on I'm looking for something different I'm looking for more gradual terrain I'm looking for more open so I'm just going to go in the same unit zoom out go back graphical lines they look similar in a new area in hold animals those lines tell a story and if you know how to read the map those lines will tell you story looking for but just remember look at the Tokyo I and look for those topographical features that are really good indicators of Quality Habitat Tom have a file of places that you've spotted animals switch to the Topa map and see what that looks like on the map you'll be surprised how many other places you find top points down to a lower elevation indicates a ridge whereas align that points up toward a higher elevation indicates a valley so think of it like these us. Oh and more of a real life feel what it looks like once I've identified the spots that the animals like using the tow lines from there I go back to my aunt book after not knowing your alphabet and go start to finish while you're out there get the building blocks to the story of what you're seeing on paper and looking I think you're GonNa Start Understanding what I'm talking about but to help you out I think what I'll do today is I'll try to post some pictures on Instagram at Romy warn instagram tasty critters out there so what I'm going to talk about next week is ways to get that rifle steady there's a lot of little tricks to getting steady in the field into this spot so I'm looking for a knob or something might get a visual idea of somewhere I can get you in see this area where to hunt from a lot of times the things that I'm looking for just studying those maps using them in real time when you see stuff when you're out there just start marking an understanding when you're out there radio thing today which I understand can be a little bit tricky now I think if you take what I've said just look at a map pull out some Togo map really think that's GonNa lead you to a lot of success scouting from home rifle season is bearing down on us and I hope that soon you will be bearing down on another thing I love to do when you're out there say you're in a unit you're hunting deer you've got an area where you're seeing dear mark those dear on the map then when you get home take that same pin go to Google Earth I'm opening up my google earth APP putting him coordinates and I'm flying to that spot that identified now I've got a three D Toboso lines now I'm looking for the lines are way further apart so I found a spot here on my app now a switch in between the satellite imagery as I hope it's more preferred except I'm mark the spots that I wanna glass from Hunt From and there you have it I have a pretty much my recipe for the hunt before I even show up in the area now just what I'm GonNa do is I just now switch to the hybrid map where it's got Topol and satellite imagery together so I picked this I'm romy Warren this is cutting the distance this podcast is presented by Yeti built for the wild so I'm going to divulge a few of my favorite secrets I think that your homework this week we'll just be to check out these maps while this is still fresh in your head you're probably listening are you listened to once maybe listen to it again honestly loving the feedback still thank you very much if you aren't subscriber yet subscribe wherever you can and make sure that Yeah I think that's it if you subscribe I appreciate it and still next week keep reading those maps look that Topa as well and understand what it looks like in map form reading a map is really just like learning to read it takes is a process you don't just pick up a by the end of the year I think that I'll have a good sign off that I can just use for everything but I kind of think that at this point my sign off not having a sign on driving so unfortunately you're going to have to do it at work but it's great that's a good place to bust out your Topa maps and related to the podcast again now that you've got a prime uh.