Topo Maps

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
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Topo Maps

Postby dollarbill300 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:57 am

Well the hunting season is 1 month old here in SC, and I am getting my arse handed to me. I have not shot one, and I have only seen 1 deer, a buck, but could not get a shot on it. People all around my area are shooting deer, or at least they are shooting at something. So, I have realized that I need to do more studying and research to get better at this. I purchased a book called mapping trophy bucks, and I plan to purchase a topo map. I am going to read as many books as I can get my hands on. My question is about topo maps. I was going to use The map size of 2' x 3' seems to be big enough. The magnification is where I have questions. I have read that most people opt for a scale of 1:24,000. Why don't people go with scales of 1:15,000 or more detail? It's seems to be a lot easier to read the map and see all the features of the land. Once I learn how to recognize certain features that would be good on this map, I plan to take it out in the field with me and do more scouting. One other question, should I consider a hybrid topo/aerial map or just look at each one of those separate? Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Topo Maps

Postby Dinkus » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:30 pm


Topos have led me to several deer. I found a saddle 1 1/2 mile off of the road via a topo and have taken 3 bucks there. I quit hunting it because it took me 2 1/2 hours to get the last one back to the truck. This is in a National Forest and is off limits to ATV's. It is a natural funnel and the easiest route from point A to point B. I don't know how many deer that I have passed up at that spot. I am 62 now and have easier places to hunt, but if I could legally take my ATV into this spot I would go tomorrow.

I also plotted a buck's area by marking his scrapes on a GPS. When I got home I pulled up topos on and marked the coordinates of each scrape. The scrape line was headed towards a saddle. I scouted the saddle, which was eat up with fresh scrapes and hung a stand. Opening day of muzzle loading I had 4 bucks come by and shot a nice 8 pt. A good map and a GPS can be a big help and there are several websites where you can download free topos.

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Re: Topo Maps

Postby Sierra » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:01 pm

You can get a topo for free on any site that lets you view it before you purchase it. Just take a print screen. I am not sure about the magnification, but I use a good topo I captured, as well as a satelite image. On the satelite image I mark stand sites, major trails and the like. Then its fun to compare to the topo.

I too am learning and researching this, and just had a miss a few weeks ago. I generally see deer however, so that part seems good. I'm hoping to find some more spots on public land so I have more options. But anyway, I also have done a lot of reading. I wish you the best of luck!
And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in Heaven

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Re: Topo Maps

Postby Retranger » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:41 pm

Check out I use this site often to check on places both for hunting and for traveling. You can click on the birds eye view and zoom in and go 360 degrees.

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