How To Use Google Earth To Plan A Long Range Hunt

Discussion in 'How To Hunt Big Game' started by Len Backus, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,357
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    How do you guys use Google Earth to plan for a hunt. I'll mention my recent experience, too, when I get caught up with my other site work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,307
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Len

    I realy like google as a hunting tool.

    First I find the location with the aerial view.

    Then try to find the camp site (last year 2007) I actually found the
    cabin we stayed in with the aerial view.

    Once the base camp was located I picked a scale that showed the
    area to be hunted ( A 10 mile radius )and printed several copies.

    Then I switched to the topo of the same area and printed several
    coppies of these.

    Next I printed coppies of this area with Latitude and longitude grid
    lines on the aerial view to use with my GPS and It all worked very
    well.

    The big plus was that I was very familiar with the area befor I even
    showed up in a camp that I had never been in.

    As I established way points with my GPS I could locate them on my
    maps.

    Google is a great tool!!
    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. bitterroot bulls

    bitterroot bulls Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    3D

    Google Earth really shines when you go into 3D. It is amazing. I have recreated photos I have taken by zooming into a point of view at the angle I took the shot. Comparing the photo to the Google Earth recreation really shows the accuracy of Google's system. "Flying" around in Google Earth can sure save some miles on the boots when you are trying to find certain terrain types!
     
  4. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    3,707
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Google Earth.....don't leave home without it.:)

    I have used it for a loooong time in planning hunts and looking at new areas. It's about the closest thing there is to actually being there. You can save a lot of driving, hiking and looking by using it ahead of time.

    Like was mentioned you can couple it with your GPS and get waypoints marked, plan hunts and virtually know the area before hand even if you've never been there before.

    Find the area, Zoom to the right level, rotate and tilt and then just "hike" up and down canyons and across ridges. Kinda like a virtual hunt/hike.;);)

    If you don't have it, you can get it here. Google Earth - This week's life on Earth
     
  5. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,357
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    I used it in planning my last MT trip. I was able to use the "measure" or somesuch name function to figure rough distances from one ridge to another in some of the draws I was considering hunting. Or...how far from the hay field I planned to set up on...to the logical "hide' locations.

    I printed maps for in the field. In MT there are online maps that show private property lines and borders of public land...I hunted some of each. With GE I could see where these lines were. I printed maps and then drew on them the borders. WOW!

    I input waypoints into my handheld before I left home. In the dark the first day we made our way to a pre-determined setup spot. Well almost... Now I am more proficient so I'll be able to do that next time.

    I did not leave home without it. I took my laptop on the trip. At night I would review where I had been and plan the next day's hunt. Unbelieveable.
     
  6. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    I use it in reverse to most people, I guess. First I go to the hard printed maps and look for land ownership and road networks. I try to select areas that have no roads in them and are about 3-5 miles wide. Once I have some areas marked up on the hard maps I then use GE to look at things like vegetation, clearcuts and meadows. Once you get above tree line it can be hard to separate vegetation from talus using GE.
     
  7. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Len,

    I to have taken my laptop with me, but unless I have an internet connection basically all I have is a freeze frame and the view gets distorted as I move around. Am I missing something on using this program when not internet connected?
     
  8. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,357
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    Alas, you need an internet connection.
     
  9. gamehauler

    gamehauler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    228
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Len,
    You must be using a satilite connection
    I have not heard alot of good about them.
    Can you expand on that.
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  10. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,357
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    I only connect from my house or from a motel, not while I am in the field. That would be nice, though.
     
  11. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    I have the 1 meter resolution arieal photos on my Trimble Nomad that is GPS enabled. I have my whole state available on SD chips, one 2 GIG chip will hold 6-8 counties. Since the Nomad is GPS enabled I can see where I am in relation to any visible feature on the landscape and it will also show a breadcrumb trail of where I have been. The resolution is so good individual trees, rock outcroppings, fences, buildings, water holes, creeks, cow trails, feed roads etc. can be seen. I have software installed that allows you to measure from one point to another with amazing accuracy. I use it alot if my LRF wont reach. Outstanding piece of equipment.
     
  12. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    The Nomad runs on Windows Mobile, weighs about one pound, has an eighteen hr battery, can be submerged 10 ft for thirty min. and is built to withstand a lot of using. They are not cheap. I use it in my profession hunting things that shoot back. Most of the operations are in unfamiliar territory and more often than not at night. This device allows me to look at the terrain and features around me as if I were in a helicopter in daylight.
     
  13. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    I too use Google Earth and bought the subscription for it.

    I also use GIS PILOT Free GIS Links. This works for most states and is listed by states and then by counties. You can find plots as in who lives on this land, who owns this land and where it is surveyed to. It shows length of property and boundaries.

    This way I can call the adjacent landowners for permission to hunt that property too or find out who owns it. It doesnt show any other information other than plot size and ownership.

    We use google earth to plot out distances, mark hunting stands of ours and others because our club rules state 350 yards between stands. This can come in handy when a club member guesses how far he is and hes really right on your doorstep.

    I also like the ability of GE to be able to place a marker not knowing the exact address where the marker should be but then ask it for directions to that marker from your home or other starting place. Thats a great aid.

    I also use Customized Topo Maps and Aerial Photos - myTopo.com too. At second to the last stage of purchase or third maybe follow it through until you get to where you can examine your map. You can then cut and paste it. After that you can print it, take it to a sign place and have them blow it up or actually purchase it from My Topo. The Hybrid Aerial/Topo is an aerial with topo lines so you dont have to make multiple copies and overlays you get it in one form

    I however like the standard topo. You have three choices in format for the maps Waterproof "Outdoor" Map, Glossy "Poster" Map, and Laminated Map. The outdoor map is the best to me and costs 30 bucks.

    You can customize the map with Lat/Long tics, grids or none, Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) tics and or grids and or Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) tics or grids for use with your GPS unit. You can also select enhanced topo where relief is shaded in case you cant figure out which side of the mountain is steepest.

    [​IMG]
    Using the GIS you should probably be careful you'd be surprised at what information you can obtain from it on an individuals property.

    Its neat having the Google ME on this site but a little research and I found out all about what type of house one member lives in, when it was sold, how much it was sold for, who owned it prior, sq footage, whether or not it had a basement, sq footage of the lot wifes name or initials, type of siding, latest assessment with monatary amount of property. Those who have posted pins on the map may think twice with todays identity theft all one would have to do is become a member and find out a whole lot.

    Just a thought but with this technology also comes security risks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2008
  14. bigg_sexy1

    bigg_sexy1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    I use Google Earth alot to over look new areas that I would like to go into. And to scour area that I currently hunt for any "secret" pockets that I may have missed when I was there last.