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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a lot of new people are joining us on this forum and think this is great. I also see that a lot of new people are kind of lost on how to get started scouting so I figured we could all pitch in ideas on how to scout from your computer before getting your boots dirty.

Here are a few tips I have learned over the years:

First, Google Earth is an amazing program that can be used with pretty good accuracy, it is easy to use, and you can measure distances from "occupied" structures and so forth. On google maps you can even do street view of some areas so its like you are driving there with you leaving home, some times there are pictures from other people tacked to some areas.

Second, use the search function in this forum. There is a ton of info available if you read through the threads. Sometimes you can get very specific details and other times its pretty vague intentionally. Also, as you participate or make friends here you can get some good info about specific areas if you ask nicely.

Third, I made a thread a while back explaining how to get free topo maps that you can print out at home using Garmin's Map Source, you don't even need a Garmin gps to use this software either. The thread is here: http://www.arizonahuntingforums.com...mputer-and-gps-garmin-map-source.12942/page-2

Google search is also a good place to poke around, obviously. Search a species and include "Arizona" with it and it should pull up a good amount of info. Click into the "Images" area and go deeper until you find something useful and cross reference back and forth between other sources.

Recreational Access Arizona is a fantastic website as well. It overlays unit boundaries, unit numbers, reservations, and other types of land ownership. Here is that website: https://azaccessmap.com/map.html

Habimap Arizona is another great resource. I find it a little more difficult to read and use but still something to cross reference. Here is that website: http://habimap.org/

Besides looking into maps, make sure you read as much life history of the species you are after. After javelina? Look up everything you can about them. What they eat, when they sleep, when they are active. After ducks? What do they eat, where do they sleep, where are they coming from, where are they going.

Lastly but not leastly, Arizona Game and Fish website is full of useful information that you NEED to know. You can download the regs to keep on your computer or print out the parts you want to take with you so you know the laws. You can look into specific units and this site give you additional info about each species in that unit as well as other very useful info. Here is their website as well: https://www.azgfd.com/

An example of how I have been using this technique this year is my duck fever. I followed the above to get a general idea then I got in the truck and got a first hand account of the areas I wanted to see. The more you get out there, the more you understand access points and such. I also like looking into bird watcher's websites that give directions to areas where photographers and bird watchers like to go. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box to get some good info.

What else do you guys do to scout from home?

I hope this helps, feel free to add onto these tips!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some additional websites I forgot to mention; these are more about weather and planning for the conditions. Obviously weather plays a huge part of scouting and planning a trip. Luckily we have pretty reliable information available to us.

A quick google search of of the town closest to your prospective area plus the word "forecast" will being up a decent five day forecast of highs and lows and such.

WindyTv is a neat website that shows the wind conditions in the area you are looking at. I think they get their info from local airports so it should be pretty accurate. I haven't seen if they give a forecast or not though. https://www.windytv.com/AZ05?33.112,-113.239,9

Accuweather gives a decent map of current perspiration with a two hour loop from Doppler radar. I like watching the storms roll in then looking out the window to compare. The little things make me happy... lol
http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/arizona/weather-radar-interactive

Earth (idk if this is the correct name for the site) is a fun website showing global wind in relatively real time. I can't tell you if its accurate but after comparing with the other sites it seems legit.
https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/equirectangular=-99.60,44.71,340

I know there are a few more sites out there, maybe some pilots here can add more to this weather list.

Always plan ahead, be prepared, and stay safe.
 

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Very nice info. thanks Terrierjeep, looks like a lot of time put into that:)
I use Google Earth, and this Map tool from Game and Fish.. https://azaccessmap.com/
You sign up for membership and you get the full version. I also use a Hunting App on my phone.
Trimble GPS Hunt( they dont make it any more). I have just started using Hunt Stand. Will see how it does:rolleyes:
 

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great info! google earth and habimap are my go to for pre trips. I also downloaded an app on my phone called "Topo Maps" its only 8 bucks once. it breaks down the state in sections and you can download any area to the map (those downloads are free) and from there it works as a gps. can set points and use without service. all in all boots on the ground is the absolute best way to learn an area but it sure helps having somewhat of an idea before heading out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bump for all the news guys joining us. Any one have more sites to add to the list?
 

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Ive welcomed all the new guys, Im glad to see you all join, We learn from each other, tips, scouting, ect. I for one learn every day from this site, and thanks to terrierjeep and others for posting so much info on maps and such, I for one use Google Earth quite a bit. I also use topo maps and my Flatline map to its fullest extent.
 

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Alot of hunters use this info, Good to start with, but boots on the ground is the way to go.
I would say that if you're new to hunting and digital scouting, what you see on the monitor will greatly differ from the terrain you see when you get there. It's great to get an "idea", and when I say idea... I mean vague idea of what the terrain is like. Google Earth makes everything seem much less steep than it is. And it's semi difficult to tell what the trees are actually like to see through. You get a better idea how to digi-scout when you have been able to translate those differences a few times by picking a spot in google earth and going to that spot in person. Even locally if necessary.
 

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So True, even with all the views on Google Earth, its still hard to determine actual terrain features I use it mostly to find promising areas or even out of the way tanks then go look in person, otherwise known as boots on the Ground.
 

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I find Google earth helpful when doing a broad search of an area but once zoomed all the way in it is hard to determine the topography. Actual topo maps are better for this once I learned to visualize the contours and hills. Using both is good but like many say boots to the ground will show you what was missed.
 

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Not to mention that some of the info brought up on Google Earth may be a year or more old.
 
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I always like to have paper maps for the area we are hunting, my brother used to give me a hard time about them until they come in handy and saved us when electronics failed. I get them at sportmans warehouse and you can also take notes on them. I'm old fashioned when it comes to this.
 

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I like paper maps also to take notes on it, when, where, time, temp, ect. then as I get drawn later I can go back and refer to them. I dont depend on maps on phone or such as I like to hunt canyons with little or no service.
 

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I see a lot of new people are joining us on this forum and think this is great. I also see that a lot of new people are kind of lost on how to get started scouting so I figured we could all pitch in ideas on how to scout from your computer before getting your boots dirty.

Here are a few tips I have learned over the years:

First, Google Earth is an amazing program that can be used with pretty good accuracy, it is easy to use, and you can measure distances from "occupied" structures and so forth. On google maps you can even do street view of some areas so its like you are driving there with you leaving home, some times there are pictures from other people tacked to some areas.

Second, use the search function in this forum. There is a ton of info available if you read through the threads. Sometimes you can get very specific details and other times its pretty vague intentionally. Also, as you participate or make friends here you can get some good info about specific areas if you ask nicely.

Third, I made a thread a while back explaining how to get free topo maps that you can print out at home using Garmin's Map Source, you don't even need a Garmin gps to use this software either. The thread is here: http://www.arizonahuntingforums.com...mputer-and-gps-garmin-map-source.12942/page-2

Google search is also a good place to poke around, obviously. Search a species and include "Arizona" with it and it should pull up a good amount of info. Click into the "Images" area and go deeper until you find something useful and cross reference back and forth between other sources.

Recreational Access Arizona is a fantastic website as well. It overlays unit boundaries, unit numbers, reservations, and other types of land ownership. Here is that website: https://azaccessmap.com/map.html

Habimap Arizona is another great resource. I find it a little more difficult to read and use but still something to cross reference. Here is that website: http://habimap.org/

Besides looking into maps, make sure you read as much life history of the species you are after. After javelina? Look up everything you can about them. What they eat, when they sleep, when they are active. After ducks? What do they eat, where do they sleep, where are they coming from, where are they going.

Lastly but not leastly, Arizona Game and Fish website is full of useful information that you NEED to know. You can download the regs to keep on your computer or print out the parts you want to take with you so you know the laws. You can look into specific units and this site give you additional info about each species in that unit as well as other very useful info. Here is their website as well: https://www.azgfd.com/

An example of how I have been using this technique this year is my duck fever. I followed the above to get a general idea then I got in the truck and got a first hand account of the areas I wanted to see. The more you get out there, the more you understand access points and such. I also like looking into bird watcher's websites that give directions to areas where photographers and bird watchers like to go. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box to get some good info.

What else do you guys do to scout from home?

I hope this helps, feel free to add onto these tips!
Free topo maps? Nice terrier. Hey I have a new spot out near buckeye if you want to grab some doves this year. Doves completely litter the area. I did a lot of scouting last year for more spots considering how packed areas have been getting.
 
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