What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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BackWoodsHunter
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What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:22 am

Hey guys, I am new to the idea of hunting public land that hasn't been scouted much. I have found some good pieces and after much time on this site I sure could save a lot of time picking out spots to hunt off aerials rather than going in and walking the whole piece of land. So...what do you look for that would indicate the presence of deer in general. I am not out for the next monster buck I'd like to just find deer in general as a confidence booster before I hone my skills to tracking down just big bucks. I'm sure this is quite the loaded question and cannot be answered in a few sentences. So for those that respond I thank you in advance.


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Hodag Hunter
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:17 am

Where we hunt Back woods, I look for isolated pockets of swamp land. Where points or pockets meet the high land this is where I look. Find these swamp areas near clear cuts all the better. Searching for oaks helps also but hard to tell on aerial photos.

Tamarack, cedar or spruce low land/swamp with an isolated pocket of high land can be a gold mine also for beds.

Now with Dan's findings on bucks bedding on the 1/3 slope of hillsides I may be missing a whole lot of good ground. Time will tell.
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby dan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:22 am

Aerials don't help with all properties. Using both an aerial and a topo seems to work much better.
For me to answer your question without righting a book, what type of terrain and elevation are you considering hunting?
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:28 am

my public land hunting will take place mostly in central and northcentral wi...up north it seems to be pretty flat, as Hodag said the occaisonal swampy holes exist and the few I've checked out did indeed have good deer sign. Today I found myself in a strip of public land along a creek, the west side of the creek had a gently sloping crp field leading down to a brushy/wooded edge and then the creek wound around and the other side had a ridge about 20-30feet up I'd say. Then once again it leveled off and seemed to be a gently rolling piece of ground. This particular piece is mainly wooded in farmland so an aerial might not be the most necessary. Hope that helps. I am pretty confused and can get topos too. I am curious what the elevation and topography have to do with the deer movement. I understand it affects them but do you seem them traveling/bedding on ridge tops, or down in valleys and draws?
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby dan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:41 am

Do you have my DVD's?

Ridge top points, and not right at the point but just over the top and to the downwind side. They will bed low if there is marsh or swamp.
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:52 am

I have marsh bucks, never bought hill country I don't hunt hill country that much and didn't wanna fuel BBO anymore :D
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:54 am

so the deer bed on the downwind side of the ridge so they can watch approaching predators coming from the downwind side and can smell them coming from the upwind side and can escape without ever being detected? and the 1/3 rule hodag referred too on another thread applies to how far over the ridge they bed?
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby dan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:02 pm

didn't wanna fuel BBO anymore

I sell them right here at the BEAST ;)
Not pushing you for a sale, its just that the reasons why they bed, and how they bed, when you put hills in the mix could make for a very long post, but its explained really well in the DVD.
They approach there bed most of the time from below. They bed with the actual wind at there back blowing over the valley. They face downhill. They can smell below them because of the thermal wind, and above them because of the normal wind.
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:21 pm

Ah I see...I've been slowly building on the information you've provided here at the Beast, Dan. I've been slowly piecing the puzzle together but at every talk of thermals I tend to steer clear and avoid any conversation of it. It seems complicated and something I don't want to worry about just yet. :shock:

If a person were to give you a topo and aerial photo of a piece of terrain they wanted to hunt but hadn't set foot in what features do you key in on? Again a loaded question, but I am looking for generics, hoping there are some. For example do you key in on terrain changes or elevation changes or pinch points and funnels or islands? Maybe it would be easier for you to enlighten me on what can be ruled out, areas that see little to no activity based on experience?
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby Autumn Ninja » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:49 pm

BackWoodsHunter wrote:so the deer bed on the downwind side of the ridge so they can watch approaching predators coming from the downwind side and can smell them coming from the upwind side and can escape without ever being detected? and the 1/3 rule hodag referred too on another thread applies to how far over the ridge they bed?

Yes..your logic is correct. That is one of the key reasons they bed there, but there are several other reasons they bed there also. Which Dan just pointed out one of the multiple reasons they bed where they do.

The 1/3 rule is kind of missleading...They bed based on the terrain its self. This does most commonly occur somewhere between the upper 1/3 and the top of the ridge though.

They actually bed on the high side of where the positive and negative terrain meet with a leeward wind and prefer points.
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BackWoodsHunter
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:19 pm

They actually bed on the high side of where the positive and negative terrain meet with a leeward wind and prefer points.


Anyway you could break this down into english? :lol: Just kidding but seriously what does that mean seems like alot of info packed into one sentence.
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby dan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:24 pm

what features do you key in on?


Bedding... Which is usually found on the points that drop off steeply. And the funnels between several bedding points. Sometimes you have ridges that end with three points. Crows feet. Hunting where they all meet can be good.
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby Autumn Ninja » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:06 am

BackWoodsHunter wrote:Anyway you could break this down into english? :lol: Just kidding but seriously what does that mean seems like alot of info packed into one sentence.

Dan just explained it...I would recommend you get the Hill Country video. It would help you out big time. I'm not trying to push a sale, I'm not affiliated in any way...just trying to help a fellow hunter out.

GOOD LUCK!!!!
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BackWoodsHunter
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:07 am

i guess I'll have to get it. I rewatched marsh bucks last night. When I first bought it and watched it I had little knowledge or experience on public ground. I watched it a couple times but never gained much. I have spent loads of time scouting public land this year but little hunting it. After scouting it and watching the video alot of things came together.

How steep/tall are these ridges you are looking at for bedding. Any change in elevation or more extremes? What about thick cover? if this ridge is a good one, but its very open does that matter?

I am starting to put it together I think, I know of a good public spot in Jefferson with one of the points that you speak of and lots of deer sign...thanks dan.
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Re: What do you look for in an aerial photo?

Unread postby headgear » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:21 am

The areas I hunt are mostly flat but I said what the heck and bought the hill country dvd just for a learning expereince and I am very glad I did. Tons of great info on thermals and buck bedding areas even if you don't have the big hills. I have even found a few buck beds on some much smaller elevations (50-75 feet) in the bigwoods I hunt. Sure enough the bucks were bedded just down from the top with the wind at their back and usually had a great view in front of them.


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