Cyber scouting trouble?

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
PAbowhunter
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Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby PAbowhunter » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:37 pm

I seem to struggle like crazy when it comes to cyber scouting. Aerials especially. I do Find a good amount of bedding on leeward points in hill country based off of topo maps, once I get boots on the ground. But other terrain such as farmland and swamps, forget it. Everything looks the same to me. I mean i think I could explain the process to someone better than actually doing it myself. I stare at maps and aerials and nothing really jumps out at me besides the leeward sides of points and obvious terrain. When guys post maps and ask for help I always try to figure them out than look at the next guys mark up. Most times I think why did he pick that, or I never even saw that. I have searched forums and have read books, found bits and pieces that make sense to me, but it's not enough. I feel like I have put in quite a bit of time to still not be clicking for me.

I've been wondering have any beasts ever put together some kind of "training" for cyber scouting? Maybe some topo/ aerials with ideal features for holding mature animals which could be identified then explained what makes it ideal? i would really like to get to a point where I could confidently look at maps and give myself a good chance for an encounter rather than guessing all the time. I want to thank everyone for all the time and knowledge provided on this site! Any advice or tips would also be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance Beasts!!


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Greg4579
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby Greg4579 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:35 am

PAbowhunter wrote:I seem to struggle like crazy when it comes to cyber scouting. Aerials especially. I do Find a good amount of bedding on leeward points in hill country based off of topo maps, once I get boots on the ground. But other terrain such as farmland and swamps, forget it. Everything looks the same to me. I mean i think I could explain the process to someone better than actually doing it myself. I stare at maps and aerials and nothing really jumps out at me besides the leeward sides of points and obvious terrain. When guys post maps and ask for help I always try to figure them out than look at the next guys mark up. Most times I think why did he pick that, or I never even saw that. I have searched forums and have read books, found bits and pieces that make sense to me, but it's not enough. I feel like I have put in quite a bit of time to still not be clicking for me.

I've been wondering have any beasts ever put together some kind of "training" for cyber scouting? Maybe some topo/ aerials with ideal features for holding mature animals which could be identified then explained what makes it ideal? i would really like to get to a point where I could confidently look at maps and give myself a good chance for an encounter rather than guessing all the time. I want to thank everyone for all the time and knowledge provided on this site! Any advice or tips would also be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance Beasts!!

I found the swamp and marsh DVDs Dan put out to be very informative and help me figure out swamps and marshes. After watching the latest Hill Country DVD the lightbulb went off that a ton of properties have some combination of these terrains, and it is very helpful to understand how the deer use them all.
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby PK_ » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:50 am

walk up to the edge of the marsh/swamp while looking at your location in aerial on your phone.

There will be a point where you are standing on relatively dry ground and it will be relatively open terrain. If you are looking toward the water line the vegetation will begin to get thicker and the ground wetter in front of you. Walk straight through the thick stuff. It will get wetter and the vegetation will change again to marsh grass or cat tails or open deeper water or something if that nature.

You have just walked from the exterior transition to the interior transition. Those transition lines will run basically around the entire edge of the swamp. Figure out what that looks like on your aerial. Over 90% of your efforts should be focused in this specific area.

If you haven't watched the DVDs you need to. Swamp/marsh is really easy once you wrap your head around it.
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elk yinzer
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby elk yinzer » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:33 am

When you think cyber scouting, don't think, "X marks the treestand where I will kill a big buck", and just go in there expecting to do that. That is where I see people going wrong with it. You will not find that. It is beyond the scope of what cyber scouting is intended to do.

Cyber scouting simply narrows down areas so that you can take a more focused approach to boots on the ground scouting. Think of it as finding areas of interest. Then you have to go observe and verify what you see in person. Ideally that boots on the ground time is during the post-season. However, on out-of-state hunts, it can take the form of mobile hunt-scouting.

Beyond that, and once you master the associated skills which only comes with practice, it becomes a numbers game. The more places you scout, the more opportunities you have and the more you can narrow them down.
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby Josh_S » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:49 am

For me, finding a combination water and low elevation (topo lines further apart) has been very helpful. It can be a small stream, larger river, lake, or oxbows in a river system. These are the most likely places you can find swampy terrain. You can see the vegetation transition on an aerial if you look closely. It's a lot cyber scouting combined with boots on the ground. Pretty soon you will be able to look at an aerial and tell the difference between hardwoods, pines, crp, red brush, cattails, and tamaracks. Also, look at aerials of state forest land in north central PA. Here you will see many sections where there is an obvious difference in the trees. The smaller sections where the trees looks thinned out are clear cuts.

Also if you are really serious about this style of hunting it would be money well spent buying Dan's Marsh, Swamp, and Hill Bedding dvd's. Dan goes into great detail on cyber scouting with plenty of examples.

Being that you are from PA I will mention the game commission mapping website. It is a very useful tool for cyber scouting public land. You can switch back and forth from topo to aerial views, with visible public borders and parking locations marked. I spend a lot of time cyber scouting on this site.

http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id ... 23f5412eeb
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby PAbowhunter » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:43 am

Thanks for the info so far guys. I have been at this beast style hunting for a few years now, this being my first real beast year. With actual kill trees picked for buck beds I've found in the post season.
I do have the new hill country, old blood brother marsh and farmland videos and have watched them all a few times. I will watch them again. Are the newer swamp and marsh videos from Dan much different than the first version?
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby rfickes87 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:31 am

I've been at it for a couple years now. But just recently started using Google earth. I changed an aerial back in time to March of this property i was interested in. You could make out the green of the green brier thickets. I went to that spot in person and man, beds everywhere in that thick stuff. It was mostly open woods with little deer sign and in that thick, sign all over. Give that a try...
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby TNstalker » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:17 pm

Get the new swamp DVD that's a great video! Look at the tips of trees the bigger the top the more open it is. The smaller the tops are and closer together the more dense of an area. U can also use caltopo there is a mode called false ir. It uses different shades of red to show u cover light pink is grass and scrub brush. The darker red it is the taller maybe this will help.
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby PK_ » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:12 pm

elk yinzer wrote:When you think cyber scouting, don't think, "X marks the treestand where I will kill a big buck", and just go in there expecting to do that. That is where I see people going wrong with it. You will not find that. It is beyond the scope of what cyber scouting is intended to do.


Crap, I been doing it wrong :lol: seriously though that is exactly how I cyber scout.

But I spend a lotttt of time eliminating areas that don't offer that kind of map based precision. Because I am not able to scout outside of season and generally don't have time (and just don't like) to walk around in a new area when I am going in to hunt it. That is unless I am planning to still-hunt or spot and stalk...

But that is just me and how I try to go about it given my circumstances.

PAbowhunter, are you looking at fall/winter aerials?
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby PAbowhunter » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:45 pm

PK_ wrote:
elk yinzer wrote:When you think cyber scouting, don't think, "X marks the treestand where I will kill a big buck", and just go in there expecting to do that. That is where I see people going wrong with it. You will not find that. It is beyond the scope of what cyber scouting is intended to do.


Crap, I been doing it wrong :lol: seriously though that is exactly how I cyber scout.

But I spend a lotttt of time eliminating areas that don't offer that kind of map based precision. Because I am not able to scout outside of season and generally don't have time (and just don't like) to walk around in a new area when I am going in to hunt it. That is unless I am planning to still-hunt or spot and stalk...

But that is just me and how I try to go about it given my circumstances.

PAbowhunter, are you looking at fall/winter aerials?

Whatever pops up some are spring which i can't really tell the difference between anything then others look like fall/winter. Not real sure how to change it?
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby Brickhouse » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:26 pm

The biggest thing for me has been boots on the ground. I use a few different mapping sites to find places of interest then walk them. Things can be completely different on the ground from what you envisioned when looking at a map. The best spots I've found don't look like a whole lot on a map...
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby stash59 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:38 pm

PAbowhunter wrote:
PK_ wrote:
elk yinzer wrote:When you think cyber scouting, don't think, "X marks the treestand where I will kill a big buck", and just go in there expecting to do that. That is where I see people going wrong with it. You will not find that. It is beyond the scope of what cyber scouting is intended to do.


Crap, I been doing it wrong :lol: seriously though that is exactly how I cyber scout.

But I spend a lotttt of time eliminating areas that don't offer that kind of map based precision. Because I am not able to scout outside of season and generally don't have time (and just don't like) to walk around in a new area when I am going in to hunt it. That is unless I am planning to still-hunt or spot and stalk...

But that is just me and how I try to go about it given my circumstances.

PAbowhunter, are you looking at fall/winter aerials?

Whatever pops up some are spring which i can't really tell the difference between anything then others look like fall/winter. Not real sure how to change it?


On my computer there is a tool bar just above the aerial pic, in the top left corner. The first tool looks like a picture of a piece of paper with some columns on it. That's to add or remove the side bar. Next is a yellow push pin. That's for placing a marker point. 5 squares from the push pin is a clock with a arrow pointing counter clockwise. That's the time changer tool. Click on that and a graph comes up just below the tool bar. There are years on it on the right and left ends. The pointer will be all of the way to the right. With a month number and the latest year date. Like this: 8/2017. There are arrows on each end. Click on the left arrow and the pic goes back in time to the next date a pic had previously been loaded. Again with the month and date. These dates don't always jive with when the pic was actually taken. Like I said it's when Google Earth loaded it into the system. The fall/winter pics will show the contrast of the green and brown vegetation. Some of the winter ones you can see the actual trunks and limbs of the leafless trees. Some areas snow on the ground.

Best thing to do is click on a button and see what it does. You can't really mess any thing up!!

It's not exactly cheap. But elk101.com. Has a University of Elk Hunting course. That has an excellent section on how to use GoogleEarth. How to use the tools and put your markers etc in folders.

I'm sure someone else knows where else you can find video instruction that's probably free.

Good luck and have fun!!!
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby PK_ » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:12 am

PAbowhunter wrote:Whatever pops up some are spring which i can't really tell the difference between anything then others look like fall/winter. Not real sure how to change it?


Google earth you can adjust like stash explained on a computer, not phone or tablet.

I generally check the same area in google maps, bing maps etc... until I find a site that is showing a fall or winter pic. Spring and summer you can't decipher much...
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby MDSikajunkie » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:47 am

The google earth time bar was the most effective tool I have found for determining foliage types.

In addition old travel corridors to and from food on farms and woodlots that were once open fields or clearcut and grown back..........The areas that have been standing forests continually often hold the travel routes between properties etc. Some interesting things can be learned/ confirmed from those images.

A prime example is a public property I hunt that was purchased in the from a farmer. All the fields were allowed to regrow into forests but the deer still travel the old trails that used to be the wooded edges between each field........ even though they could use any route now.
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Re: Cyber scouting trouble?

Unread postby PAbowhunter » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:48 am

Thanks guys! I was trying to view google earth from my phone. I will check it out on the computer later, hopefully get a better understanding of these aerials.
I'm possibly looking to hunt a big chunk of public out of state this year. It is a state Forrest with tons of activity. (People, bikes,dogs, etc.) I've hunted the area before and killed a few does but know there are big boys there too. It has three good sized swamps on it and I believe there will be some good deer hanging there. I do know of a nice 150+ that has been spotted a few times lately. I won't make it up till about mid to late October if I do. My thinking is the buck isn't deep at the moment based on where he has been seen but with pressure will be bedded deep in the swamps tough to get to. One thing is the area doesn't get much archery pressure so I'm wondering if they will retreat to swamps or not. Defiantly more during the shotgun season. Am I correct on this assumption? Like I said new to swamps, thanks again guys.


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