These are not links to videos or how to sites. These are links to services I have found useful for scouting, hunting and/or planning. Note that some of the website do include instructions on how to use the service or utility and videos on how to apply these to scouting or hunting is a google search away. Please leave a comment if you found any of these useful.
Windfinder – An awesome website that lets you not only get the current weather including forecasted wind direction but you can also find historical data for prevailing winds in an area by month. Awesome tool when scouting and planning stand locations months in advance.
Moon Connection – Great resource for planning based on moon phase along with some other useful information.
Cal Topo – My go to first stop for topo map scouting from the computer. You can add your own boundaries, routes, waypoints and more to maps that you can save to your account. The first few are few and have no limitations. Once you use your free slots then you can purchase a subscription for more at a very modest price. Includes several different topo sources and also includes relief shading which is a great feature to determine at a quick glance the degree of incline in hilly country.
Hillmap – is a web based mapping app that lets users create and print free, customizable maps from high quality map layers. You can also use hillmap tools to calculate slope, check the weather at your destination, analyze snowpack, and more. Best of all the website is a split view with the ability to compare two map layers of an area at once. Open a topo layer on the left and then view satellite imagery on the right at the same time and as you pan or zoom both maps update simultaneously. A very useful mapping site.
Mapping Support – Awesome site that combines several mapping sources to pre-scout locations before “boots on the ground” scouting. Also useful for times when you have to go in blind on a new hunting location
Mapping Support Enhanced Google Maps – An extension of Mapping Support focused on public hunting locations for several states. If your state is available select the link and get the same features that Mapping Support offers with pre-loaded public land boundaries.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Interactive Map – All Georgia WMAs on a single mapping site with 10 different layers options for topo, roads, satellite imagery and more with all WMA boundaries preloaded on the map. (Note this is the most current maps I have found and do show recent additions and reductions on WMAs that do not show up on older maps)
Tools and Utilities:
GPS File Depot – Great resource for topo maps for all states and even other countries. Select your state and then choose the map you want. These maps can be installed on your computer and accessed via Garmin Basecamp (link below) and even transferred directly to your Garmin GPS at no cost. *Note* Most maps here are free but there are links to onXmaps which require a purchase.
Garmin BaseCamp – Free software from Garmin. Can be used without a Garmin GPS but if you do own a Garmin you can load free maps mentioned above, pre-create waypoints for stand locations or areas of interest when scouting. You can also create routes on your computer and then transfer these to your GPS so that you can plan your approach to a stand without having to actually walk the path and potentially spook deer. Great when going in blind to a new hunting location.
Google Earth Pro – The ultimate satellite imagery software for scouting from the computer. Features are too numerous to list here but some that I find the most useful include: Pre-creating routes for planned scouting trips or a 4am walk to a stand, ability to pre-measure distances from point to point or along a route, create image overlays to then transfer to your GPS, identifying funnels and travel corridors and many more. (Also lets you map Mars, so if life is ever discovered there you are ahead of the game regarding scouting)
onX Maps – Not a free service but well worth the money. I have been using onX Maps on my Garmin for several years and would not hesitate to buy the software again. Not only is it great for quickly identifying public land boundaries but also useful for identifying private parcel ownership to request hunting access on non-public land.