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The Joy of Scouting

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For many, the idea of scouting is a tedious task that is a necessity better endured by others. For me, its a joy. Its the prep for the hunt. As my hunting instructor once put it, "hunting is your learned skills vs an animals genetic and innate skills".
I love to scout, but where does it begin.. and what do I look for?

For this Blog, I am going to write about my DUCK method.

1st: First, you have to know who your hunting for before you begin your scouting mission. As stated, we're gonna talk about duck... but you could easily translate your scouting mission to deer, moose or whatever. Know what your prey eats, where to find it. Know what they like to live in; is it marshy, wooded, grassy, dense, sparse? This may change thru the year.. so also know WHEN your hunting and work those areas they like. My ducks like Marshy areas that have high levels of wild rice and water plants.. so I start there.

2nd: Tools! I use:
Google Earth: excellent tool to look at the big ecological picture. Where are the forests, where are the farms, where are the lakes, rivers swamps, marshes etc..

Google Maps: swapping between satellite view and map view I see if I can even GET to the zones I have mapped out for inspection and plan my route. Will I need my boat, car, waders, invisible jet? Lastly, will it be crowded with weekend warriors aka is it TOO easy to get to that everyone will be there?

MNR notes: lots of these are available online if you search a bit. I found eco-reports from 1985-today that tell me the concentration of animals, plants, waterflow, beaver activity on each lake and area of my zones. the reports tell of how much human traffic it sees, how much private/crown land is there, what restrictions and activities are found at each spot. I tend to highlight zones with lots of MARSH and high quantities of BIRD species so that I can research later.

Backroads Map Book: its a spiral bound map book available at Canadian Tire or Mountain Equipement Co Op for about $20. Get one for the zone or zones you intend to hunt or fish.. it has excellent maps of the area, it maps out the crown and county land AND most importantly will reference every lake and what to expect in it!!!

County maps: available FREE from your local "welcome centre" on the highway. They have maps galore showing you where all the goodies are and all you have to do is ask! and its free!! Did I mention its free? its free.

Eyes and ears, keep them open. When I drive, I am constantly scanning the country on each side for animals, and for ecological points to reference (forest, river, farm, marsh, grass, etc..) I keep a note pad on my passenger seat and write intersections on it to check on google when I get home.

all this and some ears to the ground listening to locals might net you some success.


when I am scoping out some new Turkey turf, I keep my turkey call in my pocket.. I walk very softly, stopping every 100 yards or so.. I get down low, near a tree and will give a single, medium level "cluck-cluck" and wait for about 3-4 mins for response. I have recieved enough single "Cluck"'s in response to know they are there... I don't have to see them, and I don't wanna spook them before its time. But knowing I am in the neighborhood is good enough. I will jot down the note and remember to return closer to the beginning of the season to look for SIGN! If found, I will note it, and be ready come season!

Good Luck in 2013 y'all.


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Updated 08-20-2013 at 10:25 AM by Outdoorsman

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  1. Outdoorsman's Avatar
    What an excellent blog Sam. There are some really great tips there. We also have a great mapping tool right here on our site that could be handy as well. http://www.archerandangler.com/forum...maps&tabid=189

    Keep these great blogs coming, I like them. Subscribed.


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