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ZDavidMiller

Studying aerial photos

5 posts in this topic

I have an aerial photograph of an area that I hunt. I was wondering if I could find some help studying the photo, I do not completely understand deer movements and behavior.

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I would say the next thing you need is a topo map that shows the land elevations. Most topo maps show the swamp areas too. Once you have that you should be able to see on the aerial where the swamps are, the high land is and then natural funnels between areas as well as any crop land and lakes. Deer movement varies based on what is available to eat. Up where I hunt there is no crop lands so we look for new growth areas where deer feed. By us the deer skirt swamps and in some cases bed down in them or very close so we look for higher ground that looks into swamps that has some new growth near by. We hope they walk by on their way to breakfast everyday. Bottom line is find where they sleep and where they eat and pick a spot in between to set up.

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First off, I would suggest you google:

"Air Photo Interpretation"

Understanding the shadows, shapes, and structures of the photo will be key to understanding what's actually on the ground. While it may seem elementary, I've co-taught courses on air photo interp, and it is not always necessarily intuitive.

From there, apply many of the basic needs of the animal. I know more about turkeys, and typically try to relate:

-roosting sites

-feeding areas

-loafing areas

-strut zones

-travel corridors

....among others. For deer, it will be similar. Take past experience in your area, and apply it to the map. Print many copies and mark it up.

A topo map, as suggested above, would be very beneficial. Knowing how the land "sits" will bring your photo to life.

Joel

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Aerial photos are an excellent tool and they keep you from going nuts in the off season. I hunted the same land for years adn just recently got an aerial photo of it. It really made the things I was seeing in the woods kind of click into place. I agree about also getting a topo map. If you compare the two and find edges that coincide with changes in elevation it will help pinpoint where deer get funneled or where a nice saddle is between two points of interest. If you haven't been on the land much it also gives you a good place to start looking for sign (ie. fingers, changes in tree type, clear cuts, etc.).

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I do not understand well how deer will move in relationship to the landscape and elevation changes. I do not understand the way that they utilize the land per se. I try to get out and scout, quite a bit. I find alot of sign, I do not know how to interperate it, I always seem to bump deer, and I believe now I am familiar with some of their bedding habits. I have a guess of what it is that they may be feeding on. It seems as though I am stuck in neutral.

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      Each year, more waterfowl hunters die from drowning than from other types of hunting accidents. Swamping, capsizing and falling overboard are all common factors leading to these deaths, but in nearly all cases the hunter would have survived had they been wearing a life jacket.

      “Before launching the duck boat, make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket or float coat,” Salo said. “It’s the one item that greatly increases your odds of surviving a water emergency and living to hunt another day.”

      The wide variety of comfortable, camouflage life jackets designed specifically for waterfowl hunting includes inflatable vest and belt-pack styles, insulated flotation jackets, and foam-filled shooting vests with quilted shoulders and shell loops.

      “Typical foam-filled vests or float coats provide optimal insulation against cold air and the effects of hypothermia, but without question, the best life jacket for waterfowl hunting is the one you will actually wear,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR boating and water safety outreach coordinator. “Choosing a life jacket style that works for you, and wearing it every time you’re on the water, is not only a good choice – it could save your life.”

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      • If wearing hip boots or waders, learn how to float with them on.
      • Stay near shore and avoid crossing large expanses of open water, especially in bad weather.
      • Share your trip plans with someone and advise them to call for help if you don’t return on schedule.
      • Use a headlamp, spotlight or navigation lights to alert other boaters of presence in dark and/or foggy conditions.
      • Carry a cell phone or personal locator beacon in case of emergency.
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    • Rick
      Live to hunt another day by wearing a life jacket or float coat
      Hunters preparing to hit the water this fall in pursuit of ducks, geese and other wild game are reminded to include life jackets on their hunting gear checklist.
      “Hunters in Minnesota are trained from a young age to always put safety first. For duck and goose hunters, that means always wearing a life jacket on the water, no exceptions,” said Lt. Col. Greg Salo of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division. Each year, more waterfowl hunters die from drowning than from other types of hunting accidents. Swamping, capsizing and falling overboard are all common factors leading to these deaths, but in nearly all cases the hunter would have survived had they been wearing a life jacket. “Before launching the duck boat, make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket or float coat,” Salo said. “It’s the one item that greatly increases your odds of surviving a water emergency and living to hunt another day.” The wide variety of comfortable, camouflage life jackets designed specifically for waterfowl hunting includes inflatable vest and belt-pack styles, insulated flotation jackets, and foam-filled shooting vests with quilted shoulders and shell loops. “Typical foam-filled vests or float coats provide optimal insulation against cold air and the effects of hypothermia, but without question, the best life jacket for waterfowl hunting is the one you will actually wear,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR boating and water safety outreach coordinator. “Choosing a life jacket style that works for you, and wearing it every time you’re on the water, is not only a good choice – it could save your life.” At the very least, all boats must carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each passenger, and boats longer than 16 feet must also have a throwable flotation device immediately available. Children under 10 must wear a life jacket. Other water safety tips for duck hunters include: Don’t overload the boat; take two trips if necessary. If wearing hip boots or waders, learn how to float with them on. Stay near shore and avoid crossing large expanses of open water, especially in bad weather. Share your trip plans with someone and advise them to call for help if you don’t return on schedule. Use a headlamp, spotlight or navigation lights to alert other boaters of presence in dark and/or foggy conditions. Carry a cell phone or personal locator beacon in case of emergency. Don’t drink and boat and don’t drink and hunt Visit mndnr.gov/boatingsafety to download the DNR’s “Water Safety for Duck Hunters” brochure and to learn more about boating safety for hunters. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking applications for grants to support off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail projects and new trail proposals. Application forms for projects on existing trails are due to a Parks and Trails area supervisor’s office each year by Nov. 30. New trail proposals are accepted throughout the year. First authorized in 1984, Minnesota’s OHV trails assistance program is a cost-share program intended to help develop and maintain trails for use by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs). Known as the OHV grant-in-aid (GIA) program, it helps to establish and maintain recreational trails at the initiative of clubs and other organizations, with the support and participation of local government sponsors. Organizations can apply for GIA funds through counties, cities or townships. All aspects of OHV trail development and maintenance are eligible for funding, including project administration, site planning, trail improvements, land acquisition for trail development, and trail maintenance. Proposals with a focus on maintaining or improving existing trails and trail systems will be assigned a higher priority. Program and application information is www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/recreation/gia_ohv.html
      or by contacting the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 651-296-615, or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
                                                                                                     -30- Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
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      Bidders are advised to obtain and view the property data sheet, be familiar with the property, minimum bid price, and terms and conditions of sale prior to attending the auction. To obtain a property data sheet or terms and conditions of sale call 651-259-5432, or 888-646-6367 or email landsale@dnr.state.mn.us. The property data sheets are also available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/landsale/. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
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      651-215-1440 in Twin Cities area. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      State forest trail use and management in northern St. Louis and Lake counties will be the topic of an open house, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-8 p.m., at Vermillion Community College, Room NS111, 1900 East Camp St., Ely. During the open house, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff will provide maps of existing trails, answer questions and take comments and suggestions from the public. Between 2003 and 2008, the DNR inventoried all routes and designated trails for various types of recreation within state forests. This current project will reevaluate the designations made during the initial review of the Bear Island, Burntside, Insula Lake, Lake Isabella, Lake Jeanette and Sturgeon River state forests in St. Louis and Lake counties. Changes could include redefining how trails can be used, determining options for motorized trail routes and trail connections, closing unsustainable trails, designating “areas with limitations” during hunting and trapping activities, and developing new hunter-walking trails. Changes to state forest trail designations must be made by commissioner’s order and published in the State Register. Written comments may be submitted to foresttrailplanning.dnr@state.mn.us or by mail to Joe Unger, DNR Parks and Trails, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4039. The DNR will accept written comments through Nov. 2. For more information, contact: Joe Unger, OHV planner, Parks and Trails Division, 651-259-5279. Joe Majerus, area supervisor, Parks and Trails Division, Tower Area Office, 218-300-7842. Information is also available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/ohv/designation/revisions.html. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.