May 3rd, 2021
E-Scouting for Elk with Mark Livesay, Part 2
The ultimate goal of e-scouting is creating a master plan with multiple hunt areas. Mark Livesay from Treeline Pursuits returns for an incredibly in depth look on how to plan a hunt using all of the modern tools available. He outlines different parts of his course, including what tools to use, how to understand the data you see, and why you should stack different features to guarantee that you’ll find the elk you’re looking for.
When you only have 10-14 days to hunt elk out of a year, why would you want to leave any stone unturned or walk into a hunt unprepared? Pouring over data and maps beforehand leaves Mark with few surprises when he’s out in the field, and planning for contingencies like too much snow, too many hunters or not enough elk will relieve stress and pressure when you finally get the chance to get out into the field.
Mark covers the 9 elk finding features that he looks for as he plans his hunts. He’s created a system that includes carefully designing a custom map that tells you a story. For example, on OnX, if everything is red, it’s not going to put a picture in your head of the area that you’re looking at. Mark adopts different colors and symbols to tell a better story of the terrain. And he warns that anytime you export data, a program will use default icons. So you’ll need to be careful where you create your custom maps.
In great detail, Mark covers what you can expect to find in different areas, including how to match up what’s on the map and what the local data tells you. You’ll want to look for:
- Meadows and feeding zones,
- Canyons, creeks and drainages
- Fire zone
- Beetle kills in the trees
- Benches and slopes
Mark’s knowledge of e-scouting is huge. If you’re ready to do a better job planning your next hunt, check out Mark’s e-scouting course to help walk you step-by-step through the process. Use Promo code johnstallone to save 20%
- Mark stresses just how valuable Google Earth is as a planning tool, especially when paired with other planning tools.
- How to figure out if a trail is mostly used for recreation, and how that impacts elk behavior.
- Mark explains why stacking features makes it more likely that you’ll find a herd of elk, rather than just relying on a single feature like looking on the north slopes of an area.
- I’m a huge fan of edge habitats; we talk about the identifying characteristics of an edge habitat, and why they help you find more animals.
- How to judge a fire zone correctly so that you’ve accurately anticipated the benefits and challenges of hunting in that area.
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Back for round 2, Mark Livesay moves beyond the tools he uses to talk about how to understand the maps that he uses to help plan his yearly elk hunts. The wealth of data out there for hunters to sift through can be overwhelming, which is why an e-scouting guide like Mark can help you make sense of what you’re looking at when you pull up Google Earth.
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