Topo map help

jshepherd

6 pointer
Nov 3, 2015
205
Breathitt
Anyone want to give a hand on this Topo map? I haven’t gotten to go scout it yet, I have picked up some college courses to further my degree and I’ve had less time in the woods, I’m hoping to be scouting one day this week. Any help would be appreciated
 

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jshepherd

6 pointer
Nov 3, 2015
205
Breathitt
I would be hunting the low gap on the eastern boundary of the property you posted, between the two high points. Could be a hot spot!
This area? I’m ignorant when it comes to these maps, thanks for your help, I know nothing replaces the actual scouting of the area but low gaps almost always have deer travel
 

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shaman

10 pointer
You've gotten good advice so far. Let me add to this in a more general way.

1) You've got a bunch of smaller gullies feeding into the larger ravines. Each need to be explored. These gullies will have a concentration of healthy mature mast-producing oaks. At least they do in my neck of the woods. These gullies also have places where the deer will dig in their hooves and disrupt the banks as they try to cross them. It makes looking for sign easier.
2) Coming up off the lowest elevations of the property will be trails that work their way up the sides of the ravines in a long diagonal way. Deer are lazy. On steep hillsides, they take the easiest way possible, not straight up and down. Find those diagonal trails. I've taken to scouting with a dog along. It does not have to be a special breed, but the dog will often take the same lazy routes as the deer.
3) For initial scouting, I would pick a contour (say 900 ft) and follow it all the way around. Going up and down drains your energy needlessly.
4) I would also hit the treeline at the bottom of the ravine and follow it all the way around. There's bound to be sign.
5) Fellows already have pointed out a few of these individually, but let me just say generally that saddles and shelves are two key structures for deer scouting ridges and hollers. A saddle is a drop in elevation between two higher elevations. It allows deer to pass over a ridge or point with greater ease. A shelf is a flat (or flatter) spot on a hillside. Any widening of a contour needs to be scouted.
6) Without seeing what is attached to this plot, my guess is the deer will be at a fairly low density. My reason for saying that is there is not enough edge. Deer like the boundary between forest and meadow. That's where they sleep. That's where they eat. I don't expect large herds. Sign may be subtle.

If I had to pick one spot for scrutiny, it would be the saddle in the eastern bulge of the property line. Deer are probably using that to get around the peak and get from one flowage to the other of the ridge that runs across the northeastern boundary.
 

KY-WYWaterfowler

6 pointer
Nov 3, 2011
266
Morehead, KY
This area? I’m ignorant when it comes to these maps, thanks for your help, I know nothing replaces the actual scouting of the area but low gaps almost always have deer travel
Yes, that's the exact spot I was talking about. Deer will travel through there when going from one drainage to another. The sign could be sparse, but when the rut hits it would be tough to beat.
 

Regulator623

12 pointer
Nov 16, 2006
3,388
Eastern Kentucky
If deer are there, I'm betting there will be a defined trail coming through where you have the red mark in the gap and will continue right on around the head of the hollow at about the same elevation...path of least resistance. If one is there, move on up the slope about 75 - 100 feet to see if there might be another, but less defined trail. I hunt steep slope country and there is always a secondary trail that the bucks travel....I've noticed that they will not hardly use a doe trail for some reason.
 

hunter40502

8 pointer
Mar 5, 2014
975
Washington County
You've gotten good advice so far. Let me add to this in a more general way.

1) You've got a bunch of smaller gullies feeding into the larger ravines. Each need to be explored. These gullies will have a concentration of healthy mature mast-producing oaks. At least they do in my neck of the woods. These gullies also have places where the deer will dig in their hooves and disrupt the banks as they try to cross them. It makes looking for sign easier.
2) Coming up off the lowest elevations of the property will be trails that work their way up the sides of the ravines in a long diagonal way. Deer are lazy. On steep hillsides, they take the easiest way possible, not straight up and down. Find those diagonal trails. I've taken to scouting with a dog along. It does not have to be a special breed, but the dog will often take the same lazy routes as the deer.
3) For initial scouting, I would pick a contour (say 900 ft) and follow it all the way around. Going up and down drains your energy needlessly.
4) I would also hit the treeline at the bottom of the ravine and follow it all the way around. There's bound to be sign.
5) Fellows already have pointed out a few of these individually, but let me just say generally that saddles and shelves are two key structures for deer scouting ridges and hollers. A saddle is a drop in elevation between two higher elevations. It allows deer to pass over a ridge or point with greater ease. A shelf is a flat (or flatter) spot on a hillside. Any widening of a contour needs to be scouted.
6) Without seeing what is attached to this plot, my guess is the deer will be at a fairly low density. My reason for saying that is there is not enough edge. Deer like the boundary between forest and meadow. That's where they sleep. That's where they eat. I don't expect large herds. Sign may be subtle.

If I had to pick one spot for scrutiny, it would be the saddle in the eastern bulge of the property line. Deer are probably using that to get around the peak and get from one flowage to the other of the ridge that runs across the northeastern boundary.


What he said!
 


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