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Location: Butte, MT
Joined: 01/02/2006
Posts: 234
Google Earth

Have you guys seen Google Earth? I highly recommend it. The detail is so good you can actually see features/contours of the land as well as the density (and sometimes) what kind of vegetation there is in a given area. Twice now, I've looked carefully at an area on Google Earth for features that I thought would hold the sort of big game I was planning to hunt and both times I found animals in the area I had previously scouted. Maybe I should call it "e-scouting".

There's no doubt that nothing on the computer will ever come near replacing getting your feet on the ground in a new area, but I think it's actually better than topo maps, personally. I highly recommend checking it out. It has helped me narrow some places down.

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Location: Eatonville, Wa
Joined: 08/26/2007
Posts: 610
Google Earth

I know I have tried it several times but the topography doesnt always show up due to the inability to zoom in as much as i want to. If i could find animals on the pictures that would be cool for now Its just fs maps and doing lots of walking

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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Google Earth

I love google earth! My husband and I both use it extensively before we head into new areas, both on land and water. The level of detail is just amazing.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Google Earth

I love Google Earth/Maps. I can't seem to find out how old the images are, or how often they are updated ?

Location: Butte, MT
Joined: 01/02/2006
Posts: 234
Google Earth

It's tough to say how old the images are. It seems to be a mosaic taken at all different times; just whenever the satellite passed over . There are some places in this area that appear green and lush, as if in late spring, then you scroll over to a lake at similar elevation and it's frozen with snow machine tracks all over it. I've also zoomed in on our house. We bought it a couple of years ago, but the previous owners added 3 bedrooms on the west side. In the google earth image you can see the the addition is being worked on, but isn't finished yet. I understand the addition was done about 5 years ago.

At any rate, it is a useful tool. My wife uploaded it on our computer a couple of months ago. I really wasn't that interested other than to say, "oh, that's cool." But a few weeks ago I was asking permission to hunt on a ranch that I'm fairly familiar with, but they didn't want me to hunt in the area where I usually go, but sent me to the far south end of their property where I'd never been. I got on google earth and marked on the map pockets of cover near the river that looked like places deer would bed down during the day. At any rate, it worked. I found deer in all the places I'd marked and shot a little buck with my muzzelloader. Last weekend I did the same thing in a new area where I wanted to find elk. I nearly shot what I thought was a cow, but after I got the cross hairs on it, I realized it was a spike and not legal in that area.

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Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Google Earth

It shows my house with new blue roof that was replaced after Hurricane Ivan about 3 years ago

Very useful tool that I have used extensively to pre-scout new areas as sage mentioned.

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Location: Puyallup, WA / Grand Rapids, MI
Joined: 10/24/2007
Posts: 96
Google Earth

I love it.
In the area I hunt it seems the photo is about 4 years ago. It's perfect for finding clear cuts and travel corridors between them.

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