After navigating our way through a maze of back roads and cattle guards, we pulled up to a house that we hoped was the right one. Sure enough, we had guessed right at a few turns and made our way to the lease…and just in time to get a quick run down of the ranch, before Friday evening’s hunt. The property owner brought us into his workshop area and immediately handed us each an 8.5 x 11 inch map of his property. Being in the business of making maps, I immediately noted a few things that could be improved upon with his maps. The fact that he had a map for each of us was really useful, but the scale of the map from his google earth print out was too small to really figure out where his dirt roads (or cinderos, as we call them in Texas) ran on his property. He labeled the deer blinds by numbers, which was great, but when we got to the blinds, they weren’t labeled, so it was difficult to know if we were where we thought we were. His ranch was about 600 acres, and for a ranch that size you really needed something a little bigger than a 8.5 x 11 inch map to actual show the detail you need to navigate the property effectively. If he was to just stick to 8.5 x 11 inch maps, I felt it would have been useful to have 2-4 quadrant maps of that size, so we could find our way around with a map that carried the detail we needed. I learned another important lesson that night when it started raining on my walk to the deer blind…paper maps are great to have with you…when it isn’t raining. After that trip, I started suggesting that every client get their field maps laminated (a service we offer), so their maps will hold up in any weather, and last a lot longer as well!
The other thing I noticed was the lack of a big map of the property in the hunting lodge we stayed in. We have two 3x4 ft maps on the walls of our ranch house. When friends come to hunt, I can teach them about where they will be hunting, the general layout of the ranch, and they can actually “see” the roads they will be driving on and where the feeders and water troughs are.
For those that have phones that can read and capture GPS coordinates, we have field maps that have latitude and longitude lines, so they will never wonder if they are at the right blind, or where the heck the ranch house is! I’ve heard a few hunters talk about their VERY long drive back to camp, when they were at an unfamiliar lease.
With the hunting season just around the corner, it’s time to get re-familiar with your hunting grounds, update new blinds, feeders, water troughs, or new roads on your maps.
Learn from the misfortunes of others, and don’t get lost on your hunting lease, or worse yet, don’t let people that are PAYING you to hunt on your property, get lost. Arm them with all the information they need to have the best experience possible! Make sure everyone that is planning on hunting on the property has a weatherproof map, with the most current, comprehensive, and clear map as possible.
As always, we offer free consultations and evaluations of your property, to determine what maps will be suit your needs. Call 713-302-2028 to speak with George, and set up your consultation today!