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Arizona Hunt Unit 5B Briefing and Scouting Trip

Arizona Hunt Unit 5B Briefing and Free Scouting Trip

Recently, the Arizona Hunting Club and Arizona Scouting Adventures teamed up to help two Arizona hunters improve their technical hunting skills, their understanding of elk herds and their habitat and helped them locate three excellent areas in Hunt Unit 5B to hunt cow elk.

The Arizona Hunting Club provides hunter education by providing an Arizona Hunting Workbook that the hunters can access online from any computer. The Arizona Hunting Workbook has 43 chapters that cover hunting topics such as topographic maps, GPS units, stock tank database, scouting techniques used to find animals in the field. Click here to buy a copy of the Arizona Hunting Workbook.

Arizona Scouting Adventures provide Arizona Hunt Unit Briefings in personal meetings with hunters. The Arizona Hunting Unit Briefings are fee-based and give hunters valuable information on the actual hunt unit, such as where the best sources of water, food and bedding areas are located; in-depth profiles of the big game animals in the unit and their habitat, and the known travel patterns in the unit based on season and weather patterns.

Hunter Needs:
Lou and Steve have hunted in Arizona before and even successfully filled several bull and cow elk tags.

When they both drew a cow elk tag for the 2008 hunting season in Hunt Unit 5B north, they agreed that they could use a little help improving their elk hunt. While they had hunted many times in 6a, they were completely unfamiliar with Hunt Unit 5B. Another problem that concerned them was the fact that neither one of them had hunted in quite a few years because they were unsuccessful in drawing an elk tag for the past couple of years.

Improving Hunters Chances to Fill Hunting Tag:
To improve their chances, they signed up for an Arizona Hunting Workshop to improve their technical skill of locating animals on paper, then signed up for a hunt unit briefing for 5B North to learn exactly how they could locate big herds of elk and successfully fill their tags.

Arizona Hunting Workbook Containing Tactics, Techniques and Strategies to Find Game:
Both hunters received links to the online Arizona Hunting Workbook, which contains 34 chapters ( 65-pages) of on technical hunting skills, techniques and strategies. Lou and Steve were able to read through the hunting work book ahead of time, and then participate in free teleconference where a seasoned hunting instructor walked them through the book’s examples of how to use topographic maps to find food, water and bedding areas and allowed them to ask questions about the techniques, strategies and tactics outlined in the workbook.

Free Database of All Arizona Springs, Stock Tanks and Reservoirs:
One resource they liked was a free database of every single stock tank, spring and reservoir in Arizona. Unlike the U.S. Forest Service map, which does provide a map to all of the stock tanks, the free database contains the exact GPS coordinates.

Locating Protected Feeding Areas:
After showing them how to find remote waterholes, the workbook showed them how to look at topographic maps to find remote grassy fields that offer protected feeding areas as well as fields that have fingers or sections that dart back into the woods offering secluded feeding areas where most hunters will never see animals feeding. Great areas to locate animals right before dark.

Locating Remote Bedding Areas:
They also learned how to locate bedding areas on steep hillsides by showing them how to look for areas called benches. While looking for benches they also learned to look for potential staging areas that allow animals to keep a watch on their protected feeding areas and remote stock tanks in the evening right before dark.

Recording GPS Coordinates of Good Hunting Areas and Marking Them with Waypoints:
Each time the hunters located a vital part of the animal’s habitat (good hunting areas), they were shown how to mark these areas on the topographic map with a waypoint. Once the map was fully diagrammed and all the important areas were marked with waypoints, the hunting instructor showed them how to predict animal’s travel patterns between these areas by understanding what funnels, saddles and chokepoints were and how animals used them to travel one area to the next. The hunters then programmed predicted routes and waypoints into their topographic software programs.

Downloading Waypoints to a GPS Unit for a Scouting Trip:
After all the way points, routes and map notes were recorded into the topo software, the instructor showed the hunters how to download them into a portable GPS unit that they would carry with them on their scouting trip. The GPS unit is probably the most import device a hunter can carry beside a weapon. At all times during their scouting trip, the hunters would know where the nearest food, water and bedding areas were located. They would also know where every ridge, saddle, funnel and chokepoint was located so that they could effective setup to good hunting ambush points where animals would most likely travel at certain times during the day.

Double Checking Hunting Areas before the Scouting Trip:
Another resource the hunters liked learning how to use was the Microsoft’s Live Earth. Instead of spending hours and hours hiking through the woods to scout each and every waypoint recorded, the hunters learned that they could look at every single water hole, feeding area and bedding area to see what they looked like from a satellite map. What they realized quickly is that satellite photographs can show you many things that are not show on topographic maps. The hunters learned to zoom in and narrow their planned scouting trips to a couple of potential hunting spots.

Check out this secluded field way off the main road with nice elevated benches overlooking a remote stock tank, which is the white circle in the upper right corner of the pasture. A dynamite hunting spot for deer and elk.

Click here to see pictures and videos of the Scouting Trip to 5B North

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