Maps Provide Power
Maps play a crucial role in getting you to the right spot for a golden opportunity to shoot a gobbler. Owning quality maps and gaining the knowledge and skills to use them will increase your success rate.
Every turkey hunter should have a large topographic roadmap. These big map books, from companies such as Delorme and National Geographic, combine the detail of a U.S. Geological Survey topographic map with the convenient packaging of a conventional road atlas. These books provide back-country detail to navigate the best driving routes and avoid wasting valuable hunting light.
Having a county plat book or land parcel map that provides names of landowners is a definite advantage, when asking for permission on private land. Other mapping resources lack this information. Land ownership changes constantly and land layout is also subject to modification. Purchasing the latest issue of a county plat book will provide you with these updates while also benefiting you with the new mapping features, indexes and navigational tools added with every new annual edition. For a plat map of your county, search:
County Clerk's Office
Real Estate Offices
Local Map Stores
CD-ROM mapping software and internet-based subscription mapping services can provide you with customized maps specific to your hunting area. Many of them can also synch up to your GPS device for high-tech convenience. Use of the software's mapping tools for trail drawing, marking waypoints for GPS devices, typing in text and symbols, outlining interesting areas, measuring distances, and viewing elevation profiles is a definite plus.
One internet mapping service is mytopo.com, where you can order personalized, detailed topographic maps or aerial photographs of your specific hunting land. These large maps and photos are printed on durable waterproof paper. They also fold-up to a compact size, and are resistant to tearing.
Upgrade Your Tools
If you're used to using one style of map, service, device and software, or your current tools are ten years old; get out there and explore the newest options. The latest and greatest technology will help to better plan your setups, walking routes and scouting strategies. However, owning the software and the gadgets alone is not going to help. You must become proficient with them to avoid struggling with these tools during the hunt. Practice with these tools like you would with your game calls and shooting skills.
Good Maps Help
Your maps and knowledge of the land layout will also provide the landowner with peace of mind. Get to know all the landowners that surround the area in which you want to hunt. This knowledge helps tremendously when asking for permission to hunt private land. Landowners appreciate those who have done their research and know their boundaries. They don't want to give permission to someone who is going to unknowingly march all over their neighbor's property!
— J.J. Reich