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Scouting Notebook Suggestions

skell

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Oct 25, 2016
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This year is a little odd...I can actually post season scout immediately following season with no snow on the ground! In the past I've done a great deal of walking/scouting/shed hunting, but almost always with snow cover. This year I've been reading one of John E's books and watching his DVD series...which has motivated me to do a better job of documenting what I'm seeing (instead of just marking a spot in my GPS and not really knowing what the point indicates come fall). My intention is to essentially redo my scouting on the chunk of ground I typically hunt.

My plan is a half sheet binder for stand notes and a clip board with maps to mark up. The following is my idea for notes pages w/ the back blank for extra notes, drawings, etc. I'm looking for any input/suggestions on what I may be missing, or what others have found works for them.

 

skell

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Good call on AM/PM.

I figured I would get grief on the stand option part! Let me get my saddle experience above ZERO, and I'll consider it!
 

IkemanTX

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Oct 16, 2015
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Someone else posted this form over on the hunting beast and I used it as a template. Mine is very close to this.



I do have to admit, though... I am getting to where I do more and more of my documenting on google earth. I just put the descriptions in the "memo" spot for each waypoint, and don't put anything in the "title" box. Each item gets its own custom, color coded icon instead of a name. Done this way, all that shows on my google earth is the icons, but all the info expands when you hover over them.
I also keep them saved in separate folders, categorized by state, property, year and season. This way, I can turn off select folders and see just a single year's info, or select all folders to look for an overall pattern from year to year.

I would post an example, but it would publish an entire area I hunt for the world to see... not too keen on that.

EDIT: here is one location zoomed and cropped to remove all identifiable landmarks. It makes seeing the big picture really intuitive. Entry and exit paths are marked in the same file, so if I have signal I can load it into the google earth app on my iPhone and follow it right in. These two symbols are rubs, and a stand. Anything green is deer sign or my setup, anything red is other human sign.


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Last edited:

IkemanTX

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Oct 16, 2015
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Another drawback I have found from using custom icons, is when I transfer the KMZ into CalTopo, they don't show up at all. I guess CalTopo doesn't recognize the custom icons. That is kind of a pain because I can't view my scouting on a topo map without maintaining double files. One for google earth, and another set for CalTopo.


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g2outdoors

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Oct 3, 2014
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Savannah, GA
I use All Trails to mark my spots. They have a great web version for scouting and an app that works offline with imagery. There are a lot of good options out there.

For cataloging my hunts I use Google docs. No better way in my opinion.

 

skell

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Oct 25, 2016
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Iowa
Expected cover is another good suggestion. Thanks!

I will have to check out some of the electronic options as well. I tend to shy away from those a little. Mainly because I stare at a computer screen most of the day. Sometimes it is just nice to do things with a pen and paper. Plus I can write way faster than I can type on my phone!
 

c h r i s

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Mar 31, 2014
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I use All Trails to mark my spots. They have a great web version for scouting and an app that works offline with imagery. There are a lot of good options out there.

For cataloging my hunts I use Google docs. No better way in my opinion.

I'm curious, how do you use google docs?
 

c h r i s

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Mar 31, 2014
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This is not what I had in my head when you mentioned it. I like that setup. Simple and easy to manipulate the information.
Same here. Had more of a word doc in mind, but I like how simple and sortable/filterable this is. I need a better system, last couple years I've been putting it all into my GPS waypoint notes, which is less than ideal but better than trying to email myself notes like I had tried prior to. Making a sheet now to give it a shot for spring turkey season.
 

okie_edward

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Oct 30, 2016
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Arcadia, OK
Sorting is key.

Plus it's endlessly customizeable and easy to digest.
I prefer to write things down as well but hate managing and sorting thru the papers/notebooks to find a specific note.

I use excel and this looks similar. This should solve the problem of files that didn't get synced (PC to Phone, which is probably an old guy problem)
Maybe I can export to docs


- Delete "Hang-on/Climber" - hilarious
 

justsomedude

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Sep 10, 2014
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2,514
Location
Nashville, TN
I only have notes on a few properties. I use Write in Rain notebooks. I carry a small one with me and then use a large one when I get home. I put grid markings on a map (letters and numbers) and have abreviations for locations like "Ridge 1, "Field One" would be R1 and F1.

I drop GPS marks on a hiking app but I like paper.

It is great to read journal entries from years before. I will enter all animal activity and weather notes. You start to really understand patterns better
 

bubba g

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Mar 15, 2016
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I just mark everything i find on my gps... other stands, deer sign, bedding locations, potential stand locations... i make notes on all of my entries too...
 

skell

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Oct 25, 2016
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Iowa
You guys definitely have me rethinking some of this...

My current plan is this newly revised notes page...



This will be a full page. So in a regular size binder. This will also make it easy to take them out and scan them to the computer as I go. These will be uploaded to google drive and then be accessible anywhere. I plan to have folders based on map. So all notes for areas within a given map will be together. I like the idea of having access to all of this at any given time.

I will also be creating a spreadsheet to use as a hunting log. Still wondering how I didn't think of this before...
 

Xpedition802

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Nov 15, 2016
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36
Location
Vermont
I use the attached. Some will recognize it from other uses. I always found them effective and instead of reinventing the wheel, I used what I was used to when I started really hunting again. I made blank copies on the power point and use colored pin needles for every hit I get on deer.

I keep one for each place I hang a camera. It gives me a pretty not so sexy analog picture of what the deer do year round. By the season I will have 12 of these (1 per month) to show shifts in deer movement. I consolidate onto a master sheet for each site (different color pin for every month). I’ve found pretty good consistency with it and it also serves admirable a tool to help me see if something’s off. On the attached it shows this camera site for the marsh at my place. Orange pin = doe, white pin= unconfirmed sex, dark blue = buck. Pictures worth 1000 words right?

My 2 cents but hope it pays it forward to someone. Cheers
 

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IkemanTX

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Oct 16, 2015
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Has anyone looked into having a custom notepad done with write in the rain?


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