Aerial Maps for Hunting–Top Options for 2022 Season

Hunting aerial maps add a critical dimension to to any hunter’s arsenal with a bird’s-eye view that can illuminate obstacles, opportunities, and realities of the landscape in ways other maps cannot. With the ability to spot terrain traps, funnels, promising bedding areas, food and water sources, and more from the sky, the data offered using satellite and aerial imagery elevate a map’s utility whether e-scouting from home or navigating on the ground. Combined with a topographic map (on its own or overlaid on aerial imagery as a Hybrid Basemap), the onX Hunt App adds understanding to any landscape and gives hunters an invaluable tool to get one step closer to success. Learn more about Basemaps here.

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Get the lay of the land with aerial satellite images of your hunting areas.

Aerial Hunting Maps

The onX Hunt Satellite Basemap uses aerial imagery to provide a clear image of the terrain ahead. Users are able to identify major features like massive roads and trail networks. Low and medium levels of zoom are almost completely cloud-free with up-to-date imagery. The map provides details that allow users to identify tree cover, rocky outcroppings, and other terrain features. This map thrives at helping users align themselves with their preferred physical landmarks. 

Topographic Hunting Maps

onX Hunt has incorporated the design of the Topo Basemap with the style of classic topo maps that have been used by hunters for many years. This allows users to enjoy the updated technology with a familiar rendering of the landscape. The map features a two-dimensional representation of Earth’s landscape and gives users different information than what satellite imagery alone offers. These features include the steepness of an obstacle ahead and exactly how high you’ll climb to reach a ridge top.

Hybrid Hunting Maps

True to the name, the Hybrid Basemap is a mix of Satellite and Topo. Hunters can experience the combination with the contour lines added to the aerial imagery. The combination results in a highly functional display of the landscape to give hunters a clear view. This map presents users with the information needed to make important decisions about where they want their hunt to take them, whether making plans in the field or in the living room.

Other Alternatives

Google Maps and Google Earth

While Google Maps and Google Earth are free and well known, they do not feature unique hunting features that other services provide. However, scouting is possible with Google Earth. With Google Earth, hunters can spot trails through grassy parts of the terrain. Google Earth features tools that can help hunters find and mark areas where elk are likely to eat and rest. 

Of course, not all hunters want to use a map on a screen. Some aerial maps for hunting come in physical form for those who still prefer to hunt without technology at their side.  

Rugged Maps

Rugged Maps work as a stellar solution for those who prefer a physical map but want an advanced level of detail. These are not paper maps that will wear out shortly after being used. These maps are built for whatever nature throws at them. They can guide hunters in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Northwoods Mapping

Creating custom maps with up-to-date aerial photography, Northwoods Mapping creates maps that can work alongside a free GPS app for a smartphone or tablet. These maps include high-resolution images for every state. They provide options over which aerial photography a hunter prefers. They also include 24k elevation contour lines to give accurate depictions of elevation.

How to Best Use Aerial Maps

The best aerial maps for hunting can stand out from what other maps offer with their enhanced images. However, users should know the basics of how to use aerial maps for a successful hunt.

Aerial maps allow hunters to see exactly what kind of areas lie ahead. The maps will show them where to anticipate water sources, ditches, hills and other distinct parts of a terrain. Knowing where these areas are and when to expect them helps users predict animal movement and where to be in relation.

Looking at an aerial map before setting foot on the terrain can save you time and energy. The map can also help you find the best spots to place cameras or establish food plots in preparation for the season.

Time is also saved using aerial maps by helping you get to a spot the fastest way possible. No more crossing your fingers and hoping your path is the best one. 

The aerial imagery provided by onX Hunt allows hunters to make the most of every step. With the hybrid map, you can identify peaks and ridge tops and with custom waypoints can tell mark exactly where deer sign has been spotted so you can determine the best way to approach. Use the Line Tool to get a measurement of exactly how far away your stand is from a food plot or to measure range. Advanced images with reliable metrics provide the combination needed for the most efficient hunt possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you read an aerial map for deer hunting?

Keep your eye out for important features on the map. Aerial maps for deer hunting should tell you the tone, texture, shape, size, shadow, characteristics, and patterns of a landscape. Once you can identify these features, reading the map should become second nature.

Where are deer funnels on topographic maps?

A topographic map will allow you to see ridges and contour lines. By looking at the contour lines, you can determine where deer are likely to roam and sleep and how they’re likely to move between hot spots. Areas that offer protection are good places to look. 

Where to buy physical hunting maps?

Rugged Maps is a great way to purchase hunting maps. The maps are highly durable and made to be used outdoors. All maps are 34”x44” and cost $44 each. 

Where can I hunt near me?

There are some reliable ways to find nearby places where you can hunt. You should visit the website of your state wildlife agency, which will let you know if you need special permits or if there are specific seasons when hunting is permitted. You can find places to hunt on, which will show land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service, and Bureau of Reclamation. Also, onX Hunt displays public and private land ownership data so there is no confusion about who owns the land you are on. 

Where can I find high quality aerial images?

The USGS lets you download free satellite images of the area of your choice. The high-resolution original file can be downloaded as well as geo-referenced images. 

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View your hunting zones from above with the onX Hunt App.