Scouting for Deer

The main goal of scouting for whitetail deer is to understand the terrain and vegetation in which you hunt. In this guide, we help you gain insight into how to identify bedding areas, food sources, natural funnels, and more to ensure your time in the field is spent as efficiently as possible.

The main goal of scouting for whitetail deer is to understand the terrain and vegetation in which you hunt. In this guide, we help you gain insight into how to identify bedding areas, food sources, natural funnels, and more to ensure your time in the field is spent as efficiently as possible.

Key Mapping Features for Deer Scouting

From analyzing the terrain you’ll be hunting to checking wind forecast the night before, onX Hunt puts the most powerful scouting tool in your hands.

Custom Waypoints

Marking tree stand locations, trail cameras, and crucial deer sign like scrapes or trail intersections will help you gain a better understanding of the property you hunt. Additionally, you’ll gain insight on the adjustments you need to make and identify overlooked areas. Waypoints are the foundational piece to many of our core whitetail features, such as Optimal Wind, Wind Calendar, and Markup Folder Sharing.

Optimal Wind

From any Waypoint on your map, you can set an Optimal Wind for that exact location. This allows you to visualize which stands will provide huntable conditions on any given day. These wind condition forecasts are pulled from the nearest weather station. With more than 100,000 data points, you’re ensured an accurate forecast.

Wind Calendar

Our Wind Calendar is derived from Waypoints that have an Optimal Wind set. The Wind Calendar pulls the Optimal Wind data from each treestand and gives you a morning, afternoon, and evening wind forecast for the next seven days. This tool allows you to easily forecast your next hunt.

Folder Sharing

Do you have hunting buddies that don’t know how to get into your stand locations? Or maybe you moved a trail camera you need your old man to grab? Now, when you tap on a private parcel and scroll to the content bubble, you can add all your content from any property to a folder, allowing you to seamlessly share an entire collection of Markups at once. Hunt more collaboratively this fall.

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Crop Data

Understanding the food sources in your area will help you formulate a better strategy for getting into range of a mature buck. With annual updates to our Crop Data Layers, you’ll know exactly what was planted the previous year. Based on crop rotations and the historical Crop Data in the App, you can easily predict what will be planted anywhere in the country.

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Tree Data

Know exactly which tree types you’re looking at on aerial imagery across the country. The Tree Data Layer helps you locate acorn-producing oaks, young aspen stands, thermal deer cover, and more to take the guesswork out of what the landscape will hold for food sources, cover, and diversity.

Deer Scouting Tips

Deer Scouting Tips

Made by whitetail hunters, for whitetail hunters. Learn the tips and tricks we use every fall to be more efficient in the whitetail woods.

Wind Features For Whitetail Hunting

Duration 4:44
Follow along with Jared Larsen as he explains all of the different wind integrated features inside of the onX Hunt app that can be extremely powerful tools for any whitetail hunter. Utilize optimal wind, setting current wind, and wind calendar to maximize your time in the deer woods this season.

How to Find Deer Habitat: The Tree Species Layer

Duration 10:08
Follow along with Lake Pickle as he explains how to use the tree species layer to identify areas of good deer habitat, as well as pinpoint places to hunt. You can utilize these layers specifically to identify natural edges, overall habitat diversity, food sources, funnels, bedding areas, and more.

How To Use 3D For Whitetail Hunting

Duration 7:00
Follow along with Jared Larsen as he breaks down one of our latest features, 3D Elevation Exaggeration, available on the desktop version of the hunt app. This feature is fantastic for identifying and understanding every single nuance in terrain change that a property has.

Winter Scouting Tactics

Duration 8:52
Winter scouting can be one of the best times of year to find clear and obvious deer sign, especially if there is snow on the ground. Utilize the onX Hunt App to mark heavily used trails, bedding areas, and potential tree stand site to set yourself up for success next fall.

Four Waypoint Tips To Make You a Better Whitetail Hunter

Duration 3:36
Jared from onX walks you through 4 best use cases for using waypoints in whitetail woods. Use photo waypoints to mark and keep tabs on scrapes, Place waypoints on tree stand locations, Enable Optimal Wind on any waypoint, and Share waypoints with other.

How To Use onX Hunt for Whitetail Hunting

Duration 11:36
Follow along with Jared Larsen as he breaks down how to use onX Hunt to plan a whitetail hunt. Utilize the private and public land boundaries layers, Crop Layers, Tree Species and Habitat Layers to aid in scouting your hunt. Add waypoints for tree stands, bedding areas, rubs and scrapes. Plan your next whitetail hunt with onX Hunt.

How To Use the Line Distance Tool for Whitetail Hunting

Duration 2:18
Follow along with Jared Larsen as he showcases how to use the line distance tool to be more effective in the whitetail woods. Measure the distance of the route to your tree stand, Measure distances from tree stands to get your bearings of terrain, or measure distance from a bedding area to your tree stand.

How To E-Scout for Whitetails: Key Terrain Features

Duration 4:08
Follow along with Jared Larsen as he breaks down how to utilize onX Hunt for E-scouting whitetail deer. onX Hunt’s 3D features can help you identify terrain features such as ridge tops and creek bottoms to take advantage of in your hunt.

How To Use Crop Data To Find Big Bucks

Duration 3:46
Follow along with Jared Larsen as he walks through the new Crop Data Layers in onX Hunt. Knowing what crops are in your area will you help you identify deer food sources and deer patterns so you know exactly how to set up for success.

Mapping Public Land Whitetails

In this eleven-part series, The Hunting Public walks you through how to approach every scenario you could possibly encounter when hunting deer on public or private land.

Part 1 – Mapping Public Land Whitetails | Finding Public Land to Hunt

Part 1 of our 6 part mapping series. Starting with the big picture of finding public land to hunt whitetails.


Part 2 – Mapping Public Land Whitetails | Identifying Access and Hunting Pressure

Part 2 – Identifying access and hunting pressure.


Part 3 – Mapping Public Land Whitetails | Scouting Access Points

Part 3 – Scouting access points on public land.


Part 4 – Mapping Public Land Whitetails | Identifying Bedding Areas

Part 4 – Mapping bedding areas.


Part 5 – Mapping Public Land Whitetails | Scouting Buck Bedding Areas

Part 5 – Scouting buck bedding areas.


Part 6 – Mapping Public Land Whitetails | Q and A

Part 6 – Facebook live discussion of our mapping series.


HOW TO HUNT PONDS! – Mapping Whitetails

We’re scouting a pond on public land and discuss strategies for hunting bucks near water!


HOW TO HUNT OPEN COUNTRY! – Mapping Whitetails

We’re scouting overlooked open country habitat and find where the bucks are bedding!


HOW TO HUNT BIG WOODS BUCKS! – Mapping Whitetails

Aaron, Ted, and Jake are scouting big timber for bucks!


HOW TO HUNT RIVER BOTTOMS! – Mapping Whitetails

Zach, Ted, and Dylan are scouting a river bottom for bucks!


OUR FAVORITE TERRAIN TACTICS FOR WHITETAILS! – Live Q and A Podcast | Mapping Whitetails

Live Q and A podcast discussing how to scout and hunt four different habitat features!


Deer Hunting Educational Blogs

Scout deer like a pro

With a comprehensive set of features for deer hunting, you can’t go wrong with onX Hunt.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start hunting whitetail deer?

Interested in hunting whitetail deer but not sure where to start? Read our guide on How To Start Hunting for tips on how to dive into the world of whitetail hunting, what gear you need, and how to gain knowledge.

When do I start scouting whitetail?

An expert hunter is always scouting. With onX Hunt, you can scout from the comfort of your home all throughout the year. It’s critical to put boots on the ground as hunting season approaches to get the lay of the land and study deer movement.

When do I stop scouting whitetail?

It’s important to not alert your prey to your presence right before a hunt. Ensure that you have done all of your scouting in advance of hunting season to prevent spooking bucks.

See our other onX e-scouting guides for elkwaterfowl and upland birds.