After you have decided where to apply, then you draw your tag, you have 2 choices:
Guided or UnGuided
A number of things will influence this decision, but this piece of content is written for a person going unguided. Let’s assume this NEW area is 6+ hours from your home and you have NEVER been in the unit. Lets say you have done all of the research you can do via the web and phone.
A Scene Size-Up is something I adopted from my career as a structure firefighter. The Initial Scene Size-Up is practiced by emergency responders in order to allow them to manage an emergency scene properly. Often, when you show up at a fire, vehicle incident or emergency scene you can get sucked into the chaos. As the intial person in charge, you need to get a 360 perspective in order to make the best educated decisions about scene safety, tactics, triage, resources and such…
At 1:50 seconds I discuss doing a 360 on my elk hunt last year, which was done completely from the highways:
I apply the Scene Size-Up philosophy to hunting, because I think it’s relevant. I want to hunt/guide in the country which holds the biggest animals, in the type of country where they are most killable for the resources I have. If I don’t get the complete picture, I could be missing out on the opportunity to hunt the best country for my style.
After the initial 360 or size-up.
Once I get the BIG picture, I then will go to work with my vehicle or quad. I will drive every piece of country I believe to be the best country for my abilities and resources. I will look for water sources, food sources, animal sign and glassing points. I will take notes of every piece of relevant information and mark them on my maps and GPS.
At this point, I will finally feel educated enough to start planning my glassing, hiking or overnight backpacking scouting trips.