Scouting a NEW unit/gmu


Scouting a NEW unit/gmu can be a daunting task.

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.

Now what?

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.


See the Learning Curve, which covers using the web and phone to scout.

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