When it comes to navigating the backcountry while hunting in the modern world, I still fall back on a trusty Backroad Hunting Topo Maps of any of my WMU (Wildlife Management Units). I can always rely on these world-class, large scale topographic maps because the batteries won’t die and the service is always on, I don’t have to wait for a page to load or worry about seeing the photo as a whole. And now that BRMB has print-on-demand large scale hunting Topos, this is my go-to resource for all my hunting Topos.
No matter the level of hunter or adventurer you are, you should always know how to read a PRINTED map and use a compass, as well as knowing what direction the sun rises and sets.
Goose season is on in most areas around the country right now, as well as grouse and both of these hunts are great for introducing novice hunters into the sport. By using a couple of BRMB large scale topographic maps within teams, we start out by locating our hunting area on the map and designating a meeting area because Goose hunting involves a lot of teamwork with the ability to talk and hang out in breaks between flocks. Learning to call, setting up decoys, patterns, what they eat, and just migratory in general is all exciting and gives you the basics to be enthralled into serious goose hunting down the road.
If your passion lies with walking in the bush first thing in the morning with that thin layer of frost and sunlight glittering off the pines then partridge/grouse hunting is for you (and as you can tell, for me). Partridge or Grouse hunting is the perfect place to start for novices and kids. In fact, my kids grew up in this environment, and whether you’re driving down a dirt road or walking down a barely passable logging road, this type of hunting allows for time to chat, walk, and bond all the while spotting for grouse. I also love it as it gives a chance to help both newbies and kids learn about orienteering and what to do if you get lost in the backcountry while hunting and adventuring.
Tools of the trade for Partridge or Grouse hunting include using a shotgun in both of these hunts. Your options are varied from semi to manual pump and 12 gauge to 20 gauge. There are so many options out there to fit a shotgun properly to almost any frame small or large with any length of pull. I use my grandfather’s’ Marlin 16 gauge over and under for grouse but sometimes I take Weatherby PA-08 pump for a spin and as well for Waterfowl. This goose season my partner is a Winchester SX4.
These types of hunts allow a novice to learn about mapping, direction, survival, firearm types and actions, choke tube varieties, migration, bird recognition and so much more. There is more to hunting than just pulling the trigger, it is an entire lifestyle.
When I am out shooting an episode for #JUSTHUNT, my hunting show on Canada Hunts on the Wild TV Network, we usually bring a few different methods of navigation. There is a lot of time, planning and money invested in shooting a hunting trip like this for TV so when we’re deep in the backcountry of Alberta or Ontario hunting moose, deer or bear, we come with a purpose, we don’t want to be slowed down by questionable maps and directions.
I usually bring along my trusty BRMB Topos, a Backroad Mapbook of the area and even Backroad GPS Maps. My team can never have too many navigation tools when it comes to staying within any designated hunting unit or zone, within distance to communicate with each other and of course just to make the most of our time hunting in the backcountry.
Until next time! #justhunt