Google Earth

Google Earth

 Enhance your Digital Google Earth Scouting with the use of the Hill Shade tool.

When trying to get the lay of the land to determine pinch points and travel routes of deer, apply hill shade to your aerial imagery and tilt the viewing angle. Doing this will enhance the view and make hills, valleys, saddles and pinch points stand out much better than the use of a flat aerial image.

Hill Shade

Hill shade is only available on the downloaded version of Google Earth Pro. It is free just like the online version but has many more options available to you. If you don't have Google Earth Pro downloaded on your computer, it is available here: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/#earth-pro

If you are unfamiliar with downloading programs "safely" to your computer, ask for assistance so you can be sure you are downloading a safe program and installing it correctly. The link above is directly from Google but it is still good to have a more computer proficient partner help you if you do not trust your download and install abilities.

Once you have the program installed, open it and navigate to the area you wish to scout.

Aerial View

You can see here that I have zoomed to an example area.

If you analyze the aerial image you can see that it is not flat ground but the changes in topography is subtle.

Hill Shade

Hill Shade Tool

Now, by applying hill shade you can make the landscape pop out. The tool is located in the top toolbar shown circled here:

After clicking this button you will have a slide bar tool displayed and by sliding it back and forth shade will be created on hillsides to mimic the location of the sun during the day.

Mobirise

Hill Shade On

The landscape is dramatically changed and your ability to read the contours is greatly enhanced.

Give it a try on land you have access to for improved hunting or on new land you will be exploring. It will help you understand deer movements where the natural land features create more commonly used pathways for wildlife.

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