For a limited time you can get access to an interactive hunting map from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s (RMEF) Hunt Planner.
The RMEF hunting maps can help you with planning your hunt or fishing trips. Normally this feature is reserved for RMEF members only. To get access you will need to create a free account.
The tool allows you to create and save your own custom maps. You can mark your particular spots and also view land ownership information courtesy of Hunting GPS Maps.
It includes the following hunting maps for these states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
Screenshot of RMEF hunting map:
THE GOOD AND THE BAD
The map overlays a variety of information on to what appears to be Google Maps; however, it only shows land ownership for Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming. I love that it shows the states units/districts and land ownership together. This is very helpful as most interactive maps do not show land ownership.
When looking at land ownership, it was a unclear what each of the colors meant. Based on my BLM (Bureau of Land Management) map experience, I assume the tan was for BLM land and white means private.
The hunting map also shows current elk range, historic elk range, weather, and also features links to the states regulations and license information.
It was not very user friendly when it came to marking your spots for hunting. It was very generic with no GPS coordinates or naming ability. I wish it would let you download your coordinates from a handheld GPS or enter them manually. When marking your spots, you must first create a saved map.
I did not like that you could not make the map larger on your screen.
Overall I found the map to be pretty helpful as I would normally have to pull out several different types of maps to get this kind of data.
This will not be my map of choice because of the lack of GPS coordinates / interface and the printing options. I would only use it to supplement my preferred hunting map, Colorado National Geographic TOPO!
Hunting Map Resources (these are not all free):
- National Geographic Topo! ($)
This is my favorite map software. This is vital to my scouting and tracking game harvest and sightings over time. It works well with almost every handheld GPS. I also get the waterproof inkjet paper and print out my own maps. ($50)
- HuntingGPSmap – They have microSD chips for you GPS with a choice of states. These gps hunting maps are amazing and have some one-of-a-kind features: find public land, discover new access, know private land ownership, locate yourself on paper maps easily, see game management units, access forest service roads and trails, map your best route with 24K Topo
- Colorado Hunting Map: Game Management Unit Interactive Maps! (free)
“The new Colorado Hunting Atlas allows you to view a game management unit and big game concentration areas on top of Bing™ base maps and aerial photos. The main limitation is the inability to make it larger and it doesn’t work with your handheld GPS.”
- My Topo ($)
I have used this service and was pleased. “GMU Maps for the Western US public land hunter with 1:100,000 Bureau of Land Management base maps with state hunt area or GMU boundaries. The BLM maps include public land ownership boundaries and are a great intermediate-scale resource for scouting hunting areas, planning travel routes, and inspecting the terrain. They are printed on durable, lightweight waterproof paper and folded for rugged field use. The maps are priced from $14.95 to $34.95 each depending on the hunt unit size.”
Some of my favorite print maps that can most likely be found at your local Colorado Department of Wildlife:
- BLM (Bureau of Land Management) – These are best at showing property ownership; private, public, forest, and BLM land. They also can be good at showing possible access.
- National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map (ex. Rocky Mountain National Park) – These are great at showing the possible trails available in your hunting area.
- National Forest Maps – These maps are helpful in showing trails, roads, streams, lakes, facilities available, campgrounds and picnic areas. Each map covers all or part of one national forest, and the scale is generally 1/2 inch per mile (1:126,720). These maps do not show topography of the land (i.e., the natural features such as mountains, valleys, and plains illustrated through contour lines on the map).
- Colorado GMU Map (Game Management Units) – This map shows specifically how the state has divided up the game management units and where there borders are.
I use a combinations of many of these maps once I determine exactly where I will be hunting.
Do you have a favorite hunting map resource? I would love to hear about it.