Learning how to locate funnels for deer and elk can be of great benefit for those wishing to hunt these large game animals with using either a gun, bow or camera. Locating funnels is often paramount to success in getting opportunities to view such elusive creatures. Grab your hiking boots, long pants and pack a lunch because locating funnels for elk and deer is often an all-day adventure and one that will require a few extra items for success.
You'll need the following:
- Topographic maps
- Aerial photos (not necessary, but nice to have if available)
- Red pen
- Green pen
- Use the aerial photograph to locate deer and elk funnels. If you don't have an aerial photograph, skip this step. You may check with the National Geographic Survey–sometimes aerial photos may be obtained from this website. If you have an aerial photo, take it out. Mark important obstacles using a green pen. Things you should mark are fence lines, roads, ponds, houses and fields. Mark anything that may present itself as either an obstacle or a food source for deer and elk.
- Look for deer and elk hunting funnels on your topographic map. These maps are wonderful road maps to the terrain in the area you plan to hunt. Some of the better maps will also show timber areas as green streaks across the map. Make a copy of the topographic map for the area you intend to hunt deer and elk. This copy will be important later when we begin our scouting session. Look for areas where terrain features, such as a "Y" in a hollow might create an intersection. Since deer and elk often like to funnel through these areas, this would be an excellent place to scout. Circle it with a pen. Also mark slight saddles or low areas in the center of long ridges, breaks in fence lines, hollows that funnel into fields, areas where timber leads up to a road edge, and other geographical features you can visualize on your map as looking like a deer or elk funnel. Circle every instance of these two features with the red pen.
- Now that you've located the deer and elk funnels in your area, its time to investigate. As you may have figured out, the real work in finding deer and elk funnels is at the desk with maps. The fun part is to take your maps to the woods and determine how well you did. Grab your long pants, boots and lunch. Grab your maps and head to the woods to test them out. Check each area you marked by scouting for tracks and sign of deer or elk that are in the area. Make notes on each location to help you determine your next hunting location.
If you are persistent with this strategy of finding funnels, you will have consistent success even in unfamiliar terrain. If you are fortunate enough to hunt the same terrain over again, keep records from year to year and your knowledge of the deer and elk hunting funnels will grow.