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Where to Find Training/Hunting Places and Partners to Train With

by Michelle Linnane

Whether you are an avid hunter, a seasoned field trialer or a hunt test enthusiast, finding good land to pursue your passion on is often a difficult undertaking. The task of finding people to work with to bring along your hunting dog, tune him up for the fall hunting season, or to simply throw marks for your hunt test/field trial dog is always a problem.

Finding Places to Train & Hunt

Topographic maps
A topographic map uses contour lines to represent the shape and elevation of the land. Geological features, such as mountains, valleys, streams, lakes, rivers, and vegetation are identified, along with man-made features such as roads, transmission lines, and major buildings.

Topographic maps are used by industries such as engineering, energy exploration, natural resource conservation, environmental management, public works design, and commercial and residential planning. In addition, they are invaluable for outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, camping, hunting, and fishing.Purchase a topographic map of your state. You can order topographic maps from the Gundogs Online Pro Shop. I live in Connecticut, but I am close to the New York state border so I have topographic maps for CT and NY. A topographic map shows more than contours. The map includes symbols that represent such features as streets, buildings, streams, woods, and water. The first features usually noticed on a topographic map are the area features such as vegetation (green), water (blue), some information added during update (purple), and densely built-up areas (gray or red). You can take this a step farther by using the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) web site. I looked at the site and clicked on topographic maps and came to this site which allowed me enter a location and I then received an aerial map of Danbury. I was also able to display the same area as a topographic map. These images showed Candlewood Lake.

In past years, many people I know have rented a plane for an hour looking for new water. If you decide to rent a plane wait for the leaves to fall off the trees for obvious reasons. This is not a bad way to find new places to hunt. Sometimes I find water just by driving around. This is why I like to have the topographic maps in the truck as it shows all the local roads. My maps never come out of my truck and they have come in handy many times.

Get permission
Once you have found a place don’t forget to ask for the landowner’s permission to use the water or land. If you don’t have areas to train in you need to get out and look around. Unless you live in the middle of New York City there are always areas to train. You have to be willing to find them. Every year, I always try and add 3 new areas to my training grounds, as we usually lose at least one or two. If someone takes you to a new area, respect that area and don’t go back there without the person who has obtained the permission. I cannot say enough about respecting other people’s training and hunting areas.
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