Pandemic Scouting

It seems that a damper has been placed on many hunters due to spring turkey licenses being suspended or canceled in some great hunting destinations. Fortunately, many hunters will not be affected, but if you are a non-resident and had your eyes set on; South Carolina, Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, or a hand full of other states this spring, I’m sorry to say it but you are out of luck. I do believe that we all must do our part during times like this, but it does alter a tradition that gives us something to look forward to after a long winter. Hopefully, these temporary restrictions will not be with us too much longer. It may seem like we are all trapped in our homes, but it may be the perfect opportunity to start planning for your next out-of-state hunt. With all the free time we seem to have, some in-home scouting can provide optimal preparation for the next time we can get out and do what we love. While we are confined to our homes, there are a few great resources that you can take advantage of to plan for the fall season.


You may be familiar with the many platforms that have come to market which make scouting from our phone or computer fast and easy. Well, with a little more time on your hands this spring, take advantage of everything that these products have to offer by thumbing through them and looking at all the different functions. I personally use OnX. I find it to be very user friendly and full of information. Personally, I considered myself pretty good at using the app since I was using it in the field when I didn’t want to fiddle with my GPS. The app was perfect to use while trying to chase down a bull or turkey. With all my current downtime, I discovered several features and layers that I had not taken advantage of which made me realize I had only skimmed the surface.

Taking the time to sign in to my account and look at the hunting areas I am curious at for fall. It really makes a difference when you go from a 4-inch to a 20-inch screen.

Use this time to really get to know your product of choice to get to the right place come fall. It may seem trivial, but the devil is always in the details when it comes to hunting, especially on public land. So, if it is possible to be just a little smarter and know one more thing then all the other hunters out chasing the same animal that you are, it’s worth your time.

State Resources

One of the most overlooked places for hunting information is the actual information published by state agencies. Most states publish statistics on everything from horn measurements and harvest location to the more popular draw odds. Many hunters overlook these, mostly because they can be hard to decipher. They are meant for the recording of data and information to monitor the overall management plan per species within each individual state. So, there is really no set format that often scares hunters away from this information.

These are both examples of FREE state-provided resources that you can use to plan your next hunt.

With some spare time on your hands and a little determination, you can gather some very useful facts from these FREE resources. I have discovered some great overlooked hunting locations from this type of information. I now spend an unhealthy amount of time poring over them and with just a little work you can find some priceless information too.


During this pandemic, 90% of Americans are under some kind of “stay at home order” which has driven many to social media and other content providers to pass the time. This includes forums, especially hunting forums. These can be great places to ask other hunters questions that they may not be normally willing to share the answers to. Perhaps, they have never been on a forum until they had time provided by these events to check them out. Either way, you can get very specific with your questions and can speak with hunters that may have some great tips on gear and tactics. Maybe they have hunted a unit that you are interested in and are willing to share some information that has made them successful in the past.

I will admit I don’t get on them often, but forums can be a great place to get your questions answered.

It can be hard to focus on the positive, especially when we feel like we have had something taken away from us. I know personally I was bummed out when I saw a few of the states I was eyeing, postpone their spring turkey tags. However, I have made the decision to focus on a more positive and hopeful process of planning my next exciting hunt. I believe with a few great accessible resources that we can all access from home, it may help lessen the sting.

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About the author: Jake Wallace was introduced to the shotgun sports after breaking his hips when he was 11, which forced him into a wheelchair for 23 months. He saw a shooting program on one of the outdoor networks and thought that it was something he could do from a chair. Jake started shooting ATA from a chair and progressed to international when he was able to walk again. He loves being in the outdoors because nothing clears his mind like sitting in the woods or on a boat. Jake was part of Lindenwood University’s history of success having graduated from there in 2012 after being a part of four ACUI National Championships for the Lions from 2009-12. He currently resides in Colorado Springs where he’s a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete. JAKE WALLACE: Hunting for Trap Superiority Competition Highlights • 2018 World Cup Gold Medalist, Mixed Team • 2017 Fall Selection, Silver Medalist • 2017 World Championships Team Member • 2017 Qatar Open, First Place • 2016 Fall Selection Match Champion • 2015 Shotgun Team Selection, Silver Medalist • 2014 USA Shooting National Championships, Gold Medalist • 2014 Championship of the Americas, Silver Medalist – shot a perfect 125 in qualification to tie World Record • 2014 Fall Selection, Silver Medalist • 2014 Spring Selection, Bronze Medalist • 2013 Granada World Cup, Sixth Place • 2013 World Clay Target Championships Team Member • 2013 National Championships, Bronze Medalist • 2013 Spring Selection Match, Bronze Medalist • 2010 World Championships Junior Team, Silver Medalist (w/ M. Gossett) • 2010 World Championships Junior Team Member

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