3 Tips to Find Your New Secret Spot
Cameron Bissell- Contributing Editor
3 Tips to Find Your New Secret Spot
With the global shutdown of 2020 many people found themselves looking to the outdoors. Whether they were looking to get away from the noise of zoom calls and the city, find a new way to exercise, or for many folks looking to secure food instead of relying on grocery stores; they added to the number of people outside. As outdoorsmen and conservationists, we love more people enjoying the woods. However, many of us have had to share what was once a “secret” or low use spot with more people. So how do we find new spots to hike, forage, hunt, and fish? Here is a rundown of 3 tips to help you find a new spot.
1: Get on the Internet
It seems counter intuitive that you can find a new piece of ground by sitting on your phone but its true. Google earth can give you a bird’s eye view of a clearing next to an oak patch that should be money for deer, or a sunken creek bed in your home lake that will hold big bass all summer long. I use OnX maps as they also contain topography and property lines so I can keep from straying onto someone’s property. This can also fill up the time between seasons or a fun way to stay connected to your home turf when off on a business trip (protip avoid looking at these during a meeting).
2: Get to Know Your Neighbors
Raise your hand if you’ve ever driven past a piece of land and said “I know there’s geese in that field” or “I wish I could fish that farm pond”. Getting to fish or hunt those properties may be a simple as asking. Be polite, introduce yourself and be a good neighbor. If there’s some hesitancy that’s fine, the end goal is for you to build a community with lasting benefit all parties. If you are able to leave a business card and potentially an offer of help your sincerity and respect will go a long way.
A number 2: part B to this is listening to your neighbors and friends. On more than one occasion I have been invited to hunt with a customer of mine simply by listening to them complain about animals destroying their gardens, when you offer to remove the hogs rooting up the flower beds the response is sometimes “how much sausage can we get?”. Finding a fishing spot may require a slightly different tact. Most fisherman are tight lipped about areas that produce well but you can often break the ice with a statement about your spots or techniques. Dropping a statement like “have you ever fished the pier? It doesn’t matter the tide all I can ever catch is seatrout” any decent fisherman won’t let you leave without showing you a phone full of “best catches”. Keep working the angle of give and take and you may wind up with some good information and a new fishing buddy.
3: Bite the Bullet
As frustrating as this is it’s not a bad piece of advice. I’ll out myself here and say it would have saved me a lot of miles driven had I just listened. If you have a spot you love then love it more. If your bass lake is now crowded with pleasure boaters try using finesse baits or fish after dark. there is no more exciting sound than a fish crashing a surface plug in the dark. If another dove hunter or six want to hunt the same field as you make it an event, pool decoys and wager the worst shot buys lunch. Extra activity in your area will probably affect the patterns of animals that live there, but you have an edge you know where they bed or forage. Take your hard-earned knowledge and dial into what the game is doing and how they are reacting to the extra human traffic