The making of hunting videos has come a long way in the past twenty some years.  In the beginning, heavy and very expensive cameras were the rule.  To make a simple video, one had to have the subject of the video, a camera man and a sound man.  No longer is this the case. 

Today, a hunter with a small camera can make a video of his own hunt all by himself. 

One thing that has not changed is the need to have the camera steady and in focus.  The use of a tripod is mandatory.  Kevin Tate of Mossy Oak maintains that there are two considerations in choosing a good tripod. 

For a turkey hunt, choose one without a brace midway down the legs so that you can pull it into your lap.  If you plan to use it on a spot and stalk type of hunt then a lightweight model with carbon legs is good. 

Tate recommends a tripod with a fluid head for smooth pans and steady operation.  In the end the product is more watchable. 

Phillip Vanderpool from Hunters Specialties has additional tips for the hunter wanting to video hunts. 

Be sure to learn how to hit the record button and to focus.  Be skillful in using manual focus.  Vanderpool says that he sees time and time again when one goes out without practicing with the camera and he forgets to hit the record button. He explains that it is easy to get too excited about the hunt. 

Learning to use manual focus is important if you have leaves or branches or something in between you and the animal.  You can still get it in focus.

Phillip also recommends using a tripod, and taking along extra tapes and batteries.  He reports numerous instances while doing a seminar or show someone from the audience reports that a big buck was coming in and the battery died. 

Make sure you have extra batteries and be sure they are charged. 

A lens cleaning cloth like you would use for eyeglasses can be used to keep the dirt off the lens. 

Vanderpool stresses it is important to not zoom in and out all the time.  “Try to have a smooth focus on the animal,” says Phillip.  “Remember when the animal is walking toward you all you have to do is zoom back at the same speed and that will bring you back into focus.”  When in doubt Phillip recommends you back out on your zoom and you will come back into focus.  A lot of guys try to zoom in too tight and they lose the focus.  To grab that focus, probably the easiest way is to back out.  Just widen out. 

Before taking to the field, Phillip stresses that you must practice, practice, and practice just like you do with other hunting skills. 

For the deer stand hunter there is a little tree arm that you can actually put on the tree and mount your camera.  Your footage will is more stable and looks so much better. 

If taping with some one else communications is everything.  Be sure to ask your buddy to let you know when he is going to shoot.  Then take your hands off the camera if he is shooting with a firearm.  You do not have to take them very far off, just enough so you will not jump when he pulls that trigger.  There is no one alive that can hold a camera steady at the sound of gunfire. 

Another helpful tip from Vanderpool is to take a trash bag in case it starts raining.  Sometime we will all get into that situation.  If you can not afford a good rain jacket, a trash bag will work for you too.  Phillip usually takes a rain jacket to lay over his camera if caught in a bad situation.  It can keep that camera from getting wet. 

These tips from the experts whose work you see often on the outdoor channels and on DVDs will go along way toward your own video begin a welcome remembrance of your hunt.



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  1. Pingback: MAKING YOUR OWN HUNTING VIDEO « Don Gasaway's Blog | Hunting Reviews

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