I wanted to take this opportunity to share my personal experiences and opinions associated with another form of hunting I became involved with a couple years ago and been having fun with year round ever since. I purchased a video camera and all the accessories to start capturing all my outdoor adventures. Video hunting has enabled me to capture video year round.
My ultimate goal is to become proficient in video editing and produce videos that are for public consumption. Not there yet. I live in a state where Sunday hunting isn't allowed which provides a perfect opportunity for me to go out with minimal activity in the woods. My main focus has been on whitetail deer and turkeys. I keep my video equipment in my truck at all times. My family and friends think I’m crazy but on more than a few occasions I’ve been able to capture video that far exceeds what I’ve seen while hunting. I captured a few long beards on camera in the middle of nowhere during a road trip I took to West Virginia.
It took me a while to learn how to use my camera. It didn't take long to have an appreciation for those who film hunts on a professional basis. I’ve shot tons of video only to find out small portions have the quality to make it to the big screen. I started by setting up on open fields covered with CRP. This enabled me to fine tune my video camera operations and techniques. It's amazing all the animals you can capture in one setting from deer, ducks, geese, hawks, owls, and rabbits. This happened on my first day out. I soon learned that the landscape, foliage, and weather have as much to do with your video as do the animals in them.
Another part that I really enjoy is how all standard hunting and scouting practices apply, such as being scent free, wind direction, scents, feeding, and bedding areas and so forth. Once I somewhat mastered using my camera it was time to take it to the tree stand. I started out using a buddy stand at first. This gave me the opportunity to get comfortable above the ground. Then I started taking my video equipment while hunting from my climbing stand, that was a challenge in and of its self. Don't know if you can imagine what it's like carrying all your hunting and camera gear on a hunt but you learn very quickly what is needed and what's not.
I captured quite a bit of video during the first season. The highlight was during the rut when I had bucks chasing does all around me, no shooters at first, but then I saw what turned out to be a Pope & Young 10pt at about 60 yards. At first I grabbed my bow and then put it back down based on the buck and doe not getting any closer than 50 yards through the brush. I picked up my camera and shot some video. He continued to chase the doe out of camera view so I decided to blow my grunt tube to see what would happen.
With the camera in one hand and a grunt tube in the other I blew on the tube and almost immediately the doe came running right past my stand at about 5 yards. I guess she was trying to lose the 10 pointer. I put my camera down and grabbed my bow once again and here he came. He crossed the path of the scent wafer I’d put out earlier and started making his way right to it. As luck would have it he offered me a broadside shot at 25 yards. I made the shot and was able to retrieve the buck about 50 yards from my stand which I had just captured minutes before on my camera. What a rush knowing I had him on video. I haven't gotten him back from the taxidermy yet but have watched the video many times to relive the moment. My next video adventures will include capturing my friend's hunts and maybe even capturing my own hunts on camera. If you haven't done it before, I highly recommend capturing your own outdoor adventures and sharing them with your family and friends.