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Documenting your Hunting Adventures

Humans have been documenting their hunts for thousands of years. We find cave paintings from many hundreds of years ago adorned with images of bighorn sheep, elk and deer. The hunting tradition must have fostered fond memories for those ancient hunters, much like they do for us today. Photos, videos, taxidermy, and found objects can all serve as great reminders and help us remember some of our hunts more vividly – and in today’s world of social media and internet connectivity – we can share those digital reminders instantly with friends, family, and strangers across the globe.

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Today we have the ability to capture and view our photos and video instantly. Even our cell phones take better pictures than we could take on an expensive camera 20 years ago. Through this article, and subsequent articles, we’ll investigate how we can better document our hunts through photography and videography. While our posterity may not be interested in keeping around a bunch of our old dead animals, hopefully they’ll enjoy viewing our photos, videos, and reading our stories.

We’ll cover the following topics over the next few weeks, so subscribe to our inbox delivery and receive an email when we publish a new post.

Equipment:

We’re fortunate today to have literally hundreds of camera options, from micro cameras, to large cameras with expensive lenses –many of which will take fantastic still AND video images.  It’s really up to you in regards to which make and model you like best. Multiple cameras are a must, and depending on your style of hunting you’ll want options to both zoom to far distances, and quickly grab action shots  when needed. Take a look at the Canon G20, Canon G30, Sony FDR-AX33, and the Sony HDR-CX900. There are many other cameras that capture HD video and provide a decent  zoom lense as well. Of course, everyone needs an action camera  as well.

The leader in point of view (POV) action cameras is GoPro. Their latest offering is the GoPro Hero 4 Black which is one of the best cameras for most types of hunting. Remember these POV cameras lack zoom, but are fantastic to get close range, time lapse, reaction shots, and filler material for your hunting videos. Most of these cameras will also take very good still photos. If you’re looking for something on a smaller budget (under $150) look at the GoPro Hero, or the action cameras from Contour.

Cameras, however, are only part of the equipment equation. Tripods, pan heads, audio equipment, sliders, drones, battery chargers, etc. all play an important part in producing smooth and quality video and photos.

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Tactics:

There’s a lot of ways to film and hunt, but realize that whether you’re filming yourself, or bringing along a cameraman — hunting and capturing it all on film makes the hunt much harder. A few years back, I was assigned to be cameraman on my father’s Wyoming bighorn sheep hunt. We purchased a new HD camcorder and thought we had it all figured out. We had no way to recharge equipment and thought we’d wait until the kill shot to start capturing footage. When it came down to the moment of the kill, I set up the shot. The wind was blowing and I started filming the sheep. I stopped after a few minutes to wait for Dad to be ready for his shot. He whispered over the wind and asked if I was ready. I wasn’t and replied that I wasn’t, but he didn’t hear me. He shot, the sheep jumped — but they were out of frame. I missed the shot he wanted most. While we had a great time, it would have been better if I would have nailed that shot on video.

Some types of hunting are much easier to film, like shooting from a tree stand or blind. Spot and stalk hunting is much more challenging to film. In the end, it is worth it.

Plan your Story:

Almost every production you see on television is created using a script and shot lists. While you don’t know the specifics of how a hunt will end, you can typically anticipate a scenario or two that will happen during the hunt. I find that creating a list of photos or video shots before the hunt happens will help you tell your story the way you want, whether or not the hunt ends with an animal on the ground. By planning what shots you want to take, it’s much easier to have the content you needed for the final edit of your film, blog, or journal entry.

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Shoot, Shoot, Shoot:

I’ve never wished I had taken fewer photos or less video during a hunt. The bad stuff can all be sorted and deleted later. I find that keeping my camera very accessible allows me to take a lot more photos. If it’s tucked away in your pack, you’re much less likely to get it out when you see something. Sometimes the best photos come at unexpected times, and of unexpected objects. That being said — take the time to set up your shots as well. When taking harvest (trophy shots) photos. Taking a few moments to clean and reposition the animal can create a much more respectful image. So keep your camera out, and be sure to share your stories, photos, and videos with us!

Have Fun!

The point of documenting a hunt is to remember it fondly. It’s easy to lose patience at times when trying to film or perfectly photograph a hunt. Don’t let it get in the way of having a good hunt. If you’re there to harvest an animal, or spend time with friends/family — don’t let your camera get in the way of why you’re really out there.

elkhair

 

Build a DIY Bow Rack

DIY PVC Bow Rack for Target Shooting
Lightweight – Inexpensive – Easy to Build

When you’re out on the archery range or in your backyard targeting shooting, getting ready for the upcoming hunting season, how many times do you find yourself trying to find a place to set your bow down while you retrieve your arrows? I know it can be inconvenient to find such a place where you don’t get your bow dirty. Well, not anymore! This simple and inexpensive bow rack is just what you need to keep your bow off the ground and a place to put your arrows while target shooting. This simple DIY tutorial will line out everything you need to build your own Bow Rack right at home.


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Material & Tools Needed:
• 1 – 10’ stick of 1” PVC
• 4 – 1” PVC T’s
• 2 – 1” PVC 90 degree elbows
• 4 – 1” PVC end caps
• PVC cement
• PVC cement primer or sand paper
• Foam insulation for 1” copper pipe
• Hack saw or sawsall
• Tape measure
• Spray paint (optional)

Measurements
These measurements can be adjusted based on the overall length of your bow, since not all bows are created equally.
Measure out and cut the following lengths form the 10’ stick of PVC:
• 1 @ 30”
• 2 @ 12”
• 6 @ 10”
• 2 @ 3”

BowRack_1

Base Configuration:
• 2 – 12” sticks (middle)
• 4 – 10” sticks (outer legs)
• 2 – 3” sticks (arrow holders)
• 3 – T’s
• 2 – 90 degree elbows (arrow holders)
• 2 – end caps

Use one ‘T’ fitting in the middle with the ‘T’ point up for the top portion to fit into. Use the 12” pieces to extend out of the middle ‘T’ and into the two outside ‘T’s for the legs. Insert the 10” pieces into the outside ‘T’s on both sides. Choose a side to be the front of the rack where your arrows will be placed. Connect the 90 degree elbows to the other end of the 10” pieces and point them up. Insert the 3” pieces into the other end of the 90 degree elbow. Finally, use the end caps on the other 10” pieces to complete the base.

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Top or Rack Configuration:
• 1 – 30” stick (may be longer depending on bow length)
• 2 – 10” sticks
• 1 – T
• 2 – end caps

Now, connect the 30” piece to the bottom end of the ‘T’ fiiting and the two 10” pieces to the remaining open ends of the ‘T’ fitting. Place the end caps on the other end of the 10” pieces to complete the top portion of the rack.


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Overall Configuration:
Fit everything together before cementing or gluing anything to make sure everything looks right. Once you are satisfied with the setup you can now cement the base and top portion separately. I recommend not gluing the top portion to the base for easy storage, but that is up to you. I also recommend not gluing the top portion end caps on in order to make it easy for the foam replacement.

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Speaking of the foam, which is optional but nice to have, measure the distance between the top portion ‘T’ and the end caps on each side for the foam. Cut the foam according to the measurements and slide them on each side and replace the end caps.
Once you have painted it the way you want it and glued everything together you are ready to go! It’s that simple!


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