How To Film Your Hunt
By Bone Cold Media and Forever Wild
So, you want to film your hunts? It’s a great idea — and not too difficult with the right equipment, a little practice, and a bit of luck. Take the following tips from Bone Cold Media and Forever Wild and you’ll be ready for action.
Forever Wild got started in three easy steps
Step 1: Buy a camera.
Step 2: Get a basic tripod and camera arm.
Step 3: Start filming hunts!
While that may sound simplified, there wasn’t too much more than that. All that’s missing is the time spent getting comfortable behind a camera. Once you have that, there’s no reason why you can’t expect a good result when filming your hunts.
To get started, ask yourself: what do you want film your hunts for?
How good a camera you need will depend on if you want videos for personal viewing at home, or are hoping to post them on a web-based platform like YouTube, or even intend to broadcast them on television. For showing your friends and posting the occasional Tik Tok, you can likely get away with the camera on your phone. If you want the results to look more professional, however, you’ll need a higher resolution camera with more features.
And that leads to the next question: what's your budget? With so many camera options at varying price points it can get overwhelming.
You might get started by finding a good used video camera. Remember, you can always upgrade later if you get more serious and develop a talent.
Video cameras come in a variety of formats and sizes, so do your research. Once you have a camera in hand, have learned how to frame your subject, and feel comfortable filming, then you’re nearly ready to head out on a hunt with it.
All you need now is a good tripod or a tree arm for stabilization. These keep your shots locked down, so your audience doesn’t feel motion sick. They also leave your hands free for hunting! A remote toggle attachment that starts and stops recording will further reduce unwanted camera movement.
Things get a bit more complicated if you’re hunting from a treestand or a saddle, and if your shot setup depends on your target animal coming in from a specific direction. What do you do if the animal you’re hunting comes in in an unexpected way or stops in an inconvenient location? Challenges like these can make it hard for you not only to prepare for an ethical, successful shot, but to also capture it on camera.
Our advice is to remember that ethical hunting takes priority over getting good footage. If you can’t take the shot as you should and get it on video, either forget the videoing or let the animal go.
Another crucial thing to consider is lighting. Your audience has to be able to see what you are filming or there’s no point. Think about where the sun is in the sky and about how your target animal is likely to be lit when it’s in the shot. If it’s backlit or washed out your video may not cut it.
And then, remember to always have fully charged batteries and to clean your lenses. There is nothing worse than filming a successful hunt and having your batteries die at the moment of truth, or to play your footage back only to discover it’s clouded by dust or dried water spots.
As you get more sophisticated, you can also try to tell a story with your film. Set up an interesting beginning, middle, and end so your audience feels part of the hunting experience.
Filming your hunts has other added benefits. As you play back your footage, you can see the impact point of your bullet or arrow, as well as game exit points after the shot. This is huge, as all hunters know how fast things happen in the moment.
That’s it! Find equipment within your budget, learn how to use it, keep it clean and charged, tell your story, and have fun.