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Thread: Filming Hunts

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Default Filming Hunts

    Anyone film their bear hunts? I'm buying a camcorder to film some of my bear hunts next spring. I think it would be cool to have it all on tape to watch or share with others, and for reviewing your shots(bowhunting). Getting me a Sony handycam which uses SD cards, nothing fancy but should work great, already got a tripod for use in the groundblind. Any tips or tricks? Looking forward to sharing some hunts with you all this spring, success or not!

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    I'm planning on filming my wife this year in the stand. I have just a cheap video cam as well and I've been trying to design something myself that will secure to the tree for a more stable shot. I've tried doing some video before but it hasn't been real successful. Most of the time my I end up watching with my eyes and get some great shots of the ground or sky lol.

    Lets hear some tips from the pros out there!

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth View Post
    I'm planning on filming my wife this year in the stand. I have just a cheap video cam as well and I've been trying to design something myself that will secure to the tree for a more stable shot. I've tried doing some video before but it hasn't been real successful. Most of the time my I end up watching with my eyes and get some great shots of the ground or sky lol.

    Lets hear some tips from the pros out there!
    Yeah, I think Bass pro has the Primos camera arm on sale for $60(think its bass pro....), supposed to be a decent one for the price. Or fab something up is what I'd do. Only thing I filmed with was a digital camera and it turns out terrible once you zoom in!

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    Member Mountain Man Jack's Avatar
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    Ive been thinking about picking up a helmet cam for all of my hunting, fishing, snowmachining, etc. Some have a headband attachment that's much like a headlamp. You could get an excellent first person view of everything. I've been thinking it would be awesome for predator calling and baiting both. I would love to have footage of the critters coming in, all the way to the kill shot. Just my thought anyhow...

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    this is best one out as far helmet cams go.. http://www.goprocamera.com/products/...FQQFbAodUnHtHA

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Yeah those Gopro cams are slick for sure! I ended up getting a cheap sony handycam. It would be pretty rewarding to have filmed your own hunts.

  7. #7

    Smile Camera tips

    Filming someoneís hunt is tough, filming your own hunt is next to impossible if you expect to get anything enjoyable to watch, or hope to actually kill anything. I never hunt or fish when Iím filming our TV shows for the simple reason it would distract me from getting good footage. There are a few tricks though to help getting that hunt on tape.

    POV cameras - choices are Contour HD or the GoPro. Both have pro/cons about them, neither is better than the other. Contour is a bit slimmer lined for wearing on your head. GoPro works better if you wear it with a chest strap mounted, on your chest. Both positions have advantage/disadvantages. Chest mounted if you crouch down the camera gets buried. Head mounted if you tip your head the cameraís horizon is off. Contour requires setting up before hand through the website, GoPro does not. Both have the same quality issues so itís more of a ďfeatureĒ decision to make. Contour w/the H20 case (purchased separately) is good to 30 feet below surface; GoPro comes in a H20 proof case but is only good to a couple feet (so I hear but not verified). Both are comparable in price. Plenty of interchangeable mounts for these cameras are available. Believe REI carries both cameras.

    Handhelds, there are a zillion choices out there so Iíll keep this simply. As a backup camera to my main camera or as a camera to put in tight places like windows or airplane wing mounted I use the Sony HDR-CX150. Perfect camera for filming your hunts. Large battery and internal HDD at its best HD setting provides about 3 hrs of footage. Camera has an option of being placed in the ďquietĒ mode meaning when you flip the viewfinder open to use it doesnít beep and scare bambi away. From shut off mode to turn on mode is instant so you donít have to carry it around powered up. Comes w/software for transferring footage to computer and cables for watching directly on TV.

    Filming Tips:

    Most common mistakes; Panning, zooming and not holding shots long enough. Unless youíre on a boat no sense of trying to make everyone believe you are. Relax, be the camera, donít be a tourist.

    Donít Zoom. Your eyeballs donít zoom, my donít zoom so the camera doesnít zoom. Adjust your shot for framing and filmÖbut donít zoom. Only people that are zooming are crack addicts and news photographers.

    Donít use Digital Zoom - Why? It looks like crap. You can make it look like crap when you get home by editing it with really bad effects and punk rock music if you want. These cameras typically donít have a long range lens and it makes the video quality worse by using the digital zoom.

    I keep a couple white cotton sport socks in my pockets as lens wipes. I hand wash these in Clorox and never dry them with cling free or softner. Donít want cling free on my lens. I also use these style socks to put gear in i.e small cameras to protect them in the field.

    Use ziplocks for protecting camera accessories like camera batteries - tapes. Also use black tape placed over the camera batter power contacts to protect them from contacting water and shorting out. I once hauled 6 lbs of batteries up a sheep mountain for a week only to find out half of them had shorted out sitting on the bottom inside my pack which got wet.

    Be ready, thatís one of my biggest challenges. Especially if itís raining, Iím tired, windís blowing or itís 30 below. Guy at home watching doesnít care about that; all they want to see is the kill shot ;-) Keep your camera dry, close by and equipment in order and carried in a fashion you can access it should you suddenly come up on bambi. Nothing like having a camera bundled in a bag as you rip the Velcro back to dig it out and bambi goes running off. This includes zippers, anything that can make noise. Donít worry about putting ďcamoĒ on your camera, thatís a gimmick. The light bouncing off your lens or your head bobbing around looking into the viewfinder is going to do more damage than a naked camera w/out camo. And, these cameras are so small the animal will spot your bare hand or head before any camera. So ya, put camo on your hands and head

    Use chemical hand heat warmers for cold days. Tape them to batteries or back side of LCD viewfinders to keep them functioning in extreme cold WX. They donít last long but every bit helps. Sometimes I keep an extra battery in my pants pocket just in case the cold kills them. If its wet out and that's an issue for your small camera build a raincover from HEAVY stock ziplock bags and electric tape. Garbage bags R too thin or you can't see through them to adjust camera settings.

    Speaking of settings personally on these smaller cameras like the one I suggest using I set focus, audio and exposure to automatic. Problem w/these cameras are those settings sit inside a series of menus vs. professional cameras that are adjusted manually through external switches, buttons or dials.

    The kill shot; Good luck! Especially if youíre the one pulling the trigger. Tree stand hunting is one thing, but trying to film kill shots in Alaska is next to impossible as the action can happen quickly, or itís taken so long to happen now youíre not ready, or the camera battery has died. Iím always changing my filming strategy as the hunt progresses. Depending on the action I may keep the camera in standby or, it may be buried under a rain cover waiting for the right ďsituationĒ to place it in operating mode.

    If you plan on editing the video get cutaways. Pay attention to how you normally view a hunt through your own eyes, and try to recapture that on camera. Feet, hands, twigs, horizons, your buddies face, shells being loaded. If you just want your animal on tape, focus strictly on that with some of the above suggestions but take your time, again relax, let the action play out on camera by holding your shots longer than you think.

    And finally, though thereís a ton of stuff I could write, take care of your camera at night. Sleeping in a tent, keep it close by but in a protected environment, dry and covered so it doesnít draw in moisture.

    Good luck!
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Wow Tdelarm, thank you for the information, it is appreciated. Just what I was looking for! Sounds like you have a tough job! I was mainly going to film my bait hunts, where I will be in a ground blind. Using a tripod for my cam. Not going to be professional by anymeans just something for me to look back on. So it sounds like its best to have someone there to film the hunt(spot and stalk hunting), rather than try to multitask. Again thanks for the info, by the way, I love the show!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by blasterak View Post
    Wow Tdelarm, thank you for the information, it is appreciated. Just what I was looking for! Sounds like you have a tough job! I was mainly going to film my bait hunts, where I will be in a ground blind. Using a tripod for my cam. Not going to be professional by anymeans just something for me to look back on. So it sounds like its best to have someone there to film the hunt(spot and stalk hunting), rather than try to multitask. Again thanks for the info, by the way, I love the show!
    Blasterak,

    In this situation you have two options, one you operate alone setting the camera up behind you for an over the shoulder shot. Challenges there are hitting the record button when necessary and, composing you, and the animal in one shot. You'll either be too wide and not see the animal or too tight and not see you, while hoping the animal is in your camera range. Also, exposure will be challenging because of the backlit environment inside the blind....unless outside is simply dark. Then, you'll have problems on both ends. Second option, have someone along running the camera who can focus on the animal, and you. But again you only have one camera and the trick is to make it look like you have two cameras (without doing any reenactments which I never do) so at that point you have to choose between a shot of you pulling the trigger or the animal being dropped. Me, if I'm presented the option of getting a kill on tape I ALWAYS go for that however that's not always possible. Why, because perhaps if I pop my head up or linger over the shoulder of the shooter my image will spook the animal away so at that point I make a choice to go for the trigger shot and make sure I simply have a "shot" of the animal before it's shot. However those decisions have to be made in you mind rather quickly as in my case if not, the entire week can be ruined by poor decision making. Again, have fun. Sounds like you're on your way to making some fun films. Post them so we can see them.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Very good information. I was thinking of getting one of those key fob cameras to mount on my bow aimed at me so I can get of shot of me drawing back on the bear. I should be able to put something together, its going to be a big learning curve but sounds fun. Sometimes I should have my hunting partner with me to help film but most times i'm hunting alone. Hopefully the bears work out in my favor this year and even give me something to shoot. Thanks again.

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    If you need any info on how to shoot a video just ask a 14 year old with a cell phone. I'll bet they have more expeirence than HOLLYWOOD at making videos and posting them. Don't think I'm right check out "youtube". LOL
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Attempt to get video cost me a very nice moose a couple years back. Won't go there again!

    Black bears; not much to lose, so I may go there again.

    Unless you've got professional-grade gear, as tdelarm uses, you will never be totally happy with your result. My experience anyway.

    Taylor

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    (Short notes...)
    Three years ago a great friend, mentor, and former Outdoor Life magazine editor came up to Alaska to vidio my sheep hunt in the Delta Controlled Use Area. Without going into great detail....I found the camera to be terribly intrusive and disruptive. I could not swear when I wanted to, could not go-go-go up the mountain like a crazy sheephunter when I needed to, and I was strangely more aware of my neanderthal-caveman actions, attitude and appearance than ever before. And when I ran out of stalking cover, still at quite long shooting range, I was not as patient as usual. So I whacked an average DCUA ram at long (but not astonishing) range, and on video the ram looked like it was a mile away!

    After killing the ram I sort-of liked the camera. But it seemed intrusive during most of the hunt.

    The following year my friend, the same guy, drew a DCUA sheep permit. As a Registered Guide-Outfiter, I conducted a hunt for him to a "carbon copy" ram in the same area. I also could not help but notice that he left the camera back in Utah during his hunt!

    ...interesting thread in view of all the TV stuff we watch...

    dennis

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wouldn't want to deal with the trouble of having a camera on a hunt like that. Marc, I seen your vids and they look good. All I really want is to archive my hunt.

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