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hunting video gear

Start Filming Your Hunts | A Self-Filming Checklist

I sat there stunned at what just happened.

I had traveled 500 miles for this particular moment, only to sit and watch this big Kansas buck walk right out of my life.

And, it wasn’t because I didn’t have the opportunity to let an arrow fly.

I actually took aim, settled my pin, and painfully watched my arrow hit right in front of his body.

big kansas buck

When you film your own hunts, moments like this will be captured indefinitely to not only relive yourself, but share with others.

I could not believe my eyes! I’ve made that exact shot in my yard 10 out of 10 times.

As I sat there 20 feet up in that oak tree, trying to figure out what happened, I heard something behind me coming down the same trail. I turned to catch a glimpse of a wide Kansas buck heading my way.

I couldn’t believe this was happening so soon after I had missed the other deer.

This time, I was even more determined to settle my pins and connect on this nice Kansas buck! 

As I released the arrow, I watched intently as it found its mark and sent the buck bolting through the woods to certain death.



Finally, after two years of hunting in Kansas, I was able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. It was a very exciting moment for me, as I anxiously texted my hunting buddies… “Big Buck Down.”

What makes this hunt even more special is the fact that I got it all on video.

Videoing my hunts allow me the privilege to watch them anytime I want to.

The scenario above happened almost a year ago. I went back and watched it five minutes before I wrote this article.

When I’m having a bad season and not seeing very many deer, I can always go back and watch the moment I killed my first Kansas buck.

Talk about a very rewarding experience.

With today’s technological advances, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get started filming your own hunts. Keep reading for two things that you will need to get started…



First thing you need to film your hunts: Video Equipment

Choosing the right equipment is going to be a critical piece of the puzzle for creating quality footage of your hunts. This equipment can be as expensive or as cheap as you would like, depending on what you are after.

Let me just assume that most of us are on a limited budget but would still like pretty good equipment to capture our hunts.



The below list is certainly not all of the things that you could buy for filming your hunts. However, these are all of the things that you should buy for filming your hunts.

These pieces of equipment will help you be able to effectively tell your hunting story verbally and visually. 

There are five pieces of video equipment that are critical to getting started filming your hunts… and they won’t break the bank. Read on for specifics of each…

  • Camera
  • Camera arm
  • External microphone
  • Fluid head
  • Remote control

Video Camera

video camera for filiming hunts

The Canon 6D Mark 2 is a good camera for capturing your primary video while filming your own hunts.

Obviously, you cannot film hunts without a camera, but what camera do you choose? That’s a great question that gets asked often.

First, It is very important that you choose a camera that is “High Definition” and has good low-light capabilities. The high definition will help you have clearer footage and the low light capabilities will help you get a few extra minutes of film time in the morning and the evenings. After all, you never know when you’re going to see something so rare that you’ll wish you had footage of it later on.



It is also important that you get a camera that has an external mic jack. If you are self-filming, it is important for you to choose a camera that has a good auto focus setting.

We currently use a Sony Ax-53 ($800) and a Canon 6D Mark 2 ($1500.)

Secondary cameras are also a big help to capture extra footage, such as GoPro, Spypoint or Tacticam.




Camera Arm

fourth arrow video camera arm for hunting videos

It’s important to be sure you have a camera arm with enough length to film in some of the awkward positions hunting can put you in.

It wasn’t until a recent hunt that I realized how important stabilization was for a camera.

We were on a hunt and managed to forget the arm plate, so I had to free-hand film the hunt. A doe came into our location and circled around the tree and put me in an awkward position while filming.

When we watched the footage back on the TV, I was shocked at how shaky I was. This one experience made me even more of a believer in good camera arm.



It’s important to choose a camera arm that has some length to it. This will help when the deer puts you in an awkward position of filming across your body or around the back of your tree.

Fourth Arrow has some amazing camera arms that are affordable, ($100-$300) adjustable, and easy to use. Muddy also has some great camera arms that are reasonably priced ($100-$300) and easy to use.




External Microphone

rode external mic for filming hunts

An external mic will help you capture sounds from farther away than if just using the mic on the video camera.

Every camera you buy comes with a built-in microphone, and they work decent most of the time. However, they are just not as clear or as sensitive as they need to be when capturing the sounds of the woods.

There’s just something special about being able to hear the leaves crunching under the deer’s feet when you are watching your hunt on TV or on social media. You will hear a lot less of those types of natural sounds without an external microphone.



Another problem with not having an external microphone is when you put distance between the camera man and the hunter. An external microphone will give you a lot more range of distance than your standard camera mic.

It is true, most people will watch bad footage with good audio before they will watch good footage with bad audio. Rode Mics offer a variety of microphones for most cameras.

Trust me when I say, you will want to get an external microphone!

Fluid Head

sony 4k video camera for filming hunts and fluid arm and remote

The fluid head, as seen here attached to the tripod, helps you make smooth, controlled camera movements. The remote allows you to operate the camera with one hand, freeing up the other for your bow or gun.

Yeah I know, I thought the same thing when I heard about “fluid heads.”

So, what is a fluid head?

It’s an attachment that fits onto your camera arm that works by hydraulic fluid. The hydraulic fluid head allows you to make smoother movements with your camera. This creates better, higher quality footage for your viewing.

Pro Am has some very good fluid heads at reasonable prices. ($100-$300)



Remote Control

A remote control for your camera is very important, especially if you are self-filming. It enables you to basically do everything with one hand so you can use your other hand to grab you bow or your gun.

Most cameras have remote controls that can be purchased for them. I prefer to use the remote controls that are wired and plug directly into the camera.

Camera remotes are made to attach to your camera arm handle and can be a lifesaver when a deer walks into range. They help you minimize movement while your target animal is close.

Second Thing You Need: PASSION

hunting video equipment

Getting started videoing your hunts is not as expensive as you might think. There are many affordable options available for you to begin capturing those unforgettable outdoor moments.

Passion is nothing more than a strong desire for something. And, if you are going to film your hunts, you are going to need a strong desire to do so.

I promise you there are going to be moments when you will wake up and you are already late to your stand and taking time to get camera gear to the tree will make you even later.



Then, there will be times when you will forget pieces of equipment and the thought will run across your mind, “I don’t know why I even mess with this junk. I’m not doing this anymore.”

Possibly, even worse than that, you will have a big buck bust you because you were reaching for the camera instead of your bow. It’s during these moments that it will take passion to help you keep going.

To successfully film your hunts, the second thing you need is to have passion in the following three areas…

  • Passion for hunting: Passion for hunting is probably the most obvious one. You have to love the hunt! Passion for hunting is what is going to keep you in the woods experiencing all of the things that are film-worthy. If the idea of being perched up twenty feet in a tree with a bow in your hand anticipating a big buck coming near gets you excited, then congratulations, you have a passion for the hunt!
  • Passion for telling the story: I had a man tell me once, “You tell stories really good.” That’s because I have a passion about telling stories. When I tell a story, I want people to feel what I was feeling, hear what I was hearing and see what I was seeing. Being able to take your camera and video everything that you are experiencing in the woods is being able to tell your story. It gives the viewer an opportunity to see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt. You will need a passion for that in order to overcome the difficulties that come along with filming.
  • Passion for new challenges: It is an understatement to say that filming your hunts is a challenge. It is actually beyond a challenge to be able to put it all together and film a successful hunt, but it sure is fun trying. One of the hard parts is learning all of the new things that make you better at filming your hunts. Anything from positioning your camera to learning how to edit your videos. Each one of these things can provide its own set of challenges, so you will need to be excited about learning new things. If you have a passion for new challenges then you are going to love filming your hunts.


 Conclusion

There are so many more things that can be written on the subject of filming hunts.

The further you dive into the process more questions will come about camera equipment, editing, producing episodes for social media, etc. However, if there was one more piece of advice I could give you on this subject, it would be to remind you to have fun.

The camera is just a great way to share the memories of the love of the hunt, it is never meant to replace the love of the hunt. Sometimes the pressure of trying to get it all to work out on film can rob you of the fun of the sport of hunting.

Make up your mind before you begin the journey that you will always love the hunt more than you love the camera.

Casey Johnson of Huntreal Outdoors
Casey Johnson is the founder of Huntreal Outdoors. Follow their Instagram and you can also follow Casey’s story on his YouTube channel.
backpacker standing on mountain top

Best Backpacking Tents For Your Big Adventure

One of the best ways to experience nature in a unique way backpacking. Packing up your gear and hitting the backcountry will put you in places that you could only imagine and that pictures just won’t do justice!

So, let’s cover the best backpacking tents in the game right now. Investing in a quality backpacking tent will transform your experience and put you in the best possible position for backpacking success.

Here are the best backpacking tents right now!

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 – Best 2-person Backpacking Tent

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 weighs just over 1 lb and can sleep two people comfortably.

No list of the best backpacking tents is complete without the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 making an appearance.

It’s acclaim and reputation is why it landed in the top spot on our list. Weighing just over a pound and being able to fit two people comfortably, it is hard to go wrong with this one.

This tent compacts down super well and is one of the best backpacking tents for two people. It covers pretty much any situation in which you would need to bear the conditions and hold up for a night.

There are doors on both sides with vestibules created by the rain fly to provide ease of use for everyone.

Pros of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2:

  • Plenty of space for two people
  • Lots of built-in storage
  • Lightweight despite the size

Cons of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2:

  • Small foot taper
  • Can be considered pricey to more budget-conscious backpackers




REI Co-op Passage 2- Best Backpacking Tent on a Budget

REI Co-Op Passage 2 Tent

The REI Co-Op Passage 2 is great for the budget-conscious backpacker and is very user-friendly.

REI is one of the leading outdoor retailers in the game, and over time, they have developed a great deal of their own equipment. The REI Co-op Passage 2 is one of the best backpacking tents on a budget.

Coming in at 5 pounds 7 ounces, this is a steady option for those who cannot spend a ton of money on a tent that is lighter and pricier. If you fall into the middle of the road in terms of wants, needs, and budget, this is an excellent option.

There are just two poles and two doors that open all the way up. Overall, the user experience with the Passage 2 is incredibly consistent and user friendly.

Pros of REI Co-Op Passage 2:

  • Very affordable
  • Roomy enough for two people, with doors on both sides
  • Super functional

Cons of REI Co-Op Passage 2

  • Does have cheaper, more mass-released materials
  • Has a heavier weight than some backpacking options


Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2

The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is perfect for the backpackers who are looking to shave every ounce possible off the weight, yet have a high ceiling.

As one of the best lightweight backpacking tents, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is an awesome option for those who really want to trim the fat on the pack’s weight.

Once again, Big Agnes makes its appearance on the list as the product is of extremely good quality.

Coming in at just 2 pounds, 9 ounces, this is the best lightweight backpacking tent listed today. Outfitted with a tall ceiling and a very compact size when packed down, this tent is a great option for the hardcore backpackers who fret over every ounce.

Pros of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2:

  • Super lightweight and compact to allow weight ot be dispersed in other ways
  • Fairly durable despite the weight
  • High ceilings to provide for easier movement

Cons of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2:

  • Can be a bit tricky to set up
  • Build causes water to sometimes breach the walls



NEMO Dragonfly 2

Nemo Dragonfly 2

The Nemo Dragonfly 2 is lightweight, comfortable and durable.

One of the most balanced and well-rounded options is the NEMO Dragonfly 2. With a light weight, high comfort and great durability, you really have it all. Now, this will come at a higher price, so keep that in mind.

This is the tent that probably has the best vestibule setup. When you get the rain fly affixed correctly, you will have a good amount of covered room to get ready before hitting the elements outside. The pole design also is there to provide a ton of durability in high wind.

Pros of the NEMO Dragonfly 2:

  • Very well-rounded and covers all the bases
  • Super durable to withstand many situations
  • Build creates for the maximum water and weather resistance

Cons of the NEMO Dragonfly 2:

  • Pricey
  • Can be difficult to find in stock in some places




MSR Hubba Hubba NX1 – Best 1-Person Backpacking Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba NX2

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 1 weighs just under 4 lbs and is spacious and durable.

The best 1-person backpacking tent today is the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 1. Coming in at just under 4 pounds, you are getting a very durable tent that is for those who know they don’t need to waste effort on extra space.

The design is unique in the sense that it is made to maximize the space given. 1-person tents are known to be very tight, but the Hubba Hubba is known to be quite spacious. Plus, there are doors and vestibules on both sides for ultimate ease of use.

Pros of the NSR Hubba Hubba NX1:

  • Lightweight and spacious
  • Very durable and outfitted with dual vestibules to escape the elements

Cons of the NSR Hubba Hubba NX1:

  • Slightly heavy for just 1-person usage
  • Quite expensive



Sea to Summit Telos TR3 – Best 3-person Backpacking Tent

Sea To Summit Telos TR2 backpacking tent

The Sea To Summit Telos TR2 has extra headroom and high quality craftsmanship.

Sea to Summit has been a steady brand in the outdoor space for a long time. So, it is only fitting that it makes today’s list of the best backpacking tents.

The Telos TR3 is a fantastic tent that is one of the best backpacking tents for three people. With the extra room and relatively low weight, you really get a good value with this one. 

One aspect that makes it a great 3-person backpacking tent is the high ceiling. The pole structure allows for some extra head room, which is a really nice perk. Although the price is high, the space and quality are of a really high caliber



Pros of the Telos TR3:

Cons of the Telos TR3:

  • Can be considered pricey
  • A little heavy


Closing Thoughts

Those are the best backpacking tents on the market! With all of the various aspects to consider, you cannot go wrong with any of these options.

Now, it’s up to you to weigh the options and see what will work best in your backpacking arsenal. So, good luck, and happy camping!

maston boyd with whitetail buck

Bow Hunting Tips [Be Ready When The Moment Of Truth Comes]

Bow hunting is a fun and adventurous way to hunt wild game. Many who have experienced success at it will tell you that there’s nothing quite like it.

Whether you are looking for information on bow hunting for beginners or even a seasoned veteran, we’ve got some helpful bow hunting tips to help you in your quest to become a better bow hunter.

lock on tree stand

There’s lots to learn with bowhunting. Below are 10 tips that will help you become better at harvesting an animal with the stick and string!

Bowhunting Tips Overview

Don’t worry, we’ll get to bowhunting tactics further down, but some of the best bowhunting tips are the ones that you learn before the hunt.

Tips 1-5 will prepare you in a way so that you can have the confidence to make a great shot when it counts the most.

Tip #s 6-10 will focus on tips and strategies to help put you in a position to hopefully punch your tag on your target animal.

  1. Bow Maintenance
  2. Blind Bale Shooting
  3. Aim Small / Miss Small
  4. Hunting Stances
  5. Off-Season Practice
  6. Guessing Is Gambling
  7. Scent Control Is King
  8. Entry And Exit Routes
  9. Take An Ethical Shot
  10. Celebrate!

Check out the FIVE archery video tips below to get valuable information on how you can be sure you have an arrow that’s “Just Pass’N Through!”

Bow Hunting Tips: #1 – Bow Maintenance | Avoid Freak Accidents Like This One…

When you see this freak archery accident, you’ll want to learn what you can do to help prevent the possibility of it ever happening to you.

Bow hunting is more than just flinging arrows. bow maintenance checks in the off-season, as well as before your hunt, are an extremely important part of being sure you are able to bow hunt safely and avoiding injury.

In the first of our bow hunting tips, we’ve got details on how to do preventative bow maintenance, so you can avoid unnecessary accidents like this one when shooting your bow…

Shop Bow Hunting Apparel

Archery Accidents And How To Avoid Them

If you watched the above video, you’ll understand why bow maintenance is an important part of bow hunting.

Some of you are shooting your bow year round, but some of you put it into storage during the off season and because the temperatures can change in those environments, it’s very important to check bowstrings cables as well as your limbs before shooting.



Bow maintenance checklist [Pre-Shoot Checklist]

Here are some things you should check before you shoot your bow:

  • Be sure before every shoot that you check your strings and your cables for any signs of wear or fraying. Anything like that can be a potential for a broken string or cable during a hunt just like in the video above.
  • Be sure you check your limbs very carefully. You want to be sure there’s no signs of splintering, bubbling, or cracking. Extreme temperatures and sometimes even storage can cause limbs to weaken. And, you don’t want to have one of those limbs be damaged or break during a shoot.
  • Be sure all your screws and any bolts are tightened properly, so that you don’t have any of your accessories loose during a shoot.
  • Check your cams. Be sure you don’t have any nics or cuts that would affect your string in any way,  whether it be to cause a fraying or a cutting of the string, or else damage to a cam, where your string may actually even come off the track.
  • Be sure your rest is aligned properly.
  • Check cam rotation and be sure the cams are not warped and that they both reach letoff at the same exact time.
  • Be sure you get the proper arrow spine for your bow set up.

If you are not sure how to check the above items, we recommend you take to your local bow shop and have them look for you and inspect that, so that you can have the best chance of a safe shoot.



Tip #2 – Blind Bale Shooting [Improve Your Archery Technique]

In this N1 Minute archery tips video, learn how closing your eyes can be the best way to see results in your archery and bow hunting technique.

bow hunting tips blind bale shooting

Stand back a few feet from a large target. Draw back and locate your target. Close your eyes and shoot. This drill will help grip, form, anchor point and release techniques. Put all these techniques together N1, and you’ll be seeing the results soon.




Tip #3 – Aim Small Miss Small [Improve Your Accuracy]

In the third of our bow hunting tips videos, 3D archery tournament shooter, Cole Honstead, shows you a “small” tip that could help you BIG during hunting season!



Tip #4 – Hunting Stances Can Make Or Break A Bow Hunt [So, Know Them All!]

In the below N1 Minute archery tips video, learn about various stances that can help you in all types of bow hunting scenarios.

For those of you who have bow hunted any amount of time, you know that some things can happen during a hunt that simple target practice can’t prepare you for. The video above will show you some archery tips to help you be best prepared when your moment of truth comes.



Archery Stances For Bow Hunting

Hunting stances can be used for everything from spot and stalk hunts in the West to using blinds and tree stands in the east.

For tree stand hunting, try your best to get to the elevated position. This is as simple as finding the hill and using the bed of a pick-up.

For spot and stalk hunts, try practicing using incline and decline slopes. When shooting from a blind, you’d better get used to sitting in a chair or kneeling position.

Practicing these stances throughout the off season will give you that confidence for a shot of a lifetime.



Tip #5: Off-Season Bow Practice [You’ll Hunt Like You Practice]

In this N1 Minute, learn some bow hunting tips on how to to keep your archery skills polished and sharp during the off-season so that you can maintain proper archery form.




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Archery Practice Tips

You know for us bow hunters, this is the time of year that we practice and practice for. But what about when the season’s over? How do you keep your skills sharp?



Archery exercise for bowhunters

Here’s a simple tip to keep those muscles active after hunting season and all it takes is a simple exercise band.

So many hunters put away their bows, after the fall, through winter, until turkey season. With, one of these exercise bands, you can practice your draw cycle throughout the winter and make that first draw in the spring a little easier.



Simply grasp one end of the band with your front hand and with your drawing hand, pull the band back to your anchor point. Repeat this ten to fifteen times and then switch hands. This will work both your back and shoulders. A few sets of this draw cycle exercise a day, and you’ll be ready to hit the mark on your next 3D shoot or Spring turkey hunt.



Tip #6: Guessing Is Gambling [Scout Instead!]

Everyone has things going on in life. Whether it’s work, family or other obligations, sometimes it’s hard to make time to scout. Then, before you know it, deer season sneaks up on you and you find yourself scrambling to grab your bowhunting gear and get in a tree or blind.

Or, maybe you’re just tempted to get in the same stand you always hunt and hope for the best.

Sure, there’s always a story of this happening… but the reality is you need to put in the work before the season ever starts to increase your chances of taking a deer or other game.

man mounting a trail camera to a tree

Don’t gamble when you bowhunt. Scout prior to the hunt so you can put yourself in a position to be successful.

Basic trailcams have become much less expensive in recent years, so save your pennies and get a couple of these helpful scouting tools and place them overlooking scrapes or on know travel corridors to and from bedding and food sources. Y

ou can even put out a mineral site. This will help you take inventory of the deer that may be on or travelling through your hunting property.

Trail cam pictures can you give you insight into deer patterns and how they coincide to time of day, time of year, weather and food/water source availability. This will help you make decisions on where to hang that deer stand or blind.



Tip #7: Scent Control Is King

As discussed in our earlier tips, having properly functioning equipment and being proficient with it is critical. However, it can all be for nothing if you don’t practice scent control.

You will be hunting deer and other animals on their home turf. They have the upper hand and their noses are a big reason why. Not only are they at an advantage – but you’re bowhunting – so, you need to be able to get much closer to the animal than you would if you were rifle hunting.

So, the bottom line is that you need to smell as little like – well, YOU – as possible!

doe smelling deer scent

Don’t give a deer’s nose a reason to tell it to run away. Make every effort to be as scent-free as possible.

There are plenty of scent-free and scent-control soaps and detergents available at your local sporting goods store. You can also wash your clothes in baking soda. Then, store your clothes in a scent free bag or container.

On the day of your hunt, avoid coming in contact with any scent that would smell unnatural to a deer’s nose. Yes, that means you might need to skip the steaming hot sausage biscuit run or the pre-hunt cigarette before the hunt.




Tip #8: Entry And Exit Routes [They Can Make Or Break Your Hunt]

When you’re bowhunting, it’s easy sometimes to get focused on where you’re going to hunt.

But, you need to spend just as much time planning how you’re going to get to that magic hunting location that will put you in the best spot for a harvest. But, you need to spend just as much time planning how you’re going to get to and from that magic spot also.

Whether you’re hunting public land on thousands of acres, private land or even suburban hunting, animals are always looking – and smelling – for danger (you realize you are considered danger, right?)

hunting wind direction graphic
Staying downwind of the deer’s location will decrease your chances of getting busted!

So, if the deer or other game see, smell or hear “danger” as it goes to and/or from the magic hunting spot, they aren’t going to stick around and stand quartering away for you to put an arrow through the boiler room.

So, how can you avoid being busted on your way to and from your hunting location?



First of all, as we’ve already covered, you must do everything you can to be scent free and you must always pay attention to the wind direction. You don’t want your scent blown to where you expect the deer to be on your way in.

The same goes for exiting your hunting location. If deer bust you leaving your hunting location, they will associate that location with potential danger and you may not get another chance at them there.

So, be sure to plan your entry and exit routes so that you stay downwind of the where you know the deer or game to be. This can greatly increase your odds of slipping in and out as undetected as possible.



Tip #9: Take An Ethical Shot

Locating deer to hunt and setting up in a spot to potentially kill them is one thing.

Now, you actually have to execute a lethal shot.

6-point buck

Taking an ethical shot is such an important part of bowhunting. Take a shot that gives you the best chance at a quick and clean kill.

This isn’t always easy when bowhunting. So, that’s why it’s so important to have followed the pre-hunt bowhunting tips in #1-5 that we covered, so that when the moment of truth comes, you know you are ready.

You don’t want the animal to suffer and you also want to be sure you are shooting at the deer or game so that you can have as quick and humane kill as possible.



Tip #10: Celebrate!

We couldn’t leave out number 10, could we. After all, you’ve put in the work getting proficient with your bow and you’ve worked hard to get yourself in position to successfully take an animal. So, when you finally do it, you’ve got to celebrate the moment!

And, there’s no better way to do that than with family and friends.

18 point huge buck

Celebrate! It’s one of the best bowhunting tips we can give you…

That’s why we say here at N1 Outdoors: Where the moments happen, we’ll meet you there!

Happy hunting… we hope you have found our bow hunting tips to be useful in your quest to become better at your craft.

And, we hope you have an arrow that’s Just Pass’N Through!

To view other hunting and fishing tips videos, simply click on the “videos” link in our menu.

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