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.
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…
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.
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!
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)
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wild turkeys have keen eyesight, so you will want to conceal your movements as much as possible while out hunting.
A good camo pattern for the terrain you are hunting is essential. So, make sure that whatever you wear conceals your hands, neck, and face, because a turkeys spook at the slightest movements.
Staying concealed on your turkey hunts is critical when turkey hunting and could be the difference between bagging a tom or coming home empty-handed.
Of course, unless you’re Chuck Norris, you won’t be bagging that turkey with your bare hands. So, you’ll need to have and be proficient with a bow or shotgun before heading to the turkey woods.
If you choose a bow, whether it be a compound, recurve, crossbow, or even a traditional archery bow, make your choice something you are comfortable shooting from a seated position, as most turkey hunts happen from the ground.
Even if you have become an expert at harvesting trophy deer or other animals, you must realize that turkeys can still be a difficult animal to hunt and kill. Heading out on a scouting trip before the big hunt can be crucial to your success.
So when it comes to scouting, knowing what to look for can help you determine if turkeys are frequenting your property and if so, where they are the most active.
Knowing what turkey sign looks like is a great start for determining if turkeys are active on the property you will be hunting. After all, you can wear camo from head to toe, put on face paint, and be as still as a statue, but if you don’t have turkeys on the land you’re hunting, well, at least you enjoyed being outside.
Here are some types of sign to look for when scouting for turkeys:
Turkey tracks: Tracks can certainly help you identify where a turkey has been, but you also want to figure out where it went and when, so hopefully you can intercept one on the next trip there.
Feathers: It might seem obvious, but turkey feathers are a great indicator that there are, or have been, turkeys in the vicinity. So keep an eye out for the feathers, especially if roosting trees are in the vicinity. You may have turkeys nearby.
Turkey droppings: Turkey droppings can be J-shaped (often a tom) or in a spiral shape or a “blob” (usually indicating a hen) in a variety of . But, if you find fresh droppings, that’s a good sign that a turkey is nearby.
Scratching: Be sure to pay close attention to the ground as you walk through wooded areas, as turkeys will scratch the ground. They do this to look for insects as well as other types of food, like acorns. Scratching can be a great clue to whether turkeys are frequenting and feeding in wooded areas on the property you will be hunting.
Dusting Areas: Turkeys like to roll belly down in loose soil or sand to clean their feathers and will leave behind distinct areas of disturbed terrain along logging roads or under standing pines.
To be successful in turkey hunting, many hunters rely on calling to help bring the birds within shooting range.
Calls work by replicating a wild turkey’s natural vocalization. Turkeys of all ages and genders produce various types of yelps and calls.
Box, slate, mouth, diaphragm, and locator calls (like crow and owl calls) are all different options a hunter can choose from. However, beginners usually find a box calls as one of the easier ones to get consistent sounds.
A box call is used by scraping a paddle bottom along the side of the box panel’s lip. The hollow inside chamber provides a distinct note that appeals to the birds.
Here are a few tips to remember when calling turkeys:
Practice, practice, practice: As a new turkey hunter, it’s important to learn basic calls like the cluck, cut and the yelp. Learn all you can about making these turkey vocalizations as life-like as possible.
Get real: Turkeys aren’t all that different from people in that they don’t always sound exactly the same. Mix in some varying cadences in your calling. There’s nothing more unnatural (or annoying) than a “turkey” that makes the exact same sound for the same amount of time, every single time it calls. Turkeys can be extremely wary, so don’t let your calling be one of the reasons. Mix things up.
Keep it short: Keep your call series brief. You won’t be able to hear a tom gobble in response in you are yelping your head off! Listening is as important as calling, so keep thing short and stayed tuned in.
That’s it, nice and soft: If you notice that you have a tom’s attention with your calling, don’t keep calling at the same volume. Change your calling to softer clucks and purrs and see if you can smooth-talk him into range.
Sometimes less is more: Turkeys will be wary if you call too much, so make sure not to call too often. Sometimes the best thing to do after calling is not to call again. A tom may get worried that his mate-in-waiting has decided to leave and he’ll want to find her!
Another way to attract turkeys is by using a decoy. Turkeys are territorial, so if a gobbler happens to see a hen decoy or another jake or tom infringing on their territory, he is sure to take notice.
There are many price ranges of turkey hunting decoys on the market. Spend the extra money to get the most realistic ones you can afford.
When turkey hunting with decoys, here are a few tips that are helpful to know:
Decoy transportation: Be sure to carry your decoys head down in a bag. In the event another hunter is in your area and thinks the decoys are real turkeys, it could lead to a terrible injury or even death. Safety first!
Use a hen and a jake decoy: A gobbler will be attracted to a hen, (and mad if it sees a young male turkey trying to steal his girl!)
Close but not too close: Be sure your decoys are close enough so that if a tom gets hung up on the far side of them, he is still close enough to shoot and kill. But, they also need to be far enough away so that your gun’s shot pattern can open up. Setting up decoys at about 15 yards is a good rule of thumb.
Placement is key: When setting up your decoys, ask yourself, “could a turkey see these from a long way off?” If the answer is no, then consider repositioning. The last thing you want is to call and have a tom come in and not see what he was looking for and leave… heartbreak city! Setting up your decoys in the open will also allow other hunters to identify them as decoys, so that they don’t attempt to shoot in your direction.
Don’t skimp: If you’ve walked the hunting aisles at your local sporting good store, you have probably noticed that there are are many different brands of turkey decoys (and several price points). Get the most realistic you can for your money. A life-like decoy could be the difference between getting that tom in close enough to shoot and watching him run off to be hunted another day. Spend the money and get good decoys.
If you are fairly certain of a tom’s presence in the area, and have an idea of where he is going to be, and you want to sit moderately comfortably while you wait, a blind may be a good option.
Ground blind hunting can work well in clearings, field edges and ridges and is a good option if hunting with youngsters.
Turkey blinds are also a good option if you are hunting with kids. It’s a little easier to get away with movement if you are in a blind. So, if you or the youngsters are a little fidgety, a blind might be a good option.
Even if you are hunting from a blind, it’s still a good idea to wear dark clothing and a mask or face paint that will blend into the darkness of the inside of the blind.
You can set up your blind on a field edge or ridge. Blinds can work great when using decoys as well.
When it comes to turkey hunting, “running and gunning” can be a very exciting and effective way to bag a gobbler.
Basically, it means that a hunter will not be stationary, as if he/she were in a blind or sitting at the base of a tree. Rather, the hunter will try to locate turkeys by walking short distances, watching, calling, and listening for turkeys.
So, if the hunter calls and hears a gobble, the next step is to try and pinpoint the location of the tom and get as close as possible and get set-up in order (at the base of a tree, for example) to make a good shot on the bird.
“Running and gunning” for turkeys is quite the rush, but can leave you scrambling to find adequate cover that is close enough to get a shot on a tom.
Much like hunting from the base of a tree, you need to use the available natural cover and also be sure to wear as much camo clothing as possible, including face mask/paint, camo shoes/boots, etc.
Once you have located a tom, be sure to set up where you will have a shooting lane toward the bird’s expected travel path. It’s important to always be sure of where you are aiming and shooting.
If you cannot clearly identify the bird, do not shoot. Never shoot into brush or an area where you cannot clearly see the target. Safety first!
Get Out And Go!
Hopefully these turkey hunting tips will help you progress from a beginner into a seasoned and successful turkey hunter.