Most of the tips I share on DeerPros.com are learned from hard lessons in the deer woods. I feel these tips are worthy of sharing because I have flashbacks to hunts gone wrong. Let’s start with the bowhunt that finally made it dreadfully clear how important stand selection is when attempting to self film deer hunts.
It was early October in NC and the weather was seasonably hot. The soy beans were yellow and the acorns were dropping pretty good. This means the deer are shifting patterns and pretty hard to find. A lot of folks refer to this period as the October lull because they are hunting corn piles and not seeing deer.
With climbing treestand on my back and camera bag, I crossed a little creek into an oak flat. A few fresh acorns and caps and droppings let me know there had been some activity in the area. I slowly climbed a hickory tree while trying not to break a sweat.
I made it to the first big limbs of the tree and started to set up my camera arm and my new Canon HF G10. This takes many minutes to get it done quietly and correctly. Like I mentioned early this is early October and all the leaves are still green and still on the trees.
Back towards the creek I hear footsteps. Then more footsteps.
I turn the camera on and start scanning the area for signs of life. NOTHING. The Canopy is just too thick.
All of a sudden at 30 yards I see legs. Then more legs.
In less than 15 seconds I have 5 deer under me feeding on acorns. The deer are all within 20 yards as a I try to get the camera on the large doe. Needless to say with 10 eyes this close I was BUSTED! All the deer blew out of the oaks and I was completely frusterated with my decision to self film bowhunts. So here is my advice for anyone considering taking the camcorder in the woods.
A thick canopy makes visibility impossible with the camcorder. Trying to get preroll of the animal approaching is really tough. All the leaves also interfere with focusing on the deer.
Pick the Hardwood Stand
Big mature hardwoods provide a great stage for the hunt. Short overgrown pine thickets are no place for self filming.
Crop Fields Are Great
This is a no brainer. Big open corn and soy bean fields are the cameraman’s dream.
A well used watering hole can be another spot to capture some great footage.
Long sight lines and clean of taller brush and trees make this deer crossings a great place to film.
These are just some ideas to get you started. You can always try it before the leaves drop but you might want to talk your hunting buddy into being the cameraman. Another option may be hunting out of a ground blind. This will put you eye level with the deer and below all the limbs and leaves.
Self filming can be a ton of fun when it all comes together. BUT it can also be the most frusterating and humbling thing I have ever tried to accomplish. Don’t make it any tougher on yourself and be sure you pick a stand with visibility. You need to be able to see the deer approaching so you can anticipate the trail and get the camera and your bow on the deer. Good luck!