How to Film Your Deer Hunt | Tactacam Setup Tips with Michael Waddell

Deer Filming Tips | Tactacam Setup

It’s probably a safe bet to assume you watch a lot of outdoor television, right? Hunting shows are always looking for new and unique ways to show the details when filming a deer hunt and to help tell the story in a creative way. Multiple camera angles and point-of-view (POV) shots definitely offer those opportunities. It’s true that those angles might be easier to achieve when using a cameraman and fancy hunting video cameras, but can it be done while self filming a hunt? Absolutely! The Tactacam hunting action camera, allows you to very easily film your hunt.  Here are a few Tactacam setup and filming tips to help you get those unique shots in the easiest ways possible. At the end, we also discuss how you can enter your new hunting film into the whitetail competition for 2018!

A Primer on Self Filming Bow Hunts

Since bow season is knocking at the door, let’s start with a little lesson on how to film your own hunt when you’re bow hunting. First, bow hunting itself is a difficult thing to pull off sometimes. Getting a deer within range that you would actually like to shoot is tricky enough, not to mention making an accurate shot – even with the right bow setup and having practiced throughout the summer months, hunting adrenaline and buck fever can rattle you pretty good. But then on top of that, you throw the self filming part into the process and it can really screw some people up. But let’s be honest, your friend or relative who offers to film you is probably just not going to be available every time you go hunting, so learning how to self-film a deer hunt will save you a lot of frustration and allow you more opportunities to get a great hunt on film. The filming tips below will help with that too.

Still, the idea of hauling several different bulky (and expensive) cameras and camera arms out to the woods each time is just too much for many hunters to stomach. So what’s the other alternative? Filming hunts with Tactacam cameras is extremely simple – you just mount the small camera somewhere and push one button to record. Plus, it doesn’t involve any heavy cameras or setting up camera arms on your tree. That combination is exactly what you’re looking for when shooting a bow at a spooky, mature whitetail, and it also makes the Tactacam the best camera for self filming hunts for most people.

Tactacam Placement Options for Filming Deer Hunts

There are several different options when it comes to how you want to film a deer hunt and where you would like to place the Tactacam cameras. Each one has their own benefits, but it depends on what kind of camera angle you’d like to get. As far as Tactacam filming tips go, getting the right Tactacam mounts is critical. These mounts and the cameras themselves don’t add much to your hunting gear list either, which makes them very convenient to take into the field with you.

 

  • Tactacam Bow Stabilizer Mount – one of the easiest options is to simply screw in a stabilizer mount and start filming. The stabilizer mount replaces a traditional stabilizer, obviously, and safely secures your camera within the housing. All you need to do is hit the record button and you’re in business. This camera angle is great for capturing the actual moment of the shot, as well as following the deer through the woods as it approaches. 
  • Head Mount – it’s always a good idea to have film that closely resembles what you actually see, and the head mount can help you do that. Just insert the camera into the head mount and wear it like a headband. The camera stays off to one side of your head and out of the way of your bow string. 
  • Picatinny Mount – if you prefer to keep your existing stabilizer on your bow, you can directly attach this mount above the stabilizer, which is a very precise and durable mounting option. It gives camera angles similar to the stabilizer mount.  
  • Universal Mount – this mount is more of an adaptor, which allows you to mount the camera to several other different mounts. You can use it to attach the camera above the sights on your bow, which is often best used out of box blinds because of the extra bulk while moving it around. 

Tactacam Filming Tips

One of the most important things to remember when you are filming your own deer hunt is that you need to tell a story while you’re out there. Otherwise, the video will be boring and not very memorable. There are a couple ways you can enhance the storytelling in your videos.

  • You should always do a pre-hunt interview sequence by pointing the Tactacam at your face and talking about what you’re trying to do. Mention the date, weather, where you are sitting, what deer sign or activity you’ve seen, and anything else that you think will help paint the picture.  
  • While you’re bow hunting, periodically turn on your camera and capture some B-roll footage – the leaves blowing in the wind, a squirrel running through the trees, does feeding as they walk by your tree stand, etc. You can use this footage to extend the length of your film and narrate over it later. Plus, it helps move the story along. 
  • Make sure you start filming a deer as soon as you see it. You may not have much time to do everything, so get as much film of it as possible before you attempt a shot. 
  • If you do shoot a deer, do an interview sequence in your tree stand to talk about what just happened. Getting the fresh emotions on film help make the story come alive, and they are some of the best and most memorable moments of many hunting videos. 
  • Be sure to capture footage of the blood trailing process, showing the bloody arrow, and walking up on the animal too, which help lead up to the last phase.  
  • Do a final interview sequence with the deer and talk about how the hunt unfolded. All of these details are important to making good hunting videos that stand out.

Tactacam Filming Tips for Bow Hunting Deer

Here is the real “meat and potatoes” portion of the article – how do you smoothly and effectively self film hunts using a Tactacam? Here are several Tactacam filming tips to make sure the finished product is as smooth and beautiful as possible.

  • Draw Slowly – when you’re bow hunting, you should be able to draw your bow very slowly and smoothly, which shows you can handle the draw weight and keeps you from being noticed by deer. But if you are using a Tactacam attached to your bow, it also keeps the camera stable and on target, which will produce the best looking film instead of looking choppy or shaky. 
  • Use a Lighted Nock – the bright light trail from a lighted nock helps you to see exactly where your arrow hits a deer, but it also helps you track your arrow flight on film. Not to mention, it looks a lot cooler in the final product! 
  • Practice Filming Hunts – as with anything, practice makes perfect. Before you want to film your first hunt, make sure you practice doing it so you feel confident doing so. A good way to start is to install the Tactacam and practice filming hunts during your summer archery practice sessions or during 3D hunts. This helps you get familiar with the equipment and process before you hunt. 
  • Tactacam Filming Tips – once you’ve practiced a bit, you need to focus on how you should actually film your hunting adventure. In the excitement of the hunt, don’t forget to film the deer throughout the process. Start filming as soon as you see the deer and make sure you follow it before, during, and after the shot. Remember to use your bow or head mount to film walking up on the deer after you’ve shot it as well. 
  • Use Multiple Cameras – as we mentioned earlier, the more camera angles you can capture, the better. Besides mounting one to your bow, mount a Tactacam above you to film you during the shot, and in some cases, aim a separate camera at the anticipated shot area. When you’re piecing your film together later, you will be grateful for all of the multiple video angles. 

After Self Filming Deer Hunts

When you get back home and it’s time to start piecing your hunting video together, you should do a few things. Copy all the footage from your micro SD card (using an SD card converter) onto your computer – having multiple copies of the footage is always a good idea so you don’t lose it when something fails. Think about any music choices you’d want to include and do any narration if you want. There are several programs you can use to compile it all together.

Bone Collector’s Producer’s Note:

As you begin your quest to film your hunt or have successfully captured arrowing a giant on camera, use these helpful tips.

  • Remember to format your SD cards properly for the Tactacam.
  • Always bring an extra memory card or two that are already formatted.
  • After each unsuccessful hunt, save the footage in a folder with the date. You never know when old footage and supplementary B-roll clips can help you tell a story for future video projects.
  • To ensure your Tactacam is operating efficiently, be sure to update the software regularly.
  • Before editing, sort through your footage and label clips for optimum organization.
  • After sorting through your video clips, back up your files on an external hard drive. If you are editing a large video project, consider editing from your computer’s hard drive to keep your editing software running smoothly.
  • There are so many types of external hard drives with differing specifications. If you are looking for a rugged external drive that also offers exceptional performance, consider the LaCie Rugged Minior the Transcend StoreJet.
  • Editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut X can be expensive and present a steep learning curve for beginners. If you are on a budget or are just starting to learn how to edit video, check out some of these cheaper options.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP

The Bone Collector crew is excited to present the newest platform in deer hunting… the North American Whitetail Championship (NAWTC)! The NAWTC is the first official national deer hunting competition. The NAWTC is your chance to win $50,000 and a once in a lifetime hunt at Wicked Outfitters in Kansas. It’s also your opportunity to showcase your skills as an outdoorsman and deer hunter compared to other hunters across the country.

Create an account and choose a region you want to compete in – there are 14 different regions throughout the eastern half of the country. To enter the competition, you are required to video your hunt and harvest, with the Tactacam provided by the NAWTC and in accordance with the rules of the NAWTC. The video has to be submitted to the NAWTC Committee within 24 hours of the harvest to qualify as an entry. There are plenty of great prizes to be won, so don’t delay in entering!

 

Start Filming Your Deer Hunts

Even though we’ve walked through several Tactacam filming tips to make the process easier, self filming bow hunts is still not an easy thing to pull off. If you can find someone to help, have another person film the hunt with a Tactacam and integrate the video with your POV Tactacam footage. This is the easiest approach and takes some of the burden off of you so you can focus on the hunting aspect alone.

But for times when that camera person is unavailable, it’s far better to try to film your own hunt than to avoid the woods altogether. Don’t you agree?

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