As someone passionate about hunting, you probably spend a good portion of free time watching TV shows related to all things outdoors and hunting-related.
If that’s the case, then you’ve probably come across at least one hunting video, and thought to yourself:
Wait, that right there could be me!
And I’m not talking about those amateur-grade, smartphone-captured videos, either – I’m talking full-blown, equipment-out kind if hunting filming.
That sounds pretty cool, huh?
You never know; follow these outdoor hunting filming tips, and you might end up on a nationwide broadcast hunting show!
Why Would You Film Your Hunts?
That is not only the first question you should ask yourself, but the one others will ask, too. So, take a second to think this through:
Why are considering getting into filming your outdoor hunting experiences – and what do you plan to do with the footage?
More often than not, there are two reasons why a hunter would suddenly decide to start filming their hunting skills throughout the hunting season:
- Looking Back On Past Hunts – A lot of hunters, me included, take pride in showing off their hunting trips to friends and family, and looking back on past hunting season is a massive part of why they film it, in the first place.
Plus, video is an excellent way to preserve memories of your outdoor adventures.
- Intended Audience Reach – Creating content for vast audiences and sharing your hunting trips, as you would through a YouTube channel, for example, is a much more significant step – and a more complicated one, at that. The goal is capturing the attention of your audience from the get-go.
So, you have to be much stricter about the content you’re making while you’re in the great outdoors.
There’s no room for mistakes – you’ll be competing with hundreds of other similarly-themed channels.
I think that we can all agree that creating content for a hunting-related YouTube channel is a whole different story than doing it because you’d like to revisit past hunts from time to time.
So, yes, your reasoning behind it matters quite a bit.
4+ Outdoor Hunting Filming Tips: Film Your Deer Hunt Like A Pro
Once you narrow it down to one of the two factors that contributed to your sudden interest in filming, the next step is, of course, learning how to do it the right way.
And that’s where my outdoor hunting filming tips come in:
1. Get The Right Equipment
As with any other type of photography, getting the right equipment is half the battle – even more so when you’re planning on filming a video.
Sure, smartphones have come a long way, and are capable of delivering outstanding results photography-wise.
Video quality, on the other hand, is a whole different story – and there’s no point in me sharing outdoor hunting filming tips if you’re trying to pull it off with a shaky smartphone camera.
So, if you want to do this whole filming-my-hunting-trip thing right, the first piece of advice I’m going to give you will be:
Get the right equipment – and learn how to use it.
What type of equipment am I talking about, exactly?
I’m glad you asked because I have a whole list of things you should consider getting if you plan on filming your next hunting trip.
Of course, not all of these can be considered essentials, so I decided to split it up into two following categories.
Hunting Filming Must-Haves:
- A camera
- A tripod
- A camera tree arm
- A tree arm base
- A shotgun microphone
- A wireless microphone
- Additional camera batteries
- A backup SD card
- A LANC remote controller
Now, you’re probably wondering what’s the best video camera for hunting filming.
And while I do have a few personal favorites, I firmly believe that it depends on your needs and preferences.
It’s a never-ending debate among hunters. Some will tell you that DSLR is virtually irreplaceable, and others will swear by their point-of-view GoPro cameras.
As long as you pick something with decent battery life, a large viewing display, and the option to be mounted on a camera arm, you’ll be good to go. Ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you.
Bonus Tip: If it’s possible, use multiple cameras – the more angles, the better.
Consider mounting and aiming several cameras so that you get numerous video angles, including the one above you and one pointed at the anticipated shot area.
2. Apply The Rule Of Thirds In Your Shots
One of my hunting buddies took a photography class a while ago and learned quite a few things that came in handy when he first started filming his hunts.
And considering that we would often spend the entire hunting season together, I picked up a few tricks from him, too.
One of those things is the rule of thirds.
If you’re not familiar with it, don’t worry; most people aren’t – unless they’ve taken a photography class, that is.
What is this rule all about, and why does it matter?
The idea is rather simple – and it’s all about taking well-balanced and visually exciting shots:
When you’re looking through the camera’s viewfinder, imagine that what you’re seeing is split up into nine sections by two horizontal and two vertical equally-spaced lines.
Then, focus on finding the right spot within that three-by-three grid.
And no, it’s not the middle – you want to add dimension and balance to your videos, not make them bland and boring.
Try positioning yourself so that you always have slightly more space available to the side where you’re facing.
Also, try and align your lines with the upper third portion of the imaginary grid, and not the center one.
I know that this seems like way too much work for a video that will be seen by your close friends and family only.
It makes a world of difference in adding balance and interest to your videos, though. And that’s always a plus.
3. Have A Shot List Ready
Another thing I learned first-hand is that you make the best outdoor hunting videos when you come prepared.
And in this case, that means making a shot list before you ever head out the door.
You should put together a list of all the things you hope to get on video during the hunt.
That way, you’ll avoid getting overwhelmed or confused by the numerous filming possibilities – or forgetting to capture something important altogether.
Of course, the shot list depends on several factors, including your goals and situation, but the basic version can be summed up in the following points:
- Pre-hunt interview
- Mid-hunt interview
- Post-hunt interview
- Panoramic shots of the landscape
- Shots of surrounding trees, foliage, and animals
- Kill shot
- Shots of gear used during the hunt
4. Do An Opening Interview
As you can see from my previous point, whether you’re filming yourself or someone else’s hunting trip, adding an initial interview is highly recommended.
Whatever your reasons for filming are, you’re telling a story.
Taking a moment to talk about why you’re there, and get the viewer – whoever they may be – familiar with the situation, and the setup of the hunt is a nice touch.
Plus, it helps make the storytelling more exciting and memorable, too.
Here are a few outdoor hunting filming tips for attention-grabbing opening interviews:
- A pre-hunt discussion should include the date and your location, brief info about the weather, any signs of deer activity you’ve observed so far. You’re welcome to add any other thing that comes to mind that could help paint the picture of your hunting setup.
- If you manage to shoot a deer during your hunting trip, be sure to do an interview sequence as soon as possible. Talk about what happened on film while all the emotions are still fresh – it makes the story come to life. If done right, this will be the most memorable part of a hunting video.
- Before you wrap things up, do a final interview with the deer you’ve caught, and go over the entire hunt, explaining how it all unfolded. Remember, details are your friend here.
It’s A Wrap
I could go on about it – framing your shots, adding camera movement, and whatnot.
But instead, I decided to stick to my essential, tried-and-true outdoor hunting filming tips.
I figured that they might help you capture some astonishing moments from your upcoming deer hunt – whether you’re doing it for your collection or broader audiences.
On that note, I’d like you to have fun filming your hunt.
As valuable as these videos can be, stressing over getting every shot right is not worth it in the end:
Making those memories is as important – if not more – as capturing them on video.