Default Banner

How to film your hunt

By The Breaking Point
October 19, 2020

How to film your hunt

The outdoor video production space has come a long, long ways in the past decade. I can recall, back in the day, when “Realtree Monster Bucks” VHS tapes were my only source of hunting content. I’m talking well before there were ever big player networks like Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and Pursuit Channel. The space has changed dramatically in the past couple decades and it continues to change as the streaming platforms gain traction at a rapid pace.

The outdoor video production space has come a long, long ways in the past decade. I can recall, back in the day, when “Realtree Monster Bucks” VHS tapes were my only source of hunting content. I’m talking well before there were ever big player networks like Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and Pursuit Channel. The space has changed dramatically in the past couple decades and it continues to change as the streaming platforms gain traction at a rapid pace.

HOW TO FILM YOUR HUNT

Everyone expects the "Grip and Grin" shot of you with your harvested animal. But think outside the box and capture images that show everything that went into your hunt.

The point is, there’s no shortage of content available if we’re looking for it. That said, we can be a little pickier on what we’re spending our time watching: Not everyone is looking for the same type of material when picking out the shows they watch. Some might be more interested in educational-type videos, while others might only be interested in seeing someone harvest a big deer.

As producers, we’re always trying to think of new ways to tell the story of our outdoor lifestyle so our viewers find it not only relatable to the way they hunt, but also entertaining at the same time. With our show “The Breaking Point” we try and tell the entire story, from start to finish. We want viewers to see the process is much more than just taking to the woods with your weapon and harvesting a deer. We want to show the off-season work and preparation that leads into the hunting season. In my opinion, hunting season is the time of year that is most relaxing, largely since the groundwork has been laid in the prior months.

When producing our shows, we like to have somewhat of an agenda, or an idea of how a show will be laid out before the year even begins. That said, we still want our content to be organic and very natural versus a compilation of staged shots. I feel it’s important to have a particular “show vision” in mind so you can grab all the pieces of content you need to tell the story. We’re constantly trying to get out-of-the-box shots that other people wouldn't typically think of getting. We want our content to be different, we want it to be quality work, and we want our viewers to take an interest in what we’re doing and be able to relate to it.

Want to film your own hunt this year? Here’s three tips from Breaking Point:

  1. Have a plan. You don’t have to account for every moment but have a general idea of the shots you want to get before you go into the field. Come up with a storyline to keep you on track.
  2. Film the process, not just the harvest. From checking trail cameras to scouting, getting your weapon dialed in to driving out to hunt site, a lot goes into your hunt. Try and capture it all to tell a more complete story.
  3. Get a bare bones kit to start. If you get a quality camera, a tree arm, and a decent boom microphone, you can capture every part of your hunt with quality footage and good sound without emptying your wallet.

As far as storylining goes, I’ll run you through a scenario of what the show vision might look like for me hunting in my home state of Iowa this year. As soon as the 2018 season ended, I began shifting my cameras to get intel for when bucks were dropping their antlers on the farms I hunt. Once the antlers dropped, I would spend a couple months walking and looking for shed antlers. This would lead right into turkey season. It’s about the same time I like to go around on all the farms and make any adjustments needed to my tree stands, move them if needed, and hang any new ones. I personally like to get all my tree stand work done in the spring because I can see all the deer sign very well in the woods before everything greens up. I also like to get all the work done before the summer heat rolls in.

Once my stand work is done, I like to stay out of the woods for a couple months. Even though I’m not in the woods, it certainly doesn't mean I’m not thinking of deer season and preparing myself for it. Dissecting trail cam pics of individual deer from previous seasons trying to figure out their tendencies, tearing apart properties; via aerial maps, and starting to send more arrows through my bow are just a few of the things happening this time of year.

HOW TO FILM YOUR HUNT

You don't have to lug a ton of gear into the woods--or up to your tree stand--to capture great footage. Start small, and build gear as you need to.

What does all this have to do with filming and storylining while filming our show? These are all the things that we document through videography along the way in order to put the show together at the end of the year, if I would happen to have a successful hunt in Iowa. That’s just one show. We do the exact same thing for our travels to several other states we hunt throughout the year.

Many of the states we hunt might not get the time or attention our home states will, but overall, our objective doesn't change from a producer’s standpoint. We want to document everything along the way, from packing the vehicles to travel, traveling itself, and any of the work done along the way. That’s the quick and dirty of how we approach filming our shows each year.

If you're looking to get into this type of thing, you don’t have to break the bank to do it. With camera upgrades happening all the time, people are constantly selling used gear at good prices. Facebook pages such as “Outdoor Videography Classifieds” are great places to start when looking for gear. To get started, all you really need is a camera. From there, you can get as crazy as you want with all the additional gear available. If I could suggest three items for getting into filming it would be an affordable camera, tree arm, and a decent boom microphone. With these three things, you can capture steady video from a tree stand with good audio to share with others.

Videography equipment is more affordable and more readily available than ever before. It’s no coincidence that more people are carrying cameras into the woods and capturing their hunts on film to share with others. Whether you want to start a YouTube channel, post videos to your social media pages, or just be able to share videos with your family and friends, filming your hunts can be a lot of fun.

I convinced my parents into buying my first camcorder when I was around 14, and I can honestly say it changed my life. Since then I have documented thousands of hours of footage and shared some of the best memories of my life with friends and family. Whether you're heading to the woods with a weapon, or you're shooting with a camera, good luck to everyone this fall.

ABOUT

The Breaking Point airs on seven digital platforms and is always producing informative content that looks incredible. Check them out on YouTube, Instagram, and be sure to check out their blog.

Leave a Comment