Tips For Self-Filming From Your Tree Stand
Self-filming your hunt is a way to immortalize this unique experience from a tree stand. Reasons for filming a hunt vary. Some hunters enjoy sharing the hunt with family and friends, while others publish their hunting experiences on social media for a broader audience. Moreover, as the saying goes, “if it isn’t on camera it didn’t happen”.
Much of the time, self-filming is our only option for filming a hunt because we hunt alone. Not everyone has a camera crew following him or her around. Self-filming can also be advantageous for a successful hunt. Having only yourself in the stand means having less people for deer to see, smell, or hear. Whatever reasons you self-film your hunt, use this article to guide you through some successful tips the pros use.
How To Select The Location
1) Be in the shadows.
Select a tree that keeps you out of the sun and in the shadows. Self-filming requires you to move and being completely in the shadows will hide your movement.
When picking a spot for staying in the shadows consider topography, aspect and select a tree with lots of overhanging branches that will hide you.
Staying in the shadows will also be important for reducing the chances of glare from your camera equipment.
2) Pick a spot where the majority of the movement happens in front of you.
This will help you get plenty of footage of deer loafing, feeding, and moving through. When a big buck does come in you will have plenty of time for pre-shot footage.
Putting most of the action in front of you will increase the chances of more footage after the shot. The buck will likely run the way he came in thus providing you the opportunity to capture him running off and even hitting the dirt after the shot.
3) Pick a tree with options for multiple camera angles.
Ideal spots will be a tree with multiple branches around your stand or other smaller trees coming up next to your stand. We will touch on this later but you will need options to set up multiple cameras to capture the hunt from at least two angles.
4) Use BaseMap’s HuntWind™ feature to know when, or when not to sit in your stand.
It’s easy: simply open BaseMap PRO, place your stand location, select your ideal wind direction, and then tap “CHECK WIND”. HuntWind™ will tell you when it’s Bad, Risky, or Good at the current moment, over a 24 hour period, and even a 7-day forecast.
After all, if you don’t play the wind correct you won’t be filming any big bucks!
The Camera Setup
You can go as simple or as elaborate as you want with cameras. It is up to you. What we suggest is a minimum of two cameras to capture two angles.
- For the 1st angle camera you need something capable of zooming in and out.
- This camera is primarily used to video deer and other wildlife out in front. The 1st angle is great for zooming in to film wildlife and catching where you hit or miss a deer.
- You can also follow the deer with this camera after the shot and review the footage to see how good of a hit you made.
- The 2nd angle camera we suggest keeps it simple like a GoPro (although you can go more elaborate if you want).
- In our opinion, this second angle is the most important angle. This angle puts the viewer in the hunt. This angle is for capturing you, your emotion, the actual sequence of the shot, and gives you the opportunity to turn to the camera and narrate what is going on.
- This 2nd angle is the only way of capturing what it takes for you to get ready and set up for the shot. This angle can also save you if something happens and you miss the shot on the 1st angle camera.
- Finally, this angle catches your reaction naturally, as the hunt unfolds and will immortalize the raw moment immediately following a shot, a moment you can never recreate.
Where to Set Up Cameras in Your Stand
This camera needs to move back and forth, panning and zooming as you film deer and other wildlife coming and going from your location. A good articulating camera arm with a fluid head is necessary.
Where you set this camera up is extremely important to a successful hunt and successful self-filming experience. We suggest having the camera on your right side, out in front of you and low, about waist high. Having the camera here keeps it out of the way but easily available to film.
The other reason to have it on your right is so you can have your bow or gun on your left side for easy access while you film and ready to grab for a shot when the opportunity is right.
This camera stays stationary, so a simple screw in or clip-on mount will work. Put this camera above you and on your left using the main tree, branches, or trees next to you. Putting it high (still within reach) and behind you slightly enables the camera to capture you and what is happening in front of you on the ground.
Having the camera on your left allows you ease of pushing the record button before you reach for your bow or gun.