BY TRACY BREEN
Turkey hunting can be a lot of fun. Filming a turkey hunt, on the other hand, can be difficult especially if you want to create footage that other people will want to watch. “Turkeys never stop moving,” Grant Woods, the host of GrowingDeerTV said. “As a result, we are constantly moving our cameras, our gear, and ourselves to try to get into position for a good shot and to record high quality footage.” Below are a few tips from Grant to help hunters record better turkey hunting footage.
For starters, Woods prefers using the Fourth Arrow Rex arm when filming turkey hunts. “When we use a regular tripod to film our hunts, we constantly have to move the tripod around to get footage of the turkey,” Woods said. “Because the Fourth Arrow Rex Arm can rotate 360 degrees, we can easily move the camera to capture footage of the moving bird without moving the tripod. It’s great! This eliminates the choppiness you sometimes see when filming turkeys as they walk and strut around, especially when hunting out of a blind. When just using a tripod, we have to move from window to window. With the Rex Arm, that problem is eliminated.”
USE A GOPRO
Using GoPro cameras is another way to get interesting footage of turkeys as they approach a decoy setup. Toms that are beating up on a jake decoy can make for entertaining footage, especially when a GoPro is only a few steps from the decoys. Fourth Arrow makes a GoPro stake that can be quickly and easily put into the ground by the decoys. Grant Woods likes to have GoPro’s facing him and the cameraman when he is turkey hunting. “Having a camera facing me and my cameraman provides another angle for viewers to watch. It allows them to see how we like to film our hunts. People like to see all the action from a variety of angles, so having a camera out in front of us facing back towards us works well,” Woods explained.
LET GO OF THE CAMERA
Another thing Woods does to increase the quality of his footage is lets his camera man know a few seconds before shooting a tom that is he is about to pull the trigger so the cameraman can take his hands off the camera and the tripod. “It doesn’t matter how many times a cameraman has heard a gun go off. When I pull the trigger, he always jumps. This typically produces shaky footage. To eliminate that problem, I will give a kee kee call a few moments before I pull the trigger. This alerts my camera man to take his hands off the camera so the camera won’t shake,” Woods added.
When the hunting gets tough and Woods needs to leave his blind to run and gun, he brings Montana Decoys and cloth to cover his camera and tripod and hits the woods. “One more way people can increase the quality of their footage is by being mobile. We use lightweight decoys, and bring cloth to cover our cameras so we don’t spook birds. As a result, birds often come in close which gives us great footage. Being lightweight is necessary when filming turkeys.”
Because a turkey doesn’t have a unique rack like a deer or enormous antlers like an elk, watching turkey hunts on TV or online can be somewhat boring. Hunters who film their hunts can increase the entertainment value by showing the hunt from a variety of angles and by making sure the footage is steady and clear throughout the film.