By Tracy Breen
Tim Wells, host of the TV show, Relentless Pursuit, spends a lot of time self-filming. His action-packed footage of killing everything from pigs and frogs to deer and other big game animals has made him extremely popular over the years. Tim spends a fair amount of time filming his own hunts, including turkey hunts. Filming turkeys can be difficult. Below, Wells explains a few of his favorite filming techniques when he is filming turkeys by himself.
THE POP UP BLIND ADVANTAGE
When filming on his own, Wells prefers sitting in a pop-up blind in a strutting zone or a well-traveled area where he knows gobblers love hanging out. “Running and gunning can be difficult when trying to film my own turkey hunts. My favorite tactic is to be on a field edge or strutting zone during the morning and wait for a gobbler to show up. It isn’t always as exciting as running and gunning, but when a bird comes in, my camera is all set and I can film the action by myself,” Wells explained.
USE A HEN DECOY
Putting out hen and Jake decoys is a favorite tactic of many turkey hunters, but Wells prefers leaving the Jake decoy at home. “When a tom comes running into my setup, I want him to strut around for the hen and let me film him close to the decoy. When I use a Jake decoy, the tom always comes in looking for a fight and although the footage can be action-packed, the tom is often running back and forth and coming in and out of view which can create very choppy footage. This is why I prefer putting a hen really close to my blind, calling softly, and enticing a tom to come in close,” Wells added.
Wells spends a lot of time bowhunting turkeys. When he isn’t sitting in a blind waiting on a tom, he stalks turkeys with his bow. “Many hunters like stalking strutting birds and shoot them at a few steps. When I hunt like this, I use a GOPro 5 or 6 that has 4K capabilities. I attach the camera to my bow and hunt. Because these cameras offer 4K, I can zoom in extra close when I am editing the footage and still have a high quality film,” Wells said.
According to Wells, the key to filming turkey hunts is calling softly and just enough to bring a tom in extra close. “Hunters should not over call. Over calling keeps the gobbler on the limb in the early morning hours or just out of range if he is on the ground. When a bird hears lots of excited calling, they stop and strut. The bird typically hangs up and doesn’t come in,” Wells advised. Wells prefers playing hard to get and calls just enough to get the bird to come in close. “My favorite shot to take when bowhunting longbeards is a head shot. It’s a quick, clean kill.” In order for Wells to pull off a head shot, he prefers that the bird is ten yards away or less. “A close shot is easy to make and produces exciting footage.”
Are you hoping to get a great turkey hunt on film this year? Take a few tips from Tim Wells and you might find yourself smiling over a longbeard in the near future.