I'm looking for advice, suggestions & tips regarding self filming hunts. I have no fancy equipment - HME Better Camera Holder & Samsung WB250F 14.2MP CMOS Smart WiFi Digital Camera with 18x Optical Zoom, 3.0" Touch Screen LCD and 1080p HD Video (pic attached).
I'm a veteran hunter and looking for the challenge of self filming hunts & the rewards of being able to share my passion of archery hunting with friends & family. I'm not going to invest in high-end equipment & video cameras until I try it out for a season using what I have.
I have a few questions for those who self film or have in the past. If you have not self filmed hunts, I ask you not to comment and follow along if you're interested in learning like I am.
Here are a few questions I have: I'm always in treestand and always shoot standing up. Where do you suggest to anchor camera holder in tree - at waist or shoulder height?
I'm a right handed shot, do you suggest anchoring camera holder on my right side or left? Or it all depends on the layout of the terrain and expected path of deer? Do you use an external microphone and if so, which one do you recommend?
Any other tips & advice would be helpful & welcomed.
Lastly, I looked at the last 100 topics and did not see any regarding self filming hunts. If there is one, could you attach link?
Many thanks in advance and wish you all a safe & productive hunting season.
Look up Fourth Arrow camera arms. I got one and it's head and shoulders above any other arm I've used. I anchor the arm waist height if possible, on the right side, as a right handed shot. As a right handed shot, your easy shots are on your left side, so i set up to (hopefully) shoot on the left side. Therefore, I don't want a camera arm there. Hope that helps.
I have successfully filmed dozens of hunts for different species, but it took some failures at the beginning to learn from my mistakes and become successful. You are going to have to turn-on the camera as the animal approaches, and get it turned to point at the right spot, so it needs to be as close as possible to the hand you intend to use (I'm right handed, so right side usually) to minimize movement. If you think you'll do this sitting down before you stand to shoot, it should be at that level, or at standing level if you think that is the time you would do it (I would think sitting, but you know best the timing of when you stand to shoot in the process after seeing the animal approach). Also, the lower the angle of the camera I think makes for better video. The animal will often continue to move around, so some readjustment of the camera is often necessary. I have sometimes done that with my bow hand while at full draw, so I don't tighten down the tripod too tight so it can be moved a little with only one hand. I often use a shotgun mic, but I would be surprised if the camera you show in your photo would support an external microphone attached to it. I personally prefer a ground blind for self filming, and the camera on a conventional tripod. You can get away with a lot more movement without alarming the animal, but that might not be the best for your area if it is very thick. Good luck. I really enjoy it and have recently upgraded my cameras to 4K and am currently looking at upgrading my computer to handle 4K editing.
I've been filming for a while. I have a basic Sony HDC130 cam. It is small and takes great vids. My two cents. I usually film from the stand or elevated box blind. If I'm just filming with no shot intended, I'll free hand it.
If I think a shot might happen or I'm not free-handing it....the cam is usually facing where I think the shot might happen. If I'm bowhunting in the stand, I have a simple spider cam holder or a handle bar cam holder that you can get on EBay cheap (<$10). It has 3 or 4 flexible legs that you can wrap around a limb next to you or maybe the shooting bar on the front of your hang-on stand. The handle bar cam holder is a little more sturdier however both have their bennies. The spider mount can let you mount the cam in some weird positions or on odd objects. In the below vid, the cam is mounted on the shooting bar with the handle bar cam mount. I'm tracking the deer simply by moving the cam with my hand. Where the camera mounts to the cam allows you to easily pivot/swing the cam. I wasn't going to take a shot.
This next vid is the bear I shot. The deal was I had the cam/spider mounted on a limb next to the ladder stand on the right side. With this cam, I can have the door open and the cam in stand-by mode (open but off). I can press a button and turn the cam on. When I want to start filming I can press the start button. That is what I did in this case. I already had a couple of other bears come by. I heard this bear snap his teeth and woof real loud so I knew one was coming in. When I heard the woof, I turned the cam on and then hit start and just let it film just as you see it.
I'll sit or stand for the shot depending on the scenario. With that in mind, I have found it easier to have the cam mounted about at waist level. If I stand I can rotate the door/viewer up so I can watch the view finder from a standing position and still see all of the buttons. If I mount the cam on the shooting bar, I do some dry runs drawing the bow back and swing it to make sure everything clears. Sometimes I'll mount it on the right or left side of the bar depending on the shooting lane. Same for a limb....as long as I can easily reach it AND turn it on. I'm right handed so I prefer a limb on the right side but can swing either way. Also, if you have gloves on it can be a little more difficult to feel the buttons on the cam so keep that in mind.
Here is a handle bar cam mount on EBay. They're cheap enough you can buy a second one for a spare. One good thing about either mount is they are simple and easily taken on/off for free-handing the cam. You can also mount them to the support bar in your pop-up blind or some other object that will support the mount/cam like a stick you jam in the ground. You can do alot of impromptu ideas to mount it.
The spider mount....you can find them cheaper. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Flexible-octopus-spider-Camera-Tripod-Stand-Holder-1-4-screw-For-Camera-GoPro/382588365471?epid=10024734197&hash=item59140b2a9f:g:sEQAAOSwlUhbhP6Y
The handle bar mount.... https://www.ebay.com/itm/Handlebar-For-GP-Hero-Camera-Seatpost-Clamp-Roll-Bar-Mount-Adapter-JG/274013322896?hash=item3fcc777e90:g:u58AAOSw51ldfLWb
While I don't recall my attempts at video hunts ever costing me a truly big trophy (although it has cost me a few shots), you need to know that there is a very real possibility that the extra movement (especially in a tree stand) could cost you a shot opportunity. I got my friend to video tape his shots while we were in Africa recently, and it totally stressed him out trying to video and shoot at the same time, so it's not for everybody.
i got the same hme camera arm and a cheap dslr i bought of facebook marketplace for $10. download the inshot app from the appstore and you can edit your videos on your phone. it’s a basic setup but it works pretty good. it’s also a good idea to get some lumenoks, the camera picks them up really well, even in broad daylight
I self film my hunts just for fun. I like to hunt first and film secondary. If I don’t get it on video, it’s not a big deal. I don’t have expensive equipment. I like it light weight and compact. For a tripod I use eye bolts, washers, thumb screws and wing nuts. Probably $3 each. They fold up nicely too. I’ll leave them in the stands that I hunt the most.
I can not verify this, but I heard thru the mill, a guy had his stand checked, by officials, USFS..... he got a warning, for hangers etc, that screw into the tree. He said I thought it was for just steps, they said, no anything.......
He did get a warning, but just saying..................
Michigan state land has a semi-rule like that. It reads as though you could use a screw in camera arm.
" If you hunt on public land, your tree stand must be portable and your name and address, Michigan driver License number, or DNR sportcard number must be affixed in legible English that can be easily read from the ground. Hunting platforms cannot be affixed or attached to any tree by nails, screws, or bolts; however, a “T” bolt or similar device supplied by a tree stand manufacturer can be used. A fall arrest system is recommended. Screw-in tree steps are illegal on public lands. It is unlawful to use any item that penetrates through the bark of a tree in the construction or affixing of any device to assist in climbing a tree."
Thanks again for the responses, tips & suggestions. I've noticed that the trees that branch out with a second trunk, make a Y shape, or two trees close together, make attaching the camera arm better for filming. I found that turning on the camera when spotting movements is more challenging than anticipated. I know this will be just a learning curve until I get into a routine.