The right gear makes all the difference in a majority of the situations we experience in the wild. There are no exceptions when it comes to quality self filming gear. Self filming a hunt is difficult enough to do so when it comes to the gear that helps you become more successful in the task you don’t want to skimp out. I think it is important to take note that I’ll break down the gear list into MUST HAVE and SUCCESS INCREASERS. “Must Have” is the bare minimum you need to take with you into the wilderness to start self filming. The “success increasers” don’t intel a pope and young whitetail is going to come marching right in broadside at point blank range. Ha ha ha we wish they made those too! This list is specific to gear that makes self filming a tad bit easier when that adrenaline moment starts to unfold.
“Must Have” Checklist
| Camera Arm and Base |
The camera arm and base is specifically for you treestand users. The base mounts directly to the tree and will have some sort of leveling device on it to get your camera arm level to the ground. The camera arm itself will lock into the base and allow you to pivot the camera around the treestand as you film your hunt. We personally have been using MUDDY camera arms and have found them to be fantastic in the field. With general cameras we have found the Muddy Outfitter to be just the right size. If you are planning on locking on more than one camera or have a professional sized camera you may want to look into upgrading your base to the Pro Camera Arm base.
Positioning of the base and arm on the tree in relevance to where you stand is very crucial. You’ll want to have access to moving the camera with your shooting hand so you will be able to keep your other hand holding your weapon in the direction of your target prey. We like to have the base just above waist level when we are standing in the tree. This way we can easily make moves from our bowstring to the arm to reposition it without a whole lot of detectable movement. In a sense, you can position the camera arm so that your weapon of choice will shield your shooting hand as it works the camera.
| Fluid Head |
Fluid heads are what attach your camera to your camera arm. Interestingly enough they do just what they say, they make filming your hunt very fluid like. Panning the camera becomes very smooth and there isn’t a whole lot of jerky camera repositioning. This increases your chance of success because smooth movement is often times undetectable movement because you can control what you are doing. The majority of our staff has been using Manfrotto fluid heads. Trust me, we’ve had the Manfrotto’s all across the globe in perfect weather and ridiculous weather and they hold up. The size fluid head you choose will be relevant to your camera size.
That’s it for the must have. If you acquire a camera, a fluid head, and a camera arm/base you can start filming your hunts. The bare bones of self filming 101 right there. Now if you are looking to increase your success rate with self filming you are going to want to check back soon as we will be posting our “SUCCESS INCREASERS” gear list soon!