So we’ve heard so much about the SJ series of Go Pro knock-offs that we decided to snag one ourselves. We’ll see how it compares to the original. Some say the SJ tends to add to much blue to landscape shots and plants. If that’s the case it’s nothing a little bit of color balance can’t fix. The model we ordered, the SJ4000, doesn’t have the built in wi-fi option. We figured out in the woods hunting deer, wi-fi won’t be that big of a concern. Don’t get me wrong though, wi-fi would be great to have but this first test camera we will be hunting the landscape with has none. Keep in touch for updates! Check out more info at the MFG site.
Hunting Video Production Gear
Well, as you know we spend quite a bit of time filming our hunts in central WI. Columbia county, Sauk, Marquette, Adams and others. Having to stay in hotels all the time can get pretty pricey, so we decided to take the plunge and buy realty in Portage WI. It’s nothing fancy, just a little house, a shack actually, on the edge of town near Pardeeville. It will be very helpful because we’ll be able to store a lot of our filming equipment there without all the hassle and worry of having to haul it on planes all the time. Plus we’ll have Wisconsin residency which should reduce the costs of our hunting licenses. I’m actually thinking about getting my Wisconsin real estate license as well. This way if we need to buy any other homes in the Portage area or if I come across any hunting land for sale I can move on it fast! We’ll post photos soon!
As you know, deer hunting trail cameras have become insanely popular with big game hunters. Trail cameras are used to pattern deer, scout potential areas for monster bucks, find out what time of day deer are moving through your hunting land etc. But the problem has always been how these cameras are mounted. Basically, they require trees on the landscape in order to function properly because the camera needs to be strapped to a tree in order to get a good view of the area.
Recently we had a customer complaining about deer getting into the landscaping around his home. He wanted to find a means of patterning the deer to find out what time of day or night the deer were cruising through and munching on all the nice landscaping plants and flowers as if they were part of a food plot. The problem was that there were no trees nearby to provide any kinid of substantial mounting area for a trail camera.
Well, a friend of ours works for a company in Wisconsin which manufactures fake rocks for landscaping use and as covers home owners can use to disguise things in their yards with. Geniuses that we are, we snagged one of these fake rock covers and made a mount inside of it on which a camera sits. With a 32GB video card and a fully charged battery the unit will record for almost 28 hours. The homeowner used it and was able to pattern the deer and stick it with an arrow. Now it’s the home owner doing the eating, not the deer!
Will we be selling these? Heck no, they are way too difficult to manufacture! Just thought I’d share the idea in case anyone out there wants to try it. Contact us if you want photos of the inside of the rock to use to create your own.
So I bit the bullet and finally bought a crossbow. What a rush! I was expecting it to be accurate, but man what a tack driver this thing is. I snagged a Horton Vision 175. It’s one of the funky looking models with the reversed limbs which bring the weight of the bow back further than traditional crossbows. It’s not nose heavy at all. Kinda feels like shooting an air rifle.
Lots of folks turns their noses up to crossbows as being unfair when compared to compound bows. I’m not sure why because the effective range is about the same – 40 yards. What’s really enhanced is the accuracy. Heart shots are much more doable out to 40 yards, meaning cleaner kills and less suffering….I’m all for that!
The only thing I notice is the arrows (or bolts) do lose kinetic energy more rapidly than longer arrows shot from compounds do. So you really have to be careful shooting out beyond 40 yards. You want to use heavier broadheads with fixed blades. Mechanicals can suck up precious kinetic energy while opening that would be better suited for helping the arrow penetrate.
Anyways, I’m working on some different Go-pro mounts for this thing ad plan to pop some hogs with it when we hunt on Danny’s hunting land down south. I’ll keep you posted and hope to have some video to share sometime soon.
With hunting season wrapping up for 2015, we hope to finally have time to work on this website and open up the e-commerce portal selling hunting video production gear with full product reviews. We only plan on selling the stuff that we actually use and know works well in the field. As many of you know, we are big fans of the Go-Pro line for many of our bowhunting set-ups. The only drawback being the huge field of view and lack of any real manageable zoom.
Filming a deer hunt solo is no easy feat, regardless of the equipment you have. Right now we are experimenting with some different zoomable lens setups and hope to include these add on packages in our store once it is complete. We’ll keep you posted!
Just wanted to post this real quick. The Go-Pro headstrap we always rave about is back in stock at Amazon. This is the strap with the center strap that goes across the top of ones head, not just around the ears like many other straps do. It’s a must if you are going to be climbing treestands and knocking around while hunting. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F19PYR4/ref=s9_al_bw_g421_i5
If we find it on sale anywhere else we will post links. We plan to sell this same strap here as well once our store is finished.
After a recent deer hunting trip to central Wisconsin (we had a blast) we came back with more info on the same blue tongue deer disease that’s been popping up in our neck of the woods as well. Blue-Tongue is a virus that infect cattle, goats, elk, deer and other ruminants. What’s strange is how it is spread: primarily through insect bites from gnats and midges living in the soil. When deer walk across the land they stir up the soil and these little insects become airborne and can bite the deer and spread the virus. Once infected the deer goes down for the count in a big hurry. Many die within a week and are often found near water with the tell-tale blue tongue hanging out (it becomes swollen during the illness).
Wisconsin experienced a mild winter last year, a suspected catalyst in helping the virus thrive and spread. In some areas of Columbia, Sauk, and Marquette counties (where we were hunting in central Wisconsin) scores of deer have been found by hunting land owners and farmers. Some land owners are reporting drastic herd reductions on plots of hunting land previously teaming with deer and trophy bucks. (the buck on the left was found by one of the hunting land owners in WI who let us bow hunt on his property. He claims the buck had blue tongue and was found by a pond).
The good news is blue tongue tends to flair up in areas, and then become less prevalent over time. Unlike CWD, which stays in an area for years and years and can have negative effects on the deer herd, prices of hunting land for sale, farming and other practices, blue tongue is normally considered more of a flash in the pan.
The infected deer we have seen on our hunting land up here we suspect were killed by blue tongue are primarily older, mature bucks which we presume may have weaker immune systems than their younger siblings. Just like CWD and other diseases affecting ungulates, the older deer tend to be the ones most affected. So the moral of the story is be on the lookout for this blue tongue virus when out in the woods deer hunting. As always, it’s best to educate yourself so you know what to look for, so here’s more info.
As you know, we’re big fans of using Go-Pro cameras on many of the hunts we film where we know we’ll be close to the animals and large zoom lenses will not be necessary. For the most part, any large game animal that is close enough to shoot with a bow and arrow is going to show up fairly well on Go-Pro footage. An elk at 300 yards about to be poked with a rifle, not so much. It would look like a little tiny speck without the telephoto and zoom capabilities of our larger Sony cameras. But for hunting whitetail deer and other species close over trails, food plots or watering holes, the Go Pro rig is tough to beat.
We set ourselves up almost exactly like the dude in the photo on the right. With one camera mounted to the bow using the new Sportsman’s mount, and the other on the head. This way you can get some nice panning shots when looking around as well as some shots down the arrow.
A few things to remember:
- Buy heavy duty batteries – Lithium packs don’t like cold weather, count on less run time in the cold.
- Use Lok-Tite on any fasteners so they don’t rattle loose.
- Set-up so you are close to the animals – Go-Pro cameras are wide angle, not telephoto.
We’re using a setup here in Ontario early September to film a hunt for bear with 3 Go-Pro cameras per hunter. We’ll post the footage when it’s ready. Most will be used for a major camo company we can’t name just yet.
Now this rocks big time! An old time friend of ours, Josh Wilkins, used to live up here in Canada but moved to Wisconsin years ago. We’ve always stayed in touch and shared big buck photos, hunting storys and all that good stuff. Last summer I asked him what the chances were of us filming some hunts for Realtree over in WI. He didn’t really have any space on the 40 he hunts with family but he knew a guy who worked for this company who was able to work with a current land owner and get us permission to hunt a 300 acre plot in Buffalo county! As you may know, Buffalo county WI is one of the most famous deer hunting hotbeds for massive trophy buck production. It’s a whitetail hunters dream come true!
Because of the potential for some seriously remarkable footage we’re going to be shooting with our bow cams, and a full camera crew. So we’re looking at 2 guys in each tree, or 2 cameras plus an additional ground camera for each setup. We may let the drones rip as well but not sure how legal those are in Wisconsin. I know it’s illegal to use drones for real estate sales, but video production for hunting videos may be legit.To say we are excited would be a massive understatement. Hats off to Josh and his friends at www.huntinglandwisconsin.com for putting this together for us (check the site out if you ever are in the market for hunting land for sale in Wisconsin. We’re going to be heading over there a full week prior to the rut, which in Wisconsin usually hits around halloween through the 3rd week of November. Our plan is to scout around, then hang some trail cameras and see what shows up before making final decisions on stand placement.
Since Crossbows were legalized in WI last fall, the temptation is there to buy some to try. The main issue are the camera mounts. Basically, we have none for deer hunting crossbow applications. Crossbows fire with such a snap, and reverse recoil that you really almost need to go with a full rifle setup in order to prevent camera shutter and jumpy or out of focus footage. While it would be neat to be up on stand with crossbows, it’s probably not going to happen this time around.
We will, however, be hunting over some real nice food plots that the land owner planted last year. They were not maintained throughout the summer, no water or weed killer, but apparently they held up pretty well. I guess the Wisconsin Summer was quite wet and food plots throughout the state did very well even if left unattended for much of the spring and summer months. As you may already know, I love hunting over food plots because there is always so much going on. Not just big monster bucks, but tons of does, coyotes, raccoons, they just seem to attract so much wildlife it always makes the hunts very exciting. Check out the video below, these are the dudes hooking us up with the deer hunting land in WI to hunt this fall:
Of course we will be keeping you up to date on the footage from this Wisconsin deer hunt on this premium slab of deer hunting land! It’s the perfect mix of agricultural land, rolling hills and wooded valleys out in Buffalo county to produce some real Pope and Young caliber whitetail deer. And we really hope we get a crack at a couple of them this fall! Maybe even one larger than the King Buck!
Lots of fellow deer hunters have been asking us how we film our bow deer hunts using our GoPro setups with the on stabilzer shots. Well, long story short is we devised a custom mounting system that is unique to both of our deer hunting archery setups. I know a lot of the deer hunters out there are hungry to buy some sort of setup that is easy to mount, will remove quickly, is lightweight, and won’t make any noises that may scare the deer away.
While we do have plans to produce these mounts and offer them for sale in 2016, we simply ran out of time this year. It’s tough because the riser and stabilzer on every compound bow is slightly different. So designing a mount that will work full spectrum is a bit of a challenege. We think we finally have a design that is good enough to put up for sale though. This year we will test it extensively during our Wisconsin whitetail hunts and Canadian blacktail outings. We have a lot of food plots in place so we should be able to get right on the deer for some real nice footage of monster bucks this fall!
I will keep you posted on when the first models will be offered up for sale.