A Self Filmers Dilemma: Camera or Deer?

By Alex Comstock

Nowadays it seems as though everybody is carrying a camera with them into the woods. Whether you want to make your own TV show, film for fun, or like to put YouTube videos together, we all film for different reasons. If you're new to self filming, or are thinking about starting to partake in it, you've got to ask yourself one vital question. If you've been self filming for some time now, you've already answered it. Camera or Deer? 

Self filming is no joke, it's hard. Especially if you want to put together quality films. I myself am sometimes running up to three cameras in the tree/blind at the same time. It can get to be A LOT to keep track of. It's easy to lose sight of the primary goal, and that's the whole deer hunting part. This is where my question comes into play. When you self film, there will inevitably be moments where you've got a decision to make. A buck comes in behind you quickly, and you don't have time to get the camera on him. Do you sacrifice the camera, and take the shot anyway, or do you first get the camera on him, and potentially lose a shot opportunity? That answer to that is up to you. 

I've released three arrows at deer this year. Sad to say that two haven't worked in my favor. Ironically, the two that I didn't manage to kill, I still didn't even get the camera on them for the actual shot. I was able to film the deer take off after the shot, but they were just out of frame during the shot itself. I was able to get a good clean kill on film perfectly, and when it works out that way, that's awesome. But, what I've quickly realized, is that it won't always work out that way. If you've had a chance to see my second webisode of the year, you'll notice this was an instance I didn't get the shot on video. What I'm trying to do though, is tell a story. The shot is just one part of that story. I can still accomplish my goals I have through video productions without getting the moment of truth on film, and when I do, it's icing on the cake. 

Before you can answer the ultimate question of camera or deer, you need to have a goal in mind of what you are trying to accomplish when you bring that camera in the tree with you. For me, it's the whole story. I don't just film the deer I see, it's everything else that goes into deer hunting. Why are you bringing a camera into the woods with you? If you are able to answer that, then you will be able to answer the question, camera or deer? 

There is another whole level we could get into with camera gear and filming that I will dive deeper into another time. But for now, and the rest of this season, the more clearly you are able to answer the question of camera or deer, the more successful you will be in accomplishing what you're looking for.  

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