You  hear the stiff legged gait, crunching leaves along the ridge behind you and when you finally catch a flicker of movement out the corner of your eye your heart starts beating double time. When that mature buck appears from behind the brush, your legs start shaking and the game is on. Whether it’s a camera or a bow in hand, these next precious few moments can make or break your hunt. As nerve-wracking as this point can be for a hunter, it can be equally as crazy for a cameraman. So for those of us who film our hunts, it’s important to be just as well prepared for these times as we do as hunters. That being said, when it comes to crunch time, it’s crucial that we know how to properly locate a deer in our viewfinder, follow it as it moves and zoom into the proper distance.

Luckily, it was exactly these types of things that we learned about at the White Knuckle Productions film school a week or so ago and I thought today we might share a few pointers on this topic with the Wired To Hunt Nation.  So to begin, here are a few quick tips on properly leading a deer on film, explained to us by lead cameraman and editor for White Knuckle Productions, Kyle Reenders.

Leading Deer On Film – Kyle Reenders – White Knuckle Productions from Mark Kenyon on Vimeo.

In addition to properly leading a buck, you must also be appropriately zoomed in to get the best possible video footage. During our class, Kyle explained to us that when focused on a deer, you should zoom in close enough to have a space above and below the deer that was about as tall as a deer’s body would be from belly to back. Essentially your screen would be split into thirds from top to bottom, and the deer’s body should fill that center third. This is the money shot and is the best for capturing the actual kill. That being said, if you have extra time to film the deer before the shot, try zooming in on different parts of the deer, zoom way out to capture the hunter and deer in the same pic and try other creative shots!

When it comes to the moment of truth, with the camera in hand, lead the deer when he moves and zoom in to put your deer in the center third. Do this and you’ll have some beautiful and memorable footage to look back on for years to come!

For more examples of Kyle’s work and more info on White Knuckle Productions, visit their website here.

Any other tips for getting good footage of deer? I know many of you film your hunts, so lets hear em!