4 Reasons You Should Use Hunting Action Cameras This Season
August 14, 2015
A hunter's success often depends on the ability to learn from one's mistakes. As any whitetail addict knows, a wicked case of buck fever during the moment of truth can significantly impact your awareness of the whole situation, causing you to miss on a sure-thing and second guess what went wrong.
The ability to review a failed hunt and pinpoint exactly what happened is an invaluable tool for hunters. That's why a hunting action camera can not only save your hunt, but also make you a better hunter in the process.
Take this hunt from last season for example. I had just taken a tremendous Texas white-tailed buck with my rifle, but was itching to run an arrow through a doe. Meat was on my mind.
My friend Wade and I jumped in an ATV two hours before dusk and headed to a tower stand on the edge of a wheat field. Deer scattered in every direction when we arrived, but I knew they'd be back.
Trouble was, when they eventually started poking their cautious heads out of the brush, it was obvious they knew something was up. Every deer was on edge, especially the old nanny does that I was focusing on to fill my tag. But they were hungry, so it didn't take long before the field was full of deer. It was just a matter of time before one would step into bow range.
Finally, a small group filed into my 30-yard comfort zone and I waited for the perfect moment to draw. For the past three afternoons, I had practiced shooting on the 3-D archery course back at the lodge. The doe at 28 yards was a done deal. I drew, settled my pin on the center of her boiler room, and '¦
Had I really missed? There was no signature thwack sound, and the doe didn't show any sign of an injury as she sprinted off the field and out of my life.
Yep. I missed. But how? Soon, headlights bounced across the empty field and my ride arrived. We analyzed the scene, picked up my clean arrow and motored back to camp.
Had it not been for the action camera strapped to my stand that evening, pointed at the wheat field, I would've forever questioned what went wrong during my shot. However, I reviewed the footage immediately when we returned to the lodge and discovered the doe had completely ducked my arrow. The illuminated nock flew at her like a laser beam, narrowly missing the top of her back as she dropped on a dime.
Recording your hunts with a hunting action camera has many benefits aside from entertainment. As I learned in the Lone Star State, the minimal effort required to run a hunting action camera is well worth it. It can save your hunt, even if that simply means saving you from mental anguish.
Here are several reasons you should consider employing an action cam in your arsenal.
1. Save Your Hunt
Like my Texas hunt, it's refreshing to replay footage from your hunt to determine what happened during the moment of truth. Did you hit the animal where you intended? How did the animal react when you squeezed the trigger?
A person's mind and body can go haywire after a shot, and if the animal doesn't die in sight, it's always possible you'll end up second-guessing exactly where it ran. If a tracking effort is required — whether it be within hours or the next day — a short video clip can confirm where to pick up the trail.
This is especially true if you made a bad shot, with little blood to guide your tracking efforts.
2. Identify and Inventory Other Animals in the Area
If you hunt long enough, at some point you're bound to catch a fleeting glimpse of a critter that you can't identify. Maybe it was a mature buck that you didn't know was a resident in the neighborhood. Perhaps it was your mind playing tricks on you. Or maybe it was that yeti — the one that you knew existed, but had never seen in the flesh.
Regardless, if a camera is rolling, you can review the footage to solve otherwise unsolved mysteries.
3. Determine Your Flaws
You don't just have to point your hunting action cameras downrange. Get yourself into frame and record yourself during the hunt. You might detect poor habits such as unnecessary fidgeting, obsessive checking of your smartphone, or even worse — bad shooting form.
Did you flinch when you shot? Did you lift your head off the stock of your gun too early? Did you drop your bow arm before your arrow left its rest? Did you punch the trigger on your release?
These are all questions that can be answered with a post-game replay from your action cam.
4. Show Off Your Success
OK, it's also totally legit to run an action cam strictly for entertainment purposes. Whether you're shooting a lovesick gobbler off the back of your harlot hen decoy, or folding entire flocks of ducks with your buddies, you might as well capture the memories on camera. Crack a cold one back at camp. Press play. Rewind. Repeat.
Or if you're a fan of sharing all your finest moments with Facebook friends or YouTube subscribers, upload your videos and wait for comments to pour in.
Just don't let your ego get too big, Hollywood.