8 Reasons why hunting Northern Michigan is still Awesome
Even if you’re an avid southern Michigan hunter, I encourage you to join a family member or friend to experience the northern Michigan hunting experience at least once. Whether you come back with a deer or not, I’m sure it will be one of the coolest hunting experiences that you’ll embark upon. Enjoy the cold, the community buck pole, and the stories around the bonfire while cooking your hot dog; let it all sink in because as a Michigan hunter this will be an experience to remember.
-Steve Crawford, MWP prostaffer
Filming hunts is growing all over the world. There is no problem with filming the hunt and calling it a day, but there’s no better way to tell a story, than to SHOW it!! So if you’re one that wants to take your filming to a whole new level… Here are 10 of the most important aspects to filming your hunts.
#1 Steady, smooth video.
Steady and smooth is key to having a great film. So many people just bring out a camera and free hand it, which ends up making the video very shaky, and a headache to watch. A good camera arm and fluid head are KEY!! Yes, you can go to your local hunting store and buy a cheap 30-40 dollar camera arm, and it will do the job. But that arm will only last a couple hunts before the squeaking and stiffness starts and it just becomes a hassle. I prefer Muddy Outdoors camera arms. They are by far the smoothest arms hands down, and with a good fluid head, your hunts will be steady, smooth, and enjoyable to watch!
#2 Learn to be the cameraman before the hunter.
If you want to be able to produce the best video you can, you have to find that balance between cameraman and hunter. It's true with both solo hunting, and being a cameraman. When solo hunting, you have to learn to make certain movements at certain times. Like when that animal is coming in, video first, but once you see the animal is committing, grab the bow, and keep filming. Some people get so caught up in the moment that their brain shuts off from being a cameraman and their hunter senses kick in. That's when it usually creates bad video or no video of the kill at all.
#3 Let it go
Solo hunters really don't have to worry about this since at the time of the shot, their hands are on the weapon and not the camera. But this is crucial for being a cameraman. When the shot is about to happen... Let go of the camera arm or camera. What this prevents is the cameraman shakes at the point of the shot, which can make the impact not clear or even visible. So when the shot is about to happen, think of the movie Frozen, and LET IT GO!!! And once the shot is fired, grab the camera and follow the animal.
#4 Never enough
You can never get enough film. All it can do is make your video better. Which brings us to #5
#5 Be Creative
When taking different shots, think outside the box, and think of different ways you can make a unique shot. Wide view cameras like go pros are really good for different angled shots. DSLR cameras are really good for focus shots with incredible clarity, but for the average guy with the average camera, just find the little things that not a lot of people film and make it your own.
#6 Forget the camera is rolling when you talk. (for both hunter and cameraman)
It takes a while to feel comfortable talking around a camera. But everyone loves to see true personality, especially when adrenaline is flowing and all the emotions come out. Act like there is no camera there and just celebrate. Let whatever you feel come out!
#7 Always be prepared.
Filming can take a lot of equipment, make sure you have extra batteries, extra memory cards, something to cover your camera up if it rain/snows. Maybe even bring an extra camera if your camera malfunctions. You never know when the hunt of a lifetime is going to happen, and there would be nothing worse than missing it, so ALWAYS be prepped.
#8 IGNORE the industry
The hunting industry has commercialized hunting. DON’T do that to yourself. Forget obvious product placement and telling others what type of broadhead is best. At MWP we have relationships with products we use and love, preferably local Michigan relationships. Ignore the slogans and overdone reactions that the pros often show. Your reaction is different – and remember when you kill a whitetail in Michigan on film…celebrate any way you want. Your viewers will enjoy it!
Everyone wants to see your animal! Film all the emotions of following the blood trail, finding the animal, field dressing, and bringing the animal home. It will add a lot of emotion, personality, and sometimes comedy to your video.
#10 (MOST IMPORTANT) Tell a Story.
Just like I said earlier, film everything. Nobody likes a "there's a deer. Boom. Look at him. The end " hunt. We want to see everything that goes on, from deer camp to driving there, everything that happens in the stand, to driving home with a Mack daddy buck in the back of the pick up truck. Talk like there's no camera, just you and your buddy having an awesome time in Gods creation.
- Blake Ledger, MWP Prostaffer
Summer is quickly rolling to an end. One of the most important things you can do is get your trail cameras set and doing your scouting for you. When October 1st hits, you will have one of your best chances to kill that buck you’ve been watching all summer before he changes his summer patterns. Having your trail cameras capturing his movements and allowing you to pattern these bachelor groups will give you a much higher chance of punching your tag during the first week of October.
As we creep into the month of August and the temps are in the 80’s, it’s time to get out of your air-conditioned house and into your hunting spot. You need to have your stands set and shooting lanes trimmed far before season opens. There is nothing worse than disturbing your property two days before you want to hunt it.
Every piece in your whitetail arsenal works together. Get your camouflage washed and in order, your binoculars cleaned, your stands greased (so they don’t squeak whenever you move), and get your broadheads and arrows tuned in. Every detail matters when that moment of truth rolls around.
Confidence is key in the whitetail woods. Especially here in Michigan, one of the most pressured states in America, you need to know that you can make the shot when it presents itself. You may only get one chance at a good deer during the season. The best thing you can do is be confident that you can make your one shot count.
Even though you might have a good chunk of private land to hunt, it can never hurt to have a backup. There are many different pieces of land in Michigan that are open for hunting to the public. Getting into these areas and scouting them can become a huge advantage later in the year when you are looking for a good backup option to hunt.
We all know that when October rolls around, we get tunnel vision. Only one thing matters: Being in the woods. That being said, make sure you spend a lot of time with your significant other during the months leading up to season so you can “purchase” time away in your stand during the season. We all know the saying “a happy wife is a happy life.” Well, in reality, a happy wife is a happy hunting season.
Sometimes the most helpful information can come from fellow hunters. In Michigan, us hunters are in this together. A little tidbit of helpful information and advice from another hunter is more than a good enough reason to get out there and network a bit among the other hunters in your area.
If you’re anything like us at MWP, great hunting property is worth more than anything. Our friends over at Stoney Creek Outdoor Properties have listings of numerous great hunting properties throughout the state of Michigan. If you’re in the market for a new piece of land, you’ll definitely want to check them out. You won’t regret it.