I just got one of the new point-and-shoot video cameras that even technically challenged people can use, which is one reason it was given to me. I, too, can be the star of my own hunting program, I was told, thanks to the camera with its simple on-off switch. Point it in the right direction and it’s good to go. The camera can be mounted to the tree my stand is in or secured to a gun barrel for filming in a duck blind or in the turkey woods. Mainly, I plan to use it to help me figure out my consistent inability to hit chandelle clay targets.
Various makes of the diminutive video cameras are available, but GoPro and iON are arguably the most aggressive companies when it comes to developing products for the hunting and fishing markets. Either brand offers excellent products that cost from about $300 to $500 and are fairly foolproof, bulletproof, and waterproof. It’s their ease of use and the quality of the videos they produce that have made them so popular with hunters and anglers. High-definition results and uncomplicated editing procedures yield videos that can be posted on Facebook or Twitter, or uploaded to YouTube. You might even have something that a hunting equipment manufacturer would want for his website.
As noted, the current top-of-the-line cameras that iON and GoPro make produce exceptional footage regardless of the activity or setting. Here, the more important consideration for hunters is the mounts that can be paired with the cameras in particular situations. Aftermarket mounts are available, and the camera companies themselves offer a variety. iON packages the Realtree Xtra-clad CamoCam (about $300) with a clamp mount that goes on a gun barrel or bow riser and might be adequate for what you want.
GoPro provides a greater range of mounts for its top-of-the-line HERO4 (about $500) There’s Fetch, which is a harness mount for a hunting dog ($59.99), and the Sportsman mount ($69.99), which enables you to clamp the camera to a gun barrel, a cable bow or a recurve or longbow. GoPro also has gooseneck mounts that allow you to clamp a camera to a nearby tree limb or sapling to film yourself calling turkeys or watching over a food plot.
Buy a camera that best suits your style of hunting and learn how to use it between now and your next season. Also, download the Apps that allow you to operate the camera and become familiar with all the functions. For instance, pair the camera with an iPhone or Android device and the smartphone can then be used as a remote control device to turn the camera on and off, change settings and even view the video you’ve just shot.
Visit the websites of iON and GoPro. Both have lots of tutorials on using their cameras, and you’ll be impressed by what they can do.
In July iON will offer the SnapCam, which is a bit smaller than a saltine cracker and clips to a shirt pocket, the bill of your cap or wherever. Beside its diminutive size, what differentiates the SnapCam is that it can stream real-time video, presuming you have cellphone or wi-fi connectivity. Once linked up with your buddies, you can show them the buck that’s coming or the gobbler that’s strutting your way as seen through the SnapCam’s wide-angle lens. In fact, you can show yourself. For instance, with the SnapCam you could sit in one stand and still maintain surveillance of the food plot you almost chose to sit in that afternoon. The streaming version will retail for about $150, while the non-streaming SnapCam will sell for about $80.