Shoot Something!

Some hunting outings can leave you quite frustrated when deer don’t show up at your ambush site, even when you know that they always (are supposed to) pass by that way.

I sat all morning in my blind and never had a deer come in. I sat all afternoon in my treestand and never even saw a squirrel or bird, let alone a deer. When this scenario happens, you can easily get quite bummed out.

Instead of letting a “no-show” bum you out totally, you can always look around and find something to shoot. Only at times like these, use your camera!

While hunting, I have to admit that I shoot way more photos than I do animals. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Photos can be a constant remembrance that your outing wasn’t a complete loss, and you’ll recall the splendor of your surroundings that should help brighten an otherwise glum outing.

Some of my most prized photos have come from sitting on stand or perched inside my ground blind, while the intended quarry was no where to be seen.

Have you ever noticed the gnarly shaped tree ten yards from your hunting site? Or the noisy squirrel perched in a tree nearby? What about the color of the fallen leaves on the earth’s floor beneath your treestand? Or the beautiful landscape that God has painted and set before you? You don’t need to save your camera shots for just trophy photos, snap a few pics of the many thousand things before your eyes right now! If that odd looking bug creeping up the bark looks interesting to you, use your macro setting and make him the star of a picture!

I have been chided as picking hunting spots for their beauty, rather than the game that they hold, but this could not be further from the truth. It seems that everywhere I find good game sign to set up near, the animals like the beauty of the area too. Even when my set up is near a swamp, I can still find the beauty in my surroundings. Sometimes I may have to look hard, but it’s there! And I always have my camera along to prove just that fact. Some locations may seem to look dull and drab, often lacking in color, but many of those scenes have different textures juxtaposed together that can make for wonderful photos.

I also take my camera along when on scouting expeditions. They are a reminder to me of perhaps a certain location or certain tree that I might be thinking about setting up in, and don’t want to forget later down the road. My memory is not always the best, so my photos really help me out. They can also better show my hunting partners what I may be trying to explain to them. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

On one recent scouting outing, my camera was a lifesaver. While traversing some rugged back country with my husband, our GPS’s rechargeable batteries were quickly losing juice. We had taken so many trail offshoots while on our adventure, that we weren’t sure we could find or way back without being able to back track our exact route.  Just before the GPS batteries finally gave up the ghost, its LCD screen showed us as driving right through the center of a lake. That was NOT something we did while on our off-road motorcycle trip, I can assure you!

Now what should we do? When pondering the situation whether to blindly continue on, or regrettably turn back and guess which trails we rode previous, I had an epiphany. The thought of switching the GPS batteries with my camera batteries seemed like a logical choice. We were fortunate that they both took double A’s. The camera took four, the GPS two. I made the switch and was pleasantly surprised that my camera still worked on two good and two weak batteries. Now we could continue on and use both items on our trip.

Shown below are a few of my personal favorite photos that were all taken while hunting or scouting, beginning with views taken from inside my ground blind:

With camera turned, and shooting myself in the ground blind: (When really bored!!)

A fun gal in a tree

And views OF my ground blind:

Views while looking up, and looking down:

Trees Above
Fallen leaves
My wildlife friends
Hawk flying above the sage
Deer tracks while scouting
Fungi on a tree

As you can see, this is not a primer on how to use your camera, but rather just to encourage you to use it! So when you have sat for hours while out hunting and are thinking about heading back in, grab your camera, sit a while longer and really see what develops.

© October 2007