Being able to hunt in some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world and capturing on camera every single hunt I’ve been on for the past, call it 15 years, has been one of the greatest honors of my life. But, in full transparency, it’s also a gigantic pain in the ass! And one that’s really hard to explain, unless you’ve lived it!
There’s no doubt that capturing the essence of any given hunt on camera is thrilling. For the crew here, it’s not about the animal or the kill-shot. It never has been and it never will be. It’s about the story that takes place when we’re out there. Whether it’s deep in the mountains or on the edge of a midwestern cornfield, the story always comes first. So….here’s what that means…the actual process of filling my tag comes dead last. I can’t tell you how many opportunities we’ve passed up on over the years because the light wasn’t quite right…all of them most definitely after legal hunting time – but before our cameras could actually capture what we were doing. We all know that deer are crepuscular in nature – unfortunately for us, cameras are not. There was Sundown for Chris in Kansas, there was a 175” stud in Iowa that I held full draw on for 30+ seconds at 12 yards…and so many more.
Don’t get me wrong here…I’m not complaining by any means…I’m just saying that being successful on any given hunt is hard enough with 1 human and perfect conditions…when you throw 2, or sometimes more than 2, humans into that equation in rarely perfect conditions and it’s amazing we’ve been able to get any tags filled at all! But…this is what we signed up for. Long days in the field and late nights in the tent – logging and transferring, charging batts and fixing gear that mother nature has taken its toll on – oh, and replacing that gear just about every year because the electronics world improves technology at lightning speed. It’s the name of the game when you’re in production to do the story justice no matter the cost – and we’re all committed to that above and beyond anything else.
But…I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The crew that we have and the camaraderie that we share in the field is all worth it. As a lifelong hockey player, when my career came to an end there’s one thing I missed more than the game itself, and that was my teammates..the guys in the locker room. Well, my new locker room is out there in the field – and my teammates in production are just as rock-solid as my teammates on the ice. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without having one of our guys out there with me over my shoulder…I almost feel like it would be sort of un-ceremonial to celebrate a hard earned victory on an ancient whitetail by myself in a tree…come to think of it that would suck way more than anything that could be thrown my way during production. So…in the end, what’s a 175” typical 6×6 worth at 12 yards if you don’t have anyone to share it with?