Mock scrapes and trail cameras | Muddy Outdoors

Mock Scrapes | How to Take Full Advantage of a Buck’s Weakness

Taking Advantage of Mock Scrapes With Trail Cameras

Deer season has arrived and with it the unmistakable frustration of not seeing deer during the first weeks of October. No, we are not talking about you only not seeing deer in the stand, but nearly everywhere, including on your trail cameras. This frustration comes at a high price as you will waste the first weeks of deer season playing a game of cat and mouse with of course no claws or teeth to catch the mouse…sounds frustrating right? It is without the proper guidance! The reason for this frustration is the loop many hunters (you included) get thrown into just before the season starts and it all starts with your trail cameras. Luckily mock scrapes are the answer to the problem that you have yet to realize or seek a solution for.

Trail Cameras Weekly | Week 1: Mock Scrapes
(Video)- Mock scrapes can be the solution to a problem hunters face this time of year. Bait sites need to be taken down, so hunters are looking for a good location to hang their trail cameras in order to gather intel about bucks. This is usually in the form of food plots or mock scrapes as both supplies attraction in order to draw the deer in front of the camera. For how to make a mock scrape, I simply find a good location where deer and more importantly bucks frequent, find a good sturdy licking branch 4-5 ft high, snap it off, clear out the ground with a stick about 2 ft wide, and put scent in the form of mock scrape starter on the ground.

 

The Problem

Here is the issue at hand, lack of intel driven with attraction. All summer long you have relied heavily on trail cameras, baits sites, and scouting crop fields to tell you what bucks you have and where they reside on your property. As the summer has recently progressed into fall and into deer season, bait sites needed to be removed and bean fields were drying up. You were left begging the question “how do I find my bucks now?”

Mock scrapes and trail cameras | Muddy Outdoors

Luckily sources of help and quality information are available on channels like Muddy TV. Bill Winke of Midwest Whitetail and the weekly web show “Whitetail 101” dives into this subject continuously throughout October. Bill is an expert at “finding bucks back again” after they have moved home ranges and adjusted on different food sources. The secret to Bill’s success is putting trail cameras in the right locations, with the right attraction, and the right settings. This will become your success point as well after reading through this article.

The Solution

Again the problem isn’t necessarily the changing times, it’s the behavioral changes in whitetails in addition to the legal ramifications (in some states) of having bait out on the property around your stands. This is an issue because it is in the best interest for you to have some sort of attraction in front of your trail camera to snap pictures of bucks and gain valuable intel. With bait or any “edible” attraction out of the question, we are left with one thing…scent.

The Weakness

During the early season and pre-rut, bucks have one weakness that can be taken advantage of. Their inquisition. Whitetails are curious creatures, they are also social and creatures of habit making this weakness even more deadly. Communicating and learning about other deer and the status of those deer continually throughout October and November takes place at a scrape. Bucks and does alike will visit scrapes throughout the season presenting two opportunities.

By creating mock scrapes the two opportunities can be fully extorted. The first opportunity is mock scrapes create the attraction needed to draw deer in front of your trail cameras. The second arrives once a buck has been located and somewhat patterned, as these mock scrapes suggest tree stand locations.

How to Make a Mock Scrape

Follow these simple steps to make an attractive and useful mock scrape.

  • Step 1: Find high traffic area located in the right seasonal location (around acorns, in a food plot, by crops)
  • Step 2: Find a tree with a good branch, or hang a branch in the location that is within shooting range of a potential tree stand site.
  • Step 3: Create or bend down a licking branch 4-5 feet high. Break the tip off just like a buck does when making or checking a scrape.
  • Step 4: Take a stick and clear out a 2ft circle under the licking branch.
  • Step 5: Apply mock scrape starter to the dirt or use human urine. Do not put urine on the licking branch, only apply forehead gland or preorbital gland scent products to the licking branch.
  • Step 6: Hang a trail camera over the location

Mock scrapes and trail cameras | Muddy Outdoors

Hanging Trail Cameras Over Mock Scrapes

Follow these simple steps to hang trail cameras correctly over mock scrapes.

  • Step 1: Find a tree opposite the mock scrape’s face. Do not put trail camera close or right on top of mock scrape as it could put unwanted scent and be seen by the bucks.
  • Step 2: Place trail camera around 10 yards from scrape.
  • Step 3: Set the delay to 1 minute as does and bucks will not spend a lot of time at a mock scrape sight, but instead will only pass through and investigate, or work the scrape quickly.
  • Step 4: Set the trail camera on a long video mode. For Muddy trail cameras, the 2 minute HD video is perfect for detecting bucks and watching both where they enter/exit and how they work the scrape.

This year if you are struggling to find out where to put your cameras or are struggling to capture your bucks again after summer, try using mock scrapes and trail cameras in combination. By placing mock scrapes in areas subject to deer traffic in different parts of the seasons (acorns early, green food sources later, funnels in the rut, and late season food sources) you will be able to continually attract bucks in front of your trail cameras. This will reveal valuable intel that otherwise would go unnoticed.

For other trail camera tips visit the following blog:

tree stand safety gear | Muddy Outdoors

Tree Stand Safety | The Most Important Piece Of Hunting Equipment

Tree Stand Safety Is The Most Important Hunting Consideration

The anticipation and excitement that was long awaited with the coming of deer season is now here! Bow hunters antsy from weeks worth of trail camera intel are finally ready to take a swing at their hit list bucks. In doing this, the excitement and anticipation can turn deadly as hunters take their first steps up a tree. The single most important piece of hunting equipment they forget or use improperly is tree stand safety equipment.

This is one more reminder to all hunters, wear your tree stand safety gear and get home safe!

Muddy Safe-Line Review | Muddy Safety Harnesses and Systems
Whitetail explains why he employs a Muddy Safe-Line in every single tree. “they have been a staple for us for several years now, safety is something you never want to take a chance with”. Aaron explains that the Muddy Safeline is probably the best all around hunting product the Midwest Whitetail crew uses as it keeps them safe for every hunt.

 

Tree Stand Safety Gear

In our tree stand safety guide, we go over the fine details of what your tree stand safety gear should be comprised of during the season. Click below to read the guide and make sure you are employing every critical piece of safety equipment you can!

 

Just to reiterate the facts presented in the tree stand safety guide, we have provided a tree stand safety gear list below.Having these items will ensure you make it home to your family after every single hunt.

Tree Stand Safety Harness

The first piece of tree stand safety gear you should concern yourself with is the main component the safety harness itself. Muddy has many hunting safety harnesses to choose from. The above safety harness is the Magnum.

tree stand safety gear | Muddy OutdoorsPRODUCT DESCRIPTION

  • Rugged Tether Reduces Chances of Fall/Injury
  • Padded Shoulders and Waist for Extra Comfort and Endurance During Long Sits
  • Easy Cinch Adjustable Torso Straps
  • Noiseless & Adjustable Leg Buckles; No Metal on Metal Contact

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION:Light Weight Padded Nylon;
  • BUCKLES: Cam Leg buckles;
  • INCLUDES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO HUNT: Magnum Harness, Lineman’s Belt, Tree Strap, Suspension Relief Strap
  • SIZE:One Size Fits Most;
  • WEIGHT: 1.5 Lbs.;
  • WEIGHT RATING:300 Lbs.

Safe-Line

A Safe-Line featured in the video above is a piece of equipment that ties you to the tree. It truly is the most important piece of your hunting equipment as it keeps you safe from the ground in the tree at all times.

tree stand safety gear | Muddy OutdoorsPRODUCT DESCRIPTION

  • A Unique System that Allows the User to Stay Attached to the Tree at all Times!
  • Two Prusik Knots; Slides Easily Up and Down the Rope During Ascent and Decent and Stops You IMMEDIATELY Should a Fall Occur
  • Prusik Knots made of Reflective Material that Enhance Daytime and Low-Light Visibility

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Braided Nylon; USE: Stay Safe from the Moment You Leave the Ground to the Time You Return!; Length: 30’;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 300 Lbs.

Lineman’s Rope

Before you can hang and tie off a safe-line you need one other piece of equipment to ensure you are safe as you either use climbing tree stands or hang climbing sticks. A linesman’s rope will keep you tethered to the tree during these activities.

tree stand safety gear | Muddy OutdoorsPRODUCT DESCRIPTION

  • Easy to Use, Quick-Clip Design
  • Includes Prusik Knot + One-Handed Lockable Carabiner Combo

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Braided Nylon; USE: Safe Tree Climbing While Installing Treestand, Safe-Line, or any Other Elevated Hunting Equipment;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 300 Lbs.
tree stands for public land | Muddy Outdoors

The Perfect Tree Stands For Public Land Hunting

2 Perfect Tree Stands for Public Land

With deer season approaching you may be feeling the pressure to start figuring out your hunting properties. While some deer hunters might stick to the old routine properties and the same “killing tree” their father’s father used to hunt, you might be considering something differently entirely. This is the year you swore to tackle public land, and you might seriously be questioning whether or not that is a good move. Listen, we get it…that large chunk of forestry or that hefty section of public land calls to hunters all too often, but it takes a special hunter to hear that call and actually pursue it. Why? Besides hunting pressure, public land deer hunting is just a plain, flat-out struggle mainly due to hauling in gear great distances. The number one piece of gear that causes the most grief is the tree stand. Luckily, we have the perfect tree stands for public land hunting.

Tree Stands For Public Land Hunting

The number one issue with tree stands for public land hunting is weight. To get to the deer, hunters must bushwhack into the interior or far reaches of the public land. Doing this with 30+ lbs. might as well be impossible or be called “training” and not hunting due to the energy and activity required. Trimming the weight down on tree stands, in order to make them perfect tree stands for public ground is difficult, but not impossible. Trimming weight is easy, but trimming weight while at the same time keeping the stand safe and comfortable is a challenge. With this in mind, muddy has created two perfect tree stands for public land.

Light Hang-on Tree Stand and Climbing Stick Combo

The first of the tree stands for public ground is what is shown in the video above, the Muddy Vantage Point Hang-on. The Muddy Vantage Point is only an astonishing 13 lbs. which should ring beautifully in the ears of any public land hunter. In addition to this hang-on stand, a hunter will need climbing sticks. The Muddy Pro climbing sticks offer very lightweight but sturdy climbing sticks that have a single characteristic that make them perfect for public land. Together the Muddy Vantage Point and Pro climbing sticks are “packable”. They are designed to fit onto one another like a glove, making a quiet and comfortable design that can be slung on your back and tracked in miles without issue.

hang-on tree stands for public land | Muddy Outdoorshang-on sticks tree stands for public land | Muddy Outdoors

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Aluminum;
  • FOOT PLATFORM: 20″ Wide x 32″ Deep;
  • FOOTREST: Flips Back;
  • SEAT SIZE:15″ Wide x 11″ Deep;
  • SEAT STYLE: 3″ Triplex Foam, Waterproof, Flips Back, Removable;
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 24″;
  • ADJUSTABLE ANGLE: Foot & Seat Platform;
  • PACKABLE: 2 Backpack Straps Included; Designed to Pack with Several Compatible Muddy Climbing Systems (sold separately);
  • FASTENERS: 1 – 1″ Silent Cam-Buckle, 1 – 1″ Looped Ratchet Strap;
  • ACCESSORY BAG: Included;
  • STAND WEIGHT: 13 Lbs;
  • TREE SIZE: Minimum 9″ Diameter;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 350 Lbs;
  • HARNESS: Full Body Fall Arrest Harness Included

Climbing Tree Stands For Public Land

Climbing tree stands have always been a favorite among public land deer hunters. The simple combination of 2 pieces of equipment allows the hunter to quickly scale a tree without the hassle of spending a lot of time hanging stands, or climbing sticks. The issue most hunters have with climbing stands is again weight but also a struggle to climb up the tree as a result of poor design. Some climbers simply do not have the right design as far as teeth and foot straps to actually create a good climbing stand. Again Muddy, with the hunter in mind, designed and created a climbing tree stand for public land hunting.

The Stalker Climbing Tree Stand from Muddy weighs only 15lbs. as it is built from Aluminum. This feature, with the hybrid climbing chains and with well-designed tree teeth will grip the tree for a solid climb up.

climbing tree stands for public land | Muddy OutdoorsPRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Aluminum;
  • FOOT PLATFORM: 20″ W x 28″ D;
  • SEAT SIZE: 21″ Wide with Adjustable Depth;
  • SEAT STYLE: Nylon Net;
  • SEAT HEIGHT: Adjustable;
  • CLIMBING SYSTEM: 2X Hybrid Climbing Chains;
  • PACKABLE: Folds flat, 2 Backpack Straps Included;
  • FASTENERS: 2X Hybrid Climbing Chains w/ Spring Bolt Knob, 1-1″ Cam-Buckle Straps;
  • PADDING: Armrests & Seat Bar Padded for Extra Comfort;
  • STAND WEIGHT: 15 LBS; TREE SIZE: Minimum 9″ Diameter;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 300 LBS;
  • HARNESS: Full Body Fall Arrest Harness Included

If you plan on tackling public land this year then you need to the tools for the job. Whether you prefer a hang-on tree stand, or a climbing tree stand, muddy has the perfect tree stands for public land deer hunting

Photo Credit: Fall Oak Outdoors

Top 3 Locations to Put Your Tree Stands This Fall

Which Tree Stands You Should Use in These Hot Spots

Hunters are always looking for that secret hidey-hole spot where they can consistently arrow a mature buck year after year. You know what we’re talking about. It’s that hidden little gem of a spot that you always keep for the perfect weather conditions and don’t tell anyone else about. It’s no easy feat to accomplish this goal, but it can be done with some good scouting, disciplined hunting, and a quality deer stand. If you’re eyeing your tree stands right now, trying to figure out where you should put them for the first early season hunt of the year, then read on.

Why Tree Stand Placement is Critical 

the top three places to put your tree stands this fall | Muddy OutdoorsIf your goal is to kill a big whitetail (why wouldn’t it be?), then you need to be where the big whitetails are, right? During the rut, bucks could show up anywhere in their pursuit of new does. But during the early season, bucks are more predictable in their daily movement patterns and stay fairly close to “home base.” They need food, water, and cover to survive, so that’s your basic starting point. But since there’s not much human pressure for early season deer hunting, they’re not too picky about finding remote thickets to hide out in just yet. A simple spot with good cover and little human intrusion is good enough. Also, food is still plentiful in most areas this time of year, making it easy for them to bed and feed within fairly close proximity to each other.

So if that’s all that’s required, why don’t more hunters repeatedly get their target list bucks? There are obviously more variables than these in a real hunting situation (e.g., weather conditions, scent control, camouflage, hunting practices, etc.) that can complicate the matter. And as far as how to pick a tree stand location, there are better spots within the broad definitions we mentioned already. By locating yourself in one of the high percentage spots below, you’ll be in a great position for tagging out.

Three Best Places to Hang Your Tree Stands

Without further ado, let’s reveal the three best places to hunt deer. But we’ll do you one better than that. We’ll also explain the types of tree stands you should use for each area, since different spots will require a different approach and tactics.

The Farm Field Tree Stand

This one is a given for many people in farm country. If you have access to agricultural fields with corn, beans, or even alfalfa, you’ve likely sat on the edge of them at some point. And why not? It’s hard to resist these spots. You have great visibility and the deer inevitably come out to eat each night.

Why are these spots so great for early season hunts? Bucks are still on their summer feeding pattern, which means they will be chowing down on the easily available forage on the farm fields each evening. And again, as long as they don’t feel pressured, they will continue this pattern until the velvet starts to dry up. At that point, bucks will usually split ways and live solo the rest of the fall. So capitalize on this unique window of time while you can.

The best tree stands for these areas are box stands or ground blinds. They offer almost total concealment, which is important for keeping the deer unaware. There are usually many pairs of eyes on the field watching for danger, so being concealed inside will help you get away with a little more movement. It will also help contain your scent while you’re hunting. The key with this setup is to be tucked into the woods a little bit, where you can sneak out on an access trail. If you’re too exposed, it will be impossible to leave your stand at the end of the day when there are deer on the field.

the top three places to put your tree stands this fall | Muddy OutdoorsThe Hunting Plot Tree Stand

Similar to the larger field stand, the hunting food plot location works because it can attract hungry deer. But what’s special about this setup is that it is usually located in a secluded spot with good cover around it, which makes it especially attractive to more reclusive bucks. Even early season bucks can get shy about daytime appearances when they start shedding their velvet. But a hunting plot is surrounded by thick security cover, which makes them feel safe to enter during the day.

In order for this to work, the hunting plot should be no bigger than one quarter acre and it should be planted with a very high attraction food plot species. Good options include brassicas, cereal grains, and annual clovers. These species tend to grow fine on shaded, smaller plots. The smaller size will also draw deer in for security purposes, but they are too small to keep them browsing all night. Eventually, they will usually move along to larger fields as night approaches.

The best tree stands for these areas are climbing tree stands. You can easily sneak into one of these areas during the afternoon, climb up the tree, hunt the evening, and shimmy back down when it’s time to leave. The Woodsman climbing tree stand is constructed of lightweight aluminum, yet is comfortable and durable enough for many evening hunts to come.

The Double Whammy Tree Stand

The last spot you should consider hanging your early season tree stands is actually a combination of a good water source and heavy cover. While deer get a lot of their water needs from the vegetation they eat, hotter-than-average early season temperatures will be sure to send deer to available water sources. If you can find or make a water source near thick cover (e.g., dogwood thicket, early successional forest, etc.), you can bet that deer will be bedded nearby.

It’s always a calculated move to hunt near bedding areas. But sometimes fortune favors the brave. The best tree stands for these areas are lock on stands. Why? When the conditions are right, you can simply sneak in and climb into your lock on stand (using a safety harness, of course) without much disturbance. The nice thing about these hunting tree stands is that you can hang several of them in different promising spots and then only hunt them when the weather is right.

There you have it. Three great early season hunting spots and which tree stands you should use in each one. This season, consider whether you have access to one of these areas and strongly consider doing something about it. You might like the outcome.

trail camera tips | Muddy Outdoors

Trail Camera Tips and Tactics For Deer Season

Trail Camera Setup Guide | Trail Camera Tips and Tactics

Trail cameras have quickly and undoubtedly become one of the most essential tools available to hunters, period. There is no question to whether or not a hunter should employ trail camera across his/her hunting property. The significance is common sense, but the knowledge of how to set up a trail camera properly is not as well known. Without the knowledge, a hunter cannot fully extract all of the  valuable information a trail camera can give, essentially wasting the money, technology, and more importantly time…These trail camera tips and tactics should set you straight.

How to Set Up a Trail Camera

Are you asking “how do I set up a trail camera?” read and watch below for a detailed how to.

Trail Camera Tips For Deer Season | The Buck Advisors
(Video) – As deer season becomes closer and is beginning in many states, you might have started employing trail cameras on your property. If that is the case then chances are you have asked how to set up a trail camera before. Here is a step by step guide on how to set up a trail camera and some other trail camera tips

When setting up a trail camera, you have to consider many factors including trail camera location, if the trail camera will be attached to a tree or stake, the distance to the target area, clear field of view, aiming the camera in the right direction, keeping the trail camera scent free, and ensuring you select the right settings when setting it up. These trail camera tips and set up steps can be hard to remember when you are in the field so take notice now, and even create your own checklist to run through each time you set up cameras.

Step 1: Trail Camera Purpose and Purchasing

Figuring out what information you want to capture with your trail cameras is the first step in this trail camera guide, and the first step when discussing how to set up a trail camera. Are you trying to retrieve intel on the following: a food plot, scouting for turkeys, scouting for deer, over a mineral site, trail camera survey, mock scrape, trail, bait site, deer feeder or another simply for capturing photos of other wildlife? Generally, any and/or all of these should be researched further in depth for specific tactics and trail camera tips, but more vitally what camera to look into that has the requirements and can capture that specific info.

For example trying to capture wildlife or deer utilization on a food plot might require a time-lapse or field scan feature, a trail might require a fast trigger speed, and a mineral site might require a video mode or multiple photo burst mode. Purchasing an overall great trail camera that has all of these features included, is a multifaceted bang-for-your-buck…literally. A trail camera with all of the following allows you to use it every part of the year in all different scenarios.

trail camera tips pro cam 12 | Muddy Outdoors

  • 12 Megapixel
  • 2 – 8 Photo Bursts
  • 1280 x 720 HD With Sound or VGA (32 FPS) with Sound Video
  • .6 Second Trigger Speed
  • Invisible Flash with 36 HE LEDs
  • Simple to Program
  • Backlit LCD Screen to easily navigate through settings any time of day
PRODUCT SPECS
SIZE: 4.75″ H x 4.25″ W x 2.5″ D; SCREEN: Backlit LCD Screen; FLASH RANGE: 70’+; LEDS: 36; IMAGE QUALITY: 12 Megapixel; TRIGGER DELAY: 10 Options: 2.5 Sec. – 60 Min; TIME-LAPSE PERIOD: 1, 2, 3, or 4 Hours After Sunrise & Before Dusk, All Day or Custom Start/End Time; TIME-LAPSE FREQUENCY: 10 Options: 5 Sec. – 60 Min; IMAGE DATA: Camera ID, Date, Time, Temp, & Moon Phase; VIDEO: 6 Options: 5 Sec. – 2 Min Length; MOUNTING OPTIONS: Adjustable Strap with Buckle; Alternate: 1/4″ – 20; THEFT DETERRENCE: Cable Lock and Padlock Ready; BATTERY TYPE: 6 AA or 12V DC Alternate Power Option; COLOR: Non-Reflective Bark Pattern; MATERIAL: Molded ABS; Waterproof Housing; MEMORY: Requires Secure Digital Card, Up to 32GB; PRODUCT WARRANTY: 1 Year; OPERATING TEMP: -10 Degrees F to 140 Degrees F; DETECTION RANGE: 70′; FIELD OF VIEW: 3 Zone + 50 Degree Detection Angle; BURST INTERVAL: 2 Seconds or 0.6 Seconds; BATTERY LIFE: Up to 10,000 Images

Again, this is the first step, selecting a camera, and outlining exactly what intel you want to gather. After knowing these basics you can dive into actually setting up a trail camera in the field. The next step after determining what you want to use the trail camera for is selecting the trail camera location in order to capture that exact data.

Step 2: Trail Camera Location

Defining what you want to achieve with your game camera will tell you where to put it, it’s really that simple. Trail camera location is step and trail camera tip number two in this trail camera guide, and after the initial cam requirements, is the next most important consideration.

Food Plot Location: Either on a tree or a stake at a key entrance/exit point into or out of the food plot or high above the food plot for a time-lapse view.

Trail Location: At a 45 degree angle from the trail. Perpendicular or straight on from the trail can either not capture the deer or wildlife walking, and directly behind or in front of can result in spooked game or a picture that may have features like antlers covered up.

Bait/Mineral/Water/Feed Location:  The best trail camera location for a mineral, bait, water, or feeding site is position roughly 10 yards, close enough to see detail but distant enough to see everything utilizing the site.

Step 3: Trail Camera Installment

Each trail camera location that you end up installing a trail camera on will come with its own characteristics and limitations. A perfect tree will not always be available, rather it seems most of the trees you encounter are entirely too small or too large in diameter. When hanging and installing trail cameras, remember that you are not always limited to a tree or a fence post, and if you are, there are other tools other than a strap that can connect it to a tree.

trail camera tips trail camera mount | Muddy Outdoorstrail camera tips trail camera stake | Muddy Outdoors

Muddy has trail camera accessories that make it very easy to put a trail camera literally anywhere that you need. These trail camera accessories include trail camera stakes and trail camera mounts for either ground mounting or mounting on any sized tree or post. Both the Adjustable Trail Camera Support and the Dual Camera Ground Mount are important considerations when you are installing your trail camera.

Step 4: Trail Camera Field of View (FOV)

What is in the field of view for the trail camera? This is nearly as important as the consideration of how far the camera can detect and take pictures. As far as trail camera tips go, this one is often forgotten or goes unnoticed. What is in the FOV can determine a lot about the quality of intel you get. A branch, bush, tree, feeder, or another object in the FOV and frame can either set off the camera multiple times in the wind or block the image entirely. Objects can also interrupt the trail camera being able to detect wildlife, as well as catch the flash during the night.

Step 5: Trail Camera Night Photo Distance

Flash range distance during night events for trail camera should be considered when purchasing and determining the best steps in how to set up a trail camera. Step 5 in this trail camera guide is here for good reason. Often times night flash range and the ability to accurately judge what is in the photos/video during night events is often forgotten and ends in frustration of missed opportunities. A lot of wildlife, including deer, move during night-time hours, this is common knowledge, so be sure to include it when you are setting up your trail cameras.

The trail camera settings for the flash will include the sensitivity settings, high sensitivity should be used for open expansive areas such as food plots, bait, mineral, mock scrapes, watering holes, and feeding sites. Low sensitivity should be used on areas in thick areas and on trails.

Step 6: Trail Camera Direction

The sun can have a profound effect on the information you receive from your trail cameras. This is not discussing night vs. day activity or the events, rather the blinding effect the sun can have on the images themselves. Facing the camera East and West will result in white images or images that are unclear due to the sun. South is acceptable, but when setting up trail cameras always try and aim the camera north.

Step 7: Trail Camera Scent

This is especially true for deer, or just for keeping your trail camera safe from critters! Most people, when it comes to setting out trail cameras don’t think of, or simply do not care enough to worry about scent control and trail cameras. This is a big mistake. Number 7 on this trail camera guide is trail camera scent and it can be critical. Trail cameras set out for deer is one obvious reason to take consideration of the scent you leave behind.

Human scent is a form of human pressure, and too much around a trail camera station could leave that site useless for a duration that is critical for collecting information. On another front, attractive scent can attract unwanted attention and/or damage to your camera. Putting out feed, a bait, or minerals for deer or other wildlife, and not paying attention to the scent and potential attraction that is on your hands before touching the trail camera can leave your camera smelling like food. Raccoons and bears both can be fairly hard on cameras when investigating them due to the scent and attraction of food or bait.  This also gives more of a reason for ants to invade your camera.

Step 8: Trail Camera Memory Cards

trail camera tips pro cam 10 bundle | Muddy OutdoorsTrail camera memory cards are a significant consideration when learning how to set up a trail camera. Not having enough memory, and keeping the cameras out for an extended period of time could render the camera useless over time. Another consideration is also formatting the memory card to the trail camera. With today’s trail camera like the Pro Cam 12 or Pro Cam 10 offering higher and higher resolution video and ever increasing high-quality photos, the need for more space is evident.

The size of the memory card you need largely depends on the trail camera settings you choose to set, and/or how often you check the camera. A trail camera set on video mode, with a 10-30 second delay over a bait site, will burn through memory quite fast, while a 3-photo-burst at 5 min intervals on the same site takes much longer to fill the same amount of memory. When deciding on how big a memory card you might need, consider what settings you will have the camera on, how long you plan on not checking and clearing the card, and the potential frequency of events the trail camera might encounter. Overall a good trail camera tip to remember is an 8GB memory card is a safe bet for most trail camera applications. In some situations like the Pro Cam 10 Bundle’s case, a memory card Is thrown in with the purchase of the camera.

Step 9: Trail Camera Batteries

While some of the very first models of trail camera ran off of huge D batteries, most trail cameras now run off of AAs. These have more options, are more readily found, and are quite easy to set up with rechargeable batteries. These might be the best options, especially when running several trail cameras.

Cold weather has quite an effect on technology so always be sure to check your trail cameras battery life during the fall and winter months. Both Muddy Trail Cameras, the Pro-Cam 12 and the Pro-Cam 10 have operating ranges between -10 and 140 degrees.

Step 10: Trail Camera Settings

With everything else optimized the most crucial step is putting the trail camera on the right settings, this is where most hunters mess up. Overall the trail camera settings are largely based upon what intel you wish to receive. However, certain scenarios and situations require specific settings in order to work. Trail camera tips for the settings aspect cannot simply be a broad overstatement, but instead require careful consideration and planning. Generally, use common sense…write down your goals, and think out which settings will give you that.

We recognize the lack of information on trail camera settings based upon each scenario you encounter in the woods. Look out on the GoMuddy blog page for ann article specifically about trail camera settings based upon each situation.

Step 11: Trail Camera Security

The last step and trail camera tip is simple…it’s trail camera security. Lock it up or lose it. Unfortunately, there are trespassers and given an opportunity to steal a camera, some will take it.  Running a cable lock through your trail camera can easily deter this from happening.

Other Trail Camera Tips

While going through the trail camera guide and steps on hot to set up a trail camera, we mentioned several different tactics such as setting up trail cameras for turkeys, trail camera surveys, minerals for deer, and scouting velvet whitetails in the summer. The links below will take you to those blogs!

 

filming deer hunts | Muddy Outdoors

Guideline and Expert Tips for Filming Deer Hunts

Filming Deer Hunts | Guidelines and Expert Tips For Filming

As much as technology has greatly improved the way we send and receive information, it has also totally revolutionized the way we capture information as well.  From taking screenshots and photographs to capturing video, technology has made it possible for the everyday person to scratch their creative itch when it comes to photography and videography, and the outdoor world is certainly no exception.  It wasn’t long ago when filming your own deer hunt meant packing close to a hundred pounds of camera gear, and tapes into the woods.  This gear was often so bulky and cumbersome that it was difficult to not only put in a tree but being able to move the camera fluidly to capture the right angle was often very challenging.  Today, it has all changed!  Camera equipment has become smaller, lighter and easier to use.  Hard VHS tapes have given way to SIM Cards and digital video and videography equipment has become more diversified, with many products specifically made for the deer hunter in mind.

Clearly, when it comes to filming your own hunts, especially when it comes to deer hunting there is a wide range of camera gear that has helped a lot of hunters fulfill their dream of filming their own hunt.  Of all the gear and equipment that has helped make these dreams a reality, there is one critical piece of hardware that made all the difference…the camera arm.  Though often underappreciated today’s camera arms have helped to bridge the gap when it comes to capturing that perfect shot and filming a deer hunt of a lifetime.  This article will be your guideline for filming deer hunts, as well as suggest a few critical pieces that you will need.

Guideline To Filming Deer Hunts

If you are considering filming your own hunts this fall, or just simply wish to brush up on your skills then you have come to the right place. Regardless of what level you are at, amateur or professional, chances are it all started with watching a hunting show. Watching the success, and flawless camera work of other hunters on TV or on the web is most likely what inspired you to consider bringing camera equipment up in the tree. If you are inspired and drawn to start filming deer hunts then you need to start doing your research. Look into what camera to buy to film hunting, what camera arms to buy, what camera equipment you need, and what considerations you should take note of. That information will go a long way in helping you get started. Here are two blogs that could help you in that regard.

Which Camera to Buy for Filming Deer Hunts | How to Film Your Own Deer Hunt: Part 1

Camera Equipment to Buy | How To Film Your Own Deer Hunt Part 2

While it might seem like a no-brainer to go ahead and start buying gear and filming hunts, if you want great quality or “pro-staff”/ TV show quality then more research should be done. Of course, quality comes with experience so taking a few pointer from this guideline doesn’t hurt.

For this guideline, no one is better to take tips from than Bill Winke and the guys/hunters/cameramen at Midwest Whitetail.  Over the years every pro staff member, cameraman, hunter, or even intern for that matter has managed to lay down some amazing footage. The hardest part is it is always consistently getting better with each year. Over the years they have managed to produce a couple of very informative videos on the subject that they have mastered. We have dug these videos up to aid anyone wishing to learn how to start filming deer hunts, or simply brush up on their filming skills. These videos include a step by step guideline for filming hunts, basic filming skills to master, and last but not least some creative filming techniques.

Step By Step Guideline For Filming Hunts

Filming A Proper Hunt
(Video) – A great camera operator can tell the story through their footage. This video covers the basics of filming an entire hunt. MIDWEST WHITETAIL VIDEO

 

Step 1: Getting Ready – The first step in filming a deer hunt is to film B-Roll (cutaway/filler video) of preparation and the begging of the hunt. This is the first step in the process of capturing every aspect of your hunt, to help completely tell the story.

Step 2: Opening Interview – Interview the hunter or yourself when self-filming a deer hunt. This can take place during or between the first step in getting ready. The opening interview does not have to take place in the tree stand or ground blind. This interview tells the basic situation and setup of the hunt.

Step 3: Walking In/Setup – This is often skipped in deer hunting footage as it can be a pain to get. This footage entails capturing the access method and route you take, climbing up in the tree, setting up your hunting equipment, etc.

Step 4: The 2nd Interview from Stand – This is the more common interview, the hunter in the stand describing the setup, the hunt, which bucks they are going after, the wind, weather conditions, trail camera intel, etc.

Step 5: Cutaways From Stand – This step suggests another round of B-Roll footage to put perspective on hours passing by. These shots include creative shots of the landscape, pans, leaves, your hunting equipment, the hunter, etc.

Step 6: Filming Deer – After step 5 you can turn the camera off and rest for a bit. Step 6 when filming deer hunts is to film the hunt itself, this means filming deer as they come in and around the stand, the shot, and the deer potentially crashing.

Step 7: Film Reaction Interview – Directly after the shot ( do not turn the camera off) zoom out and film the hunter’s or your reaction. It is critical to capture the emotions of the hunter, good or bad depending on the shot made and the situation. Again directly after the shot, zoom out, refocus on the hunter and capture their post shot interview.

Step 8: Staged Cutaways After Shot – This step arrives directly after step 7, while the light and settings are exactly during the time the shot was made. This B-Roll footage includes calling the deer in, grabbing the bow or gun, hooking up your release, drawing the bow back, it is filler for the intense moments the deer works into shooting range.

Step 9: Climbing Down – Again another storytelling essential. This step includes packing up gear, climbing down, and starting the blood trail.

Step 10: Tracking Footage – Filming the track job is another critical point to connect the shot and the recovery. This also helps in the case of you not finding the deer, to tell the story of how the blood trailing went.

Step 11: Reaction To Finding Deer – Film the hunter’s or your reaction as the deer/buck is recovered. Usually, an emotion capturing critical point for the video.

Step 12: Interview With Deer – After recovery, stage an interview segment. This includes a scenic area close to where the deer was shot. This is an interview for the hunter to explain the hunt, the history with the deer, and other critical information before the video ends.

Step 13: Hero Shots And Extra Cuts – This includes footage of the deer, the antlers, the shot placement, the hunter looking at the antlers, friends or family looking at the deer, and other B-Roll footage to fill the post interview with and give the audience a better look at the harvest.

Creative Filming Techniques

Creative Filming Techniques
(Video) – Being able to tell a story through footage is the ultimate goal of a camera man. In this video, we go through some of the more advanced ways to film a hunt.

It’s important to not remain to “scripted”. Staying to a basic format and the same shots over and over again could spell a disaster for your hunting footage and video. With as much footage as Midwest Whitetail lays down, it’s important that they “keep it fresh” with creative filming techniques. This is considered getting into the advanced stages of filming deer hunts, but important to keep in the back of your mind as you progress your own deer hunt filming skills.

The Base of Filming Deer Hunts: Camera Arms

Despite common misconceptions, there is more to a camera arm that meets the eye.  The biggest mistake you can make is not going with the right “base of your hunt”. Today’s camera arms offer a wide range of features that can help the hunter or cameraman flow through the step by step guide above, as well as get creative with their filming.

Much like any product, a great place to begin your filming career is at the ground level, utilizing a Basic camera arm.  A basic camera arm is just that, it’s basic, and will provide someone a solid foundation by which to mount a camera and film a hunt.  While you certainly won’t be doing anything super fancy it will certainly get the job done.  Muddy’s basic camera arm, for example, is a great option for the beginner who is headed out deer hunting, and would like to try their hand at filming their own hunt.  Like most camera arms, it can attach directly to the tree and is perfect for self-filming situations.  Weighing in at four pounds, it certainly will not add a lot of bulk to your pack which again makes it perfect for those solo-deer hunting missions.  The head of this camera arm can swing 360 degrees, which is great for capturing an “in the stand” interview right after the shot.  The arm itself will extend and swing 180 degrees which is perfect for those self-filming scenarios.

When it comes to deer hunting, even the slightest movement can often be enough to blow a hunt.  It is almost ridiculous just how easy it can be for a deer to bust a hunter in the tree stand with plenty of cover with just the slightest movement of a hand.  When it comes to filming hunts, sometimes less can really be more.  In addition, some hunters just don’t like to get too fancy.  If you fall into this category then it might be worthwhile to simply invest in a camera holder rather than a camera arm.  Muddy’s Micro-Lite camera holder is perfect for the hunter that doesn’t want to get busted while panning the camera.  This camera holder can fit onto a wide range of products like the Muddy Multi-Hanger or Tree Step and can provide you a great vantage point to take some wide angle video.  If you happen to be a self-filming coinsure with multiple cameras who is looking to capture multiple angles, this camera holder can also be a great addition to your arsenal and give you that perfect over the should vantage point.

When it comes to filming your own hunt, angles can be the biggest challenge you can face.  Wild animals don’t know how to respond to a camera.  They are unable to follow direction, and often go off script and unfortunately sometimes a poor camera angle can make the difference between pulling the trigger and not.  Having a camera arm that not only gives the videographer the proper stability to take a great video but can also adjust as needed to make sure that they keep the target in the frame is very important.  In order to check all these boxes, Muddy Outdoors developed the Hunter camera arm.  This camera arm is designed for those hunters who have dedicated to the art of filming hunts.  The Hunter camera arm offers extremely quiet joints & pivots with 47 inches of reach in over 180 degrees of swing.  Most importantly, this camera arm has five points of adjustment which should allow you capture that Pop & Young regardless of where he goes.  Most importantly, this camera arm will not weigh you down.  Tipping the scales at seven pounds, the compact design can fit into most packs and can attach to the tree in seconds.

filming deer hunts camera arms | Muddy Outdoors

There are a lot of camera arm options out there, so it is always important to do your homework before you make your purchase.  Doing the legwork ahead of time can really help you narrow down your search later.

Picking the Right Camera Arm

You have decided that you want to try your hand at filming your own hunt.  You have done a little research and have brushed up on what types of camera arms are on the market today, and now it is time to decide which one to get.  When it comes to spending your hard earned cash, especially when investing in outdoor hardware like a camera arm, it is always a good idea to spend some time thinking it through. We are all guilty of making an impulse buy every now and then but when you are talking about filming equipment, you can save yourself a lot of headaches by doing your homework and getting it right the first time.  Here are a few things to consider before purchasing your camera arm.

The first thing that you need to identify is your filming style. Are planning to truly “self-film” DIY style or is there the potential of having someone film you?  Your camera arm choice can go a couple of different ways depending on how you answer this question.  If you are looking for just a simple, DIY self-film opportunity then a product like the Basic Camera Arm or the Micro-Lite might just be the ticket.  If you and your hunting buddy are wanting to hang a couple Vantage Point’s and try your hand at some high production work then the Hunter camera arm or the Outfitter camera arm might be what you need.

Once you have identified your filming style, it is still always a smart idea to think about the terrain that you plan to film in.  It goes without saying that if you are going to be utilizing a camera arm that it is likely you will either be filming in or next to a tree, however, it is really important to consider how difficult it might be to get camera equipment in and out of your hunting area.  Although these camera arms are some of the most durable and lightest around, when it comes to traversing difficult terrain even your Magnum safety harness can start to feel heavy after a while.  Whether or not you plan to leave your camera arm permanently attached to the tree for the season can sometimes help make up the difference for a long hike, however, if you are planning to run and gun this season you should certainly consider this factor before making your camera arm selection.

Setting Your Camera Arm

Anyone how has filmed a hunt, especially a DIY self-filmed hunt will tell you there is no such thing as the perfect set up.  Trees are often uneven and leaning one way or another.  Sometimes the best killing tree doesn’t make the best filming tree.  Luckily, today’s camera arms come with several different features such as a sight level and ratchet strap fastening system that can help the hunter adjust on the fly and still come away with a solid video that they can be proud of.

When it comes to setting up your camera arm, regardless if you are being filmed or self-filming there are really two very basic rules that you need to always follow.  Rule number one; always do your best to mount the camera in the same tree the stand you will be hunting from.  While this may leave you thinking “well…duh”, you would be surprised at just how many hunters will try to secure the arm to a nearby tree, thinking that the angle may be a little better.  While the camera may seem close at the time, when a deer is into bow range even the slightest movement can be critical.  Having the camera either over your shoulder or right in front of you is hands down the best case scenario.

Rule number two, although the video is important, make sure the camera does not hinder you taking the shot.  Today’s hunting camera arms have an excellent range of motion, which allows them to be very versatile in terms of where you place them in the tree.  This versatility ensures that you have the highest probability of staying with an animal while it’s moving, and thereby ensuring that you have a better chance capturing the harvest on film.  It is very important when setting your camera arm that you think through your angles and ensure that your camera is in the right place to capture an animal passing through your shooting lanes.  Additionally, you want to make sure that the camera and camera are not in the way, making it difficult to make the shot.  So, don’t just assume because you are strapped in the tree and the camera batteries are full that you are ready to go, take some time and work through your camera angels as it can save you a lot of heartaches later on.

Filming your own hunts is an excellent challenge to pursue this fall, and can be done by anyone. The quality, however, will greatly depend on upon your camera gear and the way you handle a camera. Of course, great camera handling comes with experience, reading up on this guideline for filming deer hunts certainly does not hurt.  Taking the time to research tips and techniques, and what to invest in as far as the right equipment such as a camera arm, can really make the difference between an amateur video and a professional looking hunts.  If you are looking to up the odds and try something new this fall then consider hitting the woods with a hunting camera arm and camera in tow.  It can make for some amazing memories!

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy Outdoors

Should You Be Bow Hunting Deer in Farm Country?

How Does Bow Hunting Deer in Agricultural Areas Rank?

Imagine a hunter sitting in a tree stand bow hunting deer. As the hunter perches above a field edge, you can see deer after deer entering a beautiful soybean field. The deer happily graze the last few green leaves as harvest season approaches and the beans are drying out. Among the herd, a giant velvet buck

raises his head, oblivious to the hunter only 30 yards away. Everyone who watches outdoor television can probably relate to this familiar scene. For those who don’t have access to agricultural land, it’s likely a dream to be in this situation. What is it about big “farm country bucks” that holds our imagination so much?

Before we get into that discussion, let’s define what we’re talking about. Agricultural areas are very different than wooded wilderness areas. For the purposes of this article, we’ll define farm country as anywhere where agriculture makes up at least half of the land use. That means lots of human disturbance on the landscape, and lots of open areas. Compare that to remote, densely forested wilderness areas, and bow hunting for whitetail deer is a whole different ballgame. So why is hunting farmland so appealing and are there any down sides to it?

Challenges of Bow Hunting Deer in Farm Country 

One of the best things about hunting whitetails in agricultural areas is also one of the hardest parts. Each year, there is a seasonal abundance of food. During the summer and early fall, deer can graze away at corn, soybeans, or hayfields until they’re absolutely full. This can make patterning bucks a little difficult when there is similar quality food everywhere. Similarly, once harvest season comes and farmers head to the fields, all of this food disappears almost overnight. Thousands of acres of high-quality, carbohydrate and protein-packed crops literally turn into bare soil and wide-open exposures. At this point, usually in late fall, bow hunting deer can get really hard without an alternate source of food around. Whitetails still have to eat. In fact, rut-weary bucks need a major amount of calories to gain back some weight and make it through the winter, so they will seek food out wherever they can.

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy Outdoors

Another issue with hunting farmland whitetails is access. Many public hunting lands consist of forested tracts or open grassy areas. But there are very few publicly-available agricultural properties. Some state agencies will plant food plots for deer and other wildlife, but it’s definitely not the norm in most places. So unless your family owns some crop land or you have some generous relatives or friends, you’ll likely have to lease a property or get permission from a land owner to hunt. Depending on where you live, this could be tricky.

One other challenge with farm country bucks is stealth. Because crop land is so open and exposed, having some variety of tree cover or topography is important for bow hunting deer. Without that kind of cover, it can be hard to sneak into and out of tree stands without deer spooking in every direction. For example, you might be able to sneak into tree stands for bow hunting on a corn field in the afternoon. But try sneaking back out in the evening with eyes watching you from potentially every direction. All you’ll accomplish is educating the deer herd on your intentions. And that definitely won’t help you out.

Rewards of Bow Hunting Deer in These Areas 

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy OutdoorsThough we’ve touched on the potential setbacks you could have with farmland whitetail archery hunting, there are a lot of rewards with it too. As we already mentioned, deer in these farmed areas have an amazing seasonal abundance of calories. Row crops like corn and soybeans are most commonly planted in these areas, but longer-lasting alfalfa/clover hay fields also provide a lot of forage throughout the year. They use these foods to grow larger bodies and antlers than many other deer across the country. That’s why states like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois have consistently high entries into the Pope and Young records. And if you’re hunting deer in agricultural areas, you could stand a chance at joining this crowd.

Another nice thing about bow hunting deer in these areas is that the open exposures allow us to keep an eye on the deer herd throughout the summer. Why is that important? Well, many bucks form summer bachelor buck groups and travel together often. If you get a bachelor group of bucks on your property, you can pattern them and keep tabs on their activities from a distance (say, from a county road using a spotting scope). If your bow season starts early enough, you just might be able to take advantage of this long-distance deer scouting to put you within bow range of a good buck. This isn’t an option in wooded areas with no main focal feeding point. Of course, once the corn gets tall enough even in farm country, this approach is no longer possible. So use it while you can.

How to Hunt Deer in Farm Country 

Now that we’ve talked about the ups and downs of hunting bucks in the country, let’s discuss how you could do it this fall. The first thing you’ll need to do is gain access to hunt a farm property. This process should not be taken lightly. First, spend some time looking for potential areas on an aerial map to find farms that could be good to hunt. Look for promising bedding cover adjacent to hidden farm fields or anything that might set up for a successful bow hunt. Later on, you can get more specific about where to hunt deer on a smaller scale. Then get yourself a plat book and contact the land owner. See if you could arrange to meet them in person so you’re not just a voice on the phone.

As far as how to ask someone to hunt on their land, it’s a delicate process. Be aware that most farmers have heard about a hundred different pitches and they’ve maybe even had some bad experiences with hunters. So don’t be surprised to get far more “no” responses than “yes,” and don’t take it personally. If they say no, simply thank them for their time and be courteous. As with anything in life, authenticity and respect make a difference. If you’re very respectful to them and perhaps even offer to trade some chores or venison meat for the privilege to hunt on their farm, you will stand a better chance at getting to a “yes” as fast as possible. From that point on, make sure you do whatever you say you’re going to do. Nurture the relationship by extending a helping hand or sending a card on Christmas. It will help you stand out.

As much as you’re able to, take some time and scout the property from a good vantage point over the summer. Whether it’s from a road, a hayloft, or in an observation tree stand, glass the fields with binoculars or a spotting scope in the evening to find out where the bucks are entering to feed. Try to piece together a pattern from their activities and try not to enter the woods until you absolutely have to. While deer in farm country are fairly used to tractors and four wheelers driving by, they still get very suspicious when a human walks through their territory on foot. Another way to keep tabs on the herd to know where to hunt deer is to use trail cameras on the field fringes. Be sure to only check them during the day when they are unlikely to be nearby, and pay special attention to scent control to hide your presence. If there are no suitable trees, such as in a hedge row, use the dual camera ground mount to cover a couple directions.

Hopefully by the time archery season comes, you’ll have developed a hunch as to where to hunt deer on the farm. The next step is to find a location where you could hunt them without them knowing you’re there. Wooded corners (outside or inside) bordering agricultural fields, hedgerows with some mature trees, or isolated forest islands are all good deer hunting stand locations you might want to try. If the landowner allows, using box blinds for deer hunting is a great way to stay comfortable.

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy OutdoorsBut the single biggest predictor of success is how hidden you can stay throughout the season. If you notice that the deer aren’t traveling where you can hunt them, you shouldn’t just toss your bow hunting deer stands up and hope for the best. Instead, you need to get creative. For example, a ground blind covered in corn stalks and tucked into the rows can become nearly invisible. Make sure you’re overlooking a cut portion or you won’t have much of a shot available. Or an especially deadly tactic for hayfields is to use a hay bale blind that’s hidden amongst other round bales. After sneaking into one of these in the afternoon, you can wait in concealment until the deer pass by your location.

And as we mentioned above, even farm properties can become barren places after harvest season. Suddenly the typically larger deer herd has to compete for far fewer available calories. For that reason, either planting a food plot or negotiating with the farmer to leave some row crops standing are both beneficial. They concentrate deer in one area and can drastically improve your odds of putting a buck on the ground.

Should You Bow Hunt Deer on the Farm? 

If you can find a good property in “farm country” with a willing landowner, you should definitely try hunting it at least once. There are challenges, as with any hunting. But the potential reward of seeing a mature and healthy “corn-fed” buck that could land in the record books far outweighs the challenges with hunting them.

camera arms for filming hunts | Muddy Outdoors

Camera Arms | Which Camera Arm Is Right For You?

Which Muddy Camera Arm Is Right For You?

Every year more and more deer hunters are taking to the woods with cameras. Filming your deer hunt is now a common practice among hunters. With deer season just around the corner, and pre-season preparation coming to an end, one final thing on your to do list may be to prepare to film your own deer hunts. This would mean purchasing a camera, a camera arm, and getting prepared to start filming your hunts this year. In this case you are looking for camera arms and you need suggestions for this fall.

When it comes to camera arms buying the right one for the job is critical. Why? If you are just beginning to film hunts, or this will be the first year you try your hand at filming deer hunts you may wonder that, but experience will tell you that the entire production depends on the camera arm. It is the base of your hunt. Ensuring that you have a solid base and reliable camera arm, will ensure you actually enjoy filming your hunts. Take a look at Muddy’s camera arms to see which is right for you. Keep in mind, what camera you will be purchasing, who or what you are filming for, and how much “stuff” you want to take in the tree. If you need help deciding on those tips, check out the blog below.

Muddy Basic Camera Arm

(Video) – The Muddy Basic Camera Arm features a release mount and a lightweight design for transport. This camera arm also features a forearm and camera head swinging 360 degree. This basic camera arm provides a camera arm to get the job done with a price that is under the competition

 

camera arms for filming hunts | Muddy Outdoors Basic Camera Arm

PRODUCT FEATURES

  • Adjustable Camera Arm Features a Quick-Release Mount for Convenience!
  • Lightweight Design for Easy Transport

PRODUCT SPECS

  • FULLY ADJUSTABALE: Forearm & Camera Head Adjust a Full 360 Degrees + Extension Arm Swings 180 Degrees;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 4 Lbs.

 

Muddy Outfitter Camera Arm

(Video) – The Muddy Outfitter Camera Arm has extremely quiet joints and pivots and is easily pack-able. This camera arm sets up in seconds and has two different bolts for fluid heads. This hunting camera arm comes with a ratchet strap, bubble level, and quick release level adjustments. This camera arm weighs in at 4.5 lbs making it a perfect option for carrying into the stand during every hunt.

camera arms for filming hunts | Muddy Outdoors Outfitter Camera Arm

PRODUCT FEATURES

  • Extremely Quiet Joints & Pivots!
  • Easily Packable & Sets up in Seconds!
  • 2 Different Camera Bolt Sizes
  • Included Bubble Level
  • Quick Release Lever Adjustments
  • Ratchet Strap

PRODUCT SPECS

  • SIZE: 4” Wide x 14” Tall x 40” Long (with full arm extension);
  • WEIGHT: 4.5 Lbs.;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 10 Lbs.;
  • USE: Easy Leveling + Quick Release Lever + 360 Degree Extendable Arm; Gives you the Perfect Camera Angle!

 

Muddy Hunter Camera Arm

(Video) – The Muddy Hunter Camera Arm measures in at 47 inches long with extremely quiet pivots and joints. This camera arm has five points of adjustment and is loaded with features that support effortless and flawless filming. This camera arm is easily pack-able and sets up in seconds. It has a weight rating of 15 lbs and comes in at 7 lbs.

camera arms for filming hunts | Muddy Outdoors Hunter Camera Arm

PRODUCT FEATURES

  • Measures in at 4”W x 14”T x 47”
  • Extremely quiet joints & pivots.
  • Complete with easy grip tightening knob, bubble level, spring-loaded lever adjustment and silent ratchet straps.
  • Easily packable and sets up in seconds.
  • Weight rating of 15 Lbs
  • Weighs in at 7 Lbs.

PRODUCT SPECS

  • Size 4”W x 14”T x 47”L (with full extension arm)
  • Design 47” Reach with Over 5 Points of Adjustment
  • Use Extremely Quiet Joints & Pivots; Easily Packable & Sets up in Seconds!
  • Features Easy Grip Camera Tightening Knob, Bubble Level, Spring-Loaded Lever Adjustment & Silent Ratchet Straps
  • Weight 7 Lbs.
  • Weight Rating 15 Lbs.

Which Hunting Camera Arms Are Right For You?

Which of these camera arms are right for you? You may have a difficult time answering this question so here is what you should look for…

  • Setup: Camera arms should be easy to set up, 3 step process at most. This process should be hang the base, attach the arm, and level the head. If camera arms need any more steps than this, such as tightening down wing nuts or bolts, you will be wasting time in the tree, making noise, and have a better chance at dropping something from the tree.
  • Easy to carry: Once you gain experience filming with camera arms you will find out quickly that lightweight yet simple arms are easiest. The best way to carry it into the stand is simply have the entire unit, including the fluid head together, and simply attach it to your backpack. When you get up in the tree simply put the base on, and attach the arm.
  • Smooth: Camera arms must be smooth for fluid pans and flawless filming on the camera arm’s part. This means a sturdy base and hinges upon a camera arms ability to hold the weight of your camera, the fluid head, and the mic plus any other accessories on the camera.
  • Silent: Camera arms that are noisy, and not well thought out are not a good choice. Moving parts such as unconstructed bases, especially with bare metal exposed make for very loud camera arms. Muddy’s outfitter and hunter camera arms are 2 piece units that are coated to cut down on noise and any potential hiccups you might have.

If you are looking to start filming your own deer hunts this year you will need to start shopping for camera arms. Take these considerations into account, and remember your entire production and film starts with the base…a camera arm.

bow hunting deer hunting plot | Muddy Outdoors

How to Plant a Hunting Plot for Bow Hunting Deer

Bow Hunting Deer Made Simpler with the Right Food Plots

Do you know the absolute best way to guarantee you’ll see deer from your bow hunting tree stands this fall? Alright, we don’t either. If someone knew that, they sure aren’t sharing it with anyone. But there is one method you can rely upon to increase the attraction of your hunting area, particularly as it applies to bow hunting deer. The simple trick is to set your deer stands in strategic places near hunting food plots, or plant these hunting plots near a great tree stand.

How To Plant Fall Food Plots | Steps To Create A Hunting Plot
Fall is on its way, now is the time to follow these steps on how to plant fall food plots and hunting plots.

 

That sounds simple enough. So where do most hunters go wrong? There are usually two culprits for this problem. One, the food plots or corn/bean fields are usually too big or too exposed to really hunt effectively without spooking game animals (especially whitetails) from them routinely. The second issue is that tree stands are often hung in places that might offer great shots, but they can’t be accessed without alerting deer to your entry and exits. This is pretty much a no-win scenario for eager bow hunters. Let’s look at the right way to use food plots for bow hunting deer below.

What is a Hunting Plot?

bow hunting deer hunting plot | Muddy OutdoorsA hunting food plot is different than a large agricultural food plot in a few ways. Hunting plots are small in size (i.e., less than ½ acre) to make sure you can kill a deer from anywhere within them. Your deer hunting stand locations should be in strategic places that work well for ambushing animals. And they should usually be planted in highly attractive food plot species, such as brassicas, peas, annual clovers, or cereal grains. This combination makes them perfect for bow hunting deer.

Size is important for these plots, as anything over ½ acre really limits your ability to shoot across them with a bow, unless your food plot is a narrow and winding lane. Their small size also means that you should be able to sneak into and out of your tree stands for bow hunting, since the chance of running into a deer is slim in a smaller area. One way to further sweeten a plot is to add a mineral site nearby. They should be tucked into tight cover to allow you to stealthily approach and stay concealed while in your hunting tree stands. Last, the species you plant are important. For hunting plots, you want your plot to be the most palatable and attractive food option in the neighborhood when archery season opens. That means quick-growing (usually annuals), highly digestible, protein- and carbohydrate-packed species like those listed above.

How to Plant a Food Plot for Bow Hunting Deer 

Now that we’ve defined what it is you should aim for, let’s talk about how to make a food plot. First, you’ll need to find a spot like we described above. It could be a small woodland opening, an old trail, or a brushy corner of a larger agricultural field. Whatever works for your plan of attack. Then you’ll need to clear the existing vegetation using chainsaws, brush saws, mowers, weed-whippers, and/or herbicide. Make sure to leave a fringe of cover around the edges, if possible, and definitely don’t remove potential trees for bow hunting deer out of!

After you clear the area, you have a few options. Depending on how much soil is exposed, you could simply rake the area clean of leaves and debris, burn the residue off, or simply disc everything under (a garden rototiller works fine for such small plots). Once the soil is exposed, you could test it using a soil testing kit from the store to be most accurate. Or for these small plots, you could just wing it. It will almost certainly need some lime or calcium spray to raise the pH of the soil, and you should also scatter a couple 50 pound bags of general 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 fertilizer to raise the nutrient level. Then the really fun part begins.

Whether you plant the species we mentioned above or do your own homemade food plot mix, it’s important to consider when to plant food plots. If the archery season opens in late September, but you don’t plan to be bow hunting deer until mid-October, time your planting to be at peak attraction when you’ll physically be out in the woods. How? Look at the days to peak maturity on the seed you’re planting, and count back from the day you’ll start hunting. That will give you the earliest time you should plant your hunting plot. You can plant them a little later than this date too, as young plants are very attractive, but the plots may be over-browsed quickly due to their size. Using this strategy, you can really produce some quick and easy food plots for hunting.

Where to Hang Your Best Bow Hunting Stands? 

bow hunting deer hunting plot | Muddy OutdoorsNow the third piece of the hunting plot puzzle; where should you set up your bow hunting deer stands? If you planned the shape right, there should be a suitable tree standing in heavy cover within 10 yards of the edge of the plot. You don’t want it right on the edge so that it completely sticks out, and that’s also where the heavy cover comes into play for camouflage purposes. You’ll want to be able to sneak into the plot quietly using a cleared access trail, and then silently climb into your stand to hunt mornings and evenings.

The Muddy Outdoors Sportsman lock on stand is perfect for this setup. Then in the early afternoon hours of your first hunt, you can hang the Sportsman tree stand and get comfortable. The seat flips back so you have full use of the platform to have a steady bow stance.

Conclusion

While there’s no way to absolutely guarantee you’ll get a Pope and Young buck while bow hunting deer in these plots, using this method will substantially raise your hunting effectiveness. And that’s at least something to celebrate.

box blinds score sheet | Muddy Outdoors

Box Blinds Score Sheet | What to Look for In A Hunting Box Blind

Box Blinds Reviews, Considerations, and Score Sheet

Hunting box blinds can bridge the gap in many hunting situations. Whether it is a food plot, a giant Ag field, or simply a great spot for a permanent stand, box blinds are your best bet. Out of everything a hunter can possibly hunt out of, be it a tree stand, ground blind, or a brush blind, box blinds are always the most impressive and desired. Why? Simply do the fact that hunting box blinds are durable, comfortable, and above all functional. They can bridge the gap where tree stands and ground blinds cannot, giving you an elevated and concealing platform.

While hunters might, generally speaking on box blinds, think that all are “made the same”, they could not be further from the truth. When you are looking to purchase a box blind for hunting, you should be considering a multitude of factors. These box blinds factors, individually diagnosed will give you a clue to whether or not a box blind is worth the buy or not. In some cases what you pay for is and is not applicable here. Running through the following considerations will tell you what kind of hunting box blinds you should invest in.

Box Blind Score Sheet

The following list provides detailed factors that should go into your considerations before purchasing a box blind. These are basics, and will provide you with score sheet so to speak, to rate each brand and box blind you come across in your research.

Rugged Construction

Description: A box blind with rugged construction, is a box blind that can stand up to years of wear and tear, inside and out. This means the box blind must be constructed with more than just a plastic shell. Multiple layered wall panels that take into consideration warmth, insulation, noise, as well as wind and weather proofing is a point added in the right direction. While this should be a given, inspecting a box blind’s construction process and the materials it is built with is often overlooked. However, the construction of the blind is the base from which your hunt will be built upon. Quality is well worth judging in this aspect. Ultimately the base is worth some play in judgement, with 2 points, giving you the ability to assign a blind the score of a 0-2.

Points Possible: 2

Scoring: 0 = Very poor, 1 = Bare minimum, 2= Well-built and thought out

Windows

Description: Window height, size, operation, and function all need to be considered before purchasing a box blind. The ideal window in a box blind should have the ability to be operated with one hand, should be silent, should give you plenty of shooting options for both gun hunting and bow hunting, and should have a seal for weather and scent. Another consideration is window material. Plexiglass scratches easy and can warp overtime, glass however is less likely to be scratched and can be cleaned very easy when fog and weather are present. This is where differences in box blinds can stand out, as it is clear which blinds are well thought out, and which are acceptable at best.

Points Possible: 1

Scoring: 0 = Acceptable placement, material, operation, and size, 1= Well thought out placement, material, operation, and size

Doors

Description: Does the quality of the door matter? Ask yourself what is the biggest battle you face when hunting out of box blinds? Getting in and out of the blind silently! Door size and construction makes the difference for a hunt started off right by allowing you to sneak in silently. The door construction should be easy to operate, able to sit solid through any wind or weather, easy to operate, sealed for scent and rain, and of course silent.

Points Possible: 1

Scoring: 0 = Flimsy, loud, and weak, 1 = Well-built, silent, and strong

Space

Description: Space is a big deal for hunting box blinds. The majority of the time, hunters are looking into purchasing a box blind for hunting with multiple hunters. Whether it is taking youth hunters out, hunting with a spouse, or hunting with friends, you need space for multiple hunters. Space allows you to be comfortable but also have the room to maneuver for shots, and draw a bow back when needed.

Points Possible: 1

Scoring: 0 = 1-2 people, 1 = 3-4 people

Noise

Description: Box blinds need to be quiet period. Noise can amplify in a blind setting. Dropping hunting gear, dropping a window, closing the door to hard…these are all mistakes a hunter makes often. Before purchasing a box blind you should consider whether or not that noise will sound like a quiet and soft thud, or a loud amplifying noise that could potentially clear game out of the area. How do box blinds combat the noise factor? Construction and insulation that is well thought out go a long way. Simple plastic walls will be loud, but multiple insulated layers, seals on windows and doors, and carpeting throughout the blind can keep noise to a minimum.

Points Possible: 2

Scoring: 0 = No noise buffering, 1 = Slight buffering, 2 = Very quiet/great noise buffering

Scent

Description: Scent control is vital in most hunting situations, especially when hunting from an elevated box blind. How do you combat scent control in a box blind? Box blinds can combat scent control by having well-sealed and thought out blind features. The doors and windows of a box blind do not have to be necessarily air tight, but it needs to be as close as possible to seal in human odor to manage your scent properly. Being able to operate the windows with the certainty that no scent is leaking in an unwanted area is key. If scent is a great concern such as the early season, then leaving the windows close greatly reduces your scent footprint, only if the blind is well sealed. A well-sealed blind that keeps scent to a minimum could take the extra step in providing hunting opportunities such as the wrong wind direction.

Points Possible: 1

Scoring: 0 = No Seal, 1 = Sealed well

Comfort

Description: Comfort is a critical feature when it comes to selecting box blinds. Why is comfort so important? The simplest answer is that box blinds can afford to be extremely comfortable, and it is expected out of them. . Box blinds are somewhat permanent hunting settings that you expect will give you what you have paid for. This means the ultimate form of comfort and functionality. Misplaced windows, a hard platform, misplaced shelves, or a misplaced rest can make hunting slightly uncomfortable, which is unnecessary when purchasing such a large hunting setup and item such as a box blind.

Points Possible: 2

Scoring: 0 = uncomfortable, 1 = acceptable, 2 = Extremely comfortable

Box Blinds Score: _ / 10

Chances are you have been looking at box blinds, or you are currently running one through this score sheet, what did it score out of the 10 possible points?

We had two hunters run through the blind score sheet on the Muddy Bull Box Blinds. Not just any hunters however, two that have years’ worth of experience and plenty of that time spent in box blinds. Below is Mark and Terry Drurys’ review of the Muddy Bull Box Blind.

The Muddy Bull Box Blind | Mark Drury’s Review of the Muddy Bull
(Video)- Looking for the best hunting box blind on the market? The Muddy Bull Box Bind features an insulated design that provides thermal, scent and noise control. It has a lockable door, large interior, durable carpet, one hand window design, and ultra-quiet window and door latches.

The Ultimate Hunting Box Blinds | Muddy Bull Box Blind Review With Terry Drury
(Video)- The ultimate box blind for hunting needs all the bells and whistles. Features and design is critical. The box blind door, windows, scent management, sound dampening, and thermal layers all make for comfortable and functional hunting. If you are looking for the best hunting box blinds look no further, check out the Muddy Bull Box Blind!

 

The Muddy Bull Box Blind’s Score Sheet

box blinds score sheet Blind | Muddy OutdoorsMark and Terry Drury have run the Muddy Bull Box Blind through the score sheet. The Muddy Bull came out with a perfect score. See for yourself and run the Muddy Bull through the score sheet.

  • Rugged Construction = 2
  • Windows = 1
  • Doors = 1
  • Space = 1
  • Noise = 2
  • Scent = 1
  • Comfort = 2

Muddy Bull Score = 10/10

Deer season is almost upon us. As you begin to plant fall food plots, run trail cameras, and setup stands and blinds, think of an un-huntable area that could be successfully hunted with a box blind. A spot that could use an elevated platform, giving you comfort and a place to take your friends and family this fall. If you like the idea and are looking to purchase a box blind, run each consideration through this box blind score sheet. Interested in the Muddy Bull Box Blind? Before you buy, take a look at the construction process start to finish.

Muddy Bull Construction Video