The hunt is over. You found your buck! Now what? Here are some tips for taking great photos and remembering that hunt forever.
Now that you have your animal, you should get it to a place that will capture the story of your hunt. For example, if you shot your deer in the woods, don’t take a picture of it in a field.
Also, choose a location with background in mind. You do not want a cluttered environment that will take focus away from your trophy.
Be smart with the location. Choose a spot that captures your memory of the hunt without giving away your honey hole, so avoid having any landmarks in the background.
Next it's time to get the bruiser ready for his prime time photo debut.
Make sure to respect your animal by cleaning off all of the blood. I like to bring a bottle of water and a few rags with me to help wash and clean the hide.
Clear up the mouth from any blood and debris. Do not have the animal’s tongue hanging out of its mouth. If an animal is stiff and the tongue is not easily moved, you may need to cut it off.
The buck’s eyes are also big factor in these photos. Some spit or water in the eyes can help return that shine it had before you crossed paths.
Take off the multi-layers, even if its 10 degrees out. Remove the jacket because the bulky layers will shrink the appearance of the animal with your obtuse profile.
Capture the Character of the buck.
Is there a droptine, splits, big brows, stickers, a broken off G3?
These show how unique your trophy is and can tell the animal’s story. Use poses and angles that will highlight these characteristics and show off your favorite features of the beast. Also, remember to tuck the legs under the deer to make it look like it is bedded down.
Rack ‘em up!
Get the rack above the horizon and situate yourself slightly behind the animal so you are not towering over it. When you avoiding distorting the image with your proportion, the photo can truly do the animal justice. Try to reach forward holding the head up without showing too much arm or covering too much antler with your fingers. You want the entire immensity of your trophy to be on display for all to see.
Orange ya glad you didn't pose the weapon?
Try to minimize the blaze orange and the focus drawn to the weapon in the photo. You want the attention to be on the animal.
Smartphones are perfectly capable of taking good photos. However, a tripod and digital camera are a great idea for taking the most professional looking pictures.
Get Snap Happy
Take a lot of photos. You have a lot of time and money invested in taking this animal. The more pictures you take, the better the chance you have of getting one that is perfect.
Try to avoid prematurely sending pictures of the animal to friends. I know it is difficult to control the excitement when you first walk up to your trophy. Believe me, the first thing I want to do is snap a quick picture and send it to everyone in my contact list with the caption BBD. However, you only get one chance at a first impression, and if you send a poor photo to your friends and family then you lose the shock factor of a great first picture.
- Get your camera on the ground or as low as possible
- Look at buck’s antlers instead of camera to focus more attention on the animal
- Smile in picture – hunting is an emotional sport
- Position ears towards the back – ears are a comparison to spread
- Sunrise/sunsets are great for backgrounds
- Take pics before field dressing
Special Thanks To Schuhter's Outpost and Tyler Rinken Photography for supplying the sample pictures.
Author: Parker Butler