Hunters each season make plans for their hunting adventure. They get in shape, go over their gear list, study maps and areas, make countless trips to the gun range, even plan how to cape their trophy for the particular mount they envision in their mind. The time comes and the entire trip turns out to be one for the records, everything goes better then expected and after a well placed shot many hunters snap a couple of photos off and begin the necessary steps to prepare the trophy for transport.
As a guide it breaks my heart, to excitedly finger through a hunter’s photo albums only to find out of focus or improperly set up pictures. I know, I know, to each his or her own, but I believe that nothing can bring back more memories of the hunt then a well done “wall hanger” photograph. A well prepared photo can actually capture the raw emotions of the moment. In addition, if something were to happen to your trophy before it reaches your living room wall, you’ll at the very minimum have second best to remember the adventure.
Here are some quick points to keep in mind to help you set up for a high quality photograph.
- First thing is first, take your time. You may have spent half your life dreaming of this moment, enjoy it.
- The animal should, if possible, remain whole during the picture process. Blood and entrails really do not look great in your living room.
- Be prepared to move the animal to another location, at times the animal may lay down in a spot not great for images.
- Clean up the blood and put the tongue back in the mouth. At times some well placed greenery may cover a large blood spot.
- Antlers and horns are typically dark and look even better if put in front of a light background, like the sky line.
- Sit behind the trophy and take shots form many different angles. If you are alone, a tripod and a camera with a timer are a must.
- The hunter and animal should fill up the entire frame, some back and foreground will keep a sense of wilderness.
- With the digital cameras of today, take the time to review your images, and adjust accordingly.
- Most importantly, smile! This is a hunt of a lifetime and you just pulled it off, you earned this moment….own it!
Meet Mike Hawkridge
-Mike Hawkridge is a guide for Tatlow Mountain Outfitters and chief guide for TF Outfitters. Located in the Chilcotin region of Central British Columbia, Canada, Tatlow outfitters offers year round outdoor adventures in remote wilderness settings.Mike guides for Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Mule Deer, Whitetail, Black Bears, Western Canadian Moose, Timber Wolf, Cougar, Lynx, Coyote, Upland game birds, and Migratory birds. As a BC residents he tries to get away sometimes to hunt Elk, Grizzlies, Thinhorn Sheep, Cariboo, and Wolverine.