The Camera Never Lies (Most of the Time)

Co-produced by Joe Sir and J.D. Huitt,  Hallowed Ground Outdoors is an exploration into the depths of who we are as hunters. In “Production Notes”, they’ll take you behind the scenes to look at what drives both the team and the show.

It is arguable that we are living in the golden age of hunting. Never before in our history have we had better game management or access to technology. One of those pieces of technology that almost seems to be the norm in hunting world today is the game camera. With cameras that can shoot digitally, record film in HD, and tell you the temperature and moon phase, it really has changed how we hunt. But as with all things technological, the blessings can sometimes come with a curse.

JD Huitt of Hallowed Ground Outdoors checking his Eyecon trail Camera.

In the months leading up to the 2012 season, one of cinematographers on our team, Clay Lockard, got a picture of a true Missouri giant on one of his trail cameras. When he showed all of us, we immediately put him on the list as one of the top bucks that we wanted to harvest on film for our 3rd season of Hallowed Ground Outdoors. But then, our excitement quickly deflated as the days passed and we didn’t get another single picture of our target buck. Not one.

Trail Camera picture of the giant Missouri buck Clay was after.

During the opening weekend of bow season, Clay and I hunted the last known area where the buck had been, but saw neither hide nor hair of him. As September and October passed and faded into November, we had really started to wonder if the picture that we’d got was just a freak occurrence from a traveling buck that had just stumbled in front of our camera. That all changed during the opening week of the Missouri rifle season.

As I was preparing for a trip to Ukraine, Clay’s uncle spotted the buck that we were after in the same area that we’d got a picture of him from weeks earlier. After some strategic stand placement and hard hunting, Clay was able to wrap his tag around this Missouri monster just two days before the season ended.

Clay and his Missouri Buck.

I can’t tell you how many guys that I know who have been discouraged into not hunting a property simply because of the lack of buck pictures that they get on their trail cameras. But just because they aren’t in front of the camera doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.

A few summers ago, a friend and I were trying to narrow down the entry points that bucks were using on a set of converging trails. To do this, we set one camera up on a mineral site and another only 50 yards away where two trails met. When we pulled the cards, we were shocked to find that both cameras had captured pictures of completely different bucks! Had we only had one camera out, there are bucks on that property that would have remained unknown to us to this day. And they were only 50 yards apart!

So embrace technology and use it to the fullest. But don’t let it ever discourage you into staying at home. You still have to get out there and hunt.

Hallowed Ground Outdoors Airs Wednesday’s at 730AM ET, Friday’s at 6PM ET, and Saturday’s at 6PM ET.