-By Brandon Wikman
Time passes quickly, and so does our memory. Each animal I kill is photographed like a celebrity. I usually take 30-40 pictures of each kill and only end up with 2-3 perfect pictures that ultimately satisfy my picky attitude for a great photograph. Over the years of working with several professional cameramen, I’ve been able to gather enough information to teach others the basics of the, “The Kill Shot.”
Every time I go hunting I pack a camera enclosed in a plastic storage bag in my pack. I use a semi-professional camera, but a 4-8 mega-pixel digital camera will work just fine! I also take a few other items that help me get that great shot. Nobody wants to see a bloody animal with its tongue hanging out so I take along a package of wet wipes to clean the deer’s face, upper shoulder and any other noticeable flaws that really stand out. I’ll also carry a pair of glass deer eyes that can be purchased from any taxidermy magazine. You can simply slip the glass eyes over the eyes to diminish the ‘foggy glare’ look.
Now that you have the basics of what to bring into the field for photo preparation, it’s time for positioning the animal. Photos can be deceiving and easily manipulated. It’s always nice to prop deer up in a bedding position and crouch low to the ground behind the body. This leaves the rack sky-lined, which if pictured at a low angle can make your deer look another 20 inches bigger! Also, pushing the object toward the camera and backing yourself up making you look tiny has always been used as a size trick.
Oftentimes we remember the kill for a specific reason. For instance, my Nebraska Merriam turkey was shot in the middle of an open prairie. I photographed the bird with a scenic background of where I shot it to give me the exact feeling I felt as everything unraveled. Countryside is beautiful, but using background objects such as barns, fence lines and creeks are just as nice.
Be creative in your shooting. Don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos, try new things and be original. Photographing is a fun way to capture a specific moment in time and remember it for the rest of your life. Life is all about making memories and there’s nothing better to recall than a great harvest.