Learn How to Hide on the Hunt – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland
Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.
“Another big mistake that many people often make when taping a hunt is that the cameraman may not hide as well as he should,” Ronnie Strickland explains. “Hunting with a cameraman, means twice the amount of noise and twice the amount of scent, and you’re twice as likely to spook the game as you will be if you’re hunting by yourself. This reason, is why, when we’re hunting or filming, we cover everything but the camera lens with Mossy Oak camouflage. We even cover the tripod legs, and we take extra head nets and gloves with us to be prepared if someone loses one. We always try to take a stand in the shade, which is very important, because as I’ve mentioned, the only thing we don’t have covered with Mossy Oak is our camera lens. If the sun hits that camera lens and a deer or a turkey sees the reflection of the sun on the lens, that animal will spook and get out of there. But, there’s no way to cover up the camera lens or to camouflage it.
“When I say you need to hide better, many people think about camouflage and brushing up in front of themselves. But, if you’re hunting from a tree stand, back cover is often far more important than front cover. If you’re silhouetted in a tree stand, an animal can pick you out just as easily as if you’re walking the top of a ridge with no trees in front of you or behind you. I always carry bungee cords with me, pruners and a folding saw. Many times when I get into a tree, I’ll cut brush or limbs and bungee those limbs behind me to make sure I’ve got my silhouette covered behind me. Now, sometimes I may pick a tree to put my tree stand in that doesn’t have any cover. Then I’ll cut a few bushes or limbs, tie them onto a pull up rope and pull that brush up in a tree with me. You’ve got to break up that human silhouette, and the person shooting the video camera has to be hidden as well as the shooter, if not better. So, when you look at a potential ground blind site or tree stand site to video a hunt, before you ever set up, decide what you’ll have to do to make sure the animal can’t see you and make sure you can shoot the video you want to shoot.”
Tomorrow: Ronnie Strickland Says If Your Bowhunting Video Doesn’t Have Quality Sound, the Video Won’t Be as Good
To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.