By Dustin Jones
Nothing is more exciting than taking an animal with your bow. All of the time that you have put into scouting, preparing, and finally taking that shot has finally paid off. After all of the celebration of recovering your animal has taken place, the next step that most anyone will want to do is take a picture to remember the hunt. Something that I like to take into account is showing respect to that animal. Now I am not saying that the way I take pictures is the way that you should take your pictures, because trust me I still need some work in this area, but there are some tips that will help you capture a good trophy picture.
First of all, do your best to remove any blood from the animal. If you are near water it makes it pretty easy to clean up some of the blood using a rag or something to wipe down the bloody area. If cleaning off the blood isn’t possible, usually there is one side that is less bloody than the other. Try and roll the animal or even position the animal in a way that hides most of the blood.
This is an antelope that I had taken and I was so excited to have shot my first antelope with a bow that I hurried to take the picture. You can see there is some blood that I could have washed off and I could have gotten in a better position to see the horns.
Secondly, take care of the tongue. Shove the tongue back in the mouth, hold the bottom jaw, sew it shut, or just cut it off but either way do something to get the tongue out of the picture. That has been one of the biggest things that I have learned to help make a photo look more presentable. I tend to get in a rush after I kill an animal that I forget to take the time to check for the tongue. As you can see in my picture that I could have stuck the tongue back in his mouth and it would have made the photo look a little better.
Lastly, show it off. Get down so you are able to show off the antlers (if you were blessed enough to shoot one with them) or just the animal itself. Pictures tend to look better if you are down on the same level as the animal versus you standing over top of the animal. This allows you to truly show off the animal and it just looks better.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. As you can see, he got down at the same level of his elk and you are able to see the size of the antlers, there isn’t any blood, and the elk’s tongue is not hanging out of his mouth. I’m not saying this is the perfect picture but you can tell the difference between the previous photos and this photo. This is a larger animal with a bigger rack but there were plenty of things that I could have done in my photos to be a better photo to show off.
So when that moment arrives that you get to take some pictures of your kill, take the time to prepare for a great photo that you’ll be proud to show off. You put forth a lot of effort to hunt the animal, so put forth the effort to take a great picture to show off the animal.
Dustin Jones is a passionate outdoorsman who loves to hunt, especially bowhunt. He created his blog, HighCountryBowhunter.com, to share his experiences with others. He is a Field Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com and Adventure Team member for MINOX Hunting Optics.
Dustin was born and raised in Eastern Idaho where he currently resides with his wife and two sons.
Keep your eye out for the #elktour DVD over on huntography.com! Watch PSE’s Emily Anderson and Dustin Jones hunt elk DIY style on our amazing public lands in the Western United States. Huntography also films a deer hunting DVD called #deertour which you will be able to watch PSE’s Will Jenkins hunt whitetails. Huntography…filming America’s hunters, one at a time!