Go Pro for bird hunting?

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by seekm, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. seekm chris

    Posts: 89
    edmonds
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    My dogs are getting older and my black lab Luna is starting to experience some health problems. This may be the last year we are able to hunt some of the harder country together. Really I'm not sure how much she'll be able to handle, we're just going to play it by ear. It kills me to think about heading out without her.

    My favorite thing about upland hunting is watching the dogs work and I realized that my wife and kids have never had a chance to see the pups filled with joy and doing what they were born to do. So, I've been thinking about getting a Go Pro video camera and a head strap and hopefully capturing some memories. I think it would be pretty cool for my family to be able to see the dogs get birdy, the bird flush, someone make the shot (hopefully), and the pride and happiness in the dogs' eyes when they make the retrieve. I'm just worried that the video would end up being a jumbled shaky mess.

    Has anyone tried this? Thanks for any input you may have.

    Chris
  2. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,285
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +770 / 1
    Great idea, dogs leave us too soon it seems. Our Sasha is 11 years old this year and I dread the day she leaves us.

    As far as the Go Pro, most of what I have seen seems too fisheyed. If you hunt with someone else it might be good to take normal video of the hunting. One shoots a gun, the other shoots the video.

    I see you're in the neighborhood, maybe I could help and we could meet and hunt together.

    roper
  3. seekm chris

    Posts: 89
    edmonds
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Thanks for the response and the offer Roper, I appreciate it. In addition to the fisheye, I'm concerned that most of the action would take place too far from the lens so when it came time to view the video it might be tough to make anything out. The good thing is that the Heroes can be headmounted and it looks like with a 32gb sd card you can pretty much turn them on and forget about them for a couple of hours. I mostly hunt chuckar so that would make things a lot easier.

    The dove opener is coming up and I may just bring a handheld with me then as the terrain isn't as challenging. The difference though is that we won't get the full upland experience.
  4. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,285
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +770 / 1
    Anytime, you're welcome. Your concerns are spot on, nothing beats a hand held camera with a savvy operator for your situation.
    You hunt chukar...I'm sorry to hear that...:D You must be young with good knees...
    Steve Call and Alex MacDonald like this.
  5. Guy Gregory Active Member

    Posts: 452
    Spokane, WA.
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    For me, I have the memory of my dogs, the flush, the first retrieves, the great recoveries, and the last day, the last bird. And my son: the flush, the fumble, the aim and shot... the first bird, and the last. My memory is full of days afield with friends and family, some long gone, some going, some behind me.

    I would'a missed 'em had I been mashing around with a camera. As cool as the new stuff is, you said it, you just don't get the "full upland experience."
  6. seekm chris

    Posts: 89
    edmonds
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Ha Roper, I'm coming up on 41 (wow I guess I'm already in denial, I had to edit this post because I'm actually coming up on 42) and I'm finding that my legs are starting to give out little sooner and I'm finding reasons to "rest" the dogs more each year.

    Guy I definitely hear what you are saying. My kids are too young (4 and 6) to come along and I don't think I could talk my wife into heading over the rim but they all love the dogs. I just realized that they had never seen the pups in their element and I'd like to find a way to share that with them even if it is a bit removed. Plus it'd be nice to have something tangible that I can look back on as well.

    I'll let you guys know if I try it and how it works. If I do and you don't have to take a dramamine to watch it maybe I'll post it on youtube.
  7. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    Seekm, I sure know what ya mean about watching the dogs hunt and dogs lives are way to short.
    I got a new puppy this spring and I'm going to be just as sad as the old dog when I leave her at home this fall.
    Good hunting to you and Roper too.
  8. seekm chris

    Posts: 89
    edmonds
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Thanks Gary.
  9. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,320
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +879 / 0
    Geez Seekm--I don't recall ever being that young!! It's not the years, though, but the mileage!

    My girls are both getting a little gray around the muzzle now, and I too, dread the day they aren't around. Our task, gentlemen, is to become the humans our dogs believe we can be. Speaking for myself, that's a tall order!
  10. Top in my class Member

    Posts: 277
    washington, Spanaway
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    I Think the go pro can be a pretty good way to go. I have not used it with upland and haven't done to much of it with duck hunting either, but the new go pro 2 i wanna say has a more narrow lens option. Hope this helps but i would look into it for sure.
  11. Steve Call Active Member

    Posts: 1,553
    Wetside, WA
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    Damn near impossible! Just saying............
  12. martyg Active Member

    Posts: 981
    The world at large
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    Why not take them with you? I've seen very few cases where the intricacies can be captured on film or digital media.
  13. seekm chris

    Posts: 89
    edmonds
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    +1

    Marty, I hear what you are saying about the experience not translating on video. My kids are still pretty young at 4 and 6 though and I have a hard enough time trying to keep an eye on them at the park let alone on a sidehilling chukar hunt :). I may look at a pay to play place but I'm not sure how the logistics (safety/view) of that would work with little kids if they are even allowed.

    I ended up ordering the Hero2 and I'll let you guys know how it works. Thanks for all the input.
  14. Top in my class Member

    Posts: 277
    washington, Spanaway
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    well nice man!
    Unfortunately my hunting dog has an ammonia right now. Hes gotten better just hopes he will be ready for duck hunting season because i don't know what i would do without him!
  15. martyg Active Member

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    The world at large
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    Chris - I would totally look at a preserve. With one other adult supervising and with birds marked it could be a very controlled situation.

    A few decades ago we were in a similar situation. We had a dog that my wife adored. It was Spring, and we had to put her down so I bought some birds and time at a preserve and my wife reluctantly went - as she was not thrilled with hunting. Well, to see a dog who's body is riddled with cancel behave like a puppy was priceless. It was so stirring for my wife that she said, "Wow! This is cool! I want to do this with you."

    My sense is that if you treated this trip for what it is - a trip for your family to witness it the dogs at work, then it should all be manageable. I wish you well!
  16. seekm chris

    Posts: 89
    edmonds
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Thanks Marty, I'm going to look and see what I can find.

    Here's my trip report: On Friday I had packed most of my gear into my suburban and then took a trip to the grocery store for provisions. When I got home my wife said that Luna had thought that I had left without her and sat by the door whining until I got back. Both dogs did great helping to find many downed birds that probably would have been lost they weren't there. Some of Luna's tumors make it harder for her to get around so she has gained some weight and lost some of her fitness but you would have never known that by looking at her the first morning :D. Both dogs had a tough time after laying down for awhile. I had to help Axle stand up and had to carry Luna up and down the stairs to the cabin. Both also needed help getting into my truck, but whenever it was time to head out you could see the fire in their eyes and they were happy, happy dogs.

    The pics below are after that first morning. I was able to bag 7 birds on 22 shells which is pretty good for me. I picked up my other 3 doves quickly that afternoon. The second morning was slow (1 bird on 3 shells) but the afternoon presented a ton of birds, it's just too bad my aim went south. I think I averaged somewhere between 5 and 6 shells for every bird that went into my gamebag:confused:.

    I used the Hero2 and I definitely need to work out the kinks. I need to aim it a little lower and it is hard to pick up the birds at distance. I need to get a backup battery so that I don't have to worry about run time on the camera. I was preoccupied with trying to conserve juice and that led to many missed shots and dog work. I think it will be better when I can just turn it on and leave it running through the course of a hunt.

    Overall the weather was great and everyone in our group limited each day. I had great weekend spending time with my friends and dogs, hunting, telling lies, and eating grilled dovebreasts and jalapenos wrapped in bacon.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
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  17. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,285
    Glenraven Ranch
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    GA, it looks indeed like you had a good trip. You have some happy dogs there, and quite a few doves.

    I was getting guns and stuff together this morning to take off Thursday and Sasha was following me everywhere I went in the house....she knows...
    seekm likes this.
  18. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,175
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +182 / 6
    Great report and pics. Looks like some tired but happy dogs there!
  19. seekm chris

    Posts: 89
    edmonds
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Roper, it's almost scary, they do know.

    Islander, yeah they were beat. Other than getting up once to go to the bathroom and drink some water they slept the whole 6 hr drive home.