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.
“The first video camera that was ever available for sale, a buddy of mine bought, and we put camouflage on it,” Ronnie Strickland remembers. “We took that video camera out and immediately tried to film turkey hunts with it. I had filmed all of Will Primros’ first videos, starting in 1985, and that’s about when I started getting paid to film. I don’t do much filming anymore. Cameras today are much smaller, lighter and have little bitty buttons to push, unlike the old camera that I used with big buttons. Now, I have a crew of 8 guys who are filming for all the TV shows that we do here at Mossy Oak Productions. At any one time, there will be 5 cameramen on the road filming. There’s no way that one person can shoot all the videos we need. I still have a tiny, little camera that I can hold in my hand with 2 HD cards that can shoot 8 hours of footage. It also has a lot of zoom and is very small and very lightweight. The quality of this camera is outstanding. The first camera I ever had, had tubes in it. Before you could use the camera, you would have to let it warm up.
Today you can film bowhunts for turkey or deer much quicker and better, with video cameras now, than you could with the video cameras I had when I first started. Back then, a good cameraman was not only judged on his ability to shoot good video, but also on how strong he was. Counting the batteries, the camera and the tripod, a cameraman back in the 1980s might be carrying 50 pounds of gear. Not only did he have to be able to pick up that weight and carry it, but he had to take it across mountains and hills and through creeks and swamps and up rocky terrain, following a bowhunter, chasing a turkey. But, with all the improvements with video equipment, you may have to carry 5 pounds of equipment, and you may be able to put that equipment in your pocket, except for the tripod and the camera arm. Even though our equipment is so much better, lighter and easier to hunt with today, I feel that many of the same mistakes are being made that we made shooting bowhunting turkey video many years ago. In an effort to help you shoot better bowhunting videos, this week I’ll try to give you some tips that I’ve learned and taught to our videographers here at Mossy Oak Productions.”
Tomorrow: PSE Pro Staffer Ronnie Strickland Says Don’t Forget to Tell the Story of Bowhunting Turkeys with Your Video
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