Very few accept the challenge of self-filming, and even fewer hunters become successful at it. It requires a unique mindset and approach to hunting. The process splits you right down the middle; focus on the hunt and give precedence to the camera. I enjoy the challenge and I really enjoy hearing from others about their experiences with self-filming. I managed to stumble across Greg Litzinger, a New Jersey native and die-hard solo-cam hunter, on Instagram and I started going through some of his photos. Greg goes by @bowhunting_fiend on Instagram and he has been filming his own hunts for five years now. His most recent harvest captured on film, which is featured in this article, really caught my eye and moved me to connect with him; and I am glad I did.
Greg not only managed to achieve the eminently coveted goal of killing an exceptional buck in frame, but he also did it on highly pressured public grounds. After watching the video, I wanted to know more about Greg’s self-filmed hunt and his background. I am so glad I had the chance to talk with Greg because I not only learned more about self-filming, but I also learned that you do not need a ton of money to get into this sport.
Before diving into the facts of the hunt, I asked Greg to describe the equipment he uses. His camera and hunting setup is listed below:
- Canon Vixia HF R100
- Lone Wolf Camera Arm (modified)
- Lone Wolf Hanger
- Whalen’s Hooker back tension release
- Bow: PSE Prophecy
- Black Eagle Arrows
- Deadringer Rampage 3 Blade Broad Heads
I have to give Greg some serious credit for his resourcefulness. When Greg first got into filming his own hunts he did not want to spend a lot of money. He bought a relatively inexpensive camera for $250, which the Canon Vixia HF 100 right now can be bought on Amazon for $79 used and $335 new, and he bought a used Lone Wolf Camera arm for $70. In total, he got his filming career started with under $350 of camera equipment.
Through the years, Greg made improvements to his setup after noticing some minor flaws in his equipment. He purchased square aluminum tubing to serve as an extension for his camera arm to optimize his reach; which only cost him $3 at Home Depot. In addition, Greg noticed that the head of the camera arm would often stick since it was not a fluid head. So he took the camera head apart, sanded the swivel sockets and coated them with grease and- Voila! DIY fluid head. With this simple modification, Greg turned his standard pan head into a self-made fluid head. I was amazed at Greg’s ingenuity. I now believe that many of the standard pan heads out on the market can be improved by simply using Greg’s clever tip.
If you are not familiar with the “run and gun” style of hunting it basically consists of throwing a stand on your back and moving in on deer aggressively. Greg is a very aggressive hunter and it has paid off for him- he has the footage to prove it. He is a student and follower of hunting
styles taught by guys like Dan Infalt, JohnEberhart and Greg Miller. Three out of the last four years Greg has been able to harvest impressive public land whitetail bucks. There is a lot of work that goes into hunting whitetails, but there’s more work that goes into a successful whitetail hunt on public land. Greg makes it look easy, but I can attest to the difficulties and frustrations of public land hunting.
The name of the game is, “Go where no one else wants to go”; and Greg is very proficient at this. For this hunt, Greg hiked for over an hour up to 1400 feet of elevation with all of his equipment into a buck bedding area. The previous spring he had found a few buck beds with several rubs in this area. It is not a popular tactic for hunters to move in aggressively on buck beds. But Greg gives credit to this tactic for his most recent successes in the deer woods. “I like hunting right on top of beds”, says Greg. “When you’re hunting public, you can’t wait for perfect.” Some might gawk at this high risk, high reward approach to hunting deer, but its effectiveness has been proven by many. Starting off Greg made a lot of mistakes and he admitted that he didn’t spend as much time on strategy as he should have. As time went on he got more methodical with his aggressive approach and it is now a tactic that he uses exclusively. Getting in close proximity to where a buck spends most of his time is very difficult to do let alone capturing the entire experience on film.
After filming for five years now, Greg voiced to me that filming is something he takes a lot of pride in. “If I don’t bring a camera with me I feel naked”, Greg admitted. It takes a strong commitment to bring a camera to the woods for each and every hunt. Not many people fully understand this until they actually try it themselves. Many people wonder why anyone would want to bring a camera to the woods. When I asked Greg this he responded, “I want to create a timeline for myself- I want to build my story so I can show people what I did.” I think there is a lot to be said about storytelling and creating memories. Filming your hunts is a lot more than a bow and camera. It’s about crafting YOUR story and inspiring people now and in the future. Greg’s passion really shined through when we talked about our purpose and I am really glad I can share this passion with someone else.
I learned a lot from this interview with Greg. I came away inspired and stimulated with ideas for my next public land hunting adventures. I hope you enjoyed reading about Greg’s background and his most recent self-film success. If you want to find Greg follow him out on Instagram @bowhunting_fiend. And if you have any questions or feedback about the video or article use the comments section below. Thanks for reading and enjoy Greg Litzinger’s 2015 self-filming success!