Why and How Photographing the Bugle of Deer using a Cloth Photo Blind
The bugle of the deer is the inevitable fall event for wildlife photographers. You have certainly heard deer bugling not far from home. But photographing deer during this period is a real challenge in the wildness.
I propose a technique using a cloth photo blind to hide you from the eyes of deer. This accessory allows you to make interesting pictures of deer stags and deer does without being seen.
The Principle of the Cloth Photo Blind
Before going further, it is interesting to explain you what a cloth photo blind is.
A cloth photo blind is a piece of cloth that allows you to camouflage at the sight of animals without being spotted.
In general, the color is khaki. The color should be chosen according to the environments in which you will evolve.
I recommend you choose a waterproof cloth photo blind. They are never perfect for heavy rain, but if you set up your tree under a tree, you will be almost dry.
Why Using a Cloth Photo Blind for the Bugle of the Deer?
In previous articles, I explained to you that to photograph the deer's slab, it was interesting to practice the photo-walking, the approach or the static blind. These techniques depend on the terrain, weather conditions and your physical condition.
Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages.
- The photo-walking allows you to move in search of deer but in this case, you are visible from far enough. The advantage is that you can play on the surprise effect. With the camera handheld, you can take pictures without being prepared.
- The approach allows you to get closer to the deer. The disadvantage is that it requires a good physical condition because it is often necessary to crawl on the soil.
- The static blind has the advantage of not getting tired. The disadvantage is that even if you know the field well, you are never certain that a stag or a doe will appear in front of your photo lens.
The cloth photo blind is a hybrid solution. It allows you to move and stop to make a blind for a few hours. If no animal shows up, you can change places again.
To use it, you must follow these steps.
Step 1: You Must Choose Your Background to Camouflage You
The goal of the cloth photo blind is to make not visible to deer stags or deer does.
You must choose a background that must be adapted to your cloth blind. In fact, the shape you are creating with your body under the cloth must not be detectable. For example, there is no point in using a cloth photo blind in the middle of the meadow.
Wild animals such as deer have an excellent photographic memory. As they move a lot, they have learned to memorize all the places through which they pass. If they realize that something has changed in their immediate environment, they will become suspicious. I have already tested this way of proceeding. A stag remained motionless for several minutes watching me hiding in my cloth blind. After 2 or 3 minutes, he went back by the way he had come.
I advise you to choose as a background a large tree, a thicket, or undergrowth. The more you blend yourself with your immediate environment the better.
A cloth photo blind is a camouflage. It must allow you to blend in with the background.
Step 2: Choose Your Foldable Seat
Once you have carefully selected your background, you must install your foldable seat.
As you are going to make a blind that can last several hours, I advise you to choose a comfortable seat. Personally, I opted for a rectangular camping seat to support my size and my weight. When I started, I had a tripod seat. But I found over time that it was not comfortable at all because the seating surface is insufficient.
Step 3: Properly Install Your Tripod and Your Camera
This step is crucial. You must use a tripod to place your camera. You could very well make photos handheld, but the movement caused by your arms when you lift the camera will be immediately detected by the stag or doe.
Once your tripod is placed in front of you, you put your camera on the gimbal tripod head.
To adjust the height of your tripod, I recommend having the chin at the height of the hot shoe.
Thus, you will avoid generating a movement when you pass from the direct vision through the mesh to the viewfinder. The transition from one to the other will be discreet. You are not likely to attract the attention of the animal that came in front of you.
Step 4: Wear a hat or cap
Before wearing your cloth photo blind, I recommend you to put on a hat with edges or a cap. If you stay naked, the fabric will slip on your head.
When you go from direct vision through the mesh to the viewfinder, you may have the fabric that bothers you. You may also create a slight movement that will make you noticed by the animal.
Step 5: Put on the Cloth Blind
All you must do is put on the cloth blind. You must first place the photo lens through the slot provided for this purpose.
Then you must put your eyes face to the small window provided for this purpose. Initially, it is not very easy. But after minutes, you get done very quickly.
You will quickly find that the viewing angle is limited to 120 degrees. This is the equivalent of a 14mm lens. You will find that it is not enough when you are in the field. You must absolutely avoid moving while turning your head.
The cloth blind amplifies the movements. Deer can easily detect them.
Be as motionless as possible.
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the image.
Do Not Move with a Cloth Photo Blind
The function of the cloth blind is to allow you to make a discreet blind. It saves you from having to break branches and ferns to prepare a natural lookout.
Do not try to move with even on the edge of a wood. Deer have a piercing view. The slightest abnormal movement will cause them to flee at once.
The cloth blind is made with a piece of cloth that is wide. If you try to walk, you will get your feet in it. You may fall and damage your camera.
When you move, simply fold your cloth blind. Store it in a bag. Then move to another place to wait. It is an easy accessory to store and transport.
The Use of a Cloth Blind Obeys to Certain Rules
The ghost of the woods is an accessory makes the carts easier.
You must respect certain essential rules to take good pictures:
- Know the habits of wild animals..
- Identify the flows of passage.
- Choose the right wind.
- Choose the light well.
- Respect the environment and nature to where to wait.
- Never choose a boar passage area.
I hope this article about using a cloth camera blind to photograph deer during the rut will help you make the right choice.
Personally, I use this accessory every year to take pictures. The results are always up to my expectations.
I am a fervent practitioner of the approach. But doing two approaches per photo session is a maximum because it is exhausting physically and mentally. I do not hesitate to choose an undergrowth to stop and to hide under my cloth camera blind. I can rest for an hour or two.
To create interesting animal photos in an environment that you do not yet know very well, the cloth camera blind is the most suitable tool.