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Taking Effective Photographs of your Deer

First and foremost, take your pictures afield.  Wildlife photos always look more genuine when you’re in the woods, with the natural environment as your backdrop.  The deer looks better and you look better because you’re still jacked up from the event.  These days, it’s very easy to carry along a little disposable camera with you to your stand - you might also get a nice shot of a wolf or moose when things are slow.  Having a camera handy, you’re ready to document the event when it’s still fresh.  If you got your buck in the evening and you've run out of light, consider taking it to the edge of the woods for a photo the next morning.  Avoid taking photographs of your buck laying on a tailgate or hanging in a garage; they just look dead - really dead.

Always try to put the buck’s tongue back in its mouth.  Try to do it right away, before it stiffens up and freezes solid.  I know it sounds like a small, cosmetic detail, but when you get those photos back and the tongue is hanging out, you’ll see it.  It’s bad.  Tongue shots are tacky.

Whenever possible, take some backup photos with your buddy’s camera.  When the unthinkable happens (the lab loses your film or you totally botch the entire roll) you’ll be glad you took some reserve shots.  Anything can happen, and when you’ve just whacked “Big Jake,” some good photos are a must.  Apply the DUCT TAPE PRINCIPLE: “OVER-DO IT.”  You’ll be glad you did.

Take pictures of your buck BEFORE you gut it out.  It looks much more appealing and natural prior to going under the knife.  If you’ve already gutted the deer, frame it up by avoiding the bloody underside.  The more blood in your photograph, the more dead your deer looks.  If you're hunting in snow, drag the deer to a patch of clean snow for the picture.