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John's Journal... Entry 26 - Day 1


Michael Waddell of Columbus, Georgia, shoots and produces Realtree's monster-buck videos as well as the company's spring turkey-hunting videos and the "Realtree Outdoors" TV show.

QUESTION: What does your job consist of, Michael?

ANSWER: Although many people think a cameraman just needs to know the mechanics of a camera, all of our camera guys depend on our hunting skills to find areas that offer an opportunity to take trophy bucks and to present the hunt in a way that viewers want to see it. To be good at this job, you must have a passion for the outdoors and for hunting. Being a cameraman and producer requires a lot of time and work. Without being totally committed 100 percent to what you're doing and improving on your video skills and learning from wildlife, you will get burned out really easily by videoing and staying gone throughout hunting season.

QUESTION: During 1999, how many bucks did you take personally, and how many bucks did you film being killed?

ANSWER: I took four bucks personally: a 161-point in Montana with a bow; a 142-point in Texas with a bow; a 158-class Texas buck with a muzzleloader; and a 125-class eight pointer in Georgia with a rifle. I videoed five rifle kills behind the camera and two successful bow kills.

click to enlargeQUESTION: Where were you hunting when you took this first deer we see in the picture?

ANSWER: This deer was taken at the King Ranch in south Texas.

QUESTION: What did he score?

ANSWER: He gross scored 142 3/8-points.

QUESTION: Did you take him with a gun or a bow?

ANSWER: I took this buck with a bow.

QUESTION: Tell me about your hunt for this fine buck.

ANSWER: I was on a two-day hunt down in south Texas. Because time was our biggest restraint on this hunt, we had to pre-predict when and where the deer would be. We didn't have the luxury of hunting for seven to 10 days for the deer. We had to depend heavily on our guides and our outfitters to help us. We'd hunted a stand in this general area prior to this two-day hunt, and we hadn't seen a lot of deer there. Then we moved our stand site because we saw numbers of scrapes and rubs in another region where we eventually bagged this buck.

click to enlargeQUESTION: How far away was the big buck?

ANSWER: He was about 25 yards away.

QUESTION: What was he doing when you took a shot at him?

ANSWER: He was actually coming in to feed. We got the entire bowhunt on the video "Monster Bucks Eight." He was actually coming in, following a hot doe.



Check back each day this week for more about Micheale Waddell's Most Memorable Hunts Of 1999-2000...

Day 1 - Deer Hunting At The King Ranch In Texas
Day 2 - Hunting The Milk River In Montana
Day 3 - Eddie Salter's Buck Named Woody
Day 4 - Greg Miller and Dan Massimillo and Their Deer
Day 5 - Waddell's Georgia Buck

John's Journal