With the arrival of crisp fall days and the occasional snowfall, many local residents are eager to get out hunting.
While many hunters would be satisfied to see something worth shooting, four Carson City men enjoy the thrill of the shoot — on film. Mark Brown, Adam Eller, Gabe Stanley and Mike Swagart are hunters and videographers for “No Limits Outdoors” — a television show that features videos of average hunters pursuing deer, bear, turkeys and other wild game.
The four Carson City men comprise the Michigan team for the nationally broadcast weekly show on the Sporting Channel.
Ready, aim, fire
All four men grew up in hunting families around the Carson City and Crystal area, learning to enjoy the great outdoors with their families. For many of them, hunting was a family affair. Their fathers taught them the skills necessary for a successful hunt.
It didn’t take long for the boys to develop a passion for hunting.
“Once you get out in the woods for the first time, that’s all it takes,” said Eller, who has been shooting a bow since he was 7 years old.
The men were first introduced to filming hunts when Gabe Stanley was asked if he’d like to shoot some hunts by “No Limits Outdoors” creator Gordon Griffith. Stanley had grown up hunting with Eller, so the pair of them learned to document their hunts on film, taking turns behind the camera and behind the weapon.
“It’s just as fun to shoot with film as it is with a weapon,” Swagart said with a grin. “You are the one telling the story. You either love it or you hate it.”
“I can’t imagine hunting without a camera now,” Stanley said.
A time-consuming pastime
“No Limits Outdoors” encourages its videographers to hunt on their own land with their families. The videos are supposed to showcase ordinary hunters enjoying the outdoors with their friends and family.
Eller told a story about taking his wife out for her first hunt. The other men told stories sharing a tree stand with their fathers or children.
“Ninety percent of our shoots are right here in our backyard,” Eller said.
“We’re out there to enjoy what God created,” Brown said.
Taking a video camera on a trip to the woods adds an extra challenge, especially when stealth is essential to a successful hunt.
“We all have a passion for hunting, but when you add a camera it gets tough,” Brown said.
Toting camera bags up a tree makes the process more complicated. Remembering to film all the details of a hunt, including all the preliminary preparations from putting out bait to climbing in the pickup truck at dawn, also can be a challenge.
“And then you can sit and watch for hours before you see anything,” Eller said.
The men spend three to four hours editing the hunting videos before sending them to the “No Limits Outdoors” staff, where they are edited further for the weekly broadcast.
“If you’re out there giving 100 percent, that’s all they ask,” Brown said.
The thrill of the hunt and capturing it on film has become a passion for the four men that they can’t ignore.
“It’s just as fun to shoot with film as it is with a weapon,” said Swagart. “We do this for the memories and to share the hunt with everyone around.”
For more information on “No Limits Outdoors” and the hunters who contribute, visit their website at www.nloutdoors.com or check out their Facebook page by searching for “No Limits Outdoors.”