Hampton Rutland didn’t originally start out with the idea of documenting his first-ever duck season on new property into a tidy 4-minute video, but the GoPro Hero3 camera he got for his birthday last year spurred him on.
Combined with his purchase of a DJI Phantom Vision 2 Quadcopter drone capable of capturing some awesome aerial footage, Rutland shot lots of video along with numerous ducks about 10 miles north of Ruston last fall and just finished up a unique video project, complete with a “duck’s-eye view” of his blind.
“It just sort of grew,” said Rutland, 37, a urologist who practices in West Monroe. “I was going to build the blind last September, and it just so happened I got the GoPro for my birthday shortly before that, and I just wanted to kind of play with it.
“Then I saw the initial footage of the time lapse stuff starting on the blind, and it was pretty cool. I thought, ‘Man, I could really turn this into the season.’”
So from the month-long blind construction project, through busting a beaver dam to flood the bottom, all the way to some hunting footage last fall and some great bird’s-eye view video, Rutland documented many of his hunts last fall with the GoPro and DJI drone.
“It became a little monster that really ate up a whole lot of time,” he said with a laugh.
About 2:25 into the video, there's an impressive shot of Rutland sitting in the blind taken from the drone as it flies away.
"It was sort of sitting right there in front of me hovering and just pushed up and out," he said. "It's really neat."
For his first duck season on the new property, Rutland was pleased with the results of his 15 to 20 hunts, calling a flock of about nine mallards who cupped into his decoys the highlight of the season.
“It was good. I think I put a little too much pressure on it,” he said. “We’re not smack in the middle of a flyway, and there are some local birds, but towards the end I think I over-hunted it a little bit.”
In total, the blind took about 30 wood ducks, eight mallards and a couple of hooded mergansers. Along with a whole lot of footage.
“I just kind of rolled around in bed thinking about how I could make it more interesting,” Rutland said of the video . “I think it was probably at least 20 hours of raw footage boiled down to four minutes.
“The more you mess with it, the more ideas you come up with.”