Hampton Rutland’s love for duck hunting is matched only by the enjoyment he gets from creating videos of his outdoor adventures.
Last year, the 38-year-old urologist from Ruston documented his entire duck season, all the way from GoPro time lapse footage of him building his blind to impressive views of flooded timber captured with his aerial drone.
This year, he got to travel across the state to hunt with old friends and create some new ones, and once again documented it all in a video compiled from shots with his GoPro Hero4 and brand new DJI Inspire 1 quad-copter drone.
“I knew I was going to do a video, but I didn’t know what direction it would take,” said Rutland, who practices in West Monroe. “After I had hunted with all these people, and had all these great experiences with all these different folks, I said, ‘Let me just put up one showing off the state and my friends and all the people I got to hunt with so they can enjoy it.’”
The brand new drone got pressed into service when his old Phantom Vision 2 met with an untimely death shortly after Thanksgiving.
“I was being an idiot in my pirogue trying to control the drone in a pretty tight creek from the opening scene where I shot the wood ducks,” Rutland said. “I was trying to fly in there and I lost the GPS signal and it got hung up in a tree and then fell into the creek and sank - gone forever.
“It was just awful.”
But at least the hunting was pretty good - Rutland went out 32 days and got to capture scenery from across the state, including footage from Pecan Island, as well as Claiborne, Morehouse, Union, Franklin and Lincoln parishes. Bonus footage from a trip to Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge in Union County, Ark. also is included.
“I personally killed a lot more birds, but I was out there hunting pretty hard,” he said. “For me, it was definitely a much better season than last year, a lot more exciting - interesting times with good friends.”
He culled 40 to 60 hours of raw footage to create the finished piece, which runs just under five minutes - and has given him a new appreciation for video editing.
“It all started with getting the GoPro last year for my birthday. And getting all this video and having all these individual clips was frustrating,” said Rutland, who is identified as "Hambone" in his latest video. “I wanted it all to be distilled down into a ‘best of’ to be able to watch it, so I just started messing around with iMovie.”
The only downside to moonlighting as an outdoor videographer is the amount of time he spends at home sifting through raw footage to compile the finished videos.
“My wife hates it,” he said with a chuckle. “She ends up watching TV by herself a lot.”