Eastern Wild Turkeys Strut And Gobble from Willard C. Hill on Vimeo.
One should use an off camera microphone if possible to eliminate camera operation noise. I use an Audio-Technica AT897 shotgun microphone attached to a boom pole, which I hang in a convenient tree.
|AT 897 Shotgun Mike Mounted On Boompole|
|Note Shockmount That Can Be Detached From Boom And Mounted In Accessory Shoe Of Camera|
One can attach the mike directly to the camera by detaching the retaining bracket from the boom and sliding the mounting foot in the camera's accessory shoe. The shock mount does help deaden camera noise to a certain extent, but is not as effective as having the mike located some distance away from the camera. The AT897 uses a standard XLR connector which plugs into the rear jacks on the XL-H1 camcorder, or it can plug into the 3.5mm audio in jack of cameras such as the Canon 7D with an adapter.
|Adapter Plugged Into 3.5mm Audio Jack Canon 7D|
I only use the AT897 when shooting from a blind or other stationary position. The XL-H1 actually has a quite decent shotgun mike as standard equipment and I use this to handle situations when I am moving about quite a bit. I did mount the AT897 directly on the XL-H1 in 2007, which was the first year I used it to film the elk elk rut and found that it was not noticeably better then the stock microphone, but when filming turkeys from a blind the stock mike frequently rubs against the blind, or picks up other distracting sounds. In this case it is best to have the microphone outside the blind.
I am not quite sure how things will shake out when it comes to recording elk bugling during the rut as the built in microphone on the 7D is not all that great, but I am somewhat apprehensive about carrying the camera with the AT897 mounted in the accessory shoe as it seems it would be easy to snag the mike on an overhanging branch and damage the camera body.