DIY project: Hideaway / shooting hide for wildlife photography

DIY: Hideaway hut & shooting booth project for wildlife photography (for a terrarium player)

Photography hide nr 1: Hole in the snow

I went for the first time to take pictures of the black grouse dipsplay below, dug out of the bog, in spring 2022. The idea was just to go and see the black grouse display but the experience was so profound that I was hooked straight away. Lying in a snow bank is a very cold business. We had to lay in a sleeping bag on a camping mattress to avoid getting cold.

Black grouses came about 100 metres away from us and the experience was unforgettable. At the same time I had the feeling that I had to get a warmer and better photography hide in the future. A hide where you could lie in the shelter of the wind and have the peace and quiet to move around and have your morning coffee without disturbing the birds.

The main criteria for the next photography hide is: better shooting ergonomics, no cold anymore, a hide that would provide hide and I could get closer to the black grouses.

I soon found out from a friend that they had an old sauna tent that was going to get a new life soon.

Snow bank dug in the evening.

Photographing black grouse mating display / Teerisoidin luontokuvaus

Time passed quickly while waiting and photographing black grouses. The temperature was -15’C.

Black grouse lekking / Teerisoidin

One of the first pictures of the black grouse display from the snow hide photogrpahy bank.

Photography hide nr 2: Old tent sauna

The quality of my black grouse photography jumped up a lot when we went to the swamp to build new hide My friend’s old sauna tent got a new life and from the first time I was gasping for breath at the photos I managed to take.

I was able to watch the black grouses at close range, and neither talking nor the noise of the sleeping pad against the snow interfered with their chattering and hissing.

Ski-Doo Expedition Sport 900 Ace

We took an old sauna tent to the swamp in early spring and dug it out. The picture shows a pile in progress.

Sony A74 nature photography

Poking with a knife gave us good photo holes to put he lens trough the fabric. Later, more photo photoholes were made. The photo shows a Sony A74 with a 200-600mm lens.

Sony A74 nature photography camera

View from the camera screen

Teeri Black Grouse

The stern gaze of the black grouse males. This picture is taken from the sauna tent. You can clearly see how the angle of view had improved and I was able to get closer to the ground to get a better view of the background.

Spring was approaching and the snow and bogs would soon melt. The comfort of using the hide later in the spring was significantly affected by the fact that you had to take your water shoes with you when you went to the swamp and you had to be careful not to get wet in the tent. In addition, lying in the tent was no longer possible because the ground was wet all the time. The photography continued in a sitting position with hiking boots until the bog softened and melted.

The tent fell over in the wind a couple of times because the tent poles were no longer holding against the soft ground.

The black grouse display stole my heart.

Teeri Black Grouse

Sound on the black grouses in May. The teas were scarce at the time.

Kuvauskoju piilokoju keväällä suolla

The photo booth reassembled on top of the scales.

Sony A74 ja teeri samassa kuvassa

The whirring of the autumnal black grouses is there to be photographed. The only annoying thing is that the birds are 80-150 metres away and you can’t get close-ups.

Luontokuvaaja naamioasussa suon päällä

Staying well protected behind a camouflage net

Photography hide nr 3: A quality homemade wildlife photography hide

The idea of a good quality photography hide came up when I went to the black grouse display in the autumn. The buzz of birds is absolutely wonderful to listen. I asked the landowner for permission for my project and once I had it, the planning began.

The characteristics of the stall are as follows:

– Shooting caves at sitting and lying height in all directions

– Sleeping places for two

– WC

– Sleeping places for two

– Transportable by snowmobile / trailer

Piilokojun luonnos

Noise on the instrument in May

Kuvauskoju piilokoju luonnos

Description of the stall on top of the scales

I will report more on the project.

Thanks so far to the following links for being a source of inspiration:
Tervastulia – Building a description chain (blog)
Jari Suuronen – How to build a wildlife photography cabin hide (youtube)

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Olli Junes

Olli Junes on luontokuvaaja, entinen ammattihääkuvaaja, nykyisin digimarkkinoinnin ja myynnin valmentamisen yrittäjä Resaco -nimisessä yrityksessä. Olli asuu Rovaniemeltä jossa tekee täysipäiväisenä digitaalisena nomadina töitä ja elää todeksi työelämän murrosta yrityksessään.
Black grouse lekking / Teerisoidin
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