Harmless Hunter: Hunting without Shooting ….

Brothers Randy and Michael Gregg have put up a KickStarter project to develop a gun shaped camera to take “kill shots” of game. They are developing this so that people can experience hunting without killing animals.

Gizmag.com reports

Not too long ago, brothers Randy and Michael Gregg were out on a hunting expedition. It was the day after deer season had ended, yet they spied a handsome animal bedded down in the snow. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity, they silently crept up on their quarry, raised their rifle, lined the deer up in the crosshairs … and then took a picture through the scope with a mobile phone. That photo provided all the proof they needed that they had successfully stalked their prey, without bringing home an illegally-obtained carcass. It also inspired them to create the Kill Shot photo/video-recording rifle.

This is not hunting. I am not even sure if you could call this photography. Claiming you shot an deer by photographing it through heavy brush is like fishermen claiming they caught a fish because they spotted it on radar.

It really frustrates me when people try redefine shooting sports by removing ballistics. In a few months time you will be able to enjoy safe, bullet free shooting at the XXX Olympiad where the Pentathlon competitors will use laser guns instead of .177 air pistols (real guns were dropped sometime in the 80s or early 90s).

[ Many thanks to Matt for emailing us the link. ]





Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • AKMSF

    Stupid. In other news, that’s probably the most advanced Mosin in the world!

    • Komrad

      I thought it was a Maisin-Nagant at first too, but it isn’t. Take more than a glance at it.

      • David/Sharpie

        The look is based off a Mosin, the trigger guard and “mag well” look very much like a Mosin. It’s even got the studd that the floorplate hinges on.

        But other than the trigger guard not much is similar to any rifle

      • David/Sharpie

        That’s “stud” with one D…oops

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    I thought we already had this…it was called “Duck Hunt” for the Nintendo.

    • Leonard

      To me it seems to be some kind of “Pokémon Snap” with animals instead of Pokémon…

      • JM

        Aw, how cute – you even spelled it correctly…

  • Alex-mac

    Not so unreasonable. If the camera is fixed in it’s magnification, then there’s no point in shooting an animal for real within 500 metres or less.

    Hunting isn’t about taking long range sniper shots at animals it’s about stalking them to get close enough to take safe shots.

  • Pretty interesting, but why not just get a DSLR and try to take a good photo of the animal instead? I’d imagine that’s actually harder than hunting (unless you like the “looking down from a tree” angle).

    Also, I think the killing’s an important part of hunting. People these days eat a lot of meat, a lot of animals have to die for that. It seam wrong to be responsible for so many deaths without ever killing anything yourself; without knowing what that’s like.

    It’s one thing to eat a steak and know it came from a cow. It’s a whole other thing to shoot a deer and watch it struggle and die and know you’re responsible.

    • Alex-mac

      What does shooting an animal in the wild have to do with mass slaughtering practices?

      If you want to feel empathy for the meat you eat visit a slaughterhouse and where the animals are raised.

  • Clodboy

    In principle, this seems like a good idea – if somebody enjoys the thrill of stalking more than the act of killing and it is this thing that gets them into the outdoors, then more power to them. They’re not lesser men (or women) than you – heck, they probably deserve your respect for putting up with the hardships of the hunt without the promise of a tasty piece of veal as a reward :P. Plus I doubt anybody is going to look at your 10-point Euro-mount and pull out their Iphone, going “well big deal – Siri, show them the 12 point buck I took with my 8 megapixel camera the other day!”

    Of course I can see how certain hunters and shooting enthusiasts could see the technology as the first step onto a slippery slope, but that would be going into politics…

  • Wuulf

    While I’m all for whatever floats your boat, We do NOT need to make cameras look realistically like guns. Can we please, please, stop making things look like firearms that in use will be pointed at animals/critters/people? If you don’t want to shoot Bambi, you can still stalk him and take a picture with a camera, using all the skills you learned hunting. This is stupid, it doesn’t provide anything new to photographing wildlife except a new shape for the camera that will not be able to be used politely anywhere else.

    • JM

      There are a lot of things out there that aren’t particularly smart ideas, but for some reason when it comes to gun replicas a certain few people are so scared of liberal lashback that they’ll pander to the “gun fear” crowd.

      If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

      • Wuulf

        Its not fear of political lashback. Its common sense. If a game warden sees you stalking deer (or whatever animal) out of season with this camera, you have effectively wasted his time. Also, when I was speaking about politeness, I was speaking about the idiot who will decide to use it on people as pranks/whatever. Yeah, its a camera, and its perfectly safe, but I can already see the tragedy being told in the nightly news about some poor idiot that got killed in self defense because he pointed something at the wrong person. And speaking as someone who has a replica used on him in a prank, I can tell you, its hard to tell the difference sometimes.

  • We’ve had this for years… its called video games.

    • Chucky

      Even the worst of hunting video games have some sort of ballistics program in the game.

      • JM

        Actually, no hunting game has ever provided ballistics of any kind. It’s just aim and pull the trigger – range has no bearing. The only mainstream games that have bullet drop are DICE’s Battlefield series, Bohemia Interactive’s ArmA series, the free-to-play America’s Army, and Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint series. And even those games do not simulate windage.

      • John Doe

        @JM

        But video games already have ballistics! How else would I take across-map no scope sniper shots with my ASP? Duh!

        /sarcasm

      • Komrad

        @JM, I don’t know how you forgot S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Red Orchestra.

      • JM

        @Komrad – That’s why I said “mainstream”. I’m sure there are some obscure games that handle bullet physics very well.

  • Corsair8X

    I think I would prefer this stalking to actual hunting, like many, having a gun shaped camera is pretty useless. Might as well have a real camera (maybe one that super-imposes the range on the pic for proof). There is a whole lot of stuff that takes place between the crosshairs and bullet flight that can go wrong so just use a camera. You aren’t shooting anything. You aren’t shooting period.

    • Fyrewerx

      And its not “like saying you caught a fish because you saw it on sonar”. Its more like “catch and release” fishing. I’m just not sure you need a camera shaped like a rifle to do it. This still beats “video games”… unless you’re playing your “video games” out in the fresh air of the woods.

    • Chase

      As far as I know there are shoulder stocks that fit onto real cameras. Photographers invented them because photography benefits from a more stable platform just like shooting does. If it was me, I’d just take one of those and go shoot (pictures of) animals.

  • S O

    There’s a 1970’s or 1960’s crime movie which sports a homicide victim which had been killed on the hunt. He had a photo rifle and had taken a photo of his murderer in the moment of death.

    The idea is old.

    • The idea is old yes. Back then would you want a polaroid camera duct taped to your rifle, or a large 35mm camera tied to it? The technology has improved to make it practical now.

  • At $150, it’s not even a good camera. Really goofy idea.

    • The picture you have seen is the picture taken with a cell phone through the rifle scope on my rifle. This spawned the idea. The picture taken from this digital rifle camera will knock your socks off, maybe even blow you out of your stand! 🙂

  • Hudson

    Honest Officer, it’s just a camera

    He’s dead Jim, and it’s not a gun it’s a camera

  • pete

    now if they were to work out something similar where one must say, paintball or taser the animal successfully…

    • pete

      kidding, just to be clear – sort of like an interpolation ad-adsurdum

    • David/Sharpie

      Actually paintball was first used as a way for farmers to “mark” their animals while counting, it’s why a paintball gun is a “marker” not a gun (Technically by name anyways)

  • West

    True, this is not hunting but it is a tool that you could conceivably use to practice your woodcraft.
    But I would probably just use an actual camera.

  • Moriarty

    “One does not hunt to kill. One kills to have hunted.”
    — Jose Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting

    Calling this “hunting” is ridiculous and there are far better ways to photograph wildlife.

    • Thats a good definition. I don’t get any pleasure whatsoever from killing an animal, nor do the hunters I am friends with. It more sad than anything else, but is a necessary part of the process that puts food on the table (or remove pests that destroy food).

  • James

    What’s wrong with you guys? This is a great idea. I’m going to get one and the next time I have a wedding to go to, guess what I’m using to take wedding pictures. Or maybe I need pics of my kid’s next sporting event. Birthday parties, vacations, night out at the bar, the uses are endless.

    • David/Sharpie

      BAZINGA!! (*Sarcasm Sign*)

      (I hope)

      (PS. Anyone who watches the Big Bang Theory will know…)

      • JM

        You mean no one, then.

      • David/Sharpie

        No I’m sure a lot of people do, there should be a new one on tonight actually, you should watch, friggen hilarious

      • JM

        I get more than my share of hipster speak without watching a show full of it.

    • Seriously? lol, you will only be allowed to buy the ORANGE one! Good humor but not a good idea lol.

  • TD76

    At least in a few decades laser pistols should have equal stopping power to air guns, if not 22lr…

  • Matt G.

    I don’t see any problem with this. After all, the biggest part of hunting IS hunting, stalking, tracking the animal. Shooting it is pretty easy. And cleaning it isn’t exactly fun. Then you have to haul it back to the truck. Everything after the shot itself is pretty lame until you eat the thing, soo…I can completely understand this idea. The only reason I don’t hunt is because I don’t want to drag a dead animal out of the woods. But I doubt I would be using this thing myself.

  • Matt G.

    A lot of people are saying this isn’t “hunting”. I think you need a refresher on the definition.

    Hunt

    1. To pursue (game) for food or sport.
    2. To search through (an area) for prey: hunted the ridges.
    3. To make use of (hounds, for example) in pursuing game.
    4. To pursue intensively so as to capture or kill: hunted down the escaped convict.
    5. To seek out; search for.

    Hunting does not require killing. You hunt for your keys in the morning. You hunt for the answer to a puzzle.

    • Matt, I hear you, but they are obviously selling the idea that this is equivalent to definitions 1 and 4.

      Finding deer is not really hard. In some parts of the country you can’t drive through suburbia without almost hitting one or two of them 😉

      • JM

        But in other parts it’s not so easy. The Texas drought made deer hunting much more complicated this past season.

  • Jared

    I guess I don’t understand why everyone is hating on this. I don’t see any difference between this camera and barbless hooks. It’s a way to experience the sport while not being in season or taking game you would not have wanted. If you enjoy the part of the hunt and don’t need to kill, then this is for you. If not, don’t buy it.

  • Ben

    It’s a stupid concept thought up by males who have no idea of what it takes to prepare for a hunt. Probably some generation Y guy who’s outdoor bona fides are limited to video games played at home.

    • Hello,

      I am an avid hunter. I am not trying to take the ballistics out of hunting. The patented technology is in the rifle scope not the fake looking rifle. The digital rifle camera scope will be able to detach and attach to any hunting rifle. This will make it easy to document the kill with ballistics, or archery. Documenting the hunt in becoming increasingly popular. This will allow us to do it without carrying extra gadgets or having a camera man tag along. Also getting others into our sport whether they like to harvest or not will help our Sport. Even people hunting with the non lethal camera will need to buy clothing, calls, decoys, blinds, stands, etc. Thus increasing even more our industry as a whole. Thank you for your thoughts and feedback!
      Please make a pledge and help support this!

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2026168289/harmless-hunter

      Randy Gregg

  • tommy2rs

    Lol… as bad as the Call of Doody gun experts are I can’t wait for the opinionated gun cam crowd to start adding their two cents everywhere

    As for me, given the choice of my DSLR’s hi-res RAW images and what will probably be crappy jpegs from the gun cam guess which I’ll use.

    • JM

      Spell check?

      Oh, sorry – guessed at the wrong question.

  • Charlie

    What’s for supper? Barbless hooks? Spam and fish hooks. I eat what I shoot unless it too vile to eat, then the dog gets it.

  • gaosmer

    dumb dumb dumb

  • Mat

    No doubt the African countries will put a minimum megapixel size for faux-shooting elephant and other dangerous game.

  • JM

    It’s a real shame, Steve, that you didn’t include the most viable application of this camera from the source article, which would be hunter training. This would be great for training a young person in the off season. Stalking and trigger control, but without the guts and criminal record!

    • Hello,

      I am an avid hunter. I am not trying to take the ballistics out of hunting. The patented technology is in the rifle scope not the fake looking rifle. The digital rifle camera scope will be able to detach and attach to any hunting rifle. This will make it easy to document the kill with ballistics, or archery. Documenting the hunt in becoming increasingly popular. This will allow us to do it without carrying extra gadgets or having a camera man tag along. Also getting others into our sport whether they like to harvest or not will help our Sport. Even people hunting with the non lethal camera will need to buy clothing, calls, decoys, blinds, stands, etc. Thus increasing even more our industry as a whole. Thank you for your thoughts and feedback!
      Please make a pledge and help support this!

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2026168289/harmless-hunter

      Randy Gregg

      • AMX

        So it’s less a gun-shaped camera, and more like a Meosmart that comes with a prop gun?

  • Phil Ward

    Er, I’m pretty sure that the shooting sports _will_ be held with real firearms, I have club members who will be going to provide judges, and equipment monitors, etc.
    Admittedly there will be armed police all over the place ensuring that we don’t have an olympic shooter go on a rampage after missing a medal, but…
    http://www.london2012.com/shooting

    • Phil Ward

      Ah, I see my mistake, Air pistols are being taken out of the pentathlon and replaced with lasers. Sorry!

  • I love all the different point of views! Thank You for all the comments. This will help me even more. Great forum you have here too!

    If you would like to support this please pledge!
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2026168289/harmless-hunter

    And check out https://www.facebook.com/harmlesshunt

    Thanks all!

    • David/Sharpie

      I assume you’re Randy Gregg? I’d like to see some photos taken from this thing. Unless the resolution spectacular, I don’t think anyone would buy this over a standard camera with possibly a “Bush-Hawk” camera stock.

      Except maybe for price

      • As judged against an average 35mm photo taken on good quality, typical ISO-range film printed at a standard size, most manufacturers seem to suggest that a 6 to 9 megapixel digital camera will give you comparable image quality. The minimum KillShot will have is 8.

        If you wanted to make an 8 x 10 portrait:
        8 inches x 300 ppi = 2400 pixels
        10 inches x 300 ppi = 3000 pixels
        2400 x 3000 = 7200000 pixels, or 7.2 megapixels.

  • Bryan S.

    Going to be interesting explaining that to the game warden what you are doing with a rifle out of season, without a license, and without proper orange on.

    • David/Sharpie

      Agreed, hell, you’d probably get arrested or shot carrying one, it it was a camera on a stock, fine. But this? Looks too much like a rifle

    • JM

      Except that it’s not a rifle.

      • David/Sharpie

        It LOOKS like one, a game warden won’t know it’s a camera unless he’s up close, but even then he might not

      • JM

        I’ve never been arrested or shot for carrying a pellet gun out of season… Pretty sure they’ll hold fire until they get the full picture. 😉

      • David/Sharpie

        Here (Calgary, well, Canmore) a guy was shot by the RCMP for pointing a fake gun at Officers. I understand most people wouldn’t try and point this at a LEO but maybe you get a green/trigger happy LEO if you’re carrying this, never know. I wouldn’t usually carry any sort of gun, pellet or otherwise in Canada (It’s not that we’re gun unfriendly, we’re unfriendly to the thought of being around people who carry or have “evil” guns..although some people are 100% unfriendly to my fav. sport…f**kers..)

        (FYI, the ironic thing is the guy was the dad of an RCMP officer)

      • JM

        Simple solution: don’t point at people. WOW!

    • I am a Prak Ranger and have thought of alot of these scenarios. You don’t have to wear orange in the off season beause you are not carrying a lethal weapon, just a camera. The scope camera will be an urban orange camoflauge, and 1/2 inch blaze orange at the rifle barrel end on the replica rifle models. All black is going to be available for the lethal hunting rifle. I respect all your opinions and feedbacks. Thanks! You may pledge at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2026168289/harmless-hunter

      • *Park Spell CHECK!

  • Whazzup

    All joking aside I wonder how it holds up in less then ideal situations or what happens if you drop it.

  • Mike M.

    And that laser gimcrack is NOT being well received.

  • Ryab Hogan

    Newsflash….. Very few people will “hunt” with non-lethal devices made to look like weapons for a few reasons:

    1. Remove the kill, remove the thrill
    2. Nothing to wrap in bacon
    3. dangerous game + cameras + well meaning naive tree hugger = dead

  • BeGe1

    Remove the kill, and you HAVE removed the experience of hunting.

    The respect for the animal that comes with doing the job yourself rather than picking up in a store after it’s been killed in on a slaughterhouse floor.

    Tracking the animal after the shot, cleaning, etc.

    The end result, which is nourishment for the body, and healthy food taken in a more sustainable manner.

    Not to mention, a bullet doesn’t exactly travel like a laser. Getting a good shot on an animal is NOT as simple as lining up crosshairs. It takes preparation of the weapon, often takes range estimation and accounting for some bullet drop, letting it get in range of the firearm you’re using, etc.

    Basically…this could only have been made by someone that hasn’t had any “hunting experience”, and is simulating something they know nothing about, that will make an end result nothing like it.