View Full Version : Wildlife book
20th of July 2009 (Mon), 18:38
After taking a walk in the woods today and not seeing any wildlife, I've read some of the threads here and searched for the info I want. It seems the way to see wildlife is not to go hiking, but to set one's body down "someplace" and stay for a while, possibly in a blind or camo, etc. That is easy to understand, but where would be the "someplace"? Is there a book out there that anyone knows to be particularly helpful in finding wildlife? I'm talking about range, habitat, and time information for all the species. For example, I live in what is considered to be a state that has Badgers, but I wouldn't know how to go about finding any in the wild. Anyone know any good books?
21st of July 2009 (Tue), 14:28
I have been seeking for the same answer for a while. So far I have been to local park, regional park, and etc where has quite a lot of people visits. So setting a perminate blind would be a no no, but on the other hand, I am also worried about hiding in a camo blinds in a public park may spark controverse, attracting rangers, polices and such.
21st of July 2009 (Tue), 15:43
I've found that dawn and dusk are often the most active times for the majority of wildlife species. That being said, how do you find them? Well, the book that really made a difference in finding specific species for me was "Mammal Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species" by Mark Elbroch. I'd go the day before to the area I want to photograph in and look for signs, tracks, scat, burrows and anything else that might show up. I'd use this book to reference my findings. Once I find something relatively fresh, I go the next day and sit near that spot and wait. Usually I'm rewarded within and hour or two. See if your local library has a copy. That's where I first stumbled across it.
21st of July 2009 (Tue), 17:43
I think if I lived where you do I would try to talk to some locals. Almost every locality these days has it's local birding "expert". Try to find out who the accomplished birders are in your area, then contact them. There may even be a website set up for central Wisconsin where birders post their best sightings on a daily basis. This can be extremely helpful, as most birders not only see birds when they are afield, but also mammals.
Another thing to do is to use the internet. Google as much as you can, searching for any clues you can find about wildlife in your area.
Also, National Wildlife Refuges can be excellent places to find wildlife. The best thing to do on a refuge is to talk to the ranger staff. Go visit and talk to a ranger in person. Tell them exactly what you're hoping to accomplish, and ask them what the best way is to go about doing it. Here's a link to a refuge in central Wisconsin: http://www.fws.gov/Refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=32530 Perhaps the ranger staff there would be willing to take some time to show you where the best viewing/photographic opportunities are. Many refuges have areas that are open to the public where you can walk, wait in a temporary blind, etc.
Also, farmers spend a great deal of time out on their ranches. They often get to see wildlife due to the vast amount of time they spend "out there". In fact, they often consider wildlife to be pests that hamper their farming efforts. If you ask a farmer if you can have permission to be on his land for the purpose of photographing the critters that live there, he'll likely grant it. He'll also be likely to tell you where he sees various species.
Another thing to do is to look for people on this forum that live in your area. If they're interested in wildlife, ask if they would share their knowledge with you. Many folks on here are extremely helpful.
21st of July 2009 (Tue), 20:06
A lot of photographers set up bird blinds in the local county nature reserve. The rangers don't seem to mind.
22nd of July 2009 (Wed), 09:42
Good ideas everyone. Thanks much. Oh and welcome to the forum DonaldQ
23rd of July 2009 (Thu), 15:19
Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign by Paul Rezendes
"The best thing to do on a refuge is to talk to the ranger staff." - Great suggestion from Tom.
28th of July 2009 (Tue), 23:31
Talk to Conservation Officers and hunters. You are in essence hunting wildlife except you'll be using a Canon. Learning how to "hunt" wildlife, in particular mammals, is an excellent way to lean about and appreciate the animals more.
After you learn about their habitat, food preferences and behavior characteristics they become relatively easy to find.
2nd of August 2009 (Sun), 13:56
Sorry for being a bit late on this. In your region, I would suggest getting out a bit and maybe finding a farm and stop and ask if they would let you shoot pictures. Most are willing to allow photography when they won't let others hunt with weapons. IF they say sure, ask the if they can give you some tips on where and what you might find on their property. Many varieties of wildlife set up routes of travel etc based on the ease of movement. I personally use a pop up blind a bit but for the most part, I wear TOTAL camo including head gear. Remember, most wildlife see MOVEMENT not so much the color although many birds can see color. So, camo really helps but getting excited and whipping a camera into position will CERTAINLY cause some issues. I also frequent state land around my home here in Michigan. It takes time but even on state land, you can pattern animals. Again, being very patient and finding their natural patterns and then setting yourself up to observe and not interupt them really makes a difference. Get with some farmers. I am quite sure they will give you some great opportunities. Rick
4th of October 2009 (Sun), 23:07
Also talk to local birders. I found a lot spots from birders and other bird photographers I see on site.
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