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Wildlife Viewing tips for Hikers

Wildlife Viewing1. Hike slowly so hearing and watching for animals is easier. If you’re hiking briskly, you might miss the chance and then it’ll be too late.

2. Keep a safe distance from the animals. If you’re too close chances are it will pay more attention to you than its food or young.

3. Keep binoculars and/or a camera on your person at all times since trying to locate them in your backpack might end up scaring the animal.

4. Call wildlife organizations to determine where animals can most often be found. This information can also, quite often, be found online.

5. Choose to hike in the right weather: when it’s overcast, animals can quite often be found out of their dens since the scorching sun or rain drives them back into their holes or under shade. When it’s too windy, animals can pick up your scent more easily causing many to stay hidden.

6. Look for prey animals—if all the elk in a herd suddenly look up in one direction—chances are a wolf or bear is probably nearby.

7. Engage your “scatter vision” which basically means standing in one place and keeping your eyes moving not letting them settle on one focal point for too long.

8. Watch out for distinguishing parts and portions of animals: beaks, tails or antlers etc can be easier to spot then the whole body.

9. Focus less on the hiking and more on the spotting by taking long breaks at key vantage points like watering holes and meadows and then wait for wildlife to make its appearance.

10. Be sneaky by slowing down, getting quiet and peeking over edges.