As civilization encroaches more into our wild environment, there are fewer chances to learn about wild creatures. Every year, millions of people get actively involved with wildlife viewing activity, eager to get a chance to view wildlife in person. The good news: it’s not so difficult to do wildlife viewing in the US, from observing the bird migrations in local parks to viewing the powerful grizzly bears at state parks in Alaska.
Here are some wilderness tips and etiquette that can help you start your wildlife viewing:
Where can I see wildlife?
You can start with local parks, sanctuaries, and Native American reservations. National Parks and wildlife refuges offer spectacular landscapes and wildlife viewing opportunities. Check out the National Wildlife Refuge Locator or Wildlife Viewing Areas to the places near you.
When can I see wildlife?
Each season presents different opportunities. Early morning and dusk is the best time to encounter wildlife since many animals feed at those times.
What should I bring for wildlife viewing?
It’s important to bring bug repellent, sunscreen, binoculars, maps, and a notebook to record your observations. Earth-tone color clothes and no perfume will help you to blend in with nature. Sometimes, vaccination is necessary, depending on the area you go to for wildlife viewing.
Rules/Don’ts to follow
- Keep a safe distance between yourself and wild animals. Make use of your binoculars.
- Leave your pets at home. Domestic pets and wild animals don’t get along.
- Move slowly or remain still, and make no noise. Your best shot for spotting wild animals is being invisible to them.
- Don’t feed wildlife.
- Keep the “Leave no trace, no litter” principles.
Before you start observing wildlife, it would be helpful to gather some information about the animals you’re going to view. Also, visit our Hiking Partners page to meet like-minded partners to go wildlife viewing with.