Friday, May 27, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Wildlife Sighting Purpose

After a few weeks at the ranch, the snow was melted and the surroundings were coming alive. With the spring arrival, the wildlife sightings tours began. When I learned that on some evenings we will have the opportunity to join for wildlife sighting driving tours, I was really excited ! One of the major reasons for which I came to Canada is to experience wilderness. I did not know what to expect, if we were actually going to see some animals or not, but I was looking forward to discovering it. Moreover, the charge of collecting wildlife sighting forms from all persons going out of the ranch became mine and it was important that I practice it myself in order to better understand how it works on the ground.

At 4 pm I got ready, took my binoculars and my camera, quickly checking if I had enough memory on my card to take some more pictures, and prepared a little dinner bag – we were going to be on the road for a little bit more than 4 hours, from 4:30 till 9:00 pm, the best hours to scout wildlife. During the first hour and a half we saw Bald Eagles, flying and in their big nests, and other raptors. We had not seen ungulates at that point and our guide explained that it was probably because wildlife usually comes in the area to warm up on the sunny steep slopes at the end of the day, but that day they were probably not there because we had a warm day. Our guide knew the area really well and gave us a lot of explanation and tricks to scout properly and to know where to find wildlife. It was so interesting !

At that point, even without ungulates sightings I was already mesmerized to observe some eagles and to contemplate the wonderful landscape ! It could have been only that and I would have been more than satisfied, but the tour was not finished yet and reserved a couple of surprises ! We saw Mule Deer crossing the road in direction of the lake and standing a few meters further, observing us, Bighorn Sheep in the rocky steep slopes and Mountain Goats in the distance, on the mountain on the other side of the lake. We arrived at the turn around point, stopping at the bank of the lake for a few minutes. When we turned around and went back on the road we had the surprise to find a black bear grazing on the side of the road ! He was kind of small but looks still massive with his winter fur. He was first on the right side of the road, eating grass and bushes. Then he calmly crossed the road in direction of the lake and began to graze on that side, still next to the road until a car came and chased him in the bushes. We were able to observe him for about 15 minutes and that was amazing !

All this experience was incredible and it was really interesting to understand what scouting was concretely and to practice the wildlife sighting forms filling ! With the help of our guide I noted the species observed, the number and gender of individuals as well as their characteristics, their behaviour and reaction, at which distance they were, the type of area, the weather, temperature, time and length of the observation and finally the date and specific area. All that information will be really useful and valuable for the next wildlife sightings tours and other trips or guided wilderness experiences as the Chilcotin Holidays guides rely on those observation to know where to lead their guests ! It is also key data to understand population migration or notice population displacement and to inventory populations.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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