Our top tips for wildlife watching
In collaboration with photographer Éric Deschamps.
Fauna is one of nature’s wonders! Sépaq destinations are extraordinary places to admire the province’s incredible wildlife. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or just a hiker, an encounter with one of Québec’s emblematic animals is always a very special experience indeed.
The excellent photographer Éric Deschamps is a master of wildlife watching, in particular thanks to his legendary ability to find himself in the right place at the right time. Éric is such a generous guy! He’s simply delighted to share his rules of thumb for encountering the most beautiful animal specimens of our natural territories.
Silence is golden, both in terms of your movements and your voice. The goal is to walk as calmly as possible in the forest. And for me, entering the forest is a bit like entering a cathedral where one shows respect and stays as quiet as possible.
Take your time
Keep an eye out and take the time to have a good look around. Wildlife is often closer than you think! Simply remain alert and slowly check out the scene.
Even if wildlife is abundant, extraordinary encounters are not guaranteed. Sometimes you have to be persistent and explore a natural setting over and again to find the rare pearl.
Here’s the key! Sometimes, you must stop, listen to what's happening around you, and be patient. This is the very best way to check out beautiful wild creatures. Sometimes an animal can remain still for more than five minutes. You have to be patient and wait for it to move first so as to see it in all its glory.
Ideally you need to adapt your dress code so as to blend into the environment as much as you possibly can. So choose clothes that fit well with the forest if you want to go unnoticed.
Move at a snail's pace. Stay cool, calm, and collected. Abrupt activity will scare animals away. Try to be in tune with the environment and follow its rhythm.
I highly recommend using binoculars while on a hike because sometimes they can help us detect more subtle movements. Then, if you have any doubts, look in the binoculars and adjust your position for a better wildlife watching experience.
Last good rule of thumb: avoid artificial smells. For wildlife watching, it’s better to smell of duck than of perfume!