Watching Wildlife

Mule Deer

Watching wildlife is exciting and unpredictable. You never know exactly what you will see or when you will see it.

Increase your chances of seeing wildlife by following these suggestions.

  • Study and learn more about wildlife. Many good bird and other books are available to assist you in determining what species are common to the area you are visiting.

  • Visit the refuge early in the morning, or just before sunset. Animals are usually more active then, especially during the warmer times of the year, and can often be seen coming and going to feeding and resting areas.

  • Watch for wildlife in areas where two habitat types meet. Animals are attracted to the variety of food and shelter found in these transitional zones.

  • Use spotting scopes and binoculars to get a closer look without leaving your car. In fact, many animals don't equate cars with predators, so cars can make effective blinds.

  • If on foot, use visual obstructions, such as trees or tall vegetation, as a barrier to being seen, similar to a blind.

  • Move slowly, speak softly, and avoid all other loud noises.

  • Please do not use recordings to locate animals, and if you record their calls, please do not play the sound back until you get home.

  • Maintain distance between you and the animal. Don't try to get close for photography. If an animal starts to act nervous (e.g., burrowing owls will start to squat down), back slowly away immediately.

  • No dogs!

  • Please respect landowner’s rights by staying off their land and respecting their private property.


The next visitor will appreciate you not scaring the animal into hiding.