Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eagle Weekend

We traveled to Conowingo Power dam this past weekend to view and photograph eagles.  Saturday's weather was poor.  We had lots of rain and snow.  However, we did see about 50 Bald Eagles and many Great Blue Herons.  The picture taking was a challenge in the snowy conditions and it was hard on the equipment.  It allowed us to get some interesting shots such as this one:

The weather on Sunday was brighter and cold.  We saw over 60 Bald Eagles and most were on the far shore or the power transmission towers.  We did however get some shots of flyovers. 

We had hoped to get some "fishing" shots that were good.  However, the eagles did not appear to be too hungry on Sunday and the shots we got were too far away and image quality was poor.

There has been quite a bit of concern posted on some bulletin boards about how broadly information is being shared on how to see Bald Eagles.  The excuse used is that the bird is a threatened species and it is not appropriate for the public to know where the eagles can be seen.  I personally believe that these birds are truly majestic and that sharing information so others can view them provides an opportunity for broader appreciation of the Bald Eagles. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

PA Elk

Joan and I spend a lot of time in the outdoors photographing animals in the wild.  We have been visiting the Benezett area for the past two years through the year to photograph the Pennsylvania elk.  We have found this elk herd for be very docile and acclimated to humans.   Opening and closing of car doors, people talking and laughing, babies crying do not seem to disturb or bother them at all.  We last visited on the weekend of October 24 and 25 just before Pa Elk Season opened.  I was amazed that the bulls were so docile.  We watched four different bulls.  They were what most hunters would consider trophy quality.   These bulls seemed oblivious to people being around.  They were in the kill zone and we photographed them eating, resting, fighting.  All the while we stood and watched the bulls, people were parking their cars along the road, slamming doors, talking and it did not phase the elk at all. 

Hunting these elk is not a fair chase hunt and creates an image of hunters and hunting that is not in the best interest of hunters.  Just to be clear, I am a hunter and I am a firearms manufacturer.  I believe in the fair chase and harvetsing of  wild animals.  I do not however, believe in, or support killing of animals that are ranging in the wild but have become acclimated to humans.  I am hoping that efforts that are underway by a group of individuals with a like interest in this subject will be successful expanding the Pa Elk no kill zone to better protect the animals that show no fear of humans.