Of all the time I have spent in the forest, either working or for pleasure, I have had very few run ins with animals and I’ve never felt that my life was in danger.
I once bumped into a black bear and both of us were so surprised we both let out an “Ahh!” and ran away from each other. I will never forget the time I was filling my chainsaw leaning on a log when I heard some rustling in the salal and before I knew it, two wolves had come trotting up on the log towards me. My first thoughts were…. “those are some long legs.”
I gave a “git out of here” and they were gone. Later, I thought of how quickly they come up on me and If they had wanted, they could have attacked me but they were just curious and I kind of enjoyed the experience. I never met another wolf again until I was on the beach at Suquash with my golden retriever Santino, when one came on to the beach just as I was getting ready to leave.
I looked around and didn’t see any other wolves so I put the leash on Santino to keep him close and then started working on swapping out lenses for my telephoto. I put on my camera pack and started walking towards the entrance trail while keeping an eye on the wolf. It followed us along the beach and slowly closed the distance between us.
When I stopped and took a few images of it, it would stop too.
I watched its facial expressions, if its ears were up or flat, and if its tail was up or tucked in. I had the feeling it was also just curious. I walked another ten minutes to the trail and I would yell at it to let it know it was getting too close. Just as I reached the trail entrance it closed its eyes with a yawn, like we were boring, turned and walked away. I once again enjoyed the experience and got some images from it.
Douglas Bradshaw has lived in the North Island for 33 years. He is a Landscape and Wildlife photographer based out of Port Alice B.C. His website is portalicephoto.com follow him on YouTube and Facebook at Port Alice Photography, Images by Douglas Bradshaw