Do you see a lot of wildlife on canoe?

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My main hobby is going out to look for wildlife. Generally I drive around and walk very early in the morning or late evening. I've got an inflatable boat I am going to test out and I have a canoe rented also to try out soon. I'm curious if you see much while out paddling. I would assume it should be a good way to see species that spend a lot of time near water like Moose, otters, raccoons. Do most people canoe during the day or at night too?
 
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I certainly would say I do, generally. Canoes are subject to the same factors as other modes of transit - I see the most wildlife at dawn (or dusk, but wind is usually calmest at dawn = best for canoeing), during appropriate seasons and in good habitat, when I'm being quiet, approaching slowly, etc. I've seen many turtles, beaver, muskrat, and mink from a canoe. Birding by canoe is also wonderful. I'd say wetland, swamps, slow-moving twisty creeks, etc are best. Limited sightlines let you get closer before spooking things.
 
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I've hunted moose from a canoe on lakes and slow rivers. It's a great way to quietly slip in close to a bull in the dawn mist. Transporting the moose in the canoe is much preferable to packing on your back.
 
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I paddle and camp almost exclusively in the ADK’s
I’ve had a black bear swim across the Raquette in front of me, seen whitetail at the shores and swimming across lakes, seen countless beavers, great blue herons, loons, you name it.
Not yet seen a moose as they’re still making a comeback.
The ability to move silently helps immensely.
Have fun in your canoe…
 
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I float my local rivers and streams. Go early in the morning, but best is late in the afternoon, just at Sunset.
Oh, go Solo, and don't bang your paddle against the canoe.
Stay close to shore !
I often get with in a few feet of coons, deer, turtles, beaver and once in awhile, Mink .

Have fun, and be safe !

Jim
 
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All of the above. Tsuga8's suggestions for habitat are spot on, as my experience goes. Habitat, timing, moving silently... all apply; doing so in a canoe seems much less alarming to critters than when we're walking.
As far as paddling at night, I never have. Don't recall ever seeing anyone on the water after dark either; not to to say it isn't done. I'd want to be out under moonlight; if a headlamp, I'd want something very dim and diffused.
 
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I probably see almost as much wildlife on Adirondack roadsides while driving through as I see after i get on the water. Many deer, turkeys, turtles, beavers, herons, you name it. Certainly hitting a deer or two resulting in considerable damage to my car must count for some of them.

On the other hand, while paddling on the Yukon River, we lost count after nearly 100 bald eagles, dozens and dozens of black and grizzly bears, several moose, a conga line of mountain goats traversing upper slopes, and even a couple of wolves patroling on the shoreline. In a voyageur canoe it doesn't help when the paddler in the second seat behind me has a habit of rapidly pointing and shouting "bear" whenever one is seen, as it darts into the willow brush before everyone else in the boat has a chance to see it.
 
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Wildlife happens. At home I know where they are at what time and have fun looking for the loon nests . ( full confession I came around a bend and the nesting mama was not happy.. Now I know where to stop and pull out binoculars) I also know where to look for the eagle condo ( what a mess that is) And the beaver dam and lodge which beckons for a rest and just wait.
Otherwise on a trip they just happen. We have been moosed while having breakfast in camp, found mama and young standing in the river we were floating down ( with no room to maneuver) seen them on a beach at noon ( not supposed to happen). The unpredictability of wildlife is one of the reasons we trip by canoe.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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First of all, in my absence and now trying to catch up on threads, I did not have the opportunity to welcome newtocanoe to site membership. We look forward to your continued participation in our community!

Newtocanoe's topic reminds me that we have this wildlife photo thread, to which I hope folks will continue contributing:

 
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I have seen countless mammals, birds and reptiles from my canoe but my favorite moment was paddling out of Lobster Lake on Lobster Stream in Maine where we encountered a cow moose and her calf. While I was taking this picture of mama, I heard a noise next to the canoe and looked down to see a beaver looking up at me. Unfortunately, the beaver submerged before I could get a shot of it.C4F48986-49BF-48EE-ABE5-860A81FB297D_1_105_c.jpeg
 
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Do I see wildlife ? Yes, if I'm well to the front of the group that I paddle with (streams and small rivers) here in NE Indiana.
The paddlers in the back who are more intent on the Social Aspect of the trip (yakking constantly) don't see much.
Paddle quietly using a lot of underwater returns and don't bang the gunnels.
Larry S
 
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My main hobby is going out to look for wildlife. Generally I drive around and walk very early in the morning or late evening. I've got an inflatable boat I am going to test out and I have a canoe rented also to try out soon. I'm curious if you see much while out paddling. I would assume it should be a good way to see species that spend a lot of time near water like Moose, otters, raccoons. Do most people canoe during the day or at night too?
Much of my canoeing in recent years has been on streams in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks. Wildlife is fairly common there and includes bald eagles, very occasional golden eagles, osprey, kingfishers, blue heron, an occasional green heron, river otters, mink, muskrat, turtles, snakes, an occasional beaver, deer, and a couple of herds of feral horses, all of which I have seen. Elk have also been introduced into the area and I have seen tracks but have yet to see one in the wild. There are also bears and some have been spotted in the area but they are pretty rare and I have not seen one. Armadillos have also made it that far north and they are pretty commonly seen as road kill. Bobcats also exist there and some locals swear they have spotted mountain lions. As for raccoons I have seen more of those than I ever cared to.
 
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Yes, it's a good way to see wildlife. I only paddle during the day. Last weekend's 7 mile downriver paddle yielded five deer, two bald eagles, one osprey, one water snake, one turkey, numerous ducks, herons, turtles, and fish.
 
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Just on the Marshall Lake circuit above Geraldton in Northwestern Ontario I have seen wolves, bear, the largest moose ever and 2 woodland caribou.
If you travel quietly you stand to see a lot of game, the single blade has it all over kayak paddles imo.
 
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In south Florida, you can see all manner of water birds, gators, manatees and dolphins. Paddling in the 10,000 Islands, I’ve had dolphins come right up to the canoe to look at me. Also otter. Frigate birds if I’m lucky.
 
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Just on the Marshall Lake circuit above Geraldton in Northwestern Ontario I have seen wolves, bear, the largest moose ever and 2 woodland caribou.
If you travel quietly you stand to see a lot of game, the single blade has it all over kayak paddles imo.
A good reason to learn the silent stroke aka inwater recovery aka indian stroke. Flailing paddles of any number scare wildlife.
Here is a bit of an article on it.. The first three situations are what pertains.. reading all of them will pretzel your brain.
 
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I thought I would post a few pictures of seeing wildlife while actually canoeing. These do not include the many images of wildlife seen while on a canoe trip.

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Thelon River, Northwest Territories.

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Molting, flightless geese, Thelon River.

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Thelon River.
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Coppermine River, Northwest Territories.

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Dease River, British Columbia.

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Dease River.

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Bowron Lakes, British Columbia.
 
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