Awesome MoPro Sports video (check out their channel) featuring the great sport of Rock Crawling on the No Limits Trail at Sycamore Creek in Arizona! A very cool way to enjoy the great outdoors!
We have a very healthy population of deer that forages in our corn fields, especially after harvest. I had been tracking this little buck for several weeks, and knew the exact routes he took through the woods, and across our property, I set myself up a stool with a good vantage point of the spot where he always reentered the woods.
These are just the highlights of an encounter that lasted 20 + minutes. I live for such rare moments, and not being a hunter, I have never shot an animal with anything other than my camera!
Every evening I go out for a little walk in the woods, and I have spotted this little guy sitting just off the trail on several different occasions. Tonight I was able to get within 10 feet of him and take several pics before he scampered into the bushes. He has been letting me get closer and closer with each encounter, and I think he has discovered that I mean him no harm, and am no threat.
I've had a lot of people comment on my uncanny ability to be at the right place at the right time when tracking or photographing wildlife....especially elk, which have a reputation for being rather elusive. It's not that I am all that great at tracking, but that I have a secret weapon......and her name is Cricket.
Cricket usually goes with me when I'm hiking or looking for wildlife to photograph because she is so well behaved. She sticks close to me on the trail, and is always checking to make sure I am in eyesight. Sometimes, I play hide and seek with her, by hiding behind the trunk of a big tree - And she gets so excited when she finally finds me.
She loves to explore, and normally finds the highest spot from which to survey her territory. I am so thankful that she is a little afraid of larger animals, like deer, elk, and bears, etc, and won't chase them when she sees one (unlike her mother) - she usually runs back to me for comfort and reassurance. She is also good about not barking and scaring the game away or alerting them to our presence.
I have learned to take my ques from her when I am looking for elk, because she is really good at letting me know what direction they are in, when we are hiking in difficult or hilly terrain. Another behavior which she picked up all by herself is hiding low behind a log, tree, or rock when we do spot wildlife. She seems to know that we don't want to spook them. She is a wonderful trail dog and companion.
The following video was taken when we were tracking elk in the White Mountains of Arizona. I can hear the distant bellowing of elk but am not sure in what direction they are located, so I watch Cricket's reactions.
Just after this picture was taken, I walked up the hill a ways, and spotted a big bull elk just disappearing over the top of the ridge.
The following isn't really that good of a video, but this is a herd of elk, I would never had found if Cricket hadn't alerted me to their location, which was in a secluded little valley in the White Mountains of AZ. I had to climb over and down a steep ridge before I was in a position to see them.
Our camp at Bambi Ridge was less than 3 miles away from Bear Patch so it came as no surprise that we would see bears in this area. Our dogs were always alerting to something on the hill directly across from camp and little cricket would always act a little apprehensive and scared when I took her for her evening walk.
The following video shows Rocket who is obviously upset about something she has seen - probably a bear. She is such a good watch dog, and we never have to worry about anything sneaking up on us with her around.
On several occasions we spotted a pair of 5-6 month old cubs either running up the hill or across the narrow pass through which the stream meandered to another hill just north of camp. Never spotted their mother, but she had to be close by, possibly on top of the hill somewhere. The following two photos shows the pass and the hill where we most often spotted the cubs - they were always on the run.
Overturned rocks I found on the hills closest to our camp - sure signs that bears were in the area.
During a short hike up and around the hills near camp, I spotted the following little tree that had obviously been used as a rubbing post. Not far from this tree, I found some bear scat, so I'm pretty sure it was marked by a bear instead of deer or elk. It was well worn, so it must have been used as a favorite rubbing post.
On a hillside near camp, we found what looked like a grave marker. The rock and wood covered mound behind the marker, looked to me to be about the size of someone's beloved pet - perhaps a dog. Finding the marker really touched my heart because I imagined this area must have been special to them, and the dog's owner may have hiked these hills with their furry companion. I was also touched by the near triangular perfection of the stone marker - someone took great care in choosing that particular stone to mark their pet's final resting place.
A beautiful specimen of Adelpha eulalia, also known as the Arizona Sister, They are a fairly common sight in the White Mountains. I had been trying for weeks to get a descent pic of one!
The following photos are near the top of the hill I nicknamed bear hill. Once we got to the top, I was surprised to find a small fire pit, so it must have been used as a campsite at some time.
Little cricket always tries to find the highest viewpoint from which to survey the territory. Without a doubt, she is the best trail dog I have ever owned.