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Old Jan 12, 2008, 6:47 PM   #1
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Bad Weather Bald Eagle Stalk Tips

The last few years I have been asked how I go about getting some of my photos. I decided when I have time and the stalk might be interesting to someone I would share what I do and why I did what I did. I am not trying to tell anybody what to do but maybe some of what I am doing will help some else get a extra keeper or two.

As you can see from the 1st photo not a nice day weather wise. Fog, snow flurries & about 2 degrees F. When I found him I checked the wind first then looked for the best route to get closer. I decided to come in from the left using the trees for cover and yet I would be far enough away that the noise I would make walking in crunch snow should be far enough away and the wind would not give me away. I believe sound travels a very long ways with the wind.



When I got to the tree by the X I took a look and saw he was looking the wrong way for the photo I wanted. Since wildlife normally are not as active in bad weather I figured I would take one quick burst and then back off. That way at least I would have a close up photo even though he was facing the wrong way.



I backed off the same way I came in about 30 yards and knelt down so I could still see him and used my crow call. It took two calls to get him to look the right direction. I waited about 5 minutes and slowly worked my way back to the X mark and fired of a couple of bursts. I then went back the same way so I would not frighten him. When I got back to the camera wagon I thanked him and left.



This is what I wanted and considering the conditions I am going to keep it.



Bottom Line IMHO: By using the weather, wind and the terrain to my advantage I was able to get a photo of him. By backing off and using a call I was able to get the photo I wanted.


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Old Jan 12, 2008, 6:55 PM   #2
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Fantastic job, Roger, again you offer much much more than a simple photograph. That is one great scenario with the frosty needles and grey backdrop that enhances the conditions.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 8:42 PM   #3
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Nice shots Roger. I just recently joined the forum and so far I've loved all of your shots. Just how close were you to the Eagle when you took the picture?
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 8:49 PM   #4
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Normcar wrote:
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Fantastic job, Roger, again you offer much much more than a simple photograph. That is one great scenario with the frosty needles and grey backdrop that enhances the conditions.
Thanks Normcar


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Old Jan 12, 2008, 8:50 PM   #5
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HOBO_sm wrote:
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Nice shots Roger. I just recently joined the forum and so far I've loved all of your shots. Just how close were you to the Eagle when you took the picture?
HOBO, sorry I am not much good at distance but probably about 1/2 a block.


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Old Jan 12, 2008, 9:07 PM   #6
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Great job Roger. You have a keen eye and excellent approach technique. I still can't believe how much snow you have. I was driving around the foothills today and not a speck. I was even thinking of going hiking tomorrow!

Cheers

Jim
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 7:41 AM   #7
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Very informative posting Roger. Our area is a wintering area for a large group of bald eagles from Canada & Northern Minnesota. The best way to have a shot at them is by boat because of difficulties with land access. I have been hoping for a nice cold, dreary day because the lack of activity makes the chances of seeing one at a short enough distance for a good photomuch greater. Alas, the two times I have been out on the lake this winter have turned sunny, and all I have to show for the trips are plenty of shots of eagles soaring high and drifting on the wind currents on glourious sunny days, lol. I was hoping to get my list of "honey-do's" completed this morning and go out this afternoon, but I'm greeted by an absolutely beautiful Sunday sun.

Oh well, I may go anyway and have fun chasing the coots that are the principal prey on this lake.
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 7:59 AM   #8
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Great series and stalk Roger! Thanks for taking the time to discribe your technique. I may try that call tipto help turn my subjects.

-Kent
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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Excellent Roger! You got great results with all that gray and white. Reminds me of our light up here. Thanks for posting the trials you had to go through for this. Your dedication is inspiring...cheers..Don
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 12:15 PM   #10
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killdeer0007 wrote:
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Great job Roger. You have a keen eye and excellent approach technique. I still can't believe how much snow you have. I was driving around the foothills today and not a speck. I was even thinking of going hiking tomorrow!

Cheers

Jim
Hi Jim, so far it looks like we are going to have a good year snow wise. Thanks for the kind words.


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