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|State Wildlife Center|
WV DNR News Release
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Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks
Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 email@example.com
Kanawha State Forest features wildlife watching challenge on Aug. 18
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you’re an early-to-rise person, Kanawha State Forest is debuting a wildlife-watching challenge. “The wildlife is not the challenge,” said Sara Miller, summer naturalist at the forest. The activity is about challenging people to be quiet and patient enough to watch nature. “Wildlife will come to you if you can relax, put the cell down and watch.”
“This isn’t about quantity of attendees. It is about a quality experience,” Miller said. The challenge-takers should wear earth-toned clothing and use scentless soap on this day. The challenge is for you to sit silently long enough to observe wildlife that will wander by. Miller will have simple blinds and help participants determine how not to be detected by wildlife and how to choose best areas to set up for specific species. Miller limits the activity to five.
Miller, a Kanawha County native, is an avid bird watcher and enjoys sharing nature with children and adults. She is a hunter and outdoors oriented. “I like looking at nature with the eyes of a sportsman and the understanding of an environmental teacher,” she said.
Miller’s wildlife-watching challenge idea came about as she recalled a tree stand incident with North Bend State Park naturalist, Adam Kirk. “I was sitting in a tree stand during deer season and suddenly was being ‘observed’ by a close encounter with a chattering squirrel inches away.” Kirk relayed a similar experience.
“It was a reverse watchable wildlife moment,” Miller said. “I wondered how many people have never sat really still like I do in a tree stand or sit in a blind and watch wildlife or have wildlife come to you. Anyone can do this, anyone.” Miller is quick to say using blinds also means using good common sense – particularly during hunting season.
There is no charge to participate, but registration is required. Miller invites anyone interested to call the forest at (304) 558-3500 to take the challenge.
Miller has “Turkey Tag” scheduled for noon also on Aug. 18 starting at the Overlook Rock Trail. Activities are offered to the public at no cost. Miller posts summer weekend activities conducted at the forest on www.kanawhastateforest.com.