Tag Archive for: wildlife watching

Campsites and Campgrounds in the Nicola Valley

Tips That Will Improve Any Merritt Campground  Trip

Campground Summer Adventures in Merritt, Canada

When  visiting Campsites and Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada, make your next outdoor adventure easier with these simple camping tips. Moreover, with good planning anyone can make camping a memorable outdoor experience in the Nicola Valley. Knowing that camping connects you with nature, allows you to recharge your batteries while relaxing with family and friends. Experiencing camping in Merritt BC with these useful tips will improve your any camping trip.

Campsites and Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

Family Camping. Photo by Robert Neil

Water skiing in Merritt BC

Water skiing. Photo by Robert Neil.

Safety In Our Campsites and Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

Albeit, I love to camp around Merritt BC for all the mountains, scenery and activities we will experience. But safety is always my priority while out in the backcountry. The likelihood to observe all kinds of wildlife is truly a magical experience which I encourage. However,  I ask that you treat wildlife with the respect they need and deserve. My motto is that I am a guest in their home, and very privileged to be welcomed. Moreover, try and do some research on the campground you will be visiting.  A good source of information is the Experience Merritt website for campsites and campgrounds.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes

Dream summers. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Family campgrounds in the Nicola Valley

Memories are made camping Photo by Tania Stewart.

Carry bear spray, ensure it is accessible, and know how to use it before heading out on the trails. 

BC wilderness camping

BC Camping. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Stay respectful of the “Wilderness and Others”

It is important to always be considerate of all backcountry environments when visiting our campsites and campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada. Please… always keep your campsite clean. Leaving food out will attract all kinds of wildlife, including unwanted pests such as wasps, bears and more. Importantly, wildlife is also attracted to items that have an odor such as garbage, unwashed dishes, stoves, coolers, dog dishes, and toiletries. My toothpaste even? Yes, and shampoo, deodorant, skin cream, shaving lotion, suntan lotions, and baby diapers (especially used) will attract wildlife. Very important to always wash, and put away dishes, pots, and all garbage while storing your toiletries in air-sealed containers.  

Camping in Merritt BC Canada

Bear aware. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Wildlife in Merritt BC Canada

Wildlife Goat. Photo by Robert Neil.

Bear Aware in Our Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

If you knew how many bears are put down every year due to our lack of understanding and carelessness, you would cry.  It is important to know that carelessness can be a death sentence for a bear and its cubs. Did you know that much of our human-sourced food is rich in calories and that it is on a bear’s wish list to sustain itself hibernating in the winter months.  Therefore, garbage foraging for a bear is like us ordering take-out. It is easy and they lose their fear of us, associating us with food. Unfortunately, eating these foods brings bears and people closer together. Over time, bears lose their natural fear of people and start to associate people with food. Save our Bears by being wildlife aware.

Campsites in Merritt BC

Summer camping! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Family campground and campsites

Camping & Kids! Photo Tania Stewart.

“WHILE OUT IN THE BACKCOUNTRY, STAY RESPECTFUL OF ALL WILDLIFE!” TANIA STEWART

Wildlife Law

Do not feed the BEARS!  Furthermore, this applies to all animals.  And did you know that feeding wildlife in a national park or historic site will get you charged under the Canada National Parks Act? Whether feeding them directly or indirectly by leaving unattended food or garbage for them to sniff out and find. So put away your food. 

Merritt fishing in the Nicola Valley

Wes David and the Fishing the Wild West TV Show. Photo credit Wes David.

Campsites in the Nicola Valley

Alleyne Lake. Photo Tania Stewart.

Wildlife Photo’s

Albeit it is exhilarating to see a moose, bear, deer, or even a fox while visiting our campsites and campgrounds in Merritt BC. Capturing that photo or video can make your day. It has made mine on many occasions. Distance and respect for wildlife are key, this is their home. Make sure to share your amazing shots to on our websites or tag us on Facebook at @experiencenicolavalley!

Birdwatching in Merritt BC Canada

Wildlife capture. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nature Walking/hiking

Hiking on the trails while camping is the best. Being aware that the best time to set out on a hike or picnic is best served after breakfast and before the supper bell rings. Equally, just like us, wildlife/animals are active early morning and around sunset.  Furthermore, never go alone, carry a lot of water, make noise, bear spray, bug dope, and know your surroundings. 

Sightseeing in Merritt BC Canada

Hiking Trail. Photo by Robert Neil.

Give wildlife space-Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings-travel in groups

Campfires while Camping in the Nicola Valley

Always check and be up-to-date on fire bans and restrictions when visiting our valley. Call or google wildfire gov for updated information.  British Columbia is a large geographically diverse province. Therefore, decisions on when and where to implement fire bans and restrictions are made by B.C.’s six regional fire centers. Wildfire prevention starts with us and one little match could ignite our backwoods. So be mindful of your fires, cigarettes and other flammable items.

Report Fires

Important to always make sure your campfire is out. And in some cases put out a negligent camper’s fire. Always report any fire. Therefore we can continue to enjoy our great outdoors and bask in its tranquility, 

“There’s no wi-fi in the mountains, but you’ll find a not better connection.” Unknown

Mosquitoes 

Campsites and campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada are truly one of the best ways to take a vacation. But the Mosquitoes! Take along a few bundles of sage the next time you go camping. Then, when the sun is setting and the campfire is going, burn a bit of sage with your fire. Or for a longer-lasting effect, set the stage on fire and let it smolder and smoke by the edge of the campfire. Moreover, mosquitoes are repelled by sage smoke and are a lot healthier than bug spray. 

Organizing Skills

Keeping your food secure and organized is important while camping. Organizing with storage is life-saving not to mention less stressful. Using bins, and sleeping bags for storage in tents,  Keeps your site organized and odor-free. Important leave no trace you were there. 

How to Find Amazing Camping Spots

Simply go to Experience Nicola Valley  and for all the information you will need to plan your camping trip to your specific summer adventure. Looking for a fishing adventure, speed boating one or a kayaking drift. Choosing the right campsite is the first step, getting there is the fun part, and the rest is just a load of memories. 

Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

Camping, campsites in the Nicola Valley Canada

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC

Saving a Black Bear Cub in Merritt BC.

Black Bear Cub saved in The Nicola Valley, Merritt BC.

Bear Aware in Merritt BC Update: Remember I wrote a story about “Merritt” the black bear cub who was lost and confused wandering our city  a while back. Well, it is time for a “Bear Aware in Merritt” update.

Being Bear Aware takes a team

As a result of the joint efforts of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, Hope Mountain , and the Conservation Officer Jordan Stewart – a  bear cub was saved and rescued in Merritt BC not too long ago.  This little “Cub” was wondering around for a week on the Bench in Merritt. Motherless, lost and alone the cub was surviving by eating from a tree full of fermenting berries by night. During the day the cub was sleeping high up in the branches of a local pine tree.  

“Bear” awareness will come to you” Tania Stewart.

black bear cub saved merritt BC.

Black Bear Cub rescued in Merritt BC.

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC & “Who To Call?”

I remember  “Wild Bear Rescue” which was a TV show based outside of Smithers BC Canada. Being an avid fan of the show my automatic response was to call and see if they could help. My call was immediately answered by Angelika Langen. She, along with her husband Peter, and their grown children Langen/Landry’s dedicate their lives to saving wildlife.  

 

black bear cub merritt BC

Meet “Merritt”, orphaned cub rescued in the Nicola Valley.

There is a Conservation Hot Line?

Angelika informed me to call the Conservation Hot Line and save this black bear cub in Merritt BC.  During my call with Angelika she told me that the conservation officer has to first determine if the “cub” has not been taught to scavenge food from garbage bins. This being a learned behavior which can be a death sentence for a bear. Therefore, it is important to never leave garbage bins outside during a Canadian bear season.

 

Nicola Valley

Alone, motherless but surviving.

In effect after due diligence.

Respectively the Conservation Officer spent a great amount of time with this black bear in Merritt BC.   After determining that the cub had not learned any bad behaviors, she was free to move forward with rescue and rehabilitation. This is were “Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee” became involved. It pays to be bear aware in Merritt BC when we can save a cub from harm.

 

merritt bc black bear cub saved

Scared and alone.

“Merritt the Cub” was designated for rehabilitation.

Angelika Langen contacted me, letting me know that a volunteer from Hope, BC would contact me and make arrangements to come and rescue the “Cub”. Indeed there is no way to explain the joy, happiness, exhilaration I felt receiving that call from Angelika that this little lost “Cub” was going to be rescued. There are no words to describe how I felt.

 

Hope Mountain Rescue team.

Conservation officer saving black bear cub merritt bc

Merritt Conservation Officer.

Notably within hours the rescue of a “Cub” was underway.

In fact I received  a call from Lydia Koot from the Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee asking me the exact location and area were the “Cub” has been last seen. Help was on its way. She let me know  Lydia Koot and Cecilia  would be in Merritt at 7:30 am. And they were exactly on time. 

 

Black bear cub saved in merritt bc

Lydia Koot.

Black bear cub merritt BC.

Searching for the motherless “Cub”

In this case we needed to locate the black bear “Cub”

Although the day before, the cub was up in the tree. I swear. But when dusk arrived, the “Cub” had disappeared. So much for being Bear Aware in Merritt BC. Therefore, despite everything, we were all determined to locate the motherless “Cub.”  After a bit of searching, and talking with community members. We were directed to a new area were the “Cub” had been sleeping and foraging. Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC was back on track.

black bear cub merritt bc

Snug as a “Bear” in a tree.

As a result of  some very caring people we were able locate this cub.

Trapping this frightened orphan is another story. Because of his fear and mistrust of humans, capturing the bear unharmed became a waiting game. However I was told this is a good sign. The cub’s actions indicated that this cub was keeping its wild side.

What there are two cubs?

Tragically this cub had a twin. After losing their mother both cubs found a safe tree in the back yard of a Merritt home. At least, in light of being orphaned, they had each other. The owner of this home observed both cubs sleeping together in his backyard tree. However, sad things happen, and one of the cubs was tragically hit by a vehicle and was found by someone walking their dog.

trap to save black bear merritt bc

Trap n rescue.

Lydia Koot setting trap.

In Hope everything goes smoothly.

 

Lydia Koot making sure.

black bear cub merritt

With the help of community!

Without the help of many Volunteers.

Consequently everything came together. Diligence and perseverance is key. In spite of how tragic one feels and the overwhelming compassion one has for the mother and the other siblings death, there is still the hope of rescuing the orphaned cub. 

 

saving black bear cub merritt bc

Cecilia Fraga volunteer.

Bear Cub saved in Merritt BC.

With a bit of patience, stinky food and a precisely placed cage. This little black bear cub was captured around 7 PM. A bear cub was rescued and given a chance to live a long healthy life. Importantly we all need to take action and become “Bear Aware” more and more in Merritt BC. Notably realizing our habit’s are contributing to the increase in bear conflicts. When bears start using the community as a foraging area for food we are in trouble. Unfortunately bears will lose their lives unless we correct behavior.  Leaving garbage out during bear season is a no no. Allowing fruit to ferment on trees is a bear trap. Once bears start equating humans with food, they are conditioned and lose their natural fear of us. Hence bear and human conflict.  Hence the bear is put down and not rescued in many circumstances. 

Cub rescue

“Merritt” cub healthy.

“Merritt” the black bear cub is a boy. The update is he is doing very well in his recovery and is settling in very well. He has a healthy appetite and seems alert.” Northern Lights Wildlife Society.

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC

Merritt British Columbia Canada

Winter Activities around Merritt, BC

Merritt, not just for summer

There is no better way to spend a winter day than to get out and enjoy what there is to offer with your family.

There are so many winter activities around Merritt BC. You don’t have to wait until summer to come on vacation and enjoy what there is to offer here.

I’d like to take you through some of my favorite winter activities around Merritt, BC. As I go through them you will notice that some will over lap with others because it’s so easy to incorporate more than one at a time. Can’t get any better than that.

Snowmobiling

There are a number of excellent places around Merritt to go snowmobiling. I personally love to take off to some of the different lakes like Helmer, Nicola or Mamit. We love to take the kids out and do some snowmobiling on the frozen lakes. Gives them a place to have fun in wide open spaces.

You can also get a hold of the Merritt Snowmobile Club. There are a number of trails that they look after that would be great to check out.

snowmobiling on Helmer Lake

One of the great winter activities around Merritt, BC.

Ice Fishing

Another one of my favorite winter activities around Merritt BC is ice fishing. There are some really great lakes to go to including Mamit, Nicola, Marquart, Hamilton and Helmer. I am looking forward to checking out a lot more of the lakes in the coming years.

ice fishing hole, drilling, winter fun

Drilling down

ice fishing on Merritt, BC lakes

Line in – soon – fish on

Combine Activities

The best part about getting into some of these lakes is that you get to combine winter activities around Merritt by snowmobiling into the lake to ice fish. There have been many times we have packed up gear and the kids and taken off the for the day. We love going out and having a campfire to roast hotdogs while we ice fish and snowmobile around the lake. Its a great way to spend the day with your family.

snowmobiling Merritt BC lakes

Big boys turn at the snowmobiling.

A few more winter activities around Merritt, BC

X-Country Skiing

X-country skiing is a great winter activity and is also great exercise as well. Kane Valley has some great groomed trails for all levels of skiers.

learning to x-country skiing family fun at Kane Valley

Alisha learning to x-country ski. She did great her first time out.

If your more into adventures and breaking your own trail, you could check out Lundbom or Marquart lakes. Blazing a trail from one to the other or over the beautiful open country side would be a great trip. You could also take your skis with you when you snowmobile out to the lakes and go on a ski from the lake. So many different combinations of winter activities around Merritt BC.

x-country skiing Kane Valley Merritt BC

Michelle Bacon enjoying winter activities around Merritt, BC

Tobogganing

Now here is a fun winter activity the whole neighborhood can enjoy and believe me we do. A great place to get together and do this is towards Lundbom lake. There is some amazing hills to toboggan down and family’s usually start a fire and roast hotdogs and make hot chocolate. It’s such great day.

Do you love skating?

Another awesome winter activity around Merritt, BC is pond skating. There are a number of lakes and ponds that are set up to do this. Although I haven’t actually had the opportunity to try it, I have seen people having  what looks like a lot of fun out skating and playing hockey on the lakes. Logan Lake has a couple rinks set up and I have also seen people on anther lake towards Kamloops where a girl was figure skating and doing some pretty amazing twirls and jumps. My camera would have been great to have.

I really love all the winter activities around Merritt, BC.  I hope that you will also make the trip here and enjoy the Nicola Valley in the winter. We have so much to offer no matter what  time of year it is.

Bird or Wildlife Watching

Bird watching is a fun activity around Merritt in the winter. You can take the trails along the river around Merritt. Or check out some of the bird sanctuaries in the area. Along some of your drives you might want to keep your eyes open for other wildlife as well. Heading towards Mamit Lake you may get a glimpse of the wild horses. And at the lakes where you are ice fishing you may be treated to the bald eagles.

wild horses, merritt bc

Wild horses along highway 97C towards Mamit Lake from Merritt.

bald eagle ice fishing Nicola Valley

Bald eagle waiting to see if it will get a gift of some fish from people ice fishing.

Check out Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers for more great blogs, activities and places to eat and stay in and around the Nicola Valley.

Winter Activities around Merritt, BC