Wolfsong, I gotta ask, what do you shoot with? You're either very stealthy or have a very long high quality lens...
Edit: Nevermind, I just saw that you added it to your sig. Nice kit!
gotta say I know a heck of a lot more about nature than I do about photography although I hope I'll learn a lot more about photography... Have just had the 50D for about 3 weeks now.. before that it was the S3IS... I also picked up the SX10IS as a small backup and urban camera.
After I moved to Canada I basically grew up in the outdoors, Northwestern Ontario. We were poor so my stepdad hunted and fished a lot and I loved spending time with him. Learned a lot about animal behavior back then and have built on it ever since. Photography over the last few years has given me a new outlook on nature but I must say that I still need to do outings without any gear as every time I take a camera it's as if I'm seeing everything through the viewfinder which in my mind doesnt really let me "connect"... I find it nice to leave the camera at home and just observe on a regular basis.
Half the fun for me is trying to catch the animal in a natural state without it focusing on me and trying to get as close as I can while still respecting the animal and my safety. Many of my friends have asked me the same question though.. how do I get so close... honestly.. I dont know... sometims it takes a long time though. I guess a lot of it comes down to how much time you spend out and about getting to know the environ you are in as well as the animals that live there.
Bet ya kpr can tell ya every nook and cranny in his regular stomping grounds as well.
Oh... and I have also been lucky enough to visit some places which are very remote where human contact with animals is very limited.
Lastly.. at times its amazing what you can see if you are willing to venture just 100 meters off the beaten track.
Canon 7D + 50D + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin
Reflections On Canadian Wildlife