When people see my wildlife photos, they usually ask something along the lines of "how, where, WHAT?!" On the cape and in Massachusetts, most people probably have never seen an owl or a family of foxes.
Well when I am not with my family and/or photographing professionally, I try to sneak away to different refuges, conversation areas, ect.... Most times on my hikes/treks, I see lots of trees, sand, squirrels, crows, and other not very interesting rare creatures. BUT sometimes, very rarely, I come across something awesome like a coyote, an owl, and the like. Often times it is a lot of luck, paying attention to every sound and movement I see, and TIME.
Other times I head to certain locations that I know have had certain creatures or a fellow wildlife enthusiast friend might tip me off to something awesome's location. (PLEASE GIVE ME TIPS and be my friend lol). Example, the location of an owl's nest, fox den.
It is important to note here that I try to be as ethical as possible when I photograph wildlife. This includes not baiting the animals with food (very bad), not using flash on light sensitive animals like owls (Bad) and trying to not disturb/get to close to the animals(pretty bad). This last one is the hardest and usually a big topic of conversation in the birding/wildlife enthusiast community. An example of this might be hanging out at an owl nest for days at a time. Even if one stays at a good distance, it is believed that it could stress the owls causing various issues to the parents and offspring. I love to photograph snowy owls on the dunes of the cape. Snowys use a lot of energy every time they fly, so when people get to close, they have to waste energy that they need to hunt and fly back to the Arctic. Well that was a tangent, but please note that I am and everyone is still learning about this important topic.
Other than going to the right spots, Patience is the key attribute I find when you are photographing wildlife. Sometimes I wait at a location for hours and I mean hours for something to happen. Sometimes something like an eagle fly's by and catches a fish. Most times, nada. So know that every image that I preserve and show off is precious to me because of the time spent but also because of the special moment it was.