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Moose

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Guardian of the forest

Well, my hope for Moose pics this weekend did not pan out at all so this one comes from early last month in the forest up above Grand Lake, Colorado. This young guy was chomping down on the young aspen trees and despite what appears to be intimidating pose here, he actually couldn’t have cared less about us watching him.

A young bull Moose stands guard from a stand of aspen trees in the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young bull Moose stands guard from a stand of aspen trees in the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moose calf tries to hide

A little one for Moose Monday to bring a smile to the start of your workweek. This calf in fact seemed to revel in all the attention it was getting from myself and quite a few others watching it and its mom in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Kawuneeche Valley a few weeks ago.

I apparently had just missed seeing the pair play in a small creek. Soon after I arrived, mom decided the show was over and moved her charge off and into the forest away from prying tourists’ eyes.

A Moose calf peers out from a clump of bushes in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Moose calf peers out from a clump of bushes in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Munch-time for Moose Monday

One of the big boys of Colorado’s high country. This bull along with a few others were lazily grazing on the willows in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area last month.

It won’t be long now and they will begin shedding that velvet on the antlers. Once that happens, the annual rut will begin and the boys won’t be so inclined to play nice with each other. I’m anxious to get back up there in a couple of weeks and spend some quality time with them again.

Moose are the largest member of the deer family although the sub-species we have here in Colorado, the Shiras moose, are the smallest of moose sub-species. That however does not mean they are truly small. They can stand six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 1,200 pounds!

You cannot begin to appreciate their size until you are up close with one.

A bull Moose grazes on willows in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose grazes on willows in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. (© Tony’s Takes)

“Dad, there’s a Moose right there!”

A very fun encounter with this handsome fellow late last week in Arapaho National Forest. My family and I were riding ATVs on some old forest roads enjoying the gorgeous views and cool temperatures of the high country. At one point my son and I pulled over to wait for my wife and daughter to catch up.

Just as I turned off my ATV, I thought I heard the loud snap of a tree branch breaking but looking to my right, I wasn’t seeing anything. Then, my son said those words and I see he is looking the opposite way.

Sure enough, this big guy was not 30 feet off the road, calmly munching on some aspen trees. We see Moose in this area frequently so it wasn’t a surprise but it was fun to just happen to stop right by where this bull was.

I slowly got off my ATV and grabbed my camera from the storage box on the back and began taking pictures. Soon my wife and daughter arrived and we all just sat and watched him. The bull couldn’t have cared less about our presence as it continued to happily eat away while watching us watching him.

Have a great, Moose Monday!

A Moose bull keeps watch from a stand of aspen trees in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Moose bull keeps watch from a stand of aspen trees in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

You found me!

A prime example of how you really need to be aware when out in the wild.

There were a number of Moose bulls in the area and I was moving to try to get a better angle for my pictures. As I trudged along a faint trail among some willows I suddenly come across this big, big guy.

Unlike the other bulls that were standing up and eating, this one decided it was a nice place to relax and had laid down among the thick brush so I didn’t see him until I was within about 15 feet. Yikes! That is not something you want to do.

I slowly backed away to a safe distance, snapped one picture, and then let the sleeping bull lie so to speak.

A Moose bull relaxes among some willows in Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Moose bull relaxes among some willows in Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

“This is MY spot on the lake”

A little bit of drama between these two, massive Moose bulls. The one on the right had just swam across the lake (see my pics from last week) and was seeming to enjoy its time alone when another bull arrived. It did not appreciate the intrusion and feigned an attack rushing toward the other. The interloper didn’t want the confrontation and ran into the water to get out the way. Very fun and exciting to see!

A Bull Moose chases off another bull that dared to come near the area it was on a lake shore.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bull Moose chases off another bull that dared to come near the area it was on a lake shore. (© Tony’s Takes)

Big bull Moose goes for a swim at a high country lake

A fun sequence of images of something I had not personally witnessed before. I spent some time with this big guy and five of his friends in Roosevelt National Forest yesterday morning.

They spent most of the time within heavy cover preventing good pics. However, at the end of my visit one decided the other side of the lake looked nice and took the most direct route, wading into the water and then swimming across.

I have certainly seen Moose wade into the water but never actually swim so it was a special treat for me.

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull Moose swims across a lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Surprise little Moose bull

One for Moose Monday from late last week. We were out sightseeing, driving along the Teton Pass Highway just west of Jackson, Wyoming. I spot this dark, brown creature with its head down in a field and at first glance thought it was a horse as it didn’t seem all that big.

Not wanting to miss something good though I quickly pull over just to check and we were happy to find this young bull Moose. He is likely only a year old or so judging by his relatively small stature and the nubs he has for antlers.

Our presence didn’t seem to bother him and he seemed more curious about us than anything but then became bored and moved to a more sheltered spot where we couldn’t see him.

A young Moose bull stops to check out its surroundings near Jackson, Wyoming.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Moose bull stops to check out its surroundings near Jackson, Wyoming. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moose calf plays hide and seek

Here is a very cute one for Moose Monday. I headed to the high country on Saturday with my main goal being to capture pictures of the new Moose calves that I knew were up there. That unfortunately did not turn out quite as planned as other than this little one, they stayed well hidden from me.

Even this guy (or gal) did not really want to cooperate for pictures, opting to keep its distance and stay in the shadows. As a result, the images aren’t that great but it was a lot of fun to see it.

Mostly likely it is only a couple of weeks old and quite small compared to what it will be when fully grown. It will spend the next year or so hanging out with mom after which it will be chased off as the cow prepares to mate again.

A very young Moose calf in the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A very young Moose calf in the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A very young Moose calf in the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A very young Moose calf in the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moose calf hams it up for the camera

It is Moose Monday so here I share a couple of pics of this little one that I have not shown you before. Taken back in August 2015, this cutie, its mom and a bull gave us an evening surprise by strolling right through our campsite.

An early evening thunderstorm had chased us inside the RV while camping in Arapaho National Forest two. Finally, there was a break and as I went outside to light the grill to get dinner going, I notice this massive black and brown creature not 40 feet away. A moose!

I step back inside and grab my camera telling the family to look out the window. As I step back outside, I hear my daughter say softly, “Daddy, there’s a baby too!” I quietly and slowly creep around the RV where I have a good view of mama and her young one. Just as I start taking pictures, I see motion out of the corner of my eye and I’ll be a son of a gun if a bull didn’t come waltzing into the area too!

The trio calmly grazed their way through the campsite spending 20 minutes or so with us before moving back into the densely treed forest. As it was evening and there were dark clouds above lighting was tough so my pics aren’t as nice as I would like. But, it was truly a magical encounter and probably my favorite ever with moose.

A Moose calf hams it up for the camera in Arapaho National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Moose calf hams it up for the camera in Arapaho National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Moose calf keeps an eye on the camera while its mom grazes in Arapaho National Forest.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Moose calf keeps an eye on the camera while its mom grazes in Arapaho National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

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