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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This handsome fellow seemed a bit surprised to find me as he emerged from a bunch of willows. He and three other bulls were grazing in Colorado’s Brainard Lake Recreation Area with about a dozen photographers all taking pictures. While the shutterbugs were focused on the other three, this guy thought he would use the opportunity to sneak out of the hubbub by making a flanking maneuver.
Little did he know that I was standing far apart from the crowd getting a different angle, one that allowed me to capture it just as it emerged. While I don’t think it expected to find me there, it didn’t mind one bit and after a brief pause, continued its circuitous route around the rest of the photographers and off into the forest with few others aware.
When I came across this big fellow last September, it was clear he was the senior member of the Moose hanging out in Roosevelt National Forest. You could see the scars of past battles on his face and his sheer size and massive antlers told the story of a bull that had seen many years.
Here he looks at peace as he grazes on willows soon after sunrise. However, they can become agitated and aggressive very quickly so extreme caution must be utilized and a respectable distance maintained when viewing them.
Moose live on average 15 to 20 years so I certainly hope I have a chance to photograph this big guy once conditions allow it in Colorado’s high country.
As I sit thinking about my plans for the summer and fall I cannot help but get anxious about visiting with this massive creatures again. So large, so beautiful – but also ones to be very cautious around.
Back in September this young one was hanging out with a couple, far more senior bulls, grazing the willows in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area.
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. It is best to maintain a respectful distance, no matter how gentle they might seem.