A bull moose grazes on willows in Colorado’s Arapaho National Forest in July 2014. I am sitting here contemplating where I may head for a picture taking excursion this weekend. Lots of choices but I find myself favoring a return visit to this spot.
One bull moose carefully treads across the path of another just weeks before last fall’s rut.
A bit of a Throwback Thursday to the end of last August when I was able to spend a great morning watching these amazing animals. The bulls were losing the velvet off of their antlers which made them a bloody mess and gave them a menacing appearance (as if their ?1,000 pound weight and 6+ foot height weren’t enough). The tension between them was quite palatable as mating season was fast approaching.
Taken in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado.
This bull moose was quite at peace as it grazed on willows at Brainard Lake, Colorado back in July.
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.
Taken at Brainard Lake, Colorado in Arapaho National Forest back in August. This big guy was grazing right next to the road early in the morning when a surprise sun shower rolled through. For those wondering, I was safely inside my truck when I snapped this pic. 😉
‘Ooh! This looks yummy!’ A bull moose at Brainard Lake, Colorado looks rather pleased with his breakfast. Taken from the relative safety of my truck, getting this image was quite easy as the big guy had no problem walking right up to the shrubbery next to the road. These massive animals are surprisingly fleet footed being able to run at 35 mph for short distances and trot steadily at 20 mph.
These two bull moose uneasily crossed paths in the shadow’s of Mount Audubon a couple of weeks ago.
There has been some controversy in recent days when a bow hunter shot and killed one of the moose at this location this past Saturday – I am pretty sure it is the one on the right in this image.
It has turned into quite a heated debate. I can see both sides of the issue. I think the hunter would have been wiser to choose to hunt at a time when there were less recreationalists in the area. However, hunting is needed to help manage a population that would otherwise harm the environment and jeopardize the habitat of other animals.
What do you think? You can read more about the story here.
“Look into my eyes…” This large bull moose actually looks kind of gentle as it grazes in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. With the rut coming soon, it would not be wise to get too close. 😉 Black and white add drama to the this picture. Image captured August 31, 2014.
With only a couple of weeks to go until the rut, bull moose are preparing for the annual competition for the right to mate with nearby females. Here, a large bull stops eating to look behind him, keeping close watch on another male that was walking by.
The tension this past Sunday at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest was palatable and fascinating to witness. Adding drama is the bloody velvet hanging from the moose’s antlers.
Taken this morning at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado . This monstrous bull moose has begun shedding the velvet that covers its antlers.
The blood comes from the blood vessel system that forms the skin covering and grows the antlers. The shedding of the velvet is a precursor to the rut when this male and others nearby will use their massive antlers to battle for the right to mate area females.
He and another nearby bull were vigorously rubbing their antlers on foliage to aid the process. It certainly is gross looking but also very cool to be able to see this stage
Taken this past Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. This was one of five Bull Moose out right at dawn and he was in fact one of the smallest of the group but was about 6 feet tall. In the background is the 13,229 foot tall Mount Audubon.
Did you know Bull Moose can weigh 1500 pounds and despite their heft, reach speeds of 35 mph? Definitely nothing you want to tangle with. 😉
Scroll down below the photo for a complete gallery of moose pictures from that day.