The Elusive, Ever-Present Moose (Updated)

Bull Moose

I see moose all the time. I run into them seemingly every time I drive anywhere. I am frequently delayed by tourists who have pulled half off the road and are clicking away furiously (usually with a totally inadequate point and shoot camera) at a moose. On four occasions I have startled a moose in the forest and had to back away (or run away) to avoid being trampled to death.

Yet anytime I go out with my camera looking for animals, I never see moose. I shouldn’t say never. I usually see one right behind a tree munching on some sticks, or the ass end of one poking from the trees, or I see a baby and mother who dash into the trees as soon as lift my camera. See examples below.

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With the alpenglow on Sugarloaf Mountain and the soft evening light, this could have been a great photo if the moose could have bothered to look up at me.

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I could barely see this moose, but she saw me and eyed me suspiciously.

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With the stunning fall colors, this could have been an award-winning photo.

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Despite all the years I have spent in Alaska, I have almost no good photos of mooseses. Or meese. Mooses. Moose. There it is.

All that changed recently. As I came around a bend in the road, a startled moose leapt from the bush and into the road. A startled driver (me) slammed on the brakes and came to a stop a few feet before the moose. We both looked into each others eyes, our lives flashing before us. The moose saw endless days of eating twigs and leaves and the haunting memory of the bull she spent a rutting season with. I thought back to all the time I wasted on Facebook.

The moose calmed down, and I calmed down, and she moved back into the ditch and returned to eating leaves as she took a place among some photogenic fireweed. I clicked off a few photos of the huge deer. She looked at me and gave a knowing smile.

Denali Moose with Fireweed Denali Moose Smiling

So after 9 years of being in Alaska I finally had a decent photo of a moose, one where he isn’t doing something pornographic to a road pole

Savage Winter-3

or partially obscured by a tree. Thank you moose.

Since that day, I’ve been seeing moose everywhere. A mother and two calves came up to my cabin and hung out for an hour the other day. I took these photos from my porch or from my bedroom window.

Baby Moose with Mother in Denali

Taken from my front porch.

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A moose eating my car antenna. I can’t get any radio stations in central Alaska anyway.

Baby Moose with mother - Denali

Taken from my bedroom window. The zoom lens was too much they were so close.

I had become a bit of a moose snob. As we were driving down the road to Chena recently, I said to my wife, “I am only stopping if we see a moose in a lake, eating grass.” Minutes later we saw this:

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Chena Alaska moose in water

Then the other day I came upon an enormous bull moose with a giant rack. It occurred to me that all my recent photos of moose were of babies or cows, and that I had no photos of bull moose. And this was a giant bull moose and I needed his photo for my collection! He was merely 5 feet from me, eating shrubs, but refused to look up. Typical. My run of moose luck has run its course, and everything is back to normal again.

An enormous bull moose who refused to look up at me.

An enormous bull moose who refused to look up at me.

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Update: as soon as I completed this post, I saw two enourmous bull moose who have traveled down to the Savage River area for mating season. They are out looking for a harem to make sexy time with and are therefore in my area, but usually they stay upland.

I got some good shots of them as you can see below.

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As the moose approached the roadway, I kept this guy between me and the 1600 lb. beasts. I felt like if it charged me, I could get out of the way a little quicker than he could.

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Next to the cars, you realize how huge moose are.

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He could have posed for me a little better with this excellent background, but I’m not going to be too picky.

Denali Bull Moose

I can be done taking moose photos now.

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If you liked this, check out these tags and categories on Planet Bell:

Or check out this post about stalking moose on Krahnpix.com, a blog you should be reading.

And if you want to see an awesome yet sad photo gallery of wolves taking down a moose calf, click here to go to Patrick Endres amazing blog of Alaskan Photos.

27 Comments on “The Elusive, Ever-Present Moose (Updated)

  1. Amazing pictures. I love the one of the moose eating the antenna, but my fave is the one where she looks like she is smiling.

    My hubby and I live in Colorado and have seen moose about 5 or 6 times. We got a great bull moose pic (if you want to check out my most recent blog post) last summer. Snapped a couple pics yesterday while hiking and seriously considered whether they were called meese 🙂

  2. Well good fortune runs in streaks sometimes. Amazing photos and I could feel your joy. The Facebook comment was hilarious. Very enjoyable post.

  3. Beautiful photos and great story. Complete opposite from your story but I always seem to see the craziest things in Hanoi on the days when I haven’t brought my camera out with me – so frustrating!

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    • They are really impressive. They are taller than a horse, as fast as a kangaroo and weigh more than a bear. I try to not get trampled by them in the forest.

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  7. I was just reading up on the difference between tags and categories, thought I’d see what was what with your blog…are those tags, or categories listed as tags? Do you know the difference? WP doesn’t seem to make, or explain, a difference. Fun piece…it was written before my time in blogville.

      • but does a category also act like a tag in cyber space? or do I need to make a tag for the category, too? blogging is hard!

      • got it, thanks. but you know, I don’t think people are finding me from tags. I don’t see people reading me who aren’t WP people that I follow.

      • It takes time, sometimes. Some of my posts will be dormant for 6 months to a year, then for whatever reason, the search engines will pick it up. Type in the word “moose” on Google images for example. I don’t understand it.

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