Moose Hunting - With Cameras, Not Guns
In my whole life I have only seen two moose alive and in the wild and that was a couple months ago. It was a very exciting time, but we drove by them super quick and because of the icy road conditions we weren't able to stop much less slow down and really take it in. Several of my close firends have done their best to take me to Moose Hang-out areas, but non-the-less no moose of shown up. This blond must be moose repellent, because I have just not seen any wild moose.
With this in mind my climbing partner talks about all the moose he has seen in all the usual locations. I was sick of this talk and told him not to utter another word about all these moose expereinces and sightings until he takes me out specfically to find moose.... and that is how our 'Moose Hunting' adventure started.
Bob and I were both up in Jackson, WY for the New Year's holiday. So we picked a day to go out Moose hunting... WITH OUR CAMERA'S. I do not shoot animals unless they are trying to kill me. I shoot things with my camera :D
Go figure the day we picked to go Moose Hunting was a windy, overcast dreary day. Not good for finding moose in open areas where there are a lot of brush and stuff that they like to eat. We drove around in bleak whiteness keeping our eyes peeled over the feilds of brush... finding nothing. Checked out rivers and marshy areas, scoped out moose prints... nothing. Not a moose in sight.
We turned the car around to go searching in the Grand Teton National park. We were about 20 minutes out in the middle of no where feeling doubtful of any moose sightings. Bob kept telling me that we need to think like a moose. Moose wouldn't be out in the open during an overcast windy dreary day. They'd be in a covered area out of the weather. With my Moose Cap on we spotted a herd of deer on a slope. They were super fun to watch, because they'd look straight at us, run a bit and then look straight at us again. They were headed back into the hills. That is where I took a detour to follow them. We drove further into the hills and keeping our eyes open for moose type areas. Further down the road we started going downhill so I slowed down and found a car headed my way going even slower. There were a couple guys in the car and one was hanging out of the passenger window with something in his hand. The driver had is window down and they were all fixated on the hillside to my right. I slouched down looked out my passenger window past Bob and saw TWO moose!
We pulled over, stopped the car, grabbed our cameras and with plenty of distance and trees inbetween us started going snap happy. There were actually 3 moose there just chomping away. This was amazing! Not only live moose, but I got to see them doing their every day thing. Bob and I were there for almost an hour watching, snapping, repositioning, more snapping, more watching. I've discovered that moose are total posers. They would look right at me and just smile or pose. So awesome!
At one point there was even a lazy moose fight. Two were fighting over a tree to scratch their antlers on. The expereince of standing knee deep in snow, surrounded by aspen trees and the only sound was of antlers clashing together in the muted silence was surreal. Loved every minute of it... until my trigger finger started going numb.
We jumped back into my car totally happy and satisfied, but even more enthused for more moose hunting. Bob directed me back to Grand Teton National Park for more moose sightings. As we were driving along we noticed several stopped vechiles and about 5 or 6 poeple all with mega lenses on the side of the road. We look to our left and there was another beautifully huge moose in the water.
Again, this moose knew he was in a photo shoot and posed for us in the water, running through a field of snow, batted his eye-lashes, wandered inbetween the bushes and trees, and even posed for us thigh deep in a little pond. This guy was huge and so amazing to watch.
Dusk was finally settling in so we lowered our cameras called it a day.
Every creature is better alive than dead,
men and moose and pine trees,
and he who understands it aright
will rather preserve its life then destroy it.
~ Henry David Thoreau
A Very Successful Day of Moose Hunting!