Last week, I told you that Robin and I were going with our friend Brian from Epic Adventures, to find moose for a photo safari. It turned out to be one of the best days I have ever spent in the woods. Brian picked us up at 4:30am and we headed north. We had coffee and cameras, memory cards, batteries and binoculars. Brian had brought along some snacks and had made us an incredible moose stew and sandwiches for lunch! We were all set.
I had never seen a moose in its element before. I have seen them randomly running through fields or one runs through my parents back yard once every five years or so, but I have never seen a moose in the woods. I was already excited about our adventure, but when we turned off onto a dirt road and came upon a cow and calf, I knew this was going to be a great day! As daylight broke, we unloaded the truck, grabbed some gear – which included a bottle of actual moose urine, a handmade racking tool that Brian made out of moose scapula, and a modified funnel that Brian uses for calls, and got on our way.
|A panoramic view during one of our stops.|
The temperature was 34 degrees as the three of us began walking down the road and into a chopping. Brian knows this area well and had been there the night before scouting. When we made our first call, we heard a cow call back within seconds. We were in a good spot! We called a bit, walked a bit and called a bit more. Before too long, we had two cows calling back to us. Then, we heard a bull! The short grunts were a welcomed sound and the three of us couldn’t wait to see him. The longer we listened and called, the more sure Brian became that the bull was paired up with one of our cows. In order for us to get a good look at him, we needed to move into the woods and challenge him.
We turned and headed into the woods and closer to a small pond, where Brian was sure the moose were hanging out. We got settled and Brian began calling again. Within minutes, we heard the grunts. They got closer and closer and before long, Robin and I could see the trees and bushes moving as a small bull came up from the pond. When he paused trying to smell us, Brian had Robin spray some urine into the air in the direction of the moose to help cover our scent. As we tried to get some better looks at this bull, there was a loud snap behind us and another moose came towards us!!! They were all around us. We could still hear the cows bellowing and as the first bull moved off, the second bull came into view.
|This bull came within 15 yards of us! We could see the whites of his eyes.|
|Our bull moose coming in closer|
|Close enough to see his eye|
|A couple more glances before heading back into the woods|
Brian called and racked the bushes. He sprayed some urine and racked some more. No one moved. The bulls swayed his head a little bit and kept walking towards us. These photos simply do not convey how close this moose was to us! He would have continued to get closer, but Brian made sure we stayed safe and started talking and waving his arms to get the moose to leave. When I turned to Robin, I couldn’t tell which of us had the bigger smile on our face.
Brian called a little longer and we continued to hear cows and bulls responding to us. We were in moose mecca! We heard lots of crashing and slashing in front of us and at one point, even had a cow come charging out of the woods, run right past us and head back down into the bog. We hoped that there would be a bull behind her, but no such luck.
With smiles on our faces, we headed back out to the truck for a snack and to move on to our next spot. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and we were alone in the woods with the moose. It truly was an Epic Moose Adventure!