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Opinion: Moose moments

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | September 13, 2023 2:00 AM

So I got up early on Sunday morning just in case the moose was out there, you know, in the lake.

I was snug as a bug in my tent and really didn’t want to get up, but I thought I heard a stick break and it was still pretty much dark, which is to say, just light enough out to get a picture of a moose.

So I went down to the lake and took a look around and sure enough, there was the moose. He had just come out of the brush not far from camp.

I went back and got the camera out of the tent (why I didn’t bring it with me was beyond me, though it was pretty dark out still).

Back at the lake the moose had moved and was now feeding into the pre-dawn mist.

I had a wide angle lens on and stayed back a good 80 feet or so while the moose fed. The goal of the pic was really to photograph the lake with the moose in it, rather than a portrait of a moose.

Moose portraits with a 400 mm lens aren’t all that hard to take.

But sitting around waiting for a moose to get in just the right spot of a landscape photo takes some patience. It’s not like you can tell a 1,200 pound animal with a bad disposition to move a little to the left in order to help balance the shot.

At any rate, I lucked out.

The only reason I knew about the moose was some friends of mine who happened to be in camp had seen him the day before.
“I wonder where it went,” the friend mused as dark fell over camp.

I had a pretty good idea of where the moose went if he was still around — a thicket of willows and brush along a creekbed.

The moose didn’t stay in the lake all that long. It ate some vegetation off the bottom for awhile and then sauntered off.

We packed up camp and were out of there as the first light hit the crests of the peaks.

On the way down through a favorite valley a bull elk bugled — the first I’ve heard this year. We had walked right past him and he was just behind us. I hoped he might pop out of the brush as well, but no such luck. His next bugle sounded a good quarter mile away as worked his way up the valley in the opposite direction.

I guess a guy can only have so much luck in one morning.

The moose would have to do.

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