Our recent trip to Colorado found us camping in State Forest State Park in an area whose claim to fame is the Moose. North Park is considered the moose viewing capital of Colorado, with over 600 moose to be observed year-round. At the Moose Visitor Center, we heard that a bull moose with two cows was seen up at Cameron pass, so we headed up. I was so excited! I’ve been wanting to photograph moose, especially a bull moose. We saw two moose in Glacier National Park, but they were pretty far off. We pulled into the parking lot at the top of Cameron Pass and it wasn't long before we saw the big Bull Moose. I jumped out of the truck. It was raining on and off as I photographed the moose.
This was my first time being fairly close to a moose and although he looks small compared to the huge trees, believe me, this Bull Moose was a formidable sight; especially when he turned towards me. I held my breath a little.
He began to walk in my direction but turned and wandered off the other way. He went and laid down, and was mostly out of sight from our current vantage point, with his antlers blending in with the dead tree branches. We walked around to where we had a better view of him again and we watched and photographed him until the light was too dark to get decent pictures. I was partly fighting with my new tripod, so the experience was a little frustrating, but still amazing. You would never have had a clue he was here if you were just driving by. It makes me wonder just how many we drove by and didn't see as we were driving around the area.
The next morning we drove back up to the area where the moose were frequenting. As my husband parked the truck, I started down the path from the day before, looking for the moose. Beautiful wildflowers, trees and tall grasses are in this area. The image of the area is not the greatest since I wasn't really set up for landscape, but rather to get more pictures of the wildlife, (note the very shallow depth of field in the image) but I took this quick shot because it was just so beautiful there.
As I looked for the Bull Moose, I first spotted one of the cows. She was there grazing among the tall grasses very near where we'd first spotted the bull the day before. She looked up at me and then continued grazing, as if I wasn’t there. It was a little strange being around wildlife that wasn’t afraid of me. Still, I kept my distance and enjoyed watching this wonderful creature.
I must admit, as I wandered through the large trees and into the large fields of knee-deep, wet grass looking for the bull, I was nervous. I don’t have much experience with moose, but I know they can charge if they feel threatened. I knew they could be around any tree and I didn't want to come face to face with one.
Suddenly, I spotted him. He was once again lying down. This time among a patch of wildflowers. It was chilly and my pants were soaked as I walked closer to him. I stayed safely away from him and used my Canon 70-200mm lens and then even added my 2x extender to that to get a tighter shot. My heart was pounding with excitement and it was hard to hold my heavy lens steady. What an awesome experience! He could care less that I was there or that I was taking his picture.
I saw a cow not far from him and she eventually walked past him and continued grazing.
Moose have extremely long eyelashes. Did you know that? I sure didn't. As I post-processed my images afterward it was really apparent. I could have stayed there all day, but unfortunately, this was the morning we had to head home.
What about you, have you ever photographed a moose? Tell me about your experience in the comments section. I'd love to hear about your adventure!
Keywords: Colorado, Moose, Rocky Mountains, State Forest State Park, United States, Wildlife, animals, bull, cow, nature, rainy day, wildflowers
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