Mom Moose & Her Calf

I had seen her late afternoon the day before this photo was taken. She was a long distance away, too far to get a decent photo of her. However, as I watched through my binoculars, I thought she looked a bit stressed.

They normaly have their calves this time of the year so I thought this might be the day. It was late and the sun was going down so I left with the thought that even though I was going to Yellowstone the next day I’d be back late afternoon to look for her.

Well, after searching for about a half hour, I found her laying as you see her above. But, look at who else showed up!

It must have been just a few hours old. It would try to stand then fall. In a short time, it was standing on wobbly legs.

After a while, it was looking for nourishment. It nursed several times while trying to figure out how to work those legs. The image below is the one I like best.

It was getting late and the light was starting to fade so, soon after this shot, I left for the night. I hoped to see them in better light the next day.

The next morning, I searched for them for more than an hour. They had been across the Gros Ventre river but I just couldn’t spot them in the same area. I went up and down, back and forth along a half mile stretch of the river with no luck. I said to myself, they must have left but I’d try one more time. That’s when I saw an ear twitch. They were bedded down. I got my camera gear and just waited and watched.

A lot of people saw I had my camera gear. They’d stop and ask what I was photographing. I told them I was waiting for a bedded down moose to get up. Very few stayed. Many people just don’t have the patience.

Well, my patience really payed off!

Look who started to explore its world, on somewhat more steady legs.

Of course, mom was always close by. By the way, she looks so shabby because she’s starting to loose her thick winter coat. In a few weeks, she’ll look just fine.

After a while, the little one decided to explore close to the river. The current was very strong. I was concerned. Should it fell in, the current might carry it away.

This may be its first drink of water. It didn’t fall in and all was well for a while. I stayed for about an hour happily taking photos when I would spot them clear of the brush. Then the little one decided to explore towards the river again. And, OH NO!

Don’t go in!

It was heartbreaking to watch as it struggled.

But it finially got a foothold……

And made it out!

Everyone seems relieved now…. Whew!

Time to leave the river. Of course, I was relieved that it all turned out well but it goes to show that even a day old moose is a very tough critter.

I didn’t get to see them after this because the next day I was on my way to Idaho with hopes to see and photograph a golden eagle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this adventure as much as I.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bill