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Dan Ng | profile | all galleries >> Just Moose tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Just Moose

I was truely fortunate to have worked in the Grand Teton National Park last summer. Along with it's neighbor to the north, Yellowstone, the area is renowned for thermal features, mountains, canyons, lakes, and of course, wildlife. Although Yellowstone is a premier park for viewing wildlife, one animal has uniquely identified itself with Grand Teton...the moose. Perhaps no other animal has captured my affection, imagination and photographic pursuits than the moose.

Moose are the largest members of the deer family, standing 6-7 feet at the shoulders and weighing up to 1,600 pounds. Their large size attracts our attention and easily fills the frame of the camera. They are creatures of the northern woods and lakes...cold and snow. They are found in Alaska, Canada, New England, the northern Midwest and the Rocky Mountains. Since they are solitary and do not form herds, moose are not readily seen. For many people, seeing a moose in the wild is a rare treat.

Moose photography can be challenging: they tend to be most active when the light is at its worse. They alternate between periods of feeding or mating with periods of rest or sleep. Their habitat is varied: dense woods, thick brush, open meadows, rivers and lakes. Often there are tree branches, shrubs or rocks obstructing your field of view. Although moose have poor eyesight, they possess excellent hearing and sense of smell. These seemingly gentle giants command the greatest respect; cows with young and bulls during the rutting season can be protective and aggressive. But with some knowledge of moose behavior, willingness to endure cold and wet weather, lots of patience, and a little bit of luck, you will be rewarded with wonderful opportunities at photographing this magnificent mammal.

During my four months in Grand Tetons, I have spent many hours watching and photographing moose. Since their range is small, they can generally be found in the same location. To distinguish the bulls apart, I decided to name them...each easily identifiable by the unique shape of their antlers. Gus was the largest of the bulls who had a habit of dangling out his tongue. Willy was the young inexperienced bull who tried in vain to romance a cow. Then there's Bubba, an old bull in decline with stunted antlers. Sitka was the athletic jumping moose with asymmetric antlers. Monte was a mature bull with an injured right eye. Finally there's Buddy, who was the friendly and photogenic moose. It was a rare chance to watch these beautiful animals from the summer to the fall, when they shed the velvet from their antlers and begin to mate.

When the bulls drop their antlers in the winter, they will be unrecognizable. I can only hope most of them survive the long winter and perhaps see them again in a future visit. I will continue to add more images from my files. I hope you enjoy this gallery and meeting some of my moose friends.
Gus Standing in Willows
Gus Standing in Willows
Buddy Dining on Aspen Leaves
Buddy Dining on Aspen Leaves
Bubba in Aspen Grove
Bubba in Aspen Grove
Cow Moose Feeding on Aquatic Plants
Cow Moose Feeding on Aquatic Plants
Willy Tests the Air for a Female's Scent
Willy Tests the Air for a Female's Scent
Sitka Quietly Walking
Sitka Quietly Walking
Cow Moose Behind Willows
Cow Moose Behind Willows
Alert Calf
Alert Calf
Buddy Looks Down at  Photographers
Buddy Looks Down at Photographers
Monte Finds a Mate at Oxbow Bend
Monte Finds a Mate at Oxbow Bend
Bubba's Stunted Antlers
Bubba's Stunted Antlers
Bull Moose Resting in Willow Thicket
Bull Moose Resting in Willow Thicket
Young Willy's Small Antlers and Dewlap (Bell)
Young Willy's Small Antlers and Dewlap (Bell)
Moosespray - A Cow Dries Off
Moosespray - A Cow Dries Off
Hungry Calf Runs to Mom
Hungry Calf Runs to Mom
Gus Scratching with Antler
Gus Scratching with Antler
Sitka Easily Clears a Three Foot  Fence
Sitka Easily Clears a Three Foot Fence
Buddy Resting in a Grassy Meadow
Buddy Resting in a Grassy Meadow
Bubba in Backlight
Bubba in Backlight
Buddy in Velvet
Buddy in Velvet
Cow Moose Browsing
Cow Moose Browsing
Cow Moose in Snow
Cow Moose in Snow
Autumn Bugs Hover Over Monte
Autumn Bugs Hover Over Monte
Cow Moose Standing
Cow Moose Standing
Gus Close-up
Gus Close-up
Suppertime at Oxbow Bend
Suppertime at Oxbow Bend
Moose Calf
Moose Calf
Snowy Mountain Moose
Snowy Mountain Moose
Cow and Calf Walking Together
Cow and Calf Walking Together
No Problem...Voila!
No Problem...Voila!
Sitka's Flehman
Sitka's Flehman
Willy's Eyeing this Cow
Willy's Eyeing this Cow
Buddy in Profile
Buddy in Profile
Portrait of Betty
Portrait of Betty
Monte Pursues a Hard-to-Get Cow
Monte Pursues a "Hard-to-Get" Cow
Gus Snoozing
Gus Snoozing
Cow Moose on a Wet Morning
Cow Moose on a Wet Morning
Monte in Profile
Monte in Profile
Sitka's Extra Long Dewlap
Sitka's Extra Long Dewlap
Moose Spray
Moose Spray
Moose Calf Looking Back at Mom
Moose Calf Looking Back at Mom
Buddy in Grass
Buddy in Grass
Cow and Calf Sharing Lunch
Cow and Calf Sharing Lunch
The Grand Teton and Gus
The Grand Teton and Gus
Cow and Calf Try to Stay Warm
Cow and Calf Try to Stay Warm
Gus' Flehman
Gus' Flehman
Willy Watching Photographers
Willy Watching Photographers
Watchful Moose
Watchful Moose
Gus Hidden in Willows
Gus Hidden in Willows
Bubba Looking Back
Bubba Looking Back
Moose Calf Reaching Over to His Back
Moose Calf Reaching Over to His Back
Monte Basks in the Late Afternoon Sun
Monte Basks in the Late Afternoon Sun
Cow Moose and Mt. Moran
Cow Moose and Mt. Moran
Gus Resting at Sunset
Gus Resting at Sunset
Moosedrip and Ripples
Moosedrip and Ripples
Cow Moose with Gus
Cow Moose with Gus
Calf Resting on Frosty Grass
Calf Resting on Frosty Grass
Buddy's Flehman
Buddy's Flehman
A Happy-Looking Gus Soakin' in Some Rays
A Happy-Looking Gus Soakin' in Some Rays
Bull Scratching Against a Small Aspen
Bull Scratching Against a Small Aspen
Buddy Up Close
Buddy Up Close
Frosty Calf
Frosty Calf
Cow Moose Browsing
Cow Moose Browsing
Last Remnants of Gus' Antler Velvet
Last Remnants of Gus' Antler Velvet
Large Calf
Large Calf
Buddy Reaches Up for Aspen Leaves
Buddy Reaches Up for Aspen Leaves
Moose Drip Up Close
Moose Drip Up Close
Cow Looking for Willow Leaves
Cow Looking for Willow Leaves
Big Gus on a Cold Frosty Morning
Big Gus on a Cold Frosty Morning
Cow and Calf at Oxbow Bend
Cow and Calf at Oxbow Bend
Cow Feeding During Snow
Cow Feeding During Snow
Willy Smiles for the Camera
Willy Smiles for the Camera
Curious Calf
Curious Calf
More Moose Drool
More Moose Drool
Buddy in the Woods
Buddy in the Woods
Cow Moose Looking Up
Cow Moose Looking Up
Buddy Wades in the Snake River
Buddy Wades in the Snake River
Cow and Calf in Unison
Cow and Calf in Unison
Sitka Browses
Sitka Browses
Walking Calf Moose
Walking Calf Moose
Buddy Wearing Aspen Leaves
Buddy Wearing Aspen Leaves
Gus' Dewlap
Gus' Dewlap
Calf Feeding on Lodgepole Pine
Calf Feeding on Lodgepole Pine
Buddy Checks Out the Aspens for Breakfast
Buddy Checks Out the Aspens for Breakfast
Cow Shakes Off Water
Cow Shakes Off Water
Gus Protects His Eye while Rubbing  Antlers in Brush
Gus Protects His Eye while Rubbing Antlers in Brush
Cow Moose Profile
Cow Moose Profile
Buddy's Eye
Buddy's Eye
Cow and Calf Browsing
Cow and Calf Browsing
Buddy Browsing
Buddy Browsing
Little Moose Muncher
Little Moose Muncher
Buddy the Moose Gets a Grip on Some Aspens
Buddy the Moose Gets a Grip on Some Aspens
Gus Yawns
Gus Yawns
Buddy Swims in the Oxbow
Buddy Swims in the Oxbow
Cow Moose with Tracking Collar
Cow Moose with Tracking Collar
Yawning Cow
Yawning Cow
Gus in Golden Light
Gus in Golden Light
Cow with Willows
Cow with Willows
A Cow Moose Snoozes
A Cow Moose Snoozes
Buddy in Velvet
Buddy in Velvet
Bull Moose in Field
Bull Moose in Field
Bubba in the Willows
Bubba in the Willows
Collared Cow Swimming in the Oxbow
Collared Cow Swimming in the Oxbow
Gus Lifts His Head
Gus Lifts His Head
Portrait of Gus
Portrait of Gus
Calf and Cow in Snow
Calf and Cow in Snow
Buddy With Dangling Tongue
Buddy With Dangling Tongue
Bubba Looking Tired
Bubba Looking Tired
Gus...Monarch of the Forest
Gus...Monarch of the Forest
Gus at Sunset
Gus at Sunset
Monte Resting
Monte Resting
Gus on the Move
Gus on the Move
Calf in the Snow
Calf in the Snow
Cow Moose and Calf Wading
Cow Moose and Calf Wading
Buddy Takes a Morning Break
Buddy Takes a Morning Break
Gus Head-on
Gus Head-on