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Thread: The Moose Rut is On

  1. #1

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    The Moose Rut is On

    I went up into the mountain pass above home this morning to check out the moose. As it should be, the rut was on. Quickly located a bull with a really wide though not massive set of antlers. He had a couple of cows hanging around. All of them waiting for the mood to strike them. I had the opportunity to watch the bull create a wallow. They paw out a shallow depression in the ground then pee in it. Copious volume enough to basically make a puddle. Then the splash around in it with their feet and antlers and finally lay down in it. Then the cows come over and do the same. Some biologist theorize that pheromones in the bulls urine bring on estrous in the cow.

    It is really interesting being around when this type of activity is going on. The moose can be extremely active and one typically has to shift shooting location several times, sometimes in quite a hurry

    All shot with D4, 200-400mm VR, tripod

    Here's a shot of the bull that really shows the breadth of his rack. This was immediately prior to one of those times that I had to move my gear...

    The Moose Rut is On

    And here's the cow laying in the bull's wallow.

    The Moose Rut is On

    And a bit closer, she was very patient. By this time the bull was also taking a nap. Which is why I was shooting the cow.

    The Moose Rut is On

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Superb, Dan. Educational as well as artistic.

  3. #3

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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Superb, Dan. Educational as well as artistic.
    Ditto from me. Love the last image.

  4. #4
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Fascinating stuff, thanks

  5. #5
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Beautiful images as always... I adore them all but #2 is my favourite, it seems extra special to me with the moose peeking at me through the blurred grass.

  6. #6

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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Glad you guys enjoyed the post. I was going to head back up there this morning but we got our first snow of the year today. Which wouldn't have been bad but it was accompanied by a bit of wind. So I wimped out.

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Very nice series.

  8. #8
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Terrific photos, Dan.

    BTW, I know a few humans who behave similarly!

  9. #9
    GeorgeM's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Yes, a very nice series!
    A rutting moose can be quite dangerous, no?

  10. #10

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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Great series Dan. How long is the rut?

  11. #11

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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Thanks for commenting, folks. Yes both the bulls and cows can be dangerous. Sometimes they will walk right up to you and people mistakenly think that if they are the ones doing the approaching that it's OK. Not so. Too close is too close. You never know what the limits are to trigger their defensive response and if you are close with nothing to hide behind you're in big trouble.

    The rut lasts three or four weeks with the heaviest activity in the last two weeks of September.

  12. #12
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    As always good work Dan. Magnificent animals.

  13. #13

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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    With animals that big and the unpredictable nature of animals... there is no shame in using a bigger lens and staying back some

  14. #14
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: The Moose Rut is On

    Dan, as usual I really enjoyed the photos and writing. Educational, exciting, and great photos. Thanks for sharing. You are a brave man getting so close to these beasts while they "do their thing"

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