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Monday, October 07, 2013

October Moose Memory







This morning I read Jill's post about her moose encounter. Since then, I've been thinking about a moose meeting of my own. The photo above has nothing to do with my story, but looks kind of fall-ish, don't you think?

On a very early morning in October, in the first year of our marriage, I went out hunting with Tim. He usually hunted with his brother, Ron, but this time, the two of them brought their wives. We planned to divide any resulting moose meat between us.

We left town while it was still dark, arriving at Willow River at dawn. Tim's grandparents had had a farm in the area, and Tim and his siblings spent several summers there, so he knew the area well. Ron and Donna went one direction and Tim and I another, agreeing to meet at a certain spot later. Tim and I headed down an old corduroy road across Sam's field. Beavers had taken over the abandoned field and created a very boggy environment, just the sort of place that moose love. 

Ethereal clouds of mist rose from the field. My nose felt the chill of frost. We walked as softly as possible, not talking. The fog-softened shape of an old barn formed in the near distance. Suddenly, as if by the most wonderful magic ever, a moose materialized. Leggy and elegant, she stepped through the marshy field, her long nose upright as she looked about. Slowly, gracefully, she passed in front of us. We held our breath, not wanting to disturb the magic. It was like a scene from Narnia. 

No, we didn't shoot the moose - it wasn't cow season. And we were both glad. It's been over 35 years since that October morning, but it's a scene we've talked about many times. Tim and his brother got a moose to fill the freezer on a later trip, without their wives.

That's my October Moose Memory. Do you have a moose or other wildlife story? 

   

20 comments:

  1. Oh I bet you wish you had your camera with you that day. It sounds like a beautiful scene. We live on a high ridge with no swamps around us but once in a while a moose will find it's way from the valley and run around up here. One morning about 3 years ago I looked out the kitchen window and thought I saw a cow going down our neighbour's driveway. We live in farm country so that happens now and then. I ran to the front window and saw that the cow was a cow moose! I grabbed my camera and got 3 shots off before she ran across the road looking for a swamp to play in. We've also had 2 moose run along the highway beside us one time, and my husband sees them a lot when on the road for work. Now that is scary! Thankfully a lot of our main highways have 'moose fencing' in the areas where they are known to roam but they also manage to escape these areas and people end up hitting them, often killing someone in the car and the moose too. A local man was killed 2 years ago when his car hit a moose in the dark. You just can't see them. They are such dangerous animals.

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  2. Yes, a camera would have been a wonderful way to shoot. My sister and I seem to have the moose stories. Close encounters while driving with a kid-filled van. It starts with noticing a "funny-looking" horse running in the ditch alongside our vehicle. It never gives me a good feeling.

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    1. Oh Vee! Now you must tell us that story on your blog!

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  3. No moose stories here, but your story is beautiful.

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  4. Nice moose story! So far my moose encounters have been pretty relaxed. I've heard moose meets car stories and it chills me. My cousin's description of a moose injured on the freeway, thrashing and screaming and blood everywhere...I don't know if I would ever recover from such a scene.

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  5. I have a story for you. Many years ago, I taught in Saskatchewan and made several drives between there and Ontario. On one journey, a girlfriend came along to keep me company. I remember a shadowy evening in northern Ontario; she was driving and I asked her to gently veer to the left. She wanted to know why, and then I told her that two female moose were walking on the shoulder of the road, just a little ahead of us. It was quite a sight.

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  6. I have an elk story - not a hunting one though. There are large herds of Roosevelt Elk in northern California - in the fields and redwoods. By northern I am talking 150 miles north of San Francisco, for those that think SF is at the top of California :-). We were driving a VW Bug and as we came down the exit off the freeway to enter the redwoods and have a leisurely drive, a large herd of elk came UP the exit - now you don't argue with an elk - they are MUCH taller than a VW Bug so we sat as quietly as possible so that we wouldn't spook them - they could have done some serious damage, not only with their antlers, but also with their hooves - to our little car - and to us. They didn't seem perturbed, and ambled slowly up the exit and onto the freeway and across to the other side.

    It would have been less dangerous for them to take the side road that we were headed for - it went under the freeway and had less cars, but this must have been their traditional route. It was amazing to sit and watch as they grazed their way up the exit and on out of sight. I think we finally began to breathe again once they had all passed. This was long before digital cameras and I didn't even have my camera with us that day - it would have made a great photo of all those tall legs passing our car windows.

    I loved your story about the moose walking out of the mists.

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  7. Wow, I've never seen a moose in the wild, but they are so large, and impressive...what a moment that was for you.

    I'm more then a little glad that it wasn't cow season.

    Jen

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  8. What a beautiful memory! I don't have a moose story! I do live amongst a bunch of beautiful, sweet deer tho! They fascinate me almost daily! And...yes...it's a great fall picture in your post!

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  9. That's a great description of your memory. Hmm no moose stories here. Growing up in Southern California that most wild thing we encountered were opossum. Our son just bagged his first elk with a bow and arrow a couple weeks ago. I'm glad our kids have Northwest experiences to remember and not just Southern California ones...

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  10. My moose stories are all of the seen-from-afar variety. A cousin of mine, though, had a terrible and fatal meeting with a moose on a northern Ontario road. They are enormous animals!

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  11. When we went to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont several years ago, I so wanted to see a moose, but alas, we only saw a metal one.

    Your sighting sounds beautiful!

    Deanna

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  12. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska so I have many great moose memories. One in particular was when in the early 90's a young one walked onto my back deck to take a nap in the middle of winter. Poor thing had just lost his mom, I'm afraid. But that sweetie sunning himself on my porch brought out the camera and lots of joy.

    To this day when I return to Alaska for a visit my eyes are always searching for a Moose. Just last month I was happy to see a Mom and two young ones on my brother's street. I love your recollection; thanks for sharing.

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  13. I remember the first and only time I saw a moose, wandering happily down Main St in Smithers. He had been featured in the local news as he was eating his way through the Tulips around the local Library!

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  14. OH I can almost imagine your moose in the mist! They are magnificent creatures. I haven't had a moose encounter but posted a few years ago about the elk that suddenly came walking across the road. No one had seen an elk in these parts that we talked to.

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  15. I've only seen a moose from a distance but have nearly been taken out by a deer that crossed right in front of my car at dusk, narrowly missing me. I wouldn't want to tangle with either animal, they can write off a car easily, although with a moose I'm sure it would be fatal.

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  16. What a wonderful story. No moose over here but I'm the same as Lavender Cottage and 'nudged' a stag that run out in front of my car. It was huge. I wasn't going fast and saw it in time to stop so it was just a tap. It stopped and looked at me through the windscreen as though to say 'how very dare you!' and then trotted away. So glad it was ok. xx

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  17. I do not have a moose memory... other than, growing up - my girlfriend's dad was a moose hunter and he had mooseheads hung on the rec room walls. When she married, her hubby got into it too and they had one on their wall. My little girl did not appreicate that room too much.
    I like your story. It has a good ending.

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  18. I bet that was a magical moment! They are such interesting creatures. I walked up to a moose when I was in college and visiting Yellowstone. Crazy, I know. It continued to graze and didn't pay much attention to me. Of course, it knew I was there. I was probably 10-15 feet away from it. I would never do something like that now!

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