Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mother moose and her calves

Yesterday was an exciting day of mountain biking. First, we saw the rainbow that I featured yesterday. Then, I dropped Shyla off at home and headed out to ride a little more. At the very start of that ride, I stopped to admire the deep blue sky over the snowy mountains.

Then, I did a fast descent. I was in the zone, totally focused on my riding, when I heard the sound of thundering hooves. I looked up - and this was what I saw!

It was a mother moose and two calves! My heart skipped a beat when the cow moose looked straight at me. She was uphill of me so I would've been in big trouble if she'd charged like other mother moose have done in the past.

But then she turned her head away from me so I knew that I had a moment or two of safety.

I rode up the trail, fully planning to leave. And then I realized that my friend Vickie would never forgive me if I just left without getting at least one photo with my real camera. I got the camera complete set up, slung it around my neck, and tentatively pedaled slowly back toward the trio.

While I'd been up the trail debating whether to sneak another peak at them, the mother moose had moved off behind her calves. I loved seeing the two youngsters watching me carefully. Meanwhile, mom was busy eating an aspen sapling.
If you look really closely, you can see that the right calf has antler buds so he's a boy. The left calf doesn't have buds so she's a girl. These two were probably born in May or June. They'll stay with their mother until next May or June when she gives birth again. My reading tells me that it can be extremely tough for a mother to find enough food for two calves over the winter so it's possible that only one of these will survive. I hope that my cams can catch enough photos of them for us to know how they're doing!

Taking that photo took about 10 seconds, and then I departed. I've learned the hard way that a mother moose can appear to be unconcerned one second and then turn into raging maniac the next second.

I was really glad that I'd had my fun with the dogs earlier, in an area where there weren't moose in our path!
Alas, it is hunting season so we did have to stay out of the way of rifles. The Duo was sporting their orange and I was wearing mine. We are a blinding group during hunting season.

Living in the midst of such amazing wildlife is wonderful. It can be scary at times but I accept that as the price for living in a wonderful place. It also is really sad to me when I hear the boom of a rifle during hunting season. I'm sitting on the deck right now, and we heard a boom close enough that both dogs started barking. My heart sank, knowing what had just happened.

Here's to our wildlife. What a hard life they live.


  1. Miss Vickie will be real happy to see the moose. I wear the bright colors this time of year too.

  2. OK, I cant stop grinning. I would feel guilty that you took such a chance, but I have come to believe that your daily living is "as chancy as it gets". and I am so very envious. I have had a horrible 10 days because I haven't gone up in the mountains at all. As you said, each time I hear the boom and know what is happening, I cringe and my heart breaks. I also think about how hard the winters are for the young ones and boom, my heart breaks again. But then I try to think of all the beauty and the sweet precious lives that bring me such joy and I am great ful for each and every day that I can share with them. Working two jobs tomorrow but I am so looking forward to a mountain experience on Tuesday. Just want you to know that I treasure your posts when I cant get up there.......whew this was long.....

  3. Well, your 10 seconds of photography produced some awesome photos!!! Stay safe with those hunters out there.

  4. I am glad you didn't have the dogs when you saw the moose too. I think it allowed you to enjoy them more, even if only for a flash!

  5. I can honestly say I would not have done that. Not even if I was sure of getting the great image you captured.
    On the other hand, I am embarrassed to admit that more than once I have been in the woods during hunting season and suddenly realized that while Piper is wearing her orange "vest," I have forgotten to put on my own.

  6. If people actually eat what they hunt, at least it isn't as bad as trophy hunting. I don't think I could ever shoot an animal unless I was truly faced with starvation. I also don't think I could be out in the woods with lots of hunters out and about. Too risky for me! But then that momma moose was a big risk too!

  7. What an awesome experience, scary, wonderful, and exciting all wrapped up in those moments. Super photos, and so glad you came home safely.

  8. What beautiful animals. We live in an area that allows hunting too and hate hearing any guns go off around us.

  9. Look at those huge ears on the moose twins! We hear guns going off from the hunters too and we don't like it either.

  10. Bravo that are super photos... and it's so great to see this special moments via your blog! Happy Howl-o-ween!

  11. The moose are great. She is so focused on food right now, that's her main concern. What I learned in Wyoming is that they mate every two years. Mom will run the calf off in their second year so she can mate. And I hear you about hunting season. Deer season in Utah is an "event". It lasts 10 days, and thankfully ended yesterday. Same as you, I hear those shots and my heart hurts. And you know we are in redneck land when I looked out the window the other day, and saw a 4 wheeler going down the road with a deer strapped to the front. Awful.

  12. Oh what beautiful photos of the moose calves. Are they targets for the current hunters?
    I can't imagine listening to gunshots and knowing the wildlife I see daily are dying. How sad and how draining that must be. Be careful, I have a low opinion generally of hunters based on our area, tho I know many are conservationists and responsible people. As always it's the irresponsible yahoos who make it ugly for everyone.

  13. I hope they did not harm those beautiful babies.. or their mom... you are very brave, love the photos..

  14. You got some wonderful photos!
    MR Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  15. So awesome seeing those moose in the wild. We saw some big things like that in the Grand Canyon
    Lily & Edward


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!