This is the same bull, now letting us see his full antlers. They're pretty big for around here.
He was busy eating the aspen trees and seemed to ignore us although his ears might have been monitoring us.
He stuck out his tongue as he processed the aspen twigs. Then, I finally convinced Shyla that it was okay to circle them and go on our way.
We rode for a little while, and then Shyla planted her butt in the middle of the trail - her moose alert signal. Again, she refused to move so I looked around for a moose. It's amazing how hard it is to spot such huge animals. Indeed, I spotted a group of at least four moose! As usual, most of them weren't clearly visible but here was one bull.
In the next frame, it appeared that a calf passed by him. The odd thing was that I never saw a cow moose in this group. Perhaps she was out of sight.
It looked as if the calf bumped an aspen tree as s/he moved past, releasing a shower of snow onto the bull moose. Typical teenager move!
Then, another couple of moose came into view. It looked like a bigger bull moose in the foreground and a younger one behind him.
With all these moose in a small area, I started to wonder if they were having a family reunion or some sort of party!
Part of the reason why we see so many moose in the forest in the winter is that their favorite feasting site, the bottom of a pond, is inaccessible. I was lucky enough to be able to put trail cams by a pond last autumn, and they are still there today. It's amazing how much the animal activity has gone down in the winter compared to autumn!
The biggest reason is probably that the ponds freeze, cutting off access to the moose's staple - plants growing from the bottom of a pond. Also, the pond ice is treacherous - it can break, sending an animal plunging into ice cold water.
Today's video shows some moose at ponds and shows an elk falling through the ice but managing to save herself.
Enjoy the video!