After an amazing canoe camping trip in the Adirondacks I wove my way across Vermont to the Northeast Kingdom to meet up with a friend. Our goal for the next several days would be to photograph moose in the wild.
It’s Sunday morning and Ian’s truck is loaded with beer, food and lots of camera gear with our sights set on the small New England town of Errol, New Hampshire. Here we would establish our base camp for the next several days. And let me just say they “Literally” roll up the sidewalks in Errol promptly at 7PM.
We arrived Errol on Sunday September 27th around lunch time. Grabbed a bite to eat at the local “Hawg Trawf” BBQ and beer joint before checking into our motel. Once we were at the motel the owner informed me that we would be staying in the New England Patriots themed room. I immediately was deflated and thought, great a New York Jets fan suffering for days under a Patriots decor. For a brief moment I thought that I might have to seek grief counseling upon my return home. Thankfully we spent little time in the room.
With abundant sunlight we set out to explore the area. We were looking for prime areas we thought moose would want to feed at. There are miles and miles of logging roads to traverse, countless swamps and ponds dotting the landscape setting the scene for what we had hoped would be some great moose viewing. During our expedition we found an intricate logging road system just over the border near Magalloway, Maine. We spent the last several hours of daylight driving these roads trying not to get stuck. On one of these dirt roads we noticed a grove of small trees moving violently and sure enough our first moose was just off in the brush. Sadly we were not able to photograph it as it made its way quickly back into the woods. Unfortunately for the rest of the day we did not see another moose. On our way back we briefly paused on the shores of Umbagog Lake to catch the sunset. Hurrying back to Errol with the hopes of making a quick stop at the “Hawg Trawf” for take out before they closed. Score!, we made it just in time as they were seeing up but still made us food. Relaxing at the motel, sitting out in front chatting with the biker dudes enjoying several Lake Placid Brewing UBU Ale’s and Sierra Nevada October Fest we would be treated to a lunar eclipse that evening capping a great day.
Monday would prove to be our best day as we drove along the road we noticed tracks in the dirt. A few hundred feet later we notice some scat. Cresting a small hill in the road off to the left stood munching away on some vegetation was a rather large Bull moose. I’ll tell you he was not thrilled with our presence and slowly began to move up on the ridge and out of sight.
Shortly after spotting this moose we were driving the never ending logging roads and just as we past an intersection I caught a glimpse of a Cow moose standing in the middle of the road. We came to a quick halt, backed up just as she made off into the brush. We sat quietly in the hopes she would come back out, with no luck we decided to make our way down this side road we were currently on. Slowly climbing up and over hills around many curves where the forest had been stripped of trees. We began to crest another hill and standing right in the road was another bull moose, smaller in size than the first one but his coloring was awesome. Again he didn’t stay around to long either but we were able to get a few quick photos. Backing up out of sight we again sat quietly with the hope he would return. After about 30 minutes Ian thought I should get out and walk around looking for this moose. I was like NO WAY, its rutting season. I know I can run fast but not that fast! I would eventually caved to the peer pressure and made my way cautiously down the road about a half mile looking for something to put between me and a Bull moose in case he decided to charge. As luck would have it he was know where to be seen and I wouldn’t have to try and out run a moose.
This would end our moose sighting for the day and the rest of the week. However we did notice evidence of two other moose and what we believe were two Bull moose fighting over a Cow. We explored northern New England in search of more moose, spending time on the logging and back roads of New Hampshire near Errol, Dixville Notch, Colebrook and North Stratford. Drove up to the Rangley Lakes region of Maine and scoured the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It was a fun trip and I look forward to returning in the future.