Moose Safari Fun! - Moosehead Lake, Maine

I've been wanting to see a real Moose for a long time, and this unusually hot and sunny Columbus Day Weekend was the perfect time to visit the Moosehead Lake region of Maine for some Moosey goodness.

So above the Momma moose (moose #1) emerged from the side of the road and hung out for a few minutes, waiting for her baby (#2) to arrive.  There's also the sign we passed which had a built-in sensor and would light up as we drove by, warning us about moose crashes!

Above this young male moose (3) and his Mommy (4) are returning to the road after a scare from a car horn. In the right photo, you can see the baby moose (2) from my first photos crossing the road to join his Momma. These are winding roads and this was very early in the morning, just at dawn, so the lighting was not ideal for either photography nor driving with moose :) I really have to fiddle with my camera settings to find out the ideal way to photograph wildlife at dawn!

Above you can see Momma Moose 4 and Baby Moose 3 taking turns at a roadside stream. Moose also like to lick salt off the road, and this is what keeps them in front of cars during the dawn and dusk hours. Their bodies need it for energy.

Cute baby moose 3 is munching away! I'm really thrilled we got to see these guys in their natural environment. Some people travel to this remote region just to see moose and never do. Part of me wanted to put down the camera and just watch, but I knew I had to try and get some photos since I had driven 7 hours to get here!

This part of Maine really has a sense of humor about their beloved Moose neighbors. After tourist season is over, moose outnumber the folks here 3 to 1.  Top, a winged "Pegamoose" is visible from the main road in Rockwood, Maine; middle, the imposing shadow of a Bull moose from a statue at a rest stop;  bottom, a moose chases Santa up a mailbox.

And here I am, posing next to another moose advertising the moose safari we went on!

Maybe you want to go on a Moose Safari, too? Some suggestions we learned along the way!:
  • Moose are most often active in the summer and you will mostly seen female moose (cows) with their young. Babies are born in late Spring and the adorable young moose are viewable in June and July with their Moms. They spend a year with Mom before going out on their own.
  • Bull Moose (males) have a thick, soft velvet on their antlers that falls off in the early Autumn, so many photographers seek them out during this time because their antlers are most elegant. However, male moose are more elusive, and rightfully so, because they are hunted.
  • It's best to seek out a group to go with, because locals and trained wilderness guides know the "moose hangouts" and even know some of the moose by name! We chose the Northeast Guide Service, who are wonderful and convenient to the Moosehead Lake region. Our guide, Jessica, was respectful of and very knowledgeable about the moose.  In fact, she runs a cool blog where she writes and shares photos from their Moose Safaris!
It seems that every town has a "theme". This is my favorite sign though- it has a moose and a loon!

Moosehead Lake and its southern hub, Greenville, is a great place to start your Moose journey. There's a lot to do here including boating of all kinds, hiking, a historical plane crash site, birding, whitewater rafting of all class levels, swimming, camping, a museum, a tourboat, seaplane rides, fishing, and excellent shops and antiquing. The foliage in fall is awesome, but we plan on going back sometime in early summer for Maximum Moose! (a tip from Jessica.)   And a wonderful bonus is that everyone here is super friendly! :)


Anne said...

as always, really great photos!

Melissa said...

Great job Mary, moose are such awesome animals!

Lynda said...

I've never seen a real moose! That's so awesome you got to see them and take photos! They're really beautiful.

Kathleen said...

What an amazing safari -- I love your photo essay !

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for sharing. We are so glad that you had a great time on your Maine moose watching tour with us! You are right, getting up early to be on the roads at 6 am can be a challenge, but we did amazing that morning with all of our moose sightings! It's nice that you noticed that we really like what we do and it shows! Moose tours are such a great way to see wildlife, watch moose in their natural habitat and enjoy the beautiful scenery. We are glad you enjoyed the morning with Northeast Guide Service. Great job capturing the morning in your photos. Stop by in the spring or join me on another Maine moose safari!

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