Eyeball to eyeball. One time only. Three! A bull! And, a mama and her baby! Once and only once. I was headed out of the park. Defeated! No moose that day. Two cars were pulled off by the side of the road. I stopped and wandered into the woods….

A large bull moose was grazing calmly. I sidled up to the man and his wife to shoot the moose too! Another photographer, obviously amateur, was sidling down the hill toward the moose. He had the grin of ignorance and was probably gonna be killed by the startled bull. Drat and damn! I never thought to take his picture before he was (potentially) killed. I planned my exit strategy if the bull charged. The man next to me replied, “No, worry about the big boy. Ya gotta worry about the two behind us.” What! …. A mama and her baby. Great!

I shifted position to where the woman was shooting this pair. She had a Nikon too and I graciously loaned her my big telephoto. After I mounted the lens on her camera she asked me how to use it. It was then I discovered she was a novice and had only just arrived in Maine ready to start a moose photography expedition. Oh boy! I’ve been looking for moose in the wild for years….!!! Dammit! Fine! I shot away long after this group left. No one was injured, especially the moose. I knew that I could be of no threat to any moose. They must have understood as they calmly munched on the leaves and ignored me.

Years later I showed these shots during a medical lecture. Afterward someone asked in awe, “What did you shoot it with?” He meant what gun had I used to “shoot?” Really?! Oh my, the misunderstanding of the term, “shoot.”

The object?: Get a shot. Close up. Antics or behavior? Not necessary. It was a privilege just to get a shot in the wild. I shall be forever grateful I was there on that day. Any shot would have done. I preferred my camera over a gun.

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