Injured Moose

I went out skiing with my camera gear earlier today, hoping to catch a colorful morning sky. On they way to my favorite location, I came upon a cow moose browsing next to the trail. Not wanting to startle her by passing by closely or risk being charged, I skied into the trees and made a wide arc, coming back out further up the trail where I could get some photos of her. A few minutes later, another moose stepped out onto the trail and joined her. I could see that they wanted to walk the trail past me, so I stepped behind a stand of trees, allowing them to pass by safely. After they walked past, I noticed the first moose had an injured hind leg. There wasn’t an open wound but the leg was obviously deformed, probably from an injury that she acquired long ago, possibly caused by a bear. She was limping along and I can only imagine that traveling through deep snow must be very challenging for her. The experience served as a reminder that humans need to give wildlife ample space to go about their routine, for our safety and theirs. If the moose had been frightened and run off into the woods to avoid me, she would have exerted a lot of energy, a situation that could prove fatal in the dead of winter. As a wildlife photographer, the welfare of your subject should always be the top priority.