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Photo Peter Gray

How I Got That Shot: Velvet Moose

Text & Photography By Peter Gray

I have always enjoyed the quiet times in nature. On this particular June day, I was fishing and photographing from a canoe with my brother on a waterway in Coos County, New Hampshire. We were paddling back to our put-in spot after a fantastic evening of brook trout fishing. It was almost dark, and the journey back was silent, save for the cacophony of spring peepers and the dipping of our paddle blades.

As we rounded a bend in the river, we were confronted by the dark, imposing hulk of a bull moose foraging on aquatic vegetation. Despite the extreme low light, I was able to capture multiple frames of this magnificent animal as we drifted to within 120 feet of its position. He seemed to pay us little mind, and continued to feed, water dripping from his velvet-covered antlers.

After several minutes, the massive animal emerged from the water and ambled off into the trees. An experience I will never forget!

I’m so glad my brother was with me to experience this amazing encounter. Although we took photos and video, the internal exhilaration of the memory cannot be explained. The experience outweighs the pictures by far!


Note: Moose may appear docile and calm, but don’t take that for granted or let your awareness diminish. These massive animals can charge in an instant and are incredibly fast in the water and on land.



Camera: Canon 90D

Lens: Canon 100-400mm

Shutter Speed: 125

ISO: 4000

Aperture: F5.6



To view more of Peter Gray’s work, visit petergrayoutdoors.com. You can also follow him at Peter Gray Outdoors on FB and Messenger. Or reach him directly at petergray@petergrayoutdoors.com

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