We've often heard that moose are most active in the early morning or late in the day, around dusk, and are usually near a natural water source.

Every year, we travel a few hours away to areas that are known for significant moose populations. We choose the “right” time, and “best” spots. We stay on a road or trail and wait, but have very rarely caught a glimpse of one in its natural habitat, and when we do, there are often trees between us and the moose.

We've always wanted clear pictures of moose, and I'm jealous of people who get them! I also study animals online, and use videos and pictures to learn. We'll never be able to protect animals if we don't understand them, so we need documentation.

There was a very sad story recently about a group of people at the edge of a lake watching a moose swimming toward them. After he got out of the water, they gathered to take close-up photos and videos. They scared him, and he went back into the water, became exhausted and eventually drowned.

People talk a lot about the real need to protect ourselves from moose and other wild animals, but it goes the other way too, meaning we need to protect them from us. This incident made me think there must be many times we scare an animal, even to death, but it's not so obvious, so we don't realize it.

What are some ways to be more respectful of the animal's private space, to just let him go about his daily activities without scaring him, and still get good pictures? How can we balance our desire without putting him in a dangerous situation where we may inadvertently cause him irreparable harm?

  • 2
    I believe that more people are killed by moose than by bear. You might want to be more than just respectful, not sure what the right word is but it indicates caution. Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 16:07
  • 1
    I've been charged by moose before. You stand a better chance fighting off a black bear than a moose. Black bears grow up to 300 lbs at the biggest. Moose grow to 1000lbs, and will stomp you into the ground if they catch you.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 4:25
  • Call him "sir"?
    – AdamV
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 10:50

2 Answers 2


Ideally you would want the moose, or whatever wildlife you're photographing, to not even know you are there. Some ways to achieve this:

  • Have an appropriate telephoto lens so that you can keep your distance from the subject.

  • Be still and patient so that the wildlife does not see any movement.

  • Camouflage clothing and staying downwind may also help keep you from being noticed.

If you know the area the moose are regularly in, a trail camera may also be an option but you may not get the photographs you're looking for.

  • Thanks for these excellent ideas! Staying downwind hadn't even occurred to me. Even if we stay still, just the smell might be enough to spook a moose. That's probably especially true in a human group setting. Larger groups of people smell stronger, making it more likely to frighten the animal enough to alter its normal behavior. Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 22:17

First of all, if you're closer than 30 metres, then you're too close, get a telephoto lens and shoot from far away.

If you want to see a moose, then the absolute best way to get a good look is to learn how to hunt the animal.

Hunters spend countless hours, days, and sometimes weeks tracking their game before hunting season even starts. They are experts on their habitat, their habits, their preferred foods, their behaviors and everything else that will help them find the animals in the wild.

If you want to learn how to find any animal, research how to hunt it, and use the same techniques to go out and shoot it with your camera.

There are lots of tutorials on youtube on how to call in a Moose, one good one is by a guy who calls himself the "Moose Whisperer" he thoroughly details how to get moose to come to you. (There is no actual hunting in this video, it's mostly just of him talking, no gory details, and he finishes of by showing some footage from when he called in some moose for a photo shoot.)

How to call a moose - The Moose Whisperer.

  • @Sue, I found you a video that is geared towards wildlife fans that doesn't have any hunting in it. He just talks about how to call the moose in, and finishes off with some video of a moose he called in for a photo shoot.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 2:44
  • Thanks for doing that! There's some great stuff in that video. I've always wanted to be an animal whisperer! Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 5:34

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