At left, the island lodge at Salmon Lake, MT.
About 30 minutes after taking this picture, I saw the biggest moose I have ever seen in my life as I drove my oldest son’s little Subaru Legacy back from a late night meeting in Billings.
It didnt really come as a surprise. I was on the Swan Highway (MT 83 between Seeley Lake and Bigfork, right between the 83 at the top of the page and the one just below it) and it was 630am. I’d already had to jam on the brakes umpteen times because of all the deer wandering around. For those who aren’t animal-savvy, early morning and dusk are wild animal feeding times. That means road-crossing a-gogo by the deer in the Swan Valley.
I’m really ticked off that I didnt get a picture. I had the 10D on the passenger seat, but when you’re going 65 in a little car and a moose that probably weighs in at 1200 lbs strides toward the highway, seems like your priorities get a slight adjustment.
Airbags and seatbelts (both in use at the time) would simply have been something for the jaws of life (past tense in this case) to get out of the way if I had hit her. Even if I had hit her in the Suburban, it wouldn’t have mattered. This was a way big female moose. I mean BIG. I’ve seen a lot of moose in Wyoming and Montana, but this lady was a bona-fide monster. No question, the biggest I’ve ever seen. If I had hit her, she would have flattened that little car. Did I say she was big? 🙂
Thankfully, her reaction to seeing my car was about the same as mine to seeing her. She stopped like she had ABS hooves<g>, turned and went right back into the forest.
Had I come through that spot maybe 20 seconds later, she’d probably would have been in the middle of the road. Sure glad I wasn’t late getting there…and I suspect she is too.