This Wildlife Photographer Captures Incredible Candid Shots of Moose
High school teacher-turned-wildlife photographer Jason George of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, shares his candid shots of these mighty creatures and beloved Canadian symbol.
Spotting the Moose
As an avid nature lover, I’ve had many wildlife encounters and have been fortunate to share these moments with friends, family and clients. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to travel the world, and have seen many animals both in zoos and in the wild.
It was around 2008, when I realized that I had not actually spent any time appreciating the animals that we have right here in Canada. So, I decided to go to Algonquin Park to try and spot a moose. I did some research and headed into the park a few times with some success. Friends started joining me as I began to have more and more success in my quest, and some of them were excited to see a moose with their own eyes. I went from never having seen a moose to seeing multiple moose on various trips.
In 2017, I was talking with my mom and she told me that she had never seen a moose. So, for Mother’s Day, I decided to try and change that and took her and my dad to Algonquin Park with me. I always find it hard to buy them gifts, so I figured that this experience would be cool—getting to share my passion with them and spending quality time together. For me, it is awesome to share someone’s first animal experience with them.
A Mother and Her Calves
On our first couple of trips into the park we didn’t have any success but then our luck changed, and we saw an epic spectacle—a mother moose with twin calves walking down a dirt trail. It was one of the most special moments for me as a photographer in my moose experiences to date. I showed my mom the photo to which she replied, “That’s nice but I really wanted to see a moose crossing the road.”
I tried to explain how special this sighting was but she really wanted to see a moose on the road. Off we went, and a little later we actually saw a mother moose and a calf on the side of the road enjoying some leaves and twigs. The mother headed off in one direction, across the road and my mom was finally happy! But the calf was being stubborn and wanted to eat the leaves on his side of the road and they had a little bit of an argument. Well, I can only assume that is what occurred as I’m not fluent in moose. Eventually, the mother moose crossed back, “hollered” at the calf and the two of them walked off to enjoy their afternoon. This was an amusing and interesting interaction to watch—the mother and son having an argument in front of us just as if it were a human son and mom. My parents and I laughed about this moment, and it made me think of how similar we are to the animals that I love to take photos of.
Check out how these avid photographers captured British Columbia’s stunning wildlife on camera.
Capturing a Magical Moment
One August, I was able to get back to Algonquin Park to try and spot a bear this time. That was the target animal of my trip, but I ended up with an amazing experience of a moose appearing out of the fog and eating some branches right in front of me. As I was walking, I had no clue he was there until we were side by side. I quickly moved into position to get a shot of the tree and moose together in the fog and was eventually able to capture this magical moment.
In November 2018, I was in a bit of a funk and decided to have a “Jay Day”—a day where I go and do something I enjoy to forget about life for a bit; it helps me to recharge. I had learned that bull moose lose their antlers every winter and grow a brand-new set the following spring. These fresh antlers are covered in “velvet”; I’ve only ever seen a moose with a velvet antler rack, so I decided to head out on this November day to spot one without velvet. I was very lucky to get a sighting of a big male moose. He seemed to be in a rush and vanished from sight pretty soon after I snapped his picture.
Discover what it’s like photographing wildlife in the dead of winter.
Rare Sight to See
In the springtime of 2019, I decided it was time to try and spot a baby moose for the first time—after less than 45 minutes of waiting I saw a small brown object running towards me. I was a bit scared. Then I saw another large, dark-brownish object running even faster behind it. A baby moose and its mother were running full speed towards me! I grabbed my camera. Then, about 100 metres away from me, they stopped and began munching on some leaves. Something must have spooked the baby, which caused the mother to take off after it. The baby moose seemed frightened and the mother softly gave baby a little kiss. I was fortunate enough to be able to capture this moment. Twenty minutes later, a massive male moose appeared. His rack got stuck in the trees and he turned 90 degrees to come towards me. Terrified, I knew if I moved, I could spook and maybe scare him, which could end badly for me. So, I sat still and he slowly moved towards me then turned once, freed himself and was on his way—what a relief!
Don’t miss this gallery of heartwarming animal photos that celebrate a mother’s love in the wild.
Pursuing a New Dream
It’s awesome how spending time in nature has brought me closer to myself and made me a happier person. I was once a full-time high school teacher, but now I chase the dream of being a wildlife photographer and presenter. I am truly enjoying this new journey. I feel honoured I’m even able to capture some of these moments. I have also been truly blessed to meet some fantastic people along the way. This is what keeps me going back to nature—not knowing what will happen—but knowing that every day will be awesome when I’m out in the wilderness. I hope reading this has inspired you to get out and enjoy nature a little bit more, too.
To see more of Jason’s work, head to www.jasongeorgephotography.com.
Next, check out this gallery of incredible bird photography from across Canada.