New York moose sighting makes for a memorable outing

I still remember that night in the mid-1970s when an uncle of mine excitedly told my family of an encounter he’d just had on a local side road. He was pretty sure it was a moose. Other sightings in the area, which is in the Glens Falls/Lake George region, confirmed this.

In the decades since, moose have become more prominent across New York and have always piqued my interest. Today, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is tasked with studying and researching moose. An ongoing study that tracks radio-collared moose is sure to produce some interesting data. Moose sightings are now fairly common across northern New York and are becoming habitual in some areas.

As someone who gets around the Adirondack woods and waters, as well as those beyond, I had yet to see a moose myself. Many times over the years I’ve come close. They’ve passed through my own property near my home and have been seen locally on dozens of occasions. Last deer season, two members of my hunting party had a young bull pass by them, but he went well behind me, leaving only tracks in the snow. There have been other times where I’ve just missed seeing a New York moose.

Then, a few weeks ago, my college buddy Joe and I headed for the Cedar River Flow, near the Moose River Plains in the central Adirondacks. It was a weekday that we both happened to have off and for Joe, who deals daily with the hustle and bustle of living and working on the outskirts of Albany, just crossing the “Blue Line” that defines the Adirondack park for an adventure was good enough.

The Flow is a quiet place with plenty of marshland completely surrounded by public Adirondack Forest Preserve land where moose have been seen in the past. Joe and I were paddling down the lake when we stopped for a breather and ironically began talking about wildlife encounters.

I pointed to a dark object on the shoreline a half-mile away and told Joe that you have to check such things out as it could be a rock, log, moose, bear or, more likely, an up-rooted tree. When I pulled a small set of binoculars out that I keep with my kayaking and fishing gear and put them on the object, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a big bull moose.

We paddled hard toward the moose and stopped about 100 yards out to take some photos. At 50 yards, I held up and shot several more photos. The animal was big, majestic and, at times, submerged his entire head as he went about feeding. Eventually, he tired of our presence and casually slipped into the woods, where he just stood watching us.

Although I’ve hunted moose in Canada and have seen them in nearby New England states, encountering one in the New York, particularly the Adirondacks, has been on my bucket list. Having the encounter in such a pristine environment as Cedar River Flow with an old friend along was surely a blessing.

Categories: Dan Ladd

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