Later on, I got thinking of other experiences when memorable things happened while I’ve been out in the wilds without a camera. A Maine moose immediately came to mind.
My dad and I were deer hunting near Rumford, Maine, about 20 years ago when I wandered upon a young bull moose in the tall timber. I was still hunting on a small ridge above a thick swamp when we actually spotted each other. I stood perfectly still while we had our little staring match. That small-antlered bull had no idea what I was and slowly took a few curious steps in my direction.
He finally got a mid-sized maple tree between us that he thought was big enough to hide his dark body. But the only thing it blocked was part of his nose and face, including his eyes. It was so funny that he thought I couldn’t see him as we played a little game of peek-a-boo.
His antlers and ears – as well as most of his body – stuck out from behind the tree, but he was thoroughly convinced he was out of sight. With his eyes behind the tree, I slowly eased closer, stopping when he leaned out to look at me with just one dark-colored eye.
The wind was perfect and the game continued until I was less than 30 feet from him. He then took another peek and I said quietly: “I see-e-e you.”
Well that little guy nearly jumped out of his skin from the sound of my voice. He turned and ran down the hill as fast as those too-long legs could carry him. He never stopped or even looked back. I heard him crashing through the brush until he was deep in the thickest part of the swamp.
I laughed about that for several days and wished I had caught our little game on film.
But once again, I didn’t have my camera.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at email@example.com.