Close encounters of the cervid kind
We took one last camping trip at the end of September in the Parc de la Jacques Cartier. The leaves were just starting to turn, and the temperatures were decidedly fall-like. Our first morning we had quite a surprise, when a huge male moose wandered right down the side of our campsite! He must have seen us, since he was quite close, but didn’t seem bothered by our presence. So of course I grabbed my camera, my fingers numb from the cold and shaking with excitement. I managed to catch a glimpse of him taking a shortcut through our friends’ campsite where his grunting alerted my friend in her tent. Once he passed by, she, Mathieu and I ran down the road to see if we could get down to the river before him. We could hear his footsteps as he made his way through the forest, but weren’t sure exactly how far he was from us. Cutting through waist-high grasses, flattened in spots where deer had slept, we walked downriver, hoping to get closer while still keeping a respectful distance. We continued along the muddy bank until we heard the grunting again, and caught a glimpse of his horns through the trees. Finally, he emerged from the foliage, though thankfully not too close to us. With one big, awkward splash, the moose stepped into the water and proceeded to make his way towards a small island downriver. As it was the mating season, I think he was probably in search of a cow.