Shake-a-moose

 “This image is the result of quick thinking and A LOT of luck! It was taken with a Canon 70D and 100-400 L Mark II at 400mm. Settings were 1/640, f6.3 and ISO 1000.” —Rob DeBay

“This image is the result of quick thinking and A LOT of luck! It was taken with a Canon 70D and 100-400 L Mark II at 400mm. Settings were 1/640, f6.3 and ISO 1000.” —Rob DeBay

We love featuring the latest and greatest of our customers’ photography—especially when they share with us the story behind their captures. Rob DeBay, a wildlife photographer, recently headed up to moose country and gives us this stunning capture. Thanks, Rob!

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a stunning place. In my 47 years, I’ve driven the winding Cabot Trail probably 20 times and it never disappoints. The views are nothing short of amazing and it’s always a pleasure to return. Angela and I try to visit the park every year to take in the fall colours and this year was no exception.

Since I took up serious wildlife photography 5 or 6 years ago, it has been my goal to capture a Cape Breton bull moose. There’s a healthy population of moose in the park but this photograph has always eluded me. Despite their massive size and outgoing nature during their mating season in the fall, the opportunity has never presented itself. We have hiked the Skyline Trail (the best trail for seeing moose) and others multiple times over the years in an effort to lay eyes on one of these majestic creatures but it simply hasn’t happened for us. 

Imagine our surprise this year when we rounded the corner in Ingonish on October 4th to find a giant bull out in the salt marsh! Angela yelled, “MOOSE!” I thought she was pulling my leg but there it was!

I couldn’t get over the massive size of it as it stood in the wide open staring at our car. I was in awe. I quickly grabbed my gear from the back, adjusted my manual settings, quietly got out and started snapping away. I got a few great shots but they couldn’t compare to what I was going to capture next.

The bull, undisturbed by my presence, made its way to the freshwater stream at the head of the marsh. To my amazement, it started taking a bath! Knowing that a giant shake of water was imminent, I quickly bumped up my shutter to capture the flying water, steadied myself on a branch and waited with anticipation.

—Rob DeBay