Patience and my respect for wildlife paid off to capture this image. I was waiting for the sun to rise higher over the tree line to better illuminate my dark subjects. Suddenly, another vehicle pulled up. 2 people jumped out of their car to get a closer look, probably hoping to get a frame filling shot of the two moose with what looked like a point and shoot camera. Becoming agitated, mom and baby left the area crossing the road, potentially a deadly move considering where they chose to cross. I held my breath as they slowly crossed, stopping a couple of times in the road. I could hear approaching cars and I was silently telling them to hurry up and cross. The 2 people shrugged their shoulders, smiled at each other, returned to their car and sped away. Although frustrated that I did not get the shot, I continued taking in the peace and tranquility of the early morning scene, all-the-while from inside my car. To my amazement, mom and baby returned. I waited until they moved back down to the pond's edge and slowly lifted my camera, propping my arm on the armrest to steady the shot through my open car window. Occasionally mom would abruptly pop up her head look around then continue grazing. The two continued to graze peacefully for several minutes until other vehicles abruptly stopped to get a look. With car engines left running, and lots of body movement and noise by the added spectators, mom and baby again were scared off into the safety of the woods. The behavior of these amateur spectators/photographers/wildlife watchers could have resulted in serious injury or death to the moose or the driver or passengers on the road that could have crashed into them. I used my car as a blind with very little movement and noise from within and only when the moose was not looking/listening in my direction. If the occupants of every car that pulled up was aware of this fact we all could have enjoyed the moment much longer. I wonder how these disrespectful, inconsiderate spectators would react if while picnicking in their own yards, cars suddenly stopped with people pouring out staring, pointing and advancing toward them. If these wildlife watchers feel the need to get up that close to wildlife, go to a zoo.

  Both my wife and I had an even more disturbing experience up in an area known as ‘Moose Alley’ about a month ago. Just before dark we spotted a lone moose grazing about 30 feet from the side of the road. We respectfully stopped the car on the shoulder an additional distance away, shut off the engine and watched from inside our car as the moose grazed. Suddenly a number of cars appeared and stopped. People began shouting and leaping out of their vehicles. Parents and children were running hand-in-hand toward the moose with their cameras and video cameras. They got as close as 10 - 15 feet away from the now bug-eyed, clearly agitated moose. Where did they think they were, at a petting zoo? We were so mad that we started up the car and left the area. On our 2-hour drive home when we spotted 2 other vehicles chasing, yes, chasing, a mother and her calf down a side road. It was unbelievable.

  I’m considering contacting officials in New Hampshire to ask them to post, enact or enforce unknown or little known laws, rules, etc., concerning wildlife watching. They should require that spectators remain inside their vehicles, turn off their engines and maintain a minimum safe, unthreatening distance from the animals. I know they do it and enforce it in Yellowstone and other national parks and I think they need to do it in New Hampshire as well..

R.G. Callahan

Back to my New Hampshire Photography