In the small town of Greenville, Maine, moose outnumber people 3 to 1. That’s what we were counting on when we made it our goal to see a moose during our stay. It was actually why we chose that area of Moosehead Lake for the first part of our vacation adventure.
There was no shortage of deer or turkeys – both crowded the roads whenever we ventured forth from the cabin. The slightly eerie cry of coyote filled the night air. We were definitely in the type of rural, secluded area where one might experience a (what we consider to be ‘rare’) animal encounter. Dusk found us driving along empty roads, hoping for a sighting. The roads bore signs warning of the high incidence of moose collisions. No matter where we went or what we did, we were always on the lookout for moose.
We set out on a large pond in Baxter State Park early in the morning, silently paddling a canoe across still waters, listening for the tell-tale crack of branches in the woods, but we heard none.
We looked for shredded vegetation floating in the water, signs of a messy moose breakfast, but the grass and water lilies around us were undisturbed. It was a beautiful morning on pristine waters, fog burning off the mountains around us as the sun rose into the sky. Total silence engulfed us except for the occasional flapping of a bird’s wings.
Then we saw it in the distance. Like an apparition, it rose from the water as we approached, a large bull, almost unbelievable to our exuberant eyes. We didn’t get very close before it ambled into the wood line, vanishing into trees and shadows, but it didn’t matter. The proof is in the picture. We had succeeded in our mission. Operation Moose was a triumph.
For those interested in visiting Greenville to spot a moose themselves – May and June is the best time, and many guided tours offer a money back guarantee during these months. September is mating season, so they’re a bit preoccupied and harder to find.