Saturday, February 25, 2012

What's best for moose hunting, a rifle or a digital SLR?

(Flickr photo courtesy of als pictures)

I asked that very question Friday morning on Twitter after seeing a tweet regarding the possible opening of hunting moose for sport in Michigan.

Moose were reintroduced onto the mainland of Michigan back in the late 1980s after being mostly found on Isle Royale, which lies closer to Canada than the United States. Now, with the population growing, officials have debated on whether or not to allow hunters the ability to track and hunt them for sport.

But the article I spotted proposed a less violent alternative: instead of hunting and harvesting the moose, why not promote photographers go out and and shoot them with their camera?

I've not been lucky enough to capture an image of one of these animals. My buddy shot the very back end of two bull moose wandering down the Greenstone Trail on Isle Royale, but that's it. I've seen about 6 moose, but never had a camera on me. I'd love to see more beautiful shots.

With such a low number of moose still, I'm afraid it could hurt the grown of the moose back in its native Michigan. Even scientists are saying the growth is slower than what it should be.

With moose still being the elusive beasts they are, I think I'd rather see more photos of them rather than antlers on a wall, at least for the time being.

Which would you rather see: moose being hunted with rifles, or "hunted" with cameras?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Scientist blogging his experience studying wolves and moose on Isle Royale this winter

While perusing New York Times' science site, one would find some blog posts that speaks to the heart of most outdoors men in this state: Scientist John Vucetich writing about the environment and habitat of the wildlife on Isle Royale.

Michigan's most-prized outdoor gem, Isle Royale is an isolated ecosystem, being 54 miles from the Michigan shoreline and 6 miles from Canada, it has a unique blend of wolves and moose on the island.

The blog posts are an inside look at the island, the only national park not accessible to visitors during the winter. They read like journal entries, but still are informative.

I remember seeing several moose on the island when I was there in 2005. No wolves, but I do remember hearing them howl when we were camping at Chickenbone Lake. Incredible creatures. I don't have any photo albums from that trip in my apartment where I'm writing this, but I do plan to share some in the future (the photo up top was found via Flickr).

Meanwhile, take a look at the posts written by Vucetich here.