The difference between humans and other mammals is that we know how to accessorize.–Madeleine Albright
My primary objective in the field is almost always to find and photograph birds. But when no birds are around, one must make concessions to mother nature. Photographing large mammals can be fun, too, but they present a few challenges. Most importantly, many of them are dangerous.
Even the humble deer can be dangerous. I’ve seen videos of grown men being kicked and gored all the way to the emergency room by infuriated deer. Bears . . . well, what more is there to say? Chills run up my spine when I think of how foolishly close I was to the bathing Grizzly Bear above. Little known fact, though: American Bison are the most dangerous animals in North America (other than humans, of course).
Both Elisa and I have had unplanned encounters with large mammals in the wild. Recently while chasing woodpeckers around in Colorado, Elisa suddenly looked up to find herself face-to-face with a bull Elk—and he wasn’t backing down. Gingerly, she slinked away, keeping her photographic accessories between her body and the beast.
Once while in Wyoming, I was chasing Western Tanagers around in a grove of cottonwood and aspen trees by the banks of a stream in Grand Teton National Park. Oblivious to everything but the birds and the light, I glanced up to find myself about five feet from the female moose shown below. I was sure I was about to be kicked through the pearly gates! But ever so slowly (keeping my tripod and camera between the animal and myself), I crept backward. Once I put about ten yards between the moose and myself, she slowly walked off into the forest.
It took me a while to regain my composure after that one.
©2015 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.