When it comes to wildlife and the outdoors, there have been a few times I experienced… a strange knowledge or ability to predict animal sightings. There was the time I consistently predicted, with amazing accuracy with regard to species, size and the circumstances of the catch, each fish that was caught during a day of trolling on Lake Michigan. Who could possible know that the lines, on two specific poles, would get tangled and the exact fish species and size that would cause the mess? See what I mean.

Later in life I predicted to my girlfriend that something, although I wasn’t sure what it was, was going to happen at the far end of Loft Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. I waited silent for over 15 minutes, sure of it, just gazing off toward the end of the lake while the sun set and darkness set it. At the moment that I thought to retire and give up on my fixation of the direction across the still, purple waters, wolves began to howl from from that very shore. It was the first time I had ever heard them.

That same trip to Algonquin, I gain described to my girlfriend at the time a very detailed scene at the far side of another lake. In that intense I described, as if I were I moose, just exactly where I would appear from in the shallows and grasses, how I’d make my way along the shore, where I’d cut back into the forest and move on to an open, grassy slope, make my way back down to the water and specifically out to the end of a small peninsula where I’d go into deeper waters and feed on aquatic plants. It sounded a bit absurd, but I wasn’t exactly making a prediction. I was merely describing a scene that I envisioned. Still, we waited for considerable time with hopes of seeing something, anything, to the point that boredom had set in with no success, and we agreed to head back to camp, a mile away. We turned to leave, but  after just a few steps I was compelled to look back for one last glimpse. To my surprise, a large, shaggy, bull moose appeared from exactly where I had described. I turned my girlfriend around and we watched in amazement as he followed my exact route, to the letter. We watched him eat at some great distance, in the deeper waters off the end of that peninsula.

Bull Moose in Spring, 2008

Bull Moose in Spring, 2008

This particular experience also involves a moose. It occurred after I had visited my property for the first time. I had hiked the entire way, along some trails, but a great deal through the woods, stepping over logs, ducking under branches, across spongy wetlands and becoming more and more tired and worn out as I went. On the way back to the parking lot, probably half way there, I was nearly exhausted. I walked along at a good pace, but with my head down, tired from all the challenging terrain. I rounded a bend in the trail and past a large tree. Suddenly, a few steps later, I had the overwhelming feeling that something was watching me. It came over me quickly, startling me to the point that in a fraction of a second I turned my head to the left with my left elbow out and torso leaning away from whatever might be behind me. I was in a stance of defense, only to find a bull moose staring at me, only fifteen feet away, not bothered by my presence since I was clearly unaware of him and on my way. He had been on the other side of the tree, quite still and blending in with the brush and branches.

 

I was relieved and was able to take a few photos and some video before he lumbered off. I still can’t quite get over how I knew something was behind me. Had it been a cow and calf, or worse a brown bear, I might have been in some trouble. It’s an easy lesson learned to pay closer attention to my surrounding when in the bush, no matter how tired I might be.