The best place to watch moose drama is our own backyard
As the weather cools down, moose hormones heat up. It's that time of year, moose rut, and the popular powerline trail at Glen Alps may be the best place in the entire world to see it happen.
The rut may be winding down, but there's still a lot of hanky-panky going on.
Just ask David Young, who came here from Hong Kong. He enlisted the help of well-known Alaska photographer, Jeff Schultz, and local moose expert Randy Armstrong. Armstrong has been watching the moose out here for years and knows how to find them.
On Wednesday, it wasn't difficult. Just 30 yards down the powerline trail, they encounter a large bull and three cows. Just minutes into his hike, Young already has bucket-list-quality photos.
"The word is kinda getting out," said Armstrong. "Last weekend, I was out with a group of six: two from Germany, two from the UK, one guy from Switzerland and another guy who drove all the way from Buffalo."
Armstrong spots more moose further down the trail -- two bulls and handful of cows. A short bike ride later, the trio is watching one of the bulls chasing a cow. It looks for a moment like there will be mating success, but alas, the cow retreats and the bull lays down, waiting patiently for the mood to be just right.
"There are quite a few moose that are regular returnees from season to season," says Armstrong. "That's what makes this place special, that in addition to the easy access you've got on the powerline trail plus these large open vistas to spot them."
Closer to the trailhead, a bull moose catches a whiff of cow urine and throws it's head back curling its lips. It's a behavior known as the "Flehmen response" and it's happening in front of a crowd of nearly a dozen hikers who've stopped to watch.
Nobody in that crowd came here expecting to see the weird behavior. It's just one of those bonus encounters you sometimes get in the Chugach.
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