Rick Mooseman Libbey

Rick grew up on a dairy farm in the beautiful Blackstone Valley area of Massachusetts, back when it was still beautiful. He spent much of his youth in the woods exploring nature. His father gave him his first camera when he was 10 and some years later he started focusing on shooting wildlife with Nikon cameras.

In 1978, eight years after high school graduation, Rick settled in Keene and in 1990 moved to Andover, N.H. He never attended college nor did he ever study photography. He is completely self-taught and in today’s digital world, he is not a fan of computers or Photoshop.

Rick worked in a natural foods store for many years in New London, N.H, and is quite the health nut. His focus now is on The MooseMan business as he and his wife Donna slowly build it. He is grateful to Donna for her encouragement and support while he forges ahead with his true calling….The MooseMan.

Rick has a rather unique approach to shooting wildlife. He flies in by floatplane to wilderness settings, explores and shoots by kayak once there. He is 57 years old but feels 40! He plans to keep on kayaking with the moose for a couple more decades, as it simply fills his soul.


7/23/2009

MooseMan is fresh out of the woods from his annual Northern Maine adventures. This proved to be rather extraordinary in many ways. The weather was same as here, rather unsettled and rainy but this proved to be excellent for moose watching. The trip started within Baxter State Park at Sandy Stream Pond with lots of cow/calf action there. After 2 days in the park, MooseMan headed in to his rather sacred spot north of the park.

It was there that things really heated up quick. The winter of northern Maine had been good to the moose and right away, Rick found many of his “regulars” alive and well after a rugged Maine winter. Two of his favorites, Pot Belly and Big Boy were both located within the first three days. Pot Belly is elderly but still having calves at this point. Big Boy has an enormous rack this year with more points than ever before. He is truly an awesome animal and will most likely become one of the dominant bulls in his area.

Cows and calves……normally on a 8-10 day trip , MooseMan may locate a half dozen sets of cow/calves. This year was far more productive with no less than a dozen different sets located and enjoyed.
But the big splash of the trip was a pleasant surprise one night at 6:30pm at the inlet of the northern bog. Rick has kept moose journals thru the years and has pretty extensive records of sightings. Back in 1981, (28 years ago) MooseMan was at the outlet of his favorite bog and sat in a canoe surrounded by 11 moose.

The number held the record all these years and was never even challenged when Rick managed to sit in front of 8 moose back in 2006. But….this year one night at 6:30pm just before sunset….MooseMan was in awe. He sat in the kayak and started counting. All within a couple hundred feet were 12 moose……. Among them was a huge old bull that Rick named King Tutt. This broke a long standing record of 11 as mentioned earlier.

Photo opportunities proved plentiful and when the 13 days in the woods were done, new records had been set for both “moose in one place” and “total moose sightings recorded”

 

Big Boy Moose in Lake by Rick Libbey
“Big Boy” Moose in the Lake

I found this moose back in 2003. He was dangerously skinny from nearly starving to death from winter weight loss. Little did I know this bull and I would form a “bond of sorts.” I located him each year in the same area from 2003 right thru to 2009. He just turned nine years old June of 2009. I call him “Big Boy” and he’s shown here at six years old back in 2006.

 

Gordon the Bull Moose by Rick Libbey
Gordon the Bull Moose

Meet Gordon the bull moose. This guy is rather elderly. He is huge but gentle and VERY slow moving. This image was shot at dusk in July 2008. he came out of the woods, got into the water, and walked right to me and started to feed….Nikon D300, 200mm lens, from a distance of roughly 10-15 ft.

Peek-a-boo Moose by Rick Libbey
Peek-a-Boo

One of my favorites. This image was somewhat planned. I was hoping for a moose in this area that I knew had a pleasing background. As I approached the spot …he silently stepped into view. It was awesome. The bull never even snapped a twig and disappeared like a ghost. I call him “Peek-a-boo”

 

Tess the Baby Moose by Rick Libbey
Tess the Baby Moose

Meet Tess the baby moose. I named her after a friend of mine’s daughter. This little gal was part of a nearly all day long moose encounter. Lengthy encounters are always special and memorable for me. The calf is about 6 weeks old here and weighed only 30 pounds or so at birth. By August’s end, this little darling will weigh 200-300 lbs.

 

Sunset Bull Moose by Rick Libbey
Sunset Bull

This bull is an old favorite of mine. Gordon was feeding at sunset and everything just kind of “came together” and worked. I have located this bull three times; in 2007, 2008, and last year in July of 2010 I saw him briefly but only thru my spotting scope about a mile across the pond I work.

 

Bruiser Moose by Rick Libbey
Bruiser

This moose is simply enormous. I run into many good bulls out there in the wilderness but this guy is THE LARGEST moose I have ever located. An interesting thing about Bruiser is his “drop tine” antler on his right antler. It is the only time I have ever seen an antler tine pointing down and I’ve logged over 1200 moose encounters in my journal.

 

Morning is Calming by Rick Libbey
The Morning is Calming

It is sunrise in the wilderness and a young bull works his way out on a peninsula to feed. I love the layers of woods in the background , and the morning fog will soon be gone. The tallest tree in the background is home to a pair of nesting bald eagles.

 

Sherry Baby Moose by Rick Libbey
Sherry Baby

I named the adult moose Sherry (after my daughter) She recently became a Mom and had a little boy so of course I had to name the little calf Cody (after my grandson). I just loved the way this Mother moose watched over her calf.

Related:
Loon Pictures by the MooseMan

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