A drone photographer captured the rare moment a bull moose shed both of its antlers describing it as a “once in a lifetime” moment.
Derek Burgoyne is a self-described Canadian “avid outdoorsman” and spends his time in remote locations filming great Canadian moose. He was ecstatic to capture the moose shedding its antlers in the woods in central New Brunswick.
He tells CBC: “Never in my wildest dreams would ever imagine catching this on film. This is winning the lottery when it comes to wildlife photography for sure.”
The overhead footage shows the moose pausing in the woods, shaking until both antlers fall off, and hurrying away after being scared by the event.
Burgoyne then caught up to the spot where the moose shed its antlers to inspect them.
“You’re not going to get any fresher than that right there,” he says as he holds the large, 17-point antlers.
Burgoyne is a woods operation supervisor and uses the drone for his job. That day, he was using the flying camera to survey a ridge of hardwood trees when he came across three moose bedding in a woodland clearing. The area is known to have a lot of moose.
“As I’m hovering over this one, I zoom my camera down and just happen to click record,” Burgoyne tells CBC.
“What they’ll often do after being bedded in the snow is they’ll shake their body to rid themselves of the snow and water. As he shook himself, I was recording, and you saw what happened.”
Why Do Moose Shed Their Antlers?
When a moose sheds its antlers it loses a lot of weight as it does so. All members of the deer family shed antlers, including its biggest member; the moose.
Only male moose have antlers and their growth is regulated by testosterone, according to National Geographic.
The antlers can weigh up to 60 pounds, it is literally a weight off their shoulders. The moose sheds its antlers in winter months so that it can store more energy over the cold spell.
In December, PetaPixel reported on a Ring doorbell capturing the moment a moose shed both of its antlers.
More of Burgoyne’s work can be found on his YouTube channel.
Image credits: All photos by Derek Burgoyne.