We left our tent and campsite on Insula Lake for the day and were making our way from Insula to Maniwaki Lake, four portages, a creek and two lakes away, by canoe in a very remote area of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northeastern Minnesota. It was late August 1967 and it had been a dry latter part of the summer with young ash trees along the shore already turning yellow. As we paddled east on Maniwaki toward the far end, we could see two bull moose staring at each other, one on the north side and the other on the south side in a narrowing part of the lake where Maniwaki Creek flowed in. As we approached the standoff, the smaller bull with the lesser rack just walked away knowing full well the larger bull’s antlers were more than a match for his. This was the time of the year when the bulls would be claiming territory and gathering a harem of cows for the upcoming rutting season, at times one cow didn’t seem to be enough. Just a look at another bull’s antlers is at times enough to force a lesser bull to find a new area, somehow each bull knows the size of his own antlers. Equally sized antlers would bring about pushing matches but this is fairly rare. In this case it was a short staring contest, for all we knew these two mammoth beasts had met before and sorted things out.
(20 in. x 14 in.)