Two photographers and two cyclists on the Powerline Trail south of Anchorage, Alaska, enjoyed a front-row seat for an epic battle between two huge bull moose in a National Geographic moment Tuesday evening.
Every year, Brian Watkins, a photographer and hunter, frequents the trail in hopes of filming wildlife and practicing his moose calls, according to KTUU. After a few slow weeks, Watkins and his friend Gottfried Esch, a photographer from Germany, hit the jackpot.
At 8:30 p.m., Watkins did a cow moose call and minutes later got the attention of a bull moose. Soon after, another bull moose on the other side of the valley showed up.
"I called both moose together with a cow call and then a cow came in as well that really got the fight started," Watkins told GrindTV in an email.
Then the bull moose did what bull moose do during the rutting season. They did battle for the breeding rights to the cow.
And Watkins captured the intense 15-minute clash, "the best one I've ever seen," on video:
Esch had stopped two cyclists and they joined the trailside viewing. At one point in the video you can hear Esch telling one cyclist to get out of the way.
They were all close to the action, probably too close. At times they were only 5-feet away.
"I've been this close many times in the same area," Watkins told GrindTV. "But the lighting was much better and these are the biggest bulls I have filmed so close.
"It's quite dangerous, but working a 9-5 [job] and going home is life. Situations like these are living. It's why I get close."
On Facebook, he called the encounter "nothing short of amazing."
"Words cannot describe how amazing the intensity and adrenaline was," he added. "This state is heaven."
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