A bull moose, dubbed Cowboy by wildlife photographer Michael Wigle, hangs out with a herd of cows he befriended in the Bella Coola Valley west of Williams Lake. Wigle said this is the second year a moose has left the Chilcotin for the safety of the valley. Michael Wigle photo

Young bull moose makes himself at home among the cows

Cattle don’t seem to mind the unusual visitor to the Bella Coola valley

Residents of the Bella Coola Valley are enjoying a repeat visit from a very special tourist this fall.

Nicknamed “Cowboy,” a young bull moose seems to have taken up residence with a herd of cows just west of the Tweedsmuir Provincial Park boundary.

“He’s the talk of the town,” wildlife photographer Michael Wigle said Thursday of the moose he captured images of the day before. “A lot of people stop and look at him.”

Wigle was heading to the Atnarko River with his camera gear to take pictures of grizzly bears gathering to feast on the pink salmon run when he first saw the moose bedded down with the cattle.

“I had to do a triple-take,” Wigle said, noting the same thing happened last year.

“He must be the same guy. What other bull moose would come into the valley and spend September and October with a herd of cows?”

Wigle said it’s very rare to see a moose in the valley, and that they usually live on the Chilcotin plateau.

The irony that the moose appeared at the start of hunting season, in an area restricted from hunting, isn’t lost on residents.

“He seems pretty protected,” Wigle said, laughing. “I don’t know if he knows that though.”

Wigle said he thinks it’s a win-win situation for all the animals: The moose gets protection from hunters while the cows get extra muscle to deal with area wolves, one of which Wigle saw just down the road from the moose.

As a photographer, Wigle is used to being patient to “get the shot,” so to literally drive up to the bull moose and be able to watch him at length was quite a treat, he said.

“You spend hours setting up shots, waiting for just the right moment and then all of the sudden with this you get 10 minutes of glory. It made my day.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Haitian foster children arrive in Nelson after months-long lobbying effort

Marie-Paule Brisson and Sebastien De Marre have parented girls age 12 and 8 since they were babies

Nelson hospice starts Walk and Talk group in Lakeside Park

The Walk and Talk Grief Group is offered free to anyone grieving the death of a loved one

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

New comet appears in pre-dawn sky above Cranbrook

Neowise can be seen without a telescope over the next couple of weeks

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Most Read