VIDEO: Fighting bull moose come within feet of group on Powerline Trail

 Courtesy Brian Watkins
Courtesy Brian Watkins (KTUU)
Published: Sep. 14, 2016 at 7:21 PM AKDT
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It was a close call for a small group of photographers and cyclists along Anchorage’s Powerline Trail on Tuesday evening when they came within feet of two large fighting bull moose.

Brian Watkins, a photographer and lifelong hunter, travels along the trail every year to film the wildlife and practice moose calling. It had been a slow two weeks with few encounters when he headed out from the Glen Alps trailhead on Tuesday evening.

With Watkins was Gottfried Esch, a photographer from Germany who frequently travels to Alaska to photograph its wildlife.

At around 8:30 p.m., Watkins tried a cow moose call. The first bull moose responded after a few minutes. Shortly after, another bull appeared a few miles away on the other side of the valley with a cow that was in heat.

Watkins says they were two of the biggest bull moose he’s ever caught on camera. The clash lasted 15 minutes as the animals battled across the trail, at one point coming within three feet of Watkins.

Esch stopped two cyclists along the road and told them to get out of the way as the battle dragged on. Together, the group watched the moose fight just feet away until they eventually moved on.

“Last night was nothing short of amazing,” Watkins wrote in a Facebook post. “Words cannot describe how amazing the intensity and adrenaline was. This state is heaven.”