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Drone Captures Rare Moment as Moose Sheds Antlers in Canadian Forest

A Canadian wildlife enthusiast experienced what he said was a “once-in-a-lifetime moment” when a moose that he was filming with a drone shed both of its antlers in a snow-covered forest in New Brunswick.

Derek Keith Burgoyne said he was in Plaster Rock on January 12 and spotted three bull moose, including two that had already shed their antlers and a third that still had both. Burgoyne was filming the moose using a drone when the third moose paused, shook its body, and dropped both antlers from its head into the snow.

After capturing the drone footage, Burgoyne shot video from the ground as he excitedly followed the moose’s trail to pick up the antlers.

Speaking to the camera, Burgoyne said that this was his second time capturing a moose shed its antlers, but the first time he had seen both antlers being shed at the same time.

“I consider this winning the lottery when it comes to filming wildlife,” Burgoyne told Storyful. “A bull can shed one antler and carry the other side for days or even weeks. So to capture both antlers shedding at the exact time is extremely rare! Once-in-a-lifetime moment!” he said, adding that it was “the best experience” he’d had in the woods.

Antler shedding, or casting, is an annual process for moose, deer, and elk after the fall breeding season ends, according to National Geographic. Credit: Derek Keith Burgoyne via Storyful

Video transcript

[NO AUDIO]

- Well, I'm headed in. This moose trail, I was flying my drone, and spotted three bulls. Two were shedded, and one still had both sides. And anyway, he jumped up out of his bed, and shook himself, and shook both antlers off on video while I was recording. This is the second time this has happened. Once was-- he just shook one side on record. So anyway, I'm walking in to get them. Let's go.

Here we go. Following the moose tracks. Headed for a matching set that just fell off his head. Oh, where are they?

Oh, I see them. Oh yeah, here we go. Ha! That is a fresh set of antlers right there. Nice bull. Beautiful. Ha ha! Yes, let's pick them up.

All right, guys. This is a matching set that I spotted this bull with my drone, and he was bedded with two other bulls that were already shedded. And anyway, I clicked record, luckily. He jumped up out of his bed, and only he run over but one trail, and shook himself, and both antlers fell off while I was recording my drone. This is crazy. Let's go ahead and pick them up. Yes!

Here's one. Nice bull. Beautiful. There's the other one.

[KNOCKS]

Look at that. Nice bull. That is about as fresh. You're not going to get any fresher than that, right there. That's cool. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 point. Nice bull. Yes! Yes, yes. We'll take it. Let's go.