Northern Ontario, Canada, is home to all manner of stunning sights, from breathtaking vistas to majestic wildlife. Yet YouTuber Dan Nystedt captured far more than he expected one day in 2017 when filming a moose in the wilderness with his Phantom 4 Pro drone. You see, as the moose observed its surroundings while standing in the shallow water of an expansive lake, a wolf suddenly made its presence known, sparking a brutal confrontation.
For many people across the globe, hobbies play an important role in their lives. They’re passions that allow individuals a release from the daily grind, but for the majority it often doesn’t go much further than that. In Nystedt’s case, though, his hobby has become his career.
A resident of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Nystedt acts as a one-man production house, working under the name Form Productions. The Canadian has directed a variety of music videos and documentaries, and over the past seven years he has also interviewed touring bands traveling through his hometown. Indeed, with more than 200 interviews at his disposal, Nystedt is now using them for a music series titled “…in the middle, with…”
Proving his versatility, Nystedt has in addition taken on a variety of roles when working on feature films. Alongside that, he has a YouTube channel boasting over 1,500 subscribers. And while the channel only hosts two videos, it’s not surprising that so many users have taken an interest in the Canadian.
Nystedt’s first YouTube upload, a music video titled “Frank Deresti and The Lake Effect – Somewhere in the Middle,” was only posted in June 2017, yet it has received more than 3,300 views since it’s been live. However, it’s his second video that’s drawn by far the most attention. Published on October 9, 2017, the vid is compellingly titled “Northern Ontario Moose vs Wolf.”
In making the video, the Canadian used his drone camera to capture stunning vistas of Northern Ontario’s wilderness, and the uploaded footage opens with several overhead shots. From there, the vid cuts to a moose stood with its feet planted in the shallow water of a lake while the animal surveys the surrounding area. The drone then catches some fantastic shots of the creature as it continues to go about its business.
However, the tone of the video soon takes a dramatic turn. Within moments of the vid cutting to another aerial shot, a figure moves quickly through the shoreline towards the moose. Then, as the shape edges closer to the magnificent animal, there is a brief pause before the pair engage in a violent showdown.
The moose stands its ground in the shallows, forcing the encroaching figure to back off by lunging at it. Then, as the drone moves in for a closer shot, the figure in question is established as a wolf. Nevertheless, despite the fearsome nature of its adversary, the moose continues to drive it back to the shoreline, cutting an imposing figure as it moves aggressively forward.
The wolf, however, is not to be deterred; instead, it looks to bide its time before launching an attack. After the moose is done driving its opponent back, it turns and moves towards the deeper area of the lake in an apparent attempt to escape. It’s at this point, though, that the wolf makes its move.
Using its speed, the wolf rushes behind the moose and tries to attack, and so the foes come face-to-face once again. Then as the moose charges forward, the wolf latches itself onto its quarry’s front leg, resulting in an almighty tussle. The moose then drags the canine predator through the lake while trying to free itself, with Nystedt’s drone capturing some incredible footage in the process.
Now while some might wonder why a lone wolf launched this attack against a much larger animal, one person in particular wasn’t so surprised. Dr. Dave Mech, a wolf behavior specialist, believes the wolf might have followed another pack’s previous attempt at catching the moose.
Mech’s idea has roots in his book Wolves on the Hunt, in which he talks about several other incidents like the one filmed by Nystedt. “It’s not unusual,” the expert told Earth Touch News when interviewed about the fight. “In fact, single wolves occasionally kill not only moose but also bison and muskoxen.”
But back to the footage so compellingly captured by Nystedt. Despite the moose’s best efforts, the wolf won’t let go as it continues to move in circles in the deeper part of the lake. However, although the predator is seemingly in command of the situation, its quarry finally finds a way to break free. Specifically, the moose takes advantage of the deeper water by dipping its body beneath the surface, causing the wolf to lose its fearsome grip.
The moose then begins to limp away from its attacker as the wolf appears to try and regain its senses. Then, when the predator seems to recover, another chase ensues, albeit at a rather slower pace than the initial face-off. With the drone, meanwhile, continuing to hover above the two animals, the moose moves into an even deeper area of the lake, leaving the wolf trailing.
As the gap between the pair continues to grow, Nystedt’s drone then swoops down to get a closer look at the struggling wolf. And within moments of this move, the wolf decides to give up the chase, instead turning around in the direction of the shore. It’s only then that the drone pans to the right and shows the moose to be in the clear.
“For a single wolf to be successful, it must be an older, experienced individual, and the prey must be one that is especially vulnerable, that is, old, sick, weak or diseased,” Dr. Mech added to Earth Touch News. “Sometimes it takes a single wolf, or even a pack, several hours or days to finally [take] down the prey animal. In this case, the wolf certainly wounded the moose, and eventually [it] might find it in weaker shape or even dead.”
After the attack, Nystedt’s drone caught up with the wolf standing on some train tracks next to another wolf. In the footage, the canine pair proceed to run down the tracks, with the video’s attacker trailing back off into the woods. As for the moose, the six-minute vid ends with it swimming away into the distance.
“Captured this footage by happenstance while shooting some scenics in Northern Ontario,” Nystedt wrote in the video’s description. “Was excited by the moose sighting, [and] as I was leaving something unexpected took place.” Unsurprisingly, the footage has proved incredibly popular, having currently earned more than 4.9 million views on YouTube.
The Canadian’s video soon gained traction on social media, with podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan retweeting it the day after it had been posted. And thanks to Rogan’s millions of followers, the retweeted video gained more than 750 likes, while a further 200 users also retweeted it.
So, with the aid of one man’s drone, people all over the world have been given an insight into the tooth-and-claw aspect of nature. The moose and the wolf engaged in a battle for survival – and yet they both walked away, living to fight another day.