Moose: Giants of the North

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Despite their looks, Moose are usually rather timid. The 2 exceptions are: a rutting bull and a mother Moose with her calf.

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Moose are the Largest Members of the Cervid Family

Other Cervids include:  axis deer, the North American elk, whitetail deer, caribou, reindeer and mule deer.

A typical example of a Canadian moose is over 7 feet at the shoulders, weighs around 1400 lbs.,  is 10 feet from nose to tail and has about a 40 inch long leg!   However, the Alaskan moose is larger!

Where the Moose Are

Almost 1 million moose range over a huge territory:

  • most of Alaska
  • most of Canada outside of the Arctic
  • upstate New York and much of northern New England
  • Northeastern Minnesota
  • Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
  • upper Rocky Mountains
  • mountain regions of Utah and Colorado
  • as far west as the Blue Mountains of Oregon

Dining Habits of the Moose

As ruminants, moose chew their cud, like domestic cows.  They eat leaves and twig ends of many trees, fibrous forbs (like: bunchberry), plus seeds of grasses and sedge, ferns and fungi.

During warm weather, they eat about 50 lbs. of matter each day; in winter, they  average about 35 lbs. each day.

Moose During Rutting Season

During the mating season, the bull moose is at his most ornery and difficult to anticipate.

If you are following bulls too closely, you may need to climb a tree to get out of his way!  It’s best to give bulls plenty of room.

You will know you are in trouble if the bull moose lowers his head, showing off his full rack of antlers.  Then it is likely that he will swing his antlers to-and-fro, so you get the message — that he’s not kidding.

If he’s really aggravated, he may pitch his head up into a bugling posture (similar to his cousin, the elk).  When he wants to “up the ante” in his challenge of another bull (or people), he grunts.

Are Moose Really Dangerous?

It’s surprising how few interactions  between people and moose there are, considering their numbers.  Other than traffic accidents, there have been only a few incidents between humans and moose.

In 2 separate incidents, moose have stomped 2 people to death!  Oddly enough, these occurred in suburban regions of Alaska — not in the wilds of our largest state!

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Showdown‘ Moose Graphic is used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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More Moose Moments:  coming soon!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 12:05 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. [...] * The original article in this Moose series is:  ’Moose: Giants of the North‘ [...]


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