Moose Watching:

Moose are big. An adult moose, averaging 1,000 pounds and standing 6 feet at the shoulder, is the largest wild animal in North America. Moose have keen senses of smell and hearing, but they're also near-sighted. Their front legs are longer than their hind legs, allowing them to jump over fallen trees, slash, and other debris. Moose, like deer, lack a set of upper incisors; they strip off browse and bark rather than snipping it neatly. Bulls and cows have different coloration patterns. Bulls have a dark brown or black muzzle, while the cows face is light brown. Cows also have a white patch of fur just beneath their tail.

Only bulls grow antlers. Antler growth begins in March or April and is completed by August or September when the velvet is shed. Antlers are dropped starting in November; young bulls may retain their antlers into early spring. Yearlings develop a spike or fork; adults develop antlers that may weigh up to 40 pounds with wide sweeping palms with many long tines. The bell the flap of skin and long hair that hangs from the throat, is more pronounced in adult bulls than in cows or immature bulls.

Moose are fun to watch, but safe moose viewing is essential; watch from a safe and respectful distance. Moose are bigger and faster than any person and give little warning before attacking a perceived threat. Cows are extremely protective of their calves. Bulls in the rut are unpredictable. No one should ever approach these animals no matter how tolerant they appear. Moose are unafraid, not friendly. A moose that decides someone has crossed into their "personal space" will knock down the offender and kick and stomp until the threat stops moving.

Text courtesy of NH Fish and Game

© 2007 Town of Pittsburg, NH