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Pasor Jeff's hand in the snow literally at the front door of the church

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Moose Pictures

moose facts

moose shed their antlers in Jan/ Feb.

there is only one day a year a cow moose will mate

moose shed their velvet in one day in (look up month on calendar)

The moose, the largest member of the deer family ( family Cervidae ), is a large animal with long legs and distinctive antlers. The front legs are longer than the rear legs.

SIZE
Moose are taller than horses and can measure up to 7.5 feet (2.3 m) tall at the shoulder. Adult females (called cows) grow to be up to 800 pounds (360 kg); adult males (called bulls) are from 900 to 1,400 pounds (410 - 620 kg). The largest moose are found in Alaska, where specimens up to 1,400 pounds (520 kg) have been found.

COLOR
Moose vary in color from almost black to very light brown. During the winter they turn a grayish color, helping to camouflage them in the snow-covered landscape. The long legs of the moose are lighter in color than the body.

ANTLERS
Moose antlers grow to be up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long or more. Each year, the old antlers are shed; new antlers emerge the following spring.

Emerging antlers are tan to brown velvet. As they mature and the velvet peels off, the underlying antler is white. The moose rubs the antlers against tree bark to speed up the peeling process, and the antlers turn tan to brown.

SENSES
Moose have very good senses of hearing and smell but not very good eyesight.

LOCOMOTION
The Moose's long legs allow it to run at a very fast gallop. Moose are also very good swimmers

BEHAVIOR
Moose are mostly solitary animals. The only strong bond is between a mother and her young.

HABITAT
Moose live in cool-climate forests near water (lakes, ponds, rivers, or swampy land).

DISTRIBUTION
Moose are found in North America (Canada, Alaska, and the northern United States) and also in northern Europe (in Siberia, Sweden, Norway, and the Baltic region).

FOOD
Moose eat grass, leaves, and aquatic weeds. In the winter, they eat mostly twigs and conifer leaves

PREDATORS
The grizzly bear and man are the main predators of the moose.

REPRODUCTION
Mating is aided by deep calls and powerful scents. The gestation period of the moose is about 8 months after a fall mating. One to three calves are born at a time during the spring or summer. The calves are weaned at five months of age but remain with the mother for one to two years, until new new calves are born. Moose reach maturity at two years of age.

NUMBERS
Until recently, moose populations were decreasing and were threatened with extinction because of over-hunting and habitat destruction. Moose are now recovering somewhat.

Description - This horse-sized animal is the largest member of the deer family with long, dark brown hair, high, humped shoulders and long legs. A pendant of hair-covered skin sometimes reaching 2 feet hangs under the throat. Each April the male moose or bull grows a set of antlers reaching 120-150 cm which he loses in the winter after rutting season.


Distribution
- The moose occurs in spruce forests, swamps, aspen and willow thickets; it is built to live in rough country and is well adapted to a cold climate. It can be found throughout most of B.C.


Biology
- The rut lasts from early September to late October and 8 months later 1-2 calves are born. Moose are unpredictable and sometimes dangerous; although they generally avoid human contact, cows with calves and rutting bulls have been known to charge people, cars, horses and locomotives.

Moose Tracks
Tracks
- The moose track is slightly larger and more pointed than that of the elk and similar in shape to a deer's but twice as large. The track may be blunted if the ground is rocky and hard, making it more difficult to distinguish from the elks. A typical print is of two pointed pear shapes with the tips closer than the wider bottom.

Straddle: 23 - 26 cm (9.2 - 10.4 in)
Stride: 60 - 85 cm (24 - 34 in)
Track: 16 cm (6.4 in) / 14 cm (5.6 in)

Life span: 15-25 years

Mature males shed their antlers once a year in November/December and replace them with new larger ones. They are formed of living tissue supplied by blood through a network of vessels covered with a soft smooth skin called VELVET. Eventually the tissue solidifies, the velvet is scraped off and the antlers become completely formed of mineralised dead matter. Their main function is for display during the mating season and dominance within the herd.

Females, starting from around 2 years of age, give birth in May/June to 1-2 young after a mating period (rut) between late September and early November. Gestation lasts for approximately eight months.

Cows commonly give birth to twins and occasionally triplets. Offspring can browse and follow their mother at 3 weeks of age and are completely weaned at five months. They stay with their mother for at least a year after birth, until the next young are born.

The two photos show a male moose(top) and a female with it's young(left). The correct name for female moose is a COW, the male is called a BULL and the young moose is called a CALF.

Mothers are extremely aggressive and very protective of their calves, most probably due to the scarcity of food in the Winter, their greatest threat to survival.

Moose tend to be solitary animals but gathering in higher densities, up to a dozen or more, for the breeding season. Only 25% of groups have more than two adults. Each group, were possible, would occupy an area of 300-600 hectares.

An interesting talking points exists over the plural of the word moose but my feelings are that the correct form, MOOSE, is inadequate. Imagine the greater pleasure of encountering a group of MEESE roaming the countryside.

Moose Diet

Moose are browsers rather than grazers. They obtain most of their food from aquatic and marsh plants such as horsetails and pondweed. Moose also eat grass, lichen, plants growing on the forest floor, peeled-off bark and leaves stripped with their bottom lip from willows, sallows and poplars.

Moose, like other deer, are ruminants ("chew their cud"). They have a four-chambered stomach and their digestive systems contain micro-organisms that break down vegetation.

It is illegal, and very dangerous, to feed a moose. This is because moose that are fed by humans often become aggressive when they are not fed as expected, for example, they may attack the next person they see if that person has no food to offer.

Moose Tracks

Some populations migrate between sites favorable at different times of the year. These migrations can exceed 300km by European populations.

Moose can be identified from other deer by their unique foot prints mainly due to the sheer size of the hooves (see below). Cows and young bulls leave pointier tracks and like other deer, the sharper end of the heart points in the direction of travel. Moose strides are usually around 30" to 40" long.

Please note these details are simply for information and under no circumstance do I condone moose hunting.

Moose Predators

Despite their size and ability to run quickly for short distances, moose mainly fall prey to wolves, black bears and grizzly bears. Some population studies have shown that bears can kill up to 75 percent of newborns in their first eight weeks of life.

Another threat to moose is the winter tick. Tick infestations irritate the moose's skin, causing the moose to rub off portions of the hair they depend on for protection from the extreme winter cold, which typifies much of their habitat. Severe winters combined with heavy tick infestations can reduce moose populations as much as 50 percent.


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