Moose (Alces alces)

Moose (Alces alces)

Moose Tracks & Signs

Moose are the largest member of the deer family. In recent years the population in the state of Maine was estimated to be 75,000+. Winter ticks, harsh winters and predators have killed a large portion of the population in the last two years. Bears and coyotes kill calves in the spring, and calves succumb to deep snow, frigid temperatures and disease in winter. You’re more likely to see signs than the animal, especially if you’re sticking on the road.

A bull (male) rubbed his antlers on these trees. He left his scent and a visual cue telling other bulls that this is his territory. This doesn’t mean other bulls won’t be in the same place. When they do show up at the same time during the rut it’s likely that there will be a battle between the largest bulls.

Cow

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bull moose, velvet, antlers, moose tracksAntlers

Antlers are shed each winter and begin to grow again in early spring. Steve found these and others while hunting or cruising timber. The top moose antler is quite old but the bottom, darker antler was found in November, 2016. If you look closely at the point (tip) furthest to the left you can see where rodents chewed on it for the calcium and phosphorous. The other points are worn down from rubbing trees to mark territory and possibly from fighting with another bull.

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Moose and Deer Tracks

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moose tracks, moose tracks in mud,Found under a bowed sapling. The moose rubbed against the sapling, most likely because of ticks. I found this during the time winter ticks were in larval stages. Winter ticks are killing a large number of moose in Maine.

moose hair, moose tracks, moose signsMoose droppings

Also known as scat. Droppings seem to last forever. They’re likely to be paler and look more like plant material as much as a year after dropped. I’ve seen droppings used for necklaces and earrings. Not sure I’m ready for that fashion statement yet.
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