Posts tagged: moose
WILDLIFE WATCHING — How many species of critters will pass the lens of a trail camera positioned at one spot in Stevens County, Wash.?
You'll be surprised.
Keep your eye open for the bobcat.
WILDLIFE — State Fish and Wildlife biologists put GPS tracking collars on 28 northeastern Washington moose in December for a long-term study on the largest member of the deer family.
Other states, including Minnesota and Montana, have launched studies to understand why moose are declining in much of their range.
Rich Harris, Washington’s special species manager, said moose still appear to be expanding range and possibly their numbers in Washington.
All moose captured so far, using tranquillizer guns fired from a helicopter, were adult or yearling cows.
WILDLIFE — After a video showing a snowboarder chasing a moose down a ski run on Montana's Big Mountain went viral, the Flathead National Forest tracked down the snowboarder and fined him $255 for harassing wildlife, and forest officials issued warnings to other recreationists to leave wildlife alone.
See the Kalispell Daily Interlake story.
WILDLIFE — Most hunters know the difference, but in casual conversation it's not uncommon to hear reference to something like a bull elk with “horns” that raked the sky. An elk has antlers, but the colloquial term “horns” rolls easier off the tongue.
Nevertheless, even sportsmen have misperceptions about what it takes to grow antlers and why not every deer and elk that reaches maturity will sport massive headgear, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists.
Here are some basics.
Antlers grow on male members of the deer family, including deer, elk and moose. They fall off each year during winter and grow back during spring and summer.
Horns are permanent growing features on the heads of mountain goats, bighorn sheep and bison.
Genetics and nutrition play major roles in horn growth. Generally, genetics determine the form of antlers while nutrition dictates their size. Some deer or elk simply lack the bloodlines to grow trophy-class racks of multiple points and width no matter what they're fed.
A study of white-tailed deer compared the offspring of yearling bucks with relatively large branched antlers versus yearlings with only spikes. Because both sets of deer were captive in the controlled experiment they were fed identical diets. The yearlings with larger antlers sired only 5 percent spikes, while the spike yearlings produced 44 percent spike antlered yearlings.
However, one study of mule deer has shown that in wet years, which mean increased availability of food, there are fewer spike bucks and larger number of yearlings with forked antlers.
Bottom line: The highest scoring trophy big-game usually are produced from a combination of good genetics and nutrition.
WILDLIFE — A rutting bull moose and the cow moose he was pursuing near Woodridge Elementary School was tranquilized and removed from the Indian Trail neighborhood Monday, but not before his 900-pounds made kindling out of a section of the wood fence around the Dave and Marcia Hardy's home.
Marcia, who watched the events through the window of her house said she was amazed at the size of the animal.
She also praised the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers for their safety and efficiency in handling the situation, even when crowds of neighbors showed up to take photos and after a neighbor drove by and spooked the moose into a more difficult place to handle.
Incidentally: The bull already had a red tag in its ear after being rescued in 2010 when it had become entangled in an electrified fence on Green Bluff, WDFW officers said.
Hunters with a moose permit should avoid these moose because the tranquilizing drug remains in their system for a month, WDFW says. Both animals were transported and released near Lake of the Woods in north Spokane County near the Pend Oreille County Line and the Idaho border.
The cow has a yellow ear tag and the bull has a red ear tag — and it's antlers have been sawed off for safety during transport.
Romance lost? Both moose were released together. After the ordeal, it may be the bull who tells the cow, “Not tonight, I have a headache.”
HUNTING — Alex Harris of Coeur d'Alene has been putting in for Idaho's once-in-a-lifetime bull moose tag for 10 years and even at that he was lucky to draw a 2013 tag.
Some hunters have applied for decades and are still coming up zip.
So the 37-year-old hunter made his opportunity count.
“I have hunted the St. Joe River drainage in Unit 6 for elk, deer, bear, grouse and turkey since the fall of 1996 and have seen many nice moose in the area where I was lucky enough to spot this monster,” he said in an email with the photo above.
“It is also in the same area that my Aunt and Uncle (my hunting mentors) have taken two 40-plus-inch moose in the past.”
This season was different on all counts, since it was Harris who had the moose tag in his pocket.
He said he'd passed up a few smaller bulls during the early stages of his hunt last week, but couldn’t resist the chance to take this bull — the rack measures 52 inches wide — on Sept 19, the evening of the fifth day of moose season.
“I will be doing a European mount of the head and (wife willing) will be hanging it in our living room,” he said. “I had to go out and purchase a new freezer in anticipation of the meat returning from the butcher. Enjoyed fresh moose tenderloin last night and probably liver and onions by the end of the week.”
Harris's moose-chasing companion found adventure simply by being WITH the holder of a coveted Idaho moose tag:
Hunting partner, heavy lifter, and expert knot tier Jacob Rothrock snapped the photo just before a smaller bull moose charged him trying to get to the newly single cow who had bedded down above us.
WILDLIFE — The only moose herd in Oregon appears to have doubled in size in recent years, despite deaths in recent years from a parasite.
The Oregonian says the herd numbers about 60 animals today, compared to 30 in 2006.
The carotid worm problem was discovered in about 2010 when biologists captured a moose in Wallowa County to fit it with a radio collar.
The moose died as it was being captured. The worms were found during a necropsy.
The moose are the smallest subspecies in North America, with females weighing up to 800 pounds and males weighing up to 1,000 pounds.
Alaska and Yukon moose are the largest subspecies in North America, weighing about 1500 pounds.
FORESTS – A Stimson Lumber Co. application to spray herbicides on forest land in Pend Oreille County is drawing concern from wildlife enthusiasts.
Timber companies have been getting permits from the Washington Department of Natural Resources for aerial spraying for years to kill brush that competes in harvested areas with newly planted trees.
But birding groups and some hunters are concerned about the toll the herbicides are taking on native plants and the birds and wildlife that depnd on them, expecially moose.
The Stimson application is for prime moose habitat in the Skookum Lake-Half Moon Lake area as well as around North Baldy and Pelke Divide.
HUNTING — Check in and cheer or cry: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife special permit drawings for 2013 have been conducted.
To view your drawing results, visit the WDFW website.
WILDLIFE — A moose was killed by law enforcement officers after being severely injured in a collision with a car early this morning near the Spokane Valley Mall.
The moose — described by wildlife officials as a yearling — was hit by a large sport utility vehicle in the area near Evergreen Road and Indiana Avenue. The driver was not injured.
A police officer shot the animal and the meat will be donated to the Union Gospel Mission.
WILDLIFE — A Pennsylvania OB-GYN doc on a guided fishing trip in southwestern Montana went home with an amazing tale of hauling in a 25-pound lunker — a baby moose plucked from the rushing waters.
Karen Sciascia of Red Hill, Pa., and guide Seth McLean with Four Rivers Fishing Co. were fishing the Big Hole River on Saturday when they spotted a cow moose with a calf trying to cross the river.
Sciascia told the Missoulian that the mother moose struggled to cross and when her calf tried to follow, it was swept away.
They followed downstream, finally spotting the tiny moose’s nose just above the water.
Sciascia says she scooped the moose out of the water and McLean rowed the raft upriver so they could return the calf to her mother.
HUNTING — Wednesday (May 22) is the deadline to apply for Washington's special big-game hunting permits for deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep, and turkey seasons.
Permit winners will be selected through a random drawing in late June.
Update your email and mailing address in the system when purchasing your special permit applications and licenses. Each year, hundreds of special hunting permits are returned because of invalid addresses, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officials say.
Idaho's first controlled hunt application period ended April 30. The second CH application period for leftover tags is June 15-25.
Montana's main deer and elk special permit application period ended March 15. Applications for antelope and secondary elk and deer permits is June 1.
WILDLIFE — Hans Krauss, a Spokane Valley wildlife enthusiast and photographer, shot these photos of a bull moose in the Ponderosa neighborhood a few days ago.
What first caught his eye are the bases of where antlers had fallen off, and where the new antler growth soon will be sprouting.
But my first reaction was, “That poor bugger is infested with ticks.” If the grayish look, and the hair rubbed off in patches including the ears aren't an obvious clue, the engorged ticks on the moose's rump are graphic.
Indeed, Krauss's email with the photos came while I was on the phone conducting an interview with Rich Harris, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in charge of special big-game species, such as moose. I was researching the decline of moost published for stories published in the Sunday Outdoors section:
I forwarded the photos to Harris, who in turn forwarded the photos to Kristen Mansfield, the state's wildlife veterinarian. Here are their comments:
…. Would appreciate your ideas. Rich Landers sent me these photos yesterday, nice close up of a bull photographed yesterday. He looks somewhat emaciated to me, and I wonder if this amount of grey color is shedding, old age, ticks, normal end of winter condition, or other? What do you think?
— Rich Harris
The whitish-grayish coloring of the legs is normal.
The thin hair and whitish-grayish coloring in the saddle area, neck, and rump are where he's been scratching at winter ticks. I think you can even see several ticks in his perineal area.
He does look thin, but not really emaciated to me. Kind of what I'd expect this time of year in an animal that appears to have had a miserable winter dealing with lots of ticks.
— Kristen Mansfield
Outdoors and wildlife-related stories recently published in The Spokesman-Review include:
Out & About: Poacher sends $6,000 check to ease conscience; wolf origin hard to peg
HUNTING — Fewer numbers of moose in Idaho have prompted proposals for fewer moose hunting permits as the Idaho Fish and Game Department takes comments on changing moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat seasons and rules for 2013-2014.
Proposed changes in moose tags are in response to decreased success rates in past years and fewer moose. However, Fish and Game biologists are proposing an increase in tags and new hunts where moose are doing better.
Proposed changes are posted on the Fish and Game website for review and comment.
The proposals will be submitted along with public comments to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for consideration and action during the annual meeting Jan. 17.
Comments may be entered online or by email to email@example.com.
Read on for more details.
WILDLIFE — A moose was freed from a strange backyard entanglement this summer thanks to a brave Utah deputy and a pair of cutters.
Maybe you read the story about the bold and unusual rescue.
But the video above offers a clearer image.
Anyone who's tried to handle deer, elk or moose for research or whatever can tell you that one lightning-fast kick can cause serious damage.
Good work, officer.
CRITTER STUFF — OK, I can't verify this, nor do I need to. But the story of the photo goes like this:
Only in Nordern Minnesnowta!
This guy raised an abandoned moose calf with his horses, and believe it or not, he has trained it for skidding logs and other hauling tasks. Given the 2,000 pounds of robust muscle, and the splayed, sure-grip hooves, he claims it is the best work animal he has.
He says the secret to keeping the moose around is a sweet salt lick, although, during the rut he disappears for a couple of weeks, but always comes home.
For the record: I new this was a fake when I posted it. But I didn't know there was an authentic photo of a moose being harnessed as a beast of burden. Thanks to a reader, check it out here.
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — A fresh moose carcass was discovered TODAY along the Selkirk Crest’s popular Harrison Lake Trail prompting local Forest Service officials to issue a wildlife hazard warning.
No conflicts between humans and wildlife have been reported, but officials recommend that hikers choose another trail and avoid traveling within the vicinity of the carcass, which is likely to attract large carnivores.
The carcass is a half half mile from the trailhead and is likely to attract wildlife including predators such as grizzly bears and mountain lions.
It is unknown what caused the moose’s death, said Jason Kirchner of the Panhandle National Forests.
Info: Sandpoint Ranger District, (208) 263-5111.
HUNTING — Moose are the largest of North American big-game animals.
But the size of a trophy bull tagged recently by a hunter in the Brooks Range emphasizes that the moose we see in the Inland Northwest are pip-squeaks compared with the Alaskan variety that stand about 7 feet tall at the shoulders.
Bob Condon, 73, of Soldotna, Alaska, was in a remote, fly-in area when he bagged the bull that's sure to make the record books.
The bull weighed more than 1,500 pounds.
The antlers — 10-inches in circumference at the base with a spread of 73 inches and palms large enough to cradle a grown man — weighed 98 pounds alone.
Condon reportedly made a great 400-yard shot, and his comeback from five heart bypass surgeries as well as being attacked by a big bull moose in recent years, is compelling.
Read the full story from the Redoubt Reporter of Soldotna.
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — Moose are looking for love this time of year, and, as in humans, it can make them goofy.
This is OK when they're out in the woods, but it's not uncommon to see moose around Spokane, Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene and other towns in the region.
Give moose a wide berth. Enjoy them from a distance.
Here's a report from Spokane's South Hill by Robert Estuar:
Might be time to remind people to be wary of moose off the South Hill bluff. I mountain bike the trails about 4 times per week and I've seen moose on 4 separate occasions over the past 3 weeks.
Yesterday around 6 pm, I happened on 3 moose (looked like a cow and 2 calves) about 25 feet off the trail. I've seen the moose on the lower trails -southwest of the powerlines.
Great to have wildlife sightings so close to home but I worry about problem interactions with people and their dogs.
Garden expert Pat Munts offers more on the subject today in this column.