The moose is our biggest animal

The moose is the largest member of the deer family in the world. It is found in Europe and Asia, as well as North America.
There are several races, the largest of which is found in Alaska, where a bull can go up to the size of a horse–about seven feet tall and weighing nearly a ton!
The moose has not adapted well to civilization. It is essentially a creature of the wilderness. They require twigs and shrubs in the winter, leaves and water plants in the summer.
Each moose consumes around 50 pounds of browse a day. They are very partial to water plants, and will even dive several feet to get them. Like deer, they also have the four-chambered stomach and “chew the cud.”
Because of its size and strength, the moose has few natural enemies. Black bears, puma, and lynx are often on the lookout for calves but not adults. The grizzly bear was quite capable of catching and killing any moose but it is now gone from most of its range.
That leaves the only other predator of note, the timber wolf. But there is much evidence wolves are very circumspect when it comes to tackling a healthy adult moose.
In fact, of all the moose killed during a several-year study, only five percent were healthy and in their prime. The majority were old, sick, had an accident, or were maybe just plain stupid.
Like all animals, moose are subject to parasites, the most obvious being ticks on the outside and tapeworm cysts on the inside. These hydatid cysts are usually in the lungs.
These tapeworms will infect dogs and wolves–actually that is part of their life cycle. The little tiny worms develop in the dog’s intestine, pass out in the feces, and can infect moose again.
They also can infect man but only through the dog stage. Be careful what parts of the moose you feed your dog. Maybe it would be wiser not to give him any.
Moose require a lot of range–a general rule of thumb is one square mile per adult animal. A study indicates they prefer dogwood, mountain ash, and maple in the winter but birch, hazel, poplar, and the like in the summer.
If the population rises much beyond the mile per animal, we get destruction of the food supply and a population breakdown.
Moose numbers are kept down by diseases, predators, and hunting.
Hunting has a very legitimate place in the scheme, providing it is carefully controlled. As you hunters will know, there has been an effort on the part of Ontario to regulate moose hunting more precisely in the last few years.
We are told the population of moose has come up a good deal so the scheme must be working.
One more question. The moose is a big beast, with antlers a yard-and-a-half wide, who sometimes charges through the forest like a Mack truck. Yet at other times, he can flit through the woods as silently as a cat.
How on earth can he manage that?

Posted in Uncategorized