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Moose Encounters of the Furred Kind

Updated on May 14, 2017
Linda Currier of Quincy, MA paddles past mother and calf moose. - Photo by George Sommers
Linda Currier of Quincy, MA paddles past mother and calf moose. - Photo by George Sommers

After kayaking up a secluded New Hampshire brook, it was time to head back. Just one problem. A fully antlered bull moose stood smack dab in our path in the middle of the water. Bull moose are entirely unpredictable, and potentially dangerous, Several minutes of strategizing ensued. Eventually, we hugged the bank, staying as far away as we could; and fortunately, Bullwinkle ignored us.

Before we even reached our vacation destination another time; we spotted a mom moose and her calf grazing in the Pontook Reservoir. I pulled over, unloaded and launched the kayaks in record time, snapping the picture as seen above. A mom moose protecting her calf can be pretty formidable, too, and the woman was further from these two than it looks in the picture.

These enormous, ungainly critters look like a a relic of the prehistoric era and never fail to fascinate. And for that reason, I make a trip at least annually three or four hours north of Boston to try to see some.

Moose can be found in Canada, and most of the states bordering Canada along with a smattering of others; as well as some other northern countries.

Once you venture into moose country in northern New England, you'll see plenty of moose crossing signs and moose-themed businesses often with cutesy "moose" oriented names but seeing a real live moose is a matter of luck - and many go away empty handed,. But, you can improve the odds by being in the right place at the right time. While they might appear any time or anywhere, the likeliest times to see them are late afternoon, early evening and early morning. The best places are low lying marshy areas often at the bottom of hills with the aquatic plants they like to munch on.

In parts of New Hampshire, visitors can take guided moose tours in small buses. Actually, if you are driving around and see one of the buses pulled over (or a few cars, for that matter) it's likely that they've spotted a moose.

About those "moose crossing" signs, one moose encounter you DON'T want is hitting one with a car. They are notoriously had to see at night as they are dark in color, and have long, spindly legs which places their bodies way above the hoods of most cars. For me, one vacation ended on a bummer note when I had to watch as a trooper shot one that was hit by a car.

And, sadly; moose populations seem to be on the decline. One tour operator speculated that milder winters - possible climate change result - were allowing more disease carrying ticks to survive, ironically making the biggest critters in the forest a victim to one of the tiniest.



hit- long spindly legs

On a bummer note, we were on our way home from one vacation when we saw a moose that had been hit by a car getting shot by a state trooper. Long legs- They've also been harder to spot in recent years. One guide says that milder winters have resulted in more ticks, which carry diseases fatal to moose.

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