Moose – Update 7/11/10

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

Moose in a heat wave

Used to be, if you wanted to see moose you drove 200-300 miles north from here into Northern Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont.

This year they’re here in Warwick ( Mass.). Yesterday, three miles from my house, I came upon this young fellow. If I’d been speeding I’d have hit him; he was right in the middle of the westbound side of a narrow country road. The ambient temperature was close to 100 F. A brook was 20 feet away, down an embankment, and this guy is standing with his hind end toward my car, totally unaware of my approach.

I got out my camera. He moved slightly to the right and walked beside me as I edged forward. The light was terrible for this kind of photography, especially on a road where someone could have been coming up behind us at any minute.  This is the best shot I got.

After a few minutes, said moose headed into the brush, toward the book.  I hope he at least got is feet wet.

As he left the scene, I noticed that an eastbound pickup truck had stopped so as not to disturb us. Nice folks around here.

I think this moose was more than heat-struck; I think he was sick. He was emaciated — so thin you could see the points of his pelvis.  Maybe I should have called the wildlife people,  but when they see a bear or a moose they get out the rifles. If nature takes him, so be it, but I wasn’t going to be part of an outright killing

I’m open to hearing your thoughts about this.

UPDATE: I just learned (just because I’m late in reading the local paper) that the wildlife folk shoot tranquilizer darts, not bullets.

A 2 1/2 year old bull moose went walking around a traffic circle in Greenfield (our main shopping town, about 25 miles from here) around 4:30 p.m. Friday, the day we saw our moose in the morning. I’m sure it wasn’t the same moose — the one that was tranquilized and taken to an undisclosed location in the woods wasn’t as skinny as the one we saw earlier in the day.

For the most part, moose are very shy, although in rutting season (not in the dead of summer) once in a while one gets nutty and charges a car. It’s very weird to see two moose unfazed by cars this time of year, especially on the same day. I still think it’s the heat.

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3 Responses to “Moose – Update 7/11/10”

  1. Stupid question, why do they get the rifles out for a moose? Do moose behave like bears and rummage through your garbage and occasionally attack?

  2. EE: Turns out the rifles shoot tranquilizer darts. See my update on the Moose post.

  3. At least you are a little closer to the “wild” than these folks!

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