Moose – Silent Giants of the Forest

Bull Moose

Bull Moose Photographed while Snowshoeing near Spirit Lake, Idaho

Seeing a moose in its natural habitat is an amazing treat. We have the privilege of living in an area of United States which is heavily populated with moose. Along with all of the other wonderful wildlife found here (elk, whitetail and mule deer, mountain lions, wolves, black bears, and grizzly bears), North Idaho is a great place to observe and photograph moose.

The average adult moose stands 6–7 ft high at the shoulder. Males (bulls) may weigh anywhere from 850–1600 pounds and females (cows) may weigh 600–800 pounds. Typically, the antlers of a mature bull may span from 3 ft and 5 ft in width. The moose is the second largest land animal (bison is the largest) in both North America and Europe.

Bulls will drop their antlers after the mating season and to conserve energy during the peak of winter. A new set of antlers will then re-grow in the spring. Antlers take three to five months to fully develop, making them one of the fastest growing animal organs known. Initially, new antlers have a layer of skin called felt which is shed once the antlers become fully grown. Immature bulls may not shed their antlers for the winter, but retain them until the following spring. Spring time in North Idaho is famous for “shed hunting”, which involves getting out in the backcountry by either hiking, riding atv’s, four wheel drive vehicles, snowmobiles, or snowshoes (depending on the weather and terrain) to look for dropped moose, elk, or deer antlers.

A full-grown moose has few enemies, but a pack of wolves can still pose a threat—especially to females with calves. Cow moose are extremely protective of their young. Bulls are very territorial. It’s wise to maintain your distance from these magnificent animals and respect their size, strength, and territory. However, observing them from the safety of a vehicle or at a safe distance can afford memories and photos that will bring joy for a lifetime.

If you are interested in getting out to explore the beautiful backcountry of North Idaho for moose and other wildlife, please feel free to contact TMI Tours at 1-800-975-7775. We would enjoy the opportunity to provide you with a unique outing that showcases the beauty of our flora and fauna!