The Moose is the official State Animal of Maine!
The moose , Alces alces, is the largest species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a “twig-like” configuration.
The word moose is derived from the Algonquian Eastern Abnaki name moz, which loosely translates to “twig eater”.
On average, an adult moose stands 1.8–2.1 m (6–7 ft) high at the shoulder. Males weigh 380–720 kg (850–1580 pounds) and females weigh 270–360 kg (600–800 pounds). The largest confirmed size for this species was a bull shot at the Yukon River in September 1897 weighing 820 kg (1,800 lb) and was 233 cm (92 in) tall at the shoulder. The largest of all is the Alaskan subspecies (A. a. gigas), which can stand over 2.1 m (7 ft) at the shoulder, has a span across the antlers of 1.8 m (6 ft) and averages 634.5 kg (1,396 lbs) in males and 478 kg (1,052 lbs) in females. Typically, however, the antlers of a mature specimen are between 1.2 m (3.9 ft) and 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The Moose of Alaska matches the extinct Irish Elk as the largest deer of all time. Behind only the bisons, the Moose is the second largest land animal in both North America and Europe.
Moose are hunted as a game species in many of the countries where they are found. Moose meat tastes, wrote Henry David Thoreau in “The Maine Woods”, “like tender beef, with perhaps more flavour; sometimes like veal”. While the flesh has similar protein levels to other comparable red meats (e.g. beef, deer and elk) it has a low fat content and the fat that is found is made up of a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fats (rather than saturated fats).
Moose have very poor eyesight, and a great sense of smell. They shed their winter coats annually and have have a flap of skin under their throat called a BELL.
Moose Watching in Maine is very popular. In May, June, September, October and December are great months to catch site of one. If you are looking for a moose with antlers, then September and October are the best bet.
Collisions between cars and moose are common, especially north of Bangor during the late spring and summer. Accidents with moose can occur in southern Maine as well. Moose are drawn to the roadside by salt spread during the winter.
Skid marks identify many of the hot spots, and some well-known stretches of road, including Route 201 from Bingham north, are even considered prime viewing areas. Although they are larger than deer, moose are more difficult to spot because of their darker, almost black, summer coat. They can look like a shadow in the road and won’t necessarily run from an oncoming car.
Experts urge travelers to take extra care and stay alert and to take these measures:
- Stay within speed limits, or below, especially from a couple of hours before sunset to a couple of hours after sunrise.
- Heed “Moose Crossing” signs.
- Watch the shoulder carefully.
- Don’t expect a moose to rush off the road. Wait it out or ease around it.
Ask at a local chamber of commerce to find Maine guides or outfitters that offer moose safaris or tours. The best time to look for moose is at sunrise or sunset, at the edges of lakes and ponds.
NORTH COUNTRY RIVERS
Go On A Moose Safari!!!!
Experience a Moose Safari with North Country Rivers! Let our Registered Maine Guides take you on a memorable wildlife tour. See Moose, Deer, Bear, Eagles, and Osprey in their natural habitat. Be sure to bring your camera and video camera!
We offer guided Moose Safari trips from our Bingham location (May-Oct). Moose Safaris meet in the early evening when wildlife is most active – so our professional guides can take you on an adventure you will remember for a lifetime.
In addition to fun Moose Safari trips, North Country Rivers offers Kayaking, ATV tours, Moose Safaris, Snowmobiling, Hiking, Biking, Fishing and more. Combine any or our Maine Outdoor Adventures with a complete Maine Vacation package that includes Deluxe Cabins, Tent & RV Camping and meals.
See you in the Maine Outdoors!
North Country Rivers
Gadabout Gaddis Airport
36 Main Street
PO Box 633
Bingham, Maine 04920