Michigan moose viewing isn’t hard when there’s a Bull Moose in the road

Bull Moose

Bull Moose, photo by Pure Michigan.

The entry for Alces alces (moose) at the UM Animal Diversity Web says that what we call “moose” are known as Eurasian elk in Europe. Moose live near water ponds, lakes, rivers and swamps that hold their favorite foods and help keep them cool. Their large bodies, inability to sweat and the heat produced by fermentation in their guts mean they can’t endure temperatures above 80 degrees for long. Also see Moose on Wikipedia.

Moose are native to Michigan but although Michigan granted moose full legal protection in 1889, moose had disappeared from the Lower Peninsula in the 1890s and only a handful remained in the Upper Peninsula. (Moose in Michigan whitepaper). The February survey of Michigan moose estimates 500 total moose, with about 433 of these concentrated in Marquette, Baraga and northern Iron counties.

The DNR’s Guide to Moose Viewing in the Upper Peninsula includes maps and suggests that to while moose locations are difficult to predicta:

…there are three areas where visitors would do well to begin their quest. The center of the moose country in the western U.P. is Van Riper State Park. In the eastern Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Seney National Wildlife Refuge offer the best chances of seeing moose.

…Look for moose in the early morning and evening when summer temperatures are coolest.

Moose often are associated with water, so areas around beaver ponds and along the edges of lakes, streams, and swamps are good places to look. Van Riper and Tahquamenon Falls state parks have moose information centers with interpretive materials including a kiosk and a video on Michigan moose recovery efforts. Interpretive staff can provide the latest information on the local herd and recent sightings. In addition to moose, loons, eagles, black bears, deer, foxes, and even wolves may be seen in moose country.

Caution must be taken when watching moose. Moose should not be approached. They can be unpredictable and aggressive. Most dangerous are cow moose with young, or bulls during the mating season (September and October).

Pure Michigan has the name “Susan Ballreich on this photo so I assume she caught the shot of the bull moose on the Peshekee Grade road near Marquette. Check it out bigger and in their massive Fall 2010 slideshow.

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