Many Moose

By , October 6, 2017

This year’s Tier II Subsistence Moose Hunt ended Tuesday at midnight, after 25 bulls had been harvested. For us, it has been an unusual season, because so many moose have stayed in our neighborhood.

My main informant of All Things Moose has been Michelle. Her early trips to town at the end of September put her in the position to encounter both moose and hunters on Mud Bay. She learned that this year, at least three bull moose, all “sub-legal,” (antlers outside the configurations we’re allowed to harvest) have frequented the bay during daylight hours. This includes the big fellow who made her morning commute so exciting. A couple of his love interests visited our door yard (see Be Careful What You Wish For!).

The moose guarding the trailhead. Michelle snapped this with her phone in a rainstorm. A lousy snapshot, but a gallery-worthy impressionist painting! (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

We only remember seeing one other bull moose in the bay or peninsula in our 11 years here. That sighting was years ago. We know there have been more than that, but for us to see so many of them represents a rare event.

On Saturday morning, the day after my encounter on the homestead, Michelle and I drove to town. She had work, I had play practice; she drove. As we pulled away from our parking space, we saw a moose standing in the sunshine on the far beach of the bay. Michelle pulled over toward the narrow shoulder, slowing to a stop, I grabbed some binoculars, and took a closer look.

A blasting car horn startled us, followed quickly by a car whipping around us, as someone inside it shouted something rude. We glanced at the disappearing vehicle, and immediately saw the problem: it had a Florida license plate.

Tourists. Can’t expect them to know anything about where they are, including:

1. that on that rural road in our tiny town, one rarely sees two cars in motion at the same time. Stopping on the road almost never impedes traffic.

2. It’s moose hunting season. If one has a permit, and one spots a moose, one stops to check it out.

3. Any car in our region stopping at the roadside likely means there’s some sort of interesting wildlife to sight.

4. At that time on a Saturday morning, you won’t be late for anything in town. They had no reason to rush, nor to resent us slowing them down slightly.

I have no doubt that these people will now go back to Florida, having missed their one chance to see a moose in the wild. They’ll tell their friends, “There are no moose in Haines. We were there three whole days, and didn’t see a single one!”

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