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Moose at Fishing Point Back >>

MooseVisitors on our highways should be extremely careful while travelling especially during late evenings and thorough out the night. Moose are very unpredictable and have resulted in hundreds of vehicle accidents over the past few years. They often jump onto our highways and rush across when hearing vehicles approaching. Often there are more than one, especially with mothers and calves. We advise you to slow down especially during the evening and night. Many of our experience locals have been involved in such accidents, which can be difficult to avoid.

Moose 201The moose is the largest land mammal of Newfoundland. Moose haven't always been here on the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1878, a bull and a cow were brought from Nova Scotia and released at Gander Bay. In 1904, two bulls and two cows from New Brunswick were released near Howley. Moose were primarily introduced to the island to be used as an additional source of meat for residents once populations grew big enough for a sustainable harvest. Today, Newfoundland moose populations are estimated between 120,000 to 150,000 animals. Approximately 30,000 moose are harvested here annually. Who would have thought that a moose imported to Newfoundland in 1904 could have established itself so greatly that it now has the densest population in North America.

Moose 203While most active during the twilight and early dawn, moose may be observed abroad at any time of the day or night. They are solitary animals. However, during the summer, several moose may occupy the same pond or marsh to feed on aquatic vegetation. They feed independently afterwards returning to their solitary existence. Moose are good waders and swimmers. In addition to aquatic vegetation, the summer diet also includes broad-leaved trees, shrubs and grasses. In winter balsam fir is a diet staple but bark peeled from a number of other tree species as well. In areas of deep snow, favourable feeding areas may attract a number of moose together in a "yard". 

The rut or breeding season begins about the middle of September and may continue until late October. During the rut the bulls seek out the cows. At this time the bulls are very aggressive and curious, investigating every sound in the woods. After a gestation period of about 245 days a calf (rarely more than one) weighing approximately 30 pounds is born in late May or early June. The young moose remains with its mother throughout the winter but is driven away just before the mother calves again in the spring. At this time the yearling may weigh 400-500 pounds. The majority of moose breed for the first time in the fall following their second birthday. Two-year-old bulls compete for the cows but the older bulls usually drive their younger competitors away. Not all the cows bear young every year. 

Moose 204Antlers are shed during the winter, older animals losing their larger sets first. Early spring sees the new antlers beginning to grow, reaching full size in August. This large animal has a relatively small home range – the entire summer may be spent in a hundred acre area. During the rut, the males range over a much larger area. In spring, young moose occasionally wander into communities and are a frequent sight along the road in Newfoundland . The visitor is bound to see some if travelling along country roads throughout the province. Recently, there have been several sightings of this albino moose near the Cooks Harbour Road. However, this is an extremely rare occurrence.