INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT
NEW HAMPSHIRE'S MOOSE
NH Bull Moose with "velvet" rack.
Picture taken on Route 118 in Warren, NH. ©Bryan Flagg
Genus and Species — Alces alces
Kingdom: Animalia ~ Phylum: Chordata ~ Sub-Phylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia ~ Sub-Class: Theria ~ Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae ~ Sub-Family: Odocoilinae
Genus: Alces ~ Species: alces
Common Name: MOOSE
Plural Name: MOOSE
Moose are the largest of all living deer
Male Known As The Bull Moose
Female Known As The Cow Moose
Length: 8-10 feet
Height: to shoulder, 5-7 feet
Weight: 800-1500 lb.
Female smaller than male
The largest bull moose ever taken in NH weighed in at 1040 pounds, dressed weight.
Live weight of this moose would have been approximately 1400 lbs.
The largest cow dressed at 815 lbs.
The bulls in the NH Locked Moose Antler Project display dressed at 870 and 825.
Their live weights would have been approximately 1200 and 1100 lbs., respectively
Moose have teeth which are specially designed for eating plant materials
and for browsing on bushes and small trees.
In all, they have 32 teeth made up of 12 ridged molars, 12 premolars, 6 incisors and 2 canines.
Incisors are the front teeth. Like other members of the deer family, moose only have lower incisors, and do not have upper incisors (though they have both upper and lower molars).
As moose get older, their teeth get worn out.
Worn out teeth lead to reduced food intake, and reduced physical condition.
Sexual maturity: 16-28 months
Rut (Mating season): September to October
Gestation: 240-250 days
No. of young: 1 or 2
Habitat: Solitary or in small groups
Diet: Leaves, branches and twigs, water and marsh plants.
Moose may consume 45 pounds of food per day.
Lifespan: Up to 20 years. Average 10-15 years
Moose can trot as fast as 35 miles an hour.
They are good swimmers and can remain underwater for up to a minute.
Moose are ruminants, and spend much of their life chewing cud.
Ruminant: meaning their stomach is divided into four discrete chambers, which are concerned with particular, sequential aspects of digestion of the fibrous plant biomass these animals feed upon. Moose ruminate, meaning they regurgitate and rechew forage that has spent some time fermenting in one of the four-chambers of the stomach.
Bull Moose shed their antlers each winter and grow a new set each spring.
Cows do not grow antlers.
The Reindeer/Caribou is the only deer species in which both
the male and female have antlers!
The greatest antler spread of a bull taken in NH is 68 inches.
The bulls in the "Forever Locked" display have a 61 and 53 inch spread.
An annual moose hunt occurs in NH each October.
Approximately 500 permits are issued annually through a lottery process.
The statewide success rate is about 75%.
To find out more about the moose hunt, click on text below and
go to the NH Fish and Game Department Website at
HOW ANTLERS GROW
Both white-tailed deer and moose grow new antlers every summer
and then shed them after the breeding season.
Here's the general timetable for antler growth:
* Early spring -- Increasing hours of daylight cause the pituitary gland to give the signal to start antler growth. Actual growth starts in April and May.
* April -- "Buds" appear.
* May to late July -- Blood transports calcium, phosphorus, proteins and other materials from which the antlers are made. The soft skin and short hair covering each antler have a plush-like quality, giving this stage the name "velvet."
* Late August -- Antlers reach full size. The male hormone testosterone is being produced in increasing amounts and initiates the shedding of the velvet. The blood supply dries up and the velvet dries and begins peeling.
* Mid-September -- Time of prime condition. Velvet is rubbed off against trees and shrubs, leaving the lifeless, bony core of the antler. This hardens and is polished by continual rubbing.
* October-November -- Peak of the breeding season, when bucks spar, or fight with each other.
* January -- Toward the end of the breeding season, the antlers become loosened around the base. The shedding of antlers is related to a decrease of testosterone. Shed antlers fall to the ground and are gnawed by rodents, rabbits and hares for the minerals and protein they contain.
MOOSE "ON THE LOOSE" DRIVERS BEWARE!
To avoid a moose collision:
* Drive below the speed limit -- especially at dusk and dawn and especially in moose-heavy areas;
* Use high beams when possible;
* Be able to stop within the zone of your headlights;
*Scan the sides of the roads as you drive.
More than 200 moose are struck by vehicles each year in New Hampshire, according to biologists and law enforcement authorities. New Hampshire has an estimated population of 5,000 to 6,000 moose.
To spread the word about sharing the roads with moose, Fish and Game created "Brake for Moose," an award-winning campaign that includes the popular yellow bumper sticker and highway signs.
PO Box 10, Warren, NH 03279