Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service – Four New Employees

Three new members of the ‘Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service’ arrived on our property in early October. Mavis Moose and her two calves, Morgan and Montana, worked primarily in the NE section of our woods. They also rested on (and fertilized) the grassy area that covers our septic field.

This calf is demonstrating extreme resting. Morgan (or maybe it was Montana) slumbered in the full side sleeping position for almost an hour. I’d never seen a moose stretch out like that before… for a while I was afraid it had died!

(More Moose Photos:  Mike Jackson’s Resting Moose Collection of Photos.)

Mother moose with two calves

I know that wild life researchers avoid getting so close to animals that they affect eating habits and natural behavior. We have the opposite situation here – the moose don’t hesitate to get close to our ‘habitat’, thus affecting our behavior. In the photo above, they crossed our driveway, then bedded down about 30 ft (9 m) away from our front door.
Mature male moose

The fourth new member of the ‘Munching Moose’ crew was Malcolm. Though Malcolm did do some munching, he was here for only one day. Apparently he achieved his objective with the female moose, then moved on to sow his wild oats in another ‘part of town’.

A rare portrait of Malcolm, Morgan and Montana (I cropped Mavis out of the photo because she was in the deep shade – but she was staying very close to her calves.)

A few days later, there was a grand Munching Moose Picnic in our west woods. Mothers Martha and Mavis  spent a few hours munching and resting while the calves, Morley, Morgan and Montana  frolicked about – dare I say  Moose-capades!

I was watching all the activity from a location about 100 ft  (30 m) away. Suddenly, one of the calves ran directly towards me. It abruptly stopped when it was about 30 ft (9 m) away from me (and the large grey thing with round rubber feet). Then, just as quickly, it ran away.

In another blink of an eye, the mother moose had arrived to check on her calf. She too came to a full stop in the same spot as the calf had been, then turned and casually walked away. This isn’t the first time we’ve observed that these moose are comfortable being near human structures but actively avoid close contact with people.

That’s not to say all moose populations are like that (or that these moose would react the same way every time). However, these moose do live in a semi-rural area that has far more people than there are moose – an area where the trade off for having food and safe places to bed down is frequent encounters with human beings. So far, so good.

28 thoughts on “Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service – Four New Employees

      1. We get the odd Bullwinkle come through here. It such a treat to see Moose on the prairie!
        I’m not sure I’d be as comfortable as you are in such close proximity to them though, they are massive creatures!

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        1. We stay alert, especially when the mother moose first arrive with new calves or when a male is around. Other than that, we just make sure we have a vehicle or a lot of trees between us and the moose, then go about our business.

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          1. Yes, I’ll bet there are times when they are quite dangerous to be around!
            I am really enjoying the posts about your Moose family!
            Thanks so much for sharing them Margy!

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  1. How do you get anything done? I’d be sitting in my window, watching for moose 24/7! Fabulous photos. You are certainly blessed (I wish I had some moose to trim a few shrubs around here that have gotten out of hand with all the wet weather we’ve had!!!! All I get are deer, who eat the plants I don’t want them to eat, and leave their droppings everywhere!)

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    1. The moose now seem to have a schedule – which makes it a lot easier to keep track of their movements. On days that they choose to be on our property, they arrive in the morning, rest until noon, wander through the woods eating lunch, rest some more, get up and eat supper, then leave.
      We have deer too, but we have a 6 foot chain link fence that protects all the things I don’t want eaten. Neither moose or deer have chosen to breach the fence!

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  2. I love reading about your moose encounters outside your door. Our cottage is in moose country but we don’t very often interact with them.

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    1. It seems like if you are growing what they like to eat or you have dark woods they can cool off in, they will come! It may help that we are surrounded by farmland – these moose don’t seem interested in the crops these farmers are growing. I have read, though, that some moose eat canola and grain crops – maybe our moose do too and I just haven’t seen them doing it!

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    1. It’s a gift. I’m only sorry that ‘Mandate’ Moose hasn’t put in an appearance yet – ’cause all us humans have been under mandates for what seems like a very long time.

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