Moose are most likely spotted during late spring to mid-summer and the month of September. Early morning and evening and noon to 2 p.m. seem to be the best times of day for spotting these large animals while they eat a diet of woodland and aquatic vegetation (Up to 40 – 50 lbs. a day!). During your search, keep in mind the fact that a moose does have poor eyesight, but a very keen sense of hearing and smell. Also remember to stay away from cows (females) with calves in tow, and bulls (males) during “Rutting Season” as they are likely to charge the unwary tourist! Planning a moose safari? Click here to view the best places to view moose in the Rangeley Lakes Region. If you prefer a guided trip, Saddleback Mountain offers free moose watching tours during the summer months or book a couple of hours with one of Rangeley’s registered Maine guides.
Birth: Born late May to early June. Calves weigh 20 – 35 lbs. at birth and are 3’ long and up to 3’ at the shoulders, gaining 1 to 2 lbs. daily the first month and 3 to 5 lbs. daily the next several months. Coats are a red-brown. Twins are born less than 33% of the time and triplets are extremely rare.
Growth & Maturity: Maturity is reached in 5 years. At maturity their coats are dark brown to black with lighter legs. They are in their “Prime” from 5-10 years, and can live to about 20 years of age. Full height is usually reached in 2 years. A full grown bull moose can measure up to 10 feet long, 7 feet at the shoulder, with legs 40 inches long or more and a rack measuring over 60 inches (with 20 or more “points”) and weighing over 60 lbs. Full weight is reached in about 5 years. Bulls can reach up to 1,400 pounds (Avg. 1,000-1,200 lbs.), cows weigh between 700 and 900 lbs.
Mating (Rutting) Season: Mid-September to mid-October. Yearlings can mate, but most do not.
Molting Season: Moose shed their winter coats between May and late June, giving their coat a very ragged look during this period.
Range: 2 to 4 square miles on average, although they may wander during certain times of the year.
Speed: Land – up to 35 mph, Water – over 6 mph.
Tracks: 2 toed, up to 6” long & 4” wide. (Moose have 4 toes, but the dew claws usually don’t show in the tracks)
More Information – Related Articles and Websites:
Maine’s Rangeley Lakes Region & Franklin County Directory Listings: