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A Survivor

Posted 01-29-2012 at 02:46 PM by Ard
Updated 01-30-2012 at 10:58 PM by Ard

For a Bull Moose around where we live surviving isn't so much a matter of making it through the hunting season, it's about making it through any of the seasons. Our moose have been adapting to the development of land and the coming of new homes pretty well. They wander through yards and forested areas alike searching out whatever browse they can find to help them survive the winters. On our little piece of Alaska they have a three acre place of refuge but three acres is not sufficient as a feed lot for a moose, not even close. So they wander, and sometimes, more often than you would want to think those wanderings take them to KGB road! Kink Goose Bay road is a 2 lane road that leads from Wasilla to Point Mackenzie and it is the most treacherous strip of asphalt in this part of the state for man or beast.

The state DOT made this a Highway Safety Zone a few years back due to the number of fatal automobile accidents on KGB. 55 mph with Double Fines read the signs along the way but few really heed the rule. In the past 7 days there were 6 moose hit by motorists within 2 miles of our home. I will not digress into what I think may be the underlying factors for this carnage but to claim that you can't see these animals where the state has cut the forest back 30 - 50 yards on each side of the road to provide better sight possibilities isn't a really good excuse. How about 'You weren't really looking'. I'll leave it at that.

This morning just after daylight as I was about to delete a promotional post from a non business member I looked out the window from my loft;

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Well hello there I said as I sat up to pay attention to the visitor out back. We see very few mature bull moose because of the inordinate road kill I spoke of here but this one seems to be 'A Survivor'. You can see how they do business here, reach up to a hight 7 - 8 feet depending on the moose, grab the sapling, bend it until it snaps and then chow down.

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All the photos were taken through the double glass of our windows because if you try to open one this guy is gonna bolt. When they do all bets are off on how far or which direction they will run so I sat tight and watched.

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As he finished up the good stuff down back he made use of my trail, I plow the snow from the turn around area of our driveway down into the woods so I have room for the next batch. Moose like trails when available, especially when the snow pack is about 2.5 foot deep and crusty here.

Click the image to open in full size.

I moved around the house from window to window as he walked along like when I was a little boy moving around a fish tank looking in, however I was in the tank looking out at the wonders of nature this time.

For a sense of scale, that is our 18.5 foot river boat wrapped with that big gray tarp. I figure this moose may turn 3 or possibly 4 this spring and considering the carnage that has taken so many of his relatives he is thus far 'A Survivor'.

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  1. Old Comment
    mcnerney's Avatar
    Ard: Great moose photos, thanks for sharing! Looks like you are getting your fair share of snow this winter!

    Posted 01-30-2012 at 03:46 PM by mcnerney mcnerney is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Ard's Avatar
    Yes, it's snowing right now. We have had a little over 5 foot here but a couple warm spells and a 5 day wind storm dropped the loft considerably. I just came in from plowing the drive
    Posted 01-30-2012 at 05:45 PM by Ard Ard is online now
  3. Old Comment
    Really enjoy the pics!
    Posted 01-30-2012 at 10:52 PM by pab1 pab1 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    ausablebrown's Avatar
    Wow what a treat to see something like that right outside of your window! Not to rub it in, but here in Ohio I'm not sure that we have had even 5" of snow yet! There hasn't been a lake effect storm, clipper, noreaster or any of our usual winter thumpings that we get in these parts. It has been very unusual so far; we usually wait for a week of "January thaw" around these parts but we haven't even frozen the ground yet for more than a night. Just rain on top of rain for the last 5 months.

    I was just browsing through some old posts and came across one of your stories from Slate run; reminds me that I have to get there this season. Hopefully you can point me in the right direction when I plan that trip. Take care Ard, and happy shovelling!
    Posted 01-31-2012 at 06:25 AM by ausablebrown ausablebrown is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Ard's Avatar
    Jason, I do hope I got that name right We aren't upset about the snow at all here. A few pages back in these entries there's a story titled 'What Do You Mean It's Frozen' written last winter right about now, snow is a good thing here

    I may well be coming to North Central PA. this spring for some photography on Slate and many other of my old haunts. It would be way cool if we could coordinate and meet up. I'll PM you with this also because I don't know if you visit this page often.

    Posted 01-31-2012 at 01:17 PM by Ard Ard is online now
  6. Old Comment
    ausablebrown's Avatar
    Yeah Ard, it's Jason. I do check in on the forum and your blog every so often; I don't usually miss more than a week at a time without at least poking around the place. It would be a privelage to have you show me around Slate run if the stars align right this spring. I've got my Ausable trip planned the third week of April to hopefully hit the Hendrickson hatch right when it starts again. Other than that I don't see any obstacles to taking a little time off except for a pregnant wife. My second is due in Mid june...poor planning on my part; right smack in the middle of the brown drake hatch on the Holy waters! When you nail down some dates be sure to let me know, I would really enjoy meeting up.
    Posted 01-31-2012 at 05:11 PM by ausablebrown ausablebrown is offline
  7. Old Comment
    theboz's Avatar
    Getting to see moose out of your window must be super. I'm happy seeing whitetail out in front of my place so I can imagine how great it is. Great pics . Thanks for sharing.
    Posted 02-10-2012 at 02:50 PM by theboz theboz is offline

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