Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why Moose?

Dan asks a good question - why the obsession with moose? Well, the moose was once extirpated from the Adirondacks and has made a remarkable comeback all on its own. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) estimates there may be upwards of 500 moose in the Adirondacks now. 500! You'd think with numbers that high of an animal that is so big that I'd be bound to see one. But so far, no luck.

Many folks who come to the Adirondacks, either as tourists or as residents, yearn to see a moose. It's that whole charismatic megafauna thing - it's big and it's impressive. We don't have many large impressive animals left in this state, so when one is rumored to be around, we all want to slap our peepers upon it. It's a trophy sort of thing, but not so messy.

As for me, well, I've seen just about every other mammal this park has to offer: bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes (red and grey), fisher, marten, short- and long-tailed weasels (in winter and summer pelts), river otter, mink, beaver, muskrat, flying squirrel, red squirrel, grey squirrel (and the black morph), chipmunks, assorted shrews (short-tailed, star-nosed, smokey), southern bog lemmings, mice, voles. No moose.

I've seen moose tracks; I've followed moose tracks. I had a moose within a couple hundred feet of my house (I saw the tracks after the fact the next morning). I've even heard a moose bellowing in a marsh. But I haven't seen one. Come to think of it, I haven't even found moose droppings yet. Maybe I need to find those first before it's my turn to see the real thing.

Moose (that's plural - as in several) are seen every year in Newcomb - either in town, just outside of town, or even right here on the Huntington Forest property.

Then there's the fact that everyone else who works at the VIC has seen one. I'm the only one left who hasn't. It's like being the only kid at the party who didn't win a prize.

But, deep down, I know that MY moose is out there somewhere. Someday I will see one. Afterall, I got the otter, bobcat and marten!


  1. Seriously?!

    The boy and I saw one right on the Blue Ridge Rd about 3 years ago. We stopped, it looked at us and casually walked into the woods. By the time we turned around for a closer look, it was as if it was never there.

  2. Well I wish you luck, I'm sure your "karma log book" is long enough to warrant a Moose siting.

    At least your not looking for the elusive ADK Cougar (Mountain Lion) that may or may not exist.


    PS Now on my fav list and your pics go very well with my morning Joe.

  3. Oh yes,... I'm in that same group that has yet to spy a moose. Only "moose tracks" I see is the ice cream flavor! I'll wait patiently, too.