Moose Personality Traits and Way of Life

Maine has the lowest 48-state moose population. The word moose derives from the Algonquin word'moosu' meaning 'bark remover.'



Bulls and cows stay cool and raise calves in distinct summer habitats. Bulls prefer mixed and hardwood stands because higher elevations have less food and are colder. Cows eat more at lower elevations.


Grass-eating moose. Leaf and twig eaters. Year-round, moose eat willow, aspen, birch, maple, cherry, and mountain ash. Balsam fir's leaflessness in winter attracts moose. Balsam fir is moose-unfriendly. Moose regulate vegetation via browsing.


Moose have dark brown fur and a shoulder hump. Premium bulls have 5-inch front hooves, cows have 4-inch, and calves have 3-inch. Unlike a bull, a cow's face and body are brown. Bovines have "neck bells."

Seasonal Change

During mating season, males shed and regenerate huge palmated antlers. Antlers indicate dominance and protect eyes when mating. They urinate on their antlers to attract cows.

Bulls shed their antlers in early winter after mating season. This saves energy in the winter. In the spring, antler bone grows inside moose velvet. Antlers grow quickly.


September-October is moose rut. Most cows calve before age 3. April babies. Rare calves. Early breeding and calf numbers depend on weight. Teens are poorer. Prenatal weaning occurs. Once they're competitive, bulls reproduce.


8-year-old cows, 7-year-old bulls. Moose don't live to 20. Newborn moose calves in Maine are vulnerable to predators. Legal and illegal hunting, road accidents (drowning, falls), disease, malnutrition, and old age kill moose.

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