Let them fight. Watch as a conservationist’s trail cam footage captures two huge bull moose duking it out in the middle of the night.
While moose are a common sight for some northern Americans, seeing two bull moose spar is a rare sight. But one conservationist has managed to capture just that. Joe of Big Woods Bucks is sharing his latest glimpse of the mega-cervids on to his Big Woods Bucks Facebook page – and it’s a treat.
“I put some trail cams out in hopes of catching a bull shedding his antler,” says Big Woods Bucks’ Joe on Facebook. “Apparently these two weren’t quite ready to drop. Still fun to watch though…”
Fun, indeed. Any glimpse of these giant cervids is always a welcomed one, and Joe’s is spectacular. The footage comes from the cover of night, but Joe’s trail cam is well equipped to film in dark conditions. As such, we’re able to see a full display of bull moose behavior.
Cervids communicate heavily through body language (like most mammals), and the two moose can be seen side-stepping one another as they size their opponent up for antler locking. Their joust isn’t overly ferocious, however, and is likely a display of power over territory as a result. Moose rutting (mating) season takes place in the fall, and it is this time of year – mainly September through October – when moose will batter one another to the death over mating rights. Joe uploaded his footage Sunday (Jan. 24).
Know Your Cervids: The Moose
A fully-grown bull moose can weigh over a half a ton (1,200 lbs). One of their most striking features, their antlers, sport a distinct, plate-like fanning and rounded tips when fully developed. Adult moose antlers can also stay velveteen well past shedding, unlike elk and most other cervids.
Moreover, bull altercations like this are rare, as moose are a solitary species. While elk, deer, and caribou will typically travel in large herds and migrate together, both bull and cow moose remain solitary. As such, an adult bull moose will rarely ever be seen with company.
In addition, moose are typically less skittish of humans than other cervids. This can make them both easier to hunt – and far more dangerous. Moose have very few natural predators due to their enormous size. This makes the moose a far more brazen species. If a gigantic, antlered, chocolate brown beast is lumbering straight towards you in the forest, chances are it is a moose.
Less experienced conservationists and hunters may sometimes mistake young moose for elk. For plenty more tips & tricks on how to tell the two apart, see our Colorado Hunters Frequently Mistake, Illegally Shoot Moose Instead of Elk article.
And for all the latest tips and tricks, stick with your fellow hunters at Outsider.com.