In recent years, the moose has become a frequent sight for visitors at the J. Clark Salyer NWR. The moose is a member of the deer family but there are no soft, delicate features here...everything about the moose is BIG!
An adult bull moose stands more than 6 feet tall at the shoulders and weighs more than 1400 pounds. Its long legs force the moose to kneel down to drink shallow water or to eat low-lying plants. The male moose has huge, flattened antlers with fork-like tines. Their eyesight is poor, but their sense of smell is keen.
A female moose gives birth to one to three calves. Big ears, big nose, elbows and knees - the appearance only a mother could love. The young stay with their mother for two years and then they generally become loners. However, small herds sometimes form during the winter.
Good moose habitat is found in the wooded areas of Canada and the northern United States. However, the moose population on J. Clark Salyer NWR and in the Turtle Mountains is expanding into the adjacent farmland. Moose are now surviving in areas where it was once thought uninhabitable by moose. Their favorite "dish" on the refuge is willows. Moose actually help control the spread of willows into the river meadows.