Moose on Moose Mountain

In the nineteen eighties, Peter and I started working with a forester to attempt to improve our woodlands. Peter had always wanted to be an official tree farmer. His career had been in the wholesale lumber business. When he was in college he worked for the Forest Service in Northern Idaho and Montana.

In order to become a tree farmer one has to have a long range plan created by a forester. The plan is implemented to enhance wildlife habitat, tree growth and recreation.The land is divided into sections with a management plan for each section depending upon what kinds of timber grow there. Water bars and culverts need to be built to prevent erosion. When trees are cut and harvested, trails are created thus enhancing our access to the forest. The new trails also allowed us to ski in areas where we had never been. We were delighted to become more acquainted with our land. We walked in the woods with the forester and learned many interesting facts from him. He told us thirty years ago that moose seldom wandered on Moose Mountain as there wasn’t enough browse for them.

Things have changed in the last thirty years here. We frequently see evidence of moose on the mountain. There are tracks everywhere. Tidy piles of moose poop cause us to stop, marvel at the size, and side step them. Trees show signs of moose rubbing their antlers. Occasionally, in the fall one encounters a strong horselike smell in the woods that signals a moose in rut.

2005 was my banner year for moose sightings. There was one beaver in the pond. He had just started to repair the dam. Moose came quite regularly to drink and browse on the coarse grasses along the edge. It was an exciting summer and fall. I had become interested in photographing wildlife. My most cooperative subjects that summer were a lonely beaver and several moose. I wandered happily in the early mornings after shots of anything that moved.