As life comes back to the “The Last Frontier” the bright greens of spring explode across the valleys and mountains. As the new leaves and branches start to grow, the moose begin to emerge. The largest species of moose then begins to shift their diets to the more bountiful seasons of leaves and branches. And the Alaskan Moose can be found almost anywhere throughout the state. So keep your eyes peeled!
Keep your eyes peeled as the Alaskan Moose is located almost everywhere across Alaska. Typically, they can be found grazing, resting, or ambling along, munching on trees and anything green. Moose are pretty solitary for most of the year. In the fall is when moose start to rut for mating season. The spring is when calves are being born and everyone starts to stock up on their summer time calories to be ready for next fall.
Moose will gorge from spring to fall and can weigh up to 1800 pounds! Males grow a set of antlers throughout the summer that can end up weighing 250 pounds as well. This is all in effort to show up and be a top candidate in the mating season that comes in the fall.
In the spring you might be able to spot a calf near their mother. If so, be very careful and keep a healthy distance from them. Nursing mother’s can be extremely aggressive and territorial. You might be able to spot the babes by their brighter red colors and lanky legs when they are first born. Normally the Alaskan Moose has one calf. However, on particularly abundant years they can have twins.
At the time of birth a calf can weigh 28 pounds! And within the first five months will grow 10 times that size. They love to eat willow, birch, shrubs, and fresh shoots. Calving starts in May and are often right outside your door or near the road side, so be careful driving. There is no lesson more important for all beings than to never get between a mother and their young! Especially a mama moose and their young.
Some moose will stay within the same 5 mile region for all of their lives. Most, will start migrating to areas with food abundance and protection from predators and people. This is in preparation for mating season. Folks who hunt in the fall use this season to start tracking and following routes in preparation for meat harvesting in the fall.
Ali Lukitsch is a ski instructor by winter and an outdoor guide by summer. Intertwined in the seasons Ali is also a website content manager, creative writer, and commissioned artist. She currently manages content media for various websites and is a writer for Exposure Alaska and Alaska Adventure Center. You can find her skiing the backcountry or taking extended backpacking trips in her spare time and indulging in her love of home cooked meals over a fire.