Saturday, July 6, 2013

Moose Teenagers

Yearling bull moose (c) John Ashley
Yearling bull moose plucking young aspen leaves

Yearling moose (Alces alces) head off on their own around this time of year - but not always by choice. As young calves they followed mom around through the deep winter snow. But as spring turns to summer, mom starts getting a little impatient with their lingering presence. She is driven to breed again, and she can't have a teenager hanging around her forever.

Fortunately, the leaves are at their nutritional peak in early summer, so the young moose that made it through winter will get a healthy boost just as they are moving towards independence, and as the males start growing their first set of antlers. A mouth full of tender aspen leaves hits the spot for young and old moose alike.