Hunting extirpated Moose from Colorado in the early 1900's. In 1978, Moose were reintroduced to Rocky Mountain National Park up near the Wyoming border. Since then, Moose have spread across the state, moving through the mountain corridors.Today, one of the best Moose viewing sites is Hwy 14, west of Ft. Collins just beyond Cameron Pass. That's where I got the pictures of the Bull Moose.
We arrived out here in 2000. It was five years before we saw Moose on the east side of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park. My son lived in Nederland, in an area of streams and ponds. Moose showed up there soon after.
It was around 2007 when the first Moose appeared in Spring Gulch, down below our property. And since then, we see Moose grazing on our property once or twice a year. First, we saw a cow. Next year we saw her again with two yearling calves. Year after that, we saw an immature Bull Moose in the meadow, probably one of the yearlings. This year, the cow returned to our backyard. What a thrill to see these magnificent beasts returning to the Colorado Rockies. In Alaska, Moose are more dangerous to humans than bears. Moose can be very aggressive, especially during the rut, and when calves are around.
We went to Brainerd Lake, a beautiful access to the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and saw a bull moose there for the first time in 15 years of visiting. He might well be of the same group that winter in Spring Gulch below our cabin, since this is only 5 miles as the crow flies from Brainerd Lake. The first pictures in the set show him in all his glory, as does this vide:
We've been coming up to Brainerd Lake for over 15 years, and this is the first Moose we've spotted up here.
These guys can be very aggressive, so we keep our distance.
Notice his rack is still covered in velvet, which brings blood flow to the antlers as they grow.
In September, his antlers will finish growing, and the round points will sharpen up. At that point, he will furiously rub his antlers on bushes and trees until he rubs off the velvet.
At Navaho Glacier, Isabelle Glacier, the Continental Divide and the Indian Peaks Wilderness
One of the early sightings of Moose was down near Hessie, a trailhead into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This is classic Moose habitat, beaver ponds.
Took this picture in March of 2009. When you see the later pictures, do you think it is the same Moose, or perhaps her offspring. The latest pictures show she has a notch in her ear that is not visible in this picture.
We spotted this Moose up near Banff, when we took the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff.
Unlike deer and elk, Moose are solitary creatures. This sighting was off Hwy 14, west of Cameron Pass, one of the best roads for seeing Moose in Colorado
This photo was taken in August, before his antlers were mature. You can see the velvet covering that supplies blood to the antlers as they grow. In the fall, the moose will furiously rub the antlers against bushes and trees as the velvet comes off and the antlers finish growing in time for the rut.
We saw our first Moose east of the Divide around 2005. We saw our first one in the gulch below the cabin in about 2007.
Moose were extirpated by hunting pressure in Colorado in the early 1900's. In 1978, a few breeding pairs were reintroduced in western Colorado, and the state's moose population is now more than 1,000 with great potential to grow.
We had three feet of snow last week, and most of the grasses and shrubs are buried.