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Moose Fest on tap this weekend in Indian Lake

A bull moose browses foliage at Helldiver Pond in Moose River Plains. Maps of the area will be available at the local Chamber of Commerce during the Great Adirondack Moose Festival, Sept. 24 and 25.

A bull moose browses foliage at Helldiver Pond in Moose River Plains. Maps of the area will be available at the local Chamber of Commerce during the Great Adirondack Moose Festival, Sept. 24 and 25. Carolyn Belknap

— The Moose Fest date is mooving closer, with a second year of festivities planned for Sept. 24 and 25.

Ed Reed, wildlife biologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, will give a talk on the habits and lives of the beasts, “Moose on the Loose in the Adirondacks.”

Reed said that the park’s population of moose increases at about 15 percent annually. The animals began coming back to the area in the early 1980s, and current estimates put their numbers at 800 to 1,000 parkwide.

Moose are fun to watch, but Reed warned that they’re not as congenial as they might seem.

“They’re not friendly, they’re unafraid,” he said.

“They kind of look dopey and slow, but they’re actually a lot more dangerous than bears,” said Reed. More people die from moose encounters than bear encounters in the grizzly-populated Alaskan wilderness, said Reed.

Stay a good 100 yards away from the critters when spotted in the wild, suggested Reed. “Fifty yards is getting a little close.”

Figuring out the best way to see a moose can be tricky, said Reed. Many moose sightings are in private wilderness areas, like logging properties, making amateur sightings difficult.

For public access, Hamilton County and the Moose River Plains are about as good a chance as hopeful giant-gazers will get to spot the burly brutes, said Reed.

The moose are more active this time of year, said Reed, as it’s the animals’ breeding season. Be careful not to approach male moose at this period of heightened hormones, he said.

They don’t congregate in public areas often, but when they do see people, moose often act like they just aren’t interested, Reed said.

As the biggest animals in the park, they have no natural predators and they aren’t hunted by man, so they usually adopt an unthreatened attitude.

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