Use Promo Code Randy for 20% off OutdoorClass

Mountain Shiras moose habitat

Bullshot

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
799
Location
Two days into the rising sun
What’s everyone’s experience with Shiras moose habitat up
in typical nat. forest. My limited encounters have been on the more gently sloped dark timber and along water courses, and seemingly often close to roads and trails. Do moose also utilize very steep or rocky forested slopes and/or hellhole areas like elk would. I am wondering if it would be a waste of time to try to get into the steep/deep/dark/nasties for moose. Not that you’d ever want to get one down in such a spot!!!!
 

BigHornRam

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
11,220
Location
"Land of Giant Rams"
I've found sheds up high. Bulls often go up in elevation to winter where the snow is deep and the predators have a hard time getting around in the snow.
 

wytex

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
2,830
Location
Wyoming
During the rut bulls may well be out in the middle of the Red Desert, otherwise usually associated with willows.
Have found moose scrapes in the forest well away from any water source or willows though, again rut related behavior.
Seem to be everywhere we hunt elk.
 

Shortbowshot

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
239
I found a moose shed up near timber line in Colorado. Not sure what he was doing up there that time of year. Had a buddy leave a game cam out all year. When the snow melted back below it moose seemed to be the only critters up there for awhile. It was around 9800 ft in dark timber.
 

Ben Long

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
1,289
Location
Kalispell, MT
IME moose don't hole up in dark timber the same way elk do because they are not subjected to the same intense hunting pressure. Plus I don't think they are quite as sensitive to disturbance. From where I sit, it looks like moose are MORE sensitive to temperature. If they are on north slopes, its probably because they are seeking shade, not security. They like to be near water for the coolness and browse species. That said, I have found sheds at the very tip-tops of mountains here in NW MT. Maybe they were trying to stay above the wolves, I don't know. LIke elk, moose are where you find 'em!
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,887
Location
Chugiak, AK
Got to find the food. Lots of places have a lot of small willow near treeline. Look for those little pockets/springs at treeline or way high.

Good luck!
 

Sisu64

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
30
I was also curious about mnt moose habitat, I don’t mean to hijack the thread but what about high mnt lakes? Do they need to have any certain food sources? This one I hiked to yesterday doesnt have much aquatic vegetation.
 

Attachments

  • 44A5A072-8919-4A8F-8D72-7D9303A23EC1.jpeg
    44A5A072-8919-4A8F-8D72-7D9303A23EC1.jpeg
    3.4 MB · Views: 12
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
75
Location
Tucson, AZ
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
75
Location
Tucson, AZ
I’ll be off chasing Shiras in NW MT this year in a different environment to what I’m used to seeing moose in - less riparian habitat and more regenerating clearcuts. Will let you know what I see out there!
 

Coveyleader

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2016
Messages
77
If your unit has alpine, look there, up with the Mule deer. They summer as high or higher than elk in those lakes that have willows surrounding them with timber below. I have a ton of photos of moose up with the MD.
 

buffybr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
885
Location
BozAngeles, MT
I've shot two Montana Shiras moose and took a friend in on his. All three were in small scrub willow parks surrounded by dark timber. Prior to Yellowstone planting wolves in the Park, I used to see up to 5 moose a day in the willows along the creeks and rivers between Bozeman and West Yellowstone. Now, I'm lucky to see one moose in 10 trips on that same route.

I've also seen moose on sagebrush flats and up to timberline, but most of the moose that I've seen were near willows and water.
 

littlebighorn

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
55
On my Wyoming Shiras moose hunt I saw them in all kinds of terrain. From normal willow swamps to alpine areas. I even jumped a good group out of a quakie patch in the middle of big open sage country.
They are big and black, so during warm months they typically find the coolest shady spot in the area. But that could be an oak hillside or whatever is available.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
75
Location
Tucson, AZ
I was talking with a moose biologist who described them as generalists first, and specialists second.

I think what he meant was that they have an ability to adapt to a wide range of habitats, like what we’ve all seen them in above, but when they find an area with sufficient browse to sustain themselves they focus on it heavily.

There’s a moose-focused scientific journal, Alces, which I’ve found to be a wealth of information about moose, without a paywall: https://alcesjournal.org/index.php/alces
 

RyGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2022
Messages
268
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
I was talking with a moose biologist who described them as generalists first, and specialists second.

I think what he meant was that they have an ability to adapt to a wide range of habitats, like what we’ve all seen them in above, but when they find an area with sufficient browse to sustain themselves they focus on it heavily.

There’s a moose-focused scientific journal, Alces, which I’ve found to be a wealth of information about moose, without a paywall: https://alcesjournal.org/index.php/alces
Yeah I feel like “generalists first, specialist second” is the perfect way to describe them.
I’ve seen them in open sage, out in hay fields, in deep dark timber with tons of blow down, but primarily around willow bottoms and water.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
102,659
Messages
1,658,489
Members
32,065
Latest member
jjentringer
Top