In North America, there are four subspecies of moose that are recognized. The four subspecies found across the United States are the Eastern moose, the Northwestern moose, the Shiras moose, and the Alaskan moose. The Eastern moose inhabits Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. The second species, Northwestern moose, inhabits central Canada and North Dakota, Minnesota, and Northern Michigan. Thirdly, the Shiras moose inhabits the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. Lastly, the Alaskan moose inhabits Alaska and Northwestern Canada (Britannica, Geist). Within this post, we will be focusing on the Northwestern moose, their biology, and their way of living.
There are about 3,150 moose in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota is one of the very few states that is home to the wild animal, the moose. The moose is Minnesota’s largest wild animal, averaging 950 to 1,000 pounds, sometimes exceeding 1,200 pounds, and reaching the height of around six feet. As the Minnesota DNR says, Northwestern moose are usual found in woodlots and farm fields in Northwestern Minnesota. Within these areas, the Northwestern moose primarily eats aspen, maple, and cherry trees. During early summer, you can usually spot moose feeding off water plants in ponds and along lakeshores. The image below, found on the Minnesota DNR website, shows the moose range in the state as well as the type of biomes they inhabit. Moose typically stay in the same area throughout the year or migrate to separate regions during the summer and winter months.
The Northwestern moose are known to be non-migratory, except for seasonal movements. One of the seasonal movements that occur for the Minnesota moose is when they move between low elevations in the winter and high elevations in the summertime. In general, moose can live between 400 and 1,500 ft elevation. In Minnesota, areas less than 900 ft are suitability good, 900 to 1,200 ft are moderate suitability, and greater than 1,200 ft are poor suitability. In recent decades moose ranges within areas such as northern Minnesota have been steadily contracting due to a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include the development of agriculture and perceived climate change. Because of these aspects, there has been a reduced amount of suitable habitat for the moose.
Even though there are not too many places where you can spot the Northwestern moose, there are some areas up the North Shore where you might get lucky enough to see one! A few known moose habitats up the North Shore are around Tettegouche State Park. In addition to the state park, these large wild animals can sometimes be observed while driving the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway. These areas will get you close to the heart of moose country. If you do happen to travel up the North Shore and come across a moose, please make sure to take necessary safety precautions to ensure the safety of not only yourself but our mammal friends.
Respect that it is a wild animal.
Here at Duluth Pack, we hold the wild animal, the moose, close to our hearts. Moose are a significant part of our brand, so much that we have featured them on our iconic logo for the past multiple decades. Do you love moose as much as we do? You can rep the magnificent mammal by purchasing Duluth Pack apparel such as our Logo Sweater and more!
Happy Moose Monday, friends!