There has been an explosion in the moose population in the South Hills.  I first heard about the figures from one of our county commissioners.  Later, I had it confirmed by Terry Thompson, regional spokesman for Idaho Fish and Game.

Moose in the Lower 48 don’t need as much space as moose in Alaska.

What surprises me is I didn’t believe there would be a spike following last year’s Badger Fire.  Apparently, it created some conditions moose appear to like.  Moose in the Lower 48 don’t need as much space as moose in Alaska.  The variety there is larger.  They’re shy creatures.  Two decades ago I was living in Vermont.  Driving home from work one evening in late May, I looked up at a bluff and saw a bull surveying the valley below.  As I got closer I slowed down for a better look.  He darted into the forest.

A couple of months later my daughter and I were driving to New Hampshire and saw a cow drinking from a stream along old Route 2.  Again, I slowed out of caution and the moose lumbered back into the brush.

These aren’t animals you can pet.  Temperamental and local behemoths can be the size of a light truck.

There are an estimated 300 to 400 moose in the hills.  Ranging from bulls to cows to calves.  It’s very possible if you’re recreating in the area, you could have an encounter.  Be very cautious and try and get some distance.  They can often be seen from Deadline Ridge but, again.  Don’t get close.  Like any mammal, moose are especially protective of the young.

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