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8. Shiras Moose---Utah

map showing range of shiras moose mostly across Canada and Northern Europe and Asia Range of all moose species
The Shiras moose is in the Rocky Mountains of southern Canada, Idaho, parts of Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.

Moose are the largest member of the deer family. This is a Shiras moose taken in Utah in 2002. The Shiras is the smallest of all the moose. All moose are brown in color, but the Shiras is the darkest of all the moose and is an almost black color. All bull moose have a dewlap or "bell" hanging from the throat. The function of the bell is unknown, but it probably has something to do with attracting females. (I guess you'd have to be a moose to fully appreciate the bell.) Moose frequent marshy habitats, but the Shiras can be found from wooded stream and river bottoms to aspen meadows high up on the mountains. They can even be found in the very dry sagebrush country of western Wyoming, but will move to stream bottoms as part of their range. Thirty years ago there were few Shiras in Utah, but they are now relatively common.


Samuels with mooseI spotted this bull the first morning, watched him go into a thicket where he did not emerge. My guide and I assumed he bedded there so we made a two-hour hike up the mountain. I moved into the thicket and spotted him. I hit a small twig and missed the first shot at 30 yards, but the bull never knew what happened and slowly walked off. Ten minutes later I got close again and he was feeding. A loud wind covered any noise and I moved in for a 38-yard shot that was good. We were on a huge ranch and the owner said that this bull was the biggest moose every taken there, and the first with a bow. As you stand to the left side of the mount, look up at the bull and note his eyes. He is looking at you. Clever taxidermist.