Estimating Moose Age
by Linda Blakeman
(Harlan, IN (USA))
Moose in Pinedale, WY 2016_08_21
We saw this moose in Pinedale, Wyoming on August 21, 2016. We thought he was probably young but would like your opinion. He was testy and ran toward us in a threatening way from across a field as we were taking pictures.
The young bull moose was in a field in the middle of downtown Pinedale, WY and was standing a good distance from where we parked.
I was using a zoom lens and shooting between some bushes. But his head came up, and he looked straight at me for a few seconds, then came running toward me.
There was a barbed wire fence between us, but I jumped back in the car. He veered off then and began grazing near the fence but a little down from where I was.
Another couple was standing near where he stopped, and my husband and I approached slowly to join them. But the moose made a slight lunging move at us, and we all retreated.
Estimating Moose Age by the Antlers
Hi Linda, thanks for the question. I am going to hazard a guess your bull in question is either a 1 1/2 or a 2 1/2 year old, judging by his antler growth.
It's a little hard to tell from the angle of the shot. Is the antler on the left side (facing us) deformed or missing part of it?
Do you have any other pictures? Update:
(added the photo with damaged antler) Based on this new picture I am fairly certain this is a 1 1/2 year old bull. He probably sustained an antler injury early in the summer or late spring that caused his antler to grow deformed. As long as he lives until next spring, his new antlers will grow normal.
As for his seemingly aggressive behavior. I doubt that he would have actually charged. He was more likely curious as to the commotion on your side of the field. In normal circumstances, once moose figure out they are close to humans they leave in a big hurry. The only exception being during the rut (late September into October) when bulls throw all caution to the wind in search of a suitable mate.
~ Mark - The Mooseman