Is this early season for Moose at this latitude? And why?
Does the cold weather trigger the moose rut?
I have read on here that the further north in the hemisphere one goes, the earlier the rut is. My question is about "zeroing" this measure about the first 2 weeks of October. For hunting around the 55th parallel, is this likely north enough to initiate the earlier rutting season?
The second part of my question is about why this occurs. Putting 2 and 2 together I would hazard a guess that it is the cold that does this. Is this to imply that a cold snap might trigger an early rut?
We are hunting during the last weeks of September.
Thanks very much.
It's a common thought among moose hunters that a cold snap or sustained cold weather triggers the rut.
Scientists and biologists say that the rut is triggered solely by the available daylight.
This also applies to whitetail deer which have been studied by many.
As you eluded to, the further north you go, the earlier the rut happens. As is: the further north you go the days become shorter as the sun is above the horizon for less time per day.
See the connection?
Why do hunters believe that the rut is triggered by the cold weather?
When the weather turns cold moose are more apt to be on the move and more vocal.
Any temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 Celsius) moose go into heat stress. When that happens they move into the deep, dark and cool areas of their home ranges.
Therefore, if moose are on the move (when the weather is cooler), more of them will be seen and heard from.
As for the 55th Parallel, the last two weeks of September might just be a tad early.
An example of this is, a good friend of mine who lives in Watson Lake swears the rut happens there the last two weeks of September, yet a guide acquaintance who has territory near Pink Mountain say the same.
I know where we hunt near Smithers, the rut usually doesn't become noticeable until after the 3-4th of October.
That being said I have called moose in during the third week of September in an area much further south near Anahim Lake.
Good luck out there!