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North Dakota Game Species

Fact Sheet
Scientific Name Alces alces
General Description Averages about 62 inches and 64 inches at the shoulder for cows and bulls, respectively. Bulls average 950 pounds (range 550-1,300 pounds); cows average 880 pounds (range 600-1,130 pounds). Coat black, legs dark brown to gray. Large nose, with overhanging snout, pendent “bell” on throat. Antlers on males only. Main beam extends out and back, with small tines protruding from the edges of each palm.
TracksMoose Track Moose tracks: Front track slightly larger Front–4-1/2" - 7" L, 3-3/4" - 6" W. Rear–4" - 6-1/2" L, 3-1/2" - 4-1/2". W Walking stride: 28" - 44".
Habitat Aspen and boreal forests with lakes and wetlands. Moose have extended their range into the prairie where forested river bottoms and tree rows provide browse.
Food Moose browse on a variety of willow species, aspen, birch and green ash. They will also feed on aquatic plants such as pond weed and moist meadow species like horsetail and lichens. In agricultural areas, moose will also eat sunflowers and corn.
Range Found primarily in the Turtle Mountains and along forested rivers in the northern one-third of North Dakota. Scattered family units frequently found along the Canadian border and eastern third of the state.
Mating Breeding peaks in late September and early October with bulls tending individual cows, and at times defending harems. No permanent pair bonds. Gestation averages about 231 days (range 216-264 days).
Young One to two calves born mid-May to mid-June, weighing about 34 pounds. Coat dark brown.
Habits Most active at dawn and dusk. Cows typically accompanied by calves. Outside of the breeding season, males alone or in small bachelor groups.
Fun Facts Moose are the largest member of the deer family. There are probably more moose in North Dakota today than when Lewis and Clark traveled through the state in 1804-06.

Living in North Dakota Moose Country

Moose Safety Tips

  • Remember that moose are wild animal and should only be observed from a distance.
  • Never approach a moose in an urban or rural setting.
  • Stay inside if there is a moose in your farm yard or in your neighborhood. Give the moose time to wander away on its own.
  • Do not feed moose, either by putting out food for them, or trying to feed them directly.
  • If you inadvertently cross paths with a moose and it charges, run away and try to get behind something solid like a tree or a vehicle or a building.
  • If you feel a moose in an urban setting or farm yard poses a threat, call local authorities. Again, stay well away from the animal.