The moose (Alces alces) is the world's largest member of the deer family. The Alaska-Yukon subspecies (Alces alces gigas) is the largest of all moose species. The Moose have long-legged are heavy bodies with a drooping nose, a fold of hair-covered skin called a "dewlap"Â or "bell" under the chin, and have a short tail. Male adults are larger than females. In best conditions males can weigh 1,200 to 1,600 pounds (542-725kg).Female adult can weigh 800-1,300 pounds (364-591 kg). Moose antlers span up to 6 feet (1.8 m) and average 634 kg. An adult moose stands 6 to 7 feet (1.8-2.1 m) high at the shoulders.
Bull Moose at the ages of 6-7 years old sometimes produce trophy size antlers, the largest grown come from bulls 10-12 years of age. They have found bull antlers with 50 inch (127cm) spreads or larger from Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and Northwest Territories of Canada.
Males are polygamous and will try to mate with several females. Male Moose drop their antlers after the mating season and conserve nutrients for the winter. Production of offspring is closely tied to range conditions. Moose gestation is 8 months and moose bear one calve, sometimes two if feeding conditions are optimal. Depending on the season moose can vary in color from golden brown to black. Baby calves are born red-brow changing to a rust color a few weeks after they are born. In late summer, shed and the coats color is like the adults. The calves stay with the mother for one year. Most Moose travel seasonally to calve, rut, and for wintering areas. Movement can be as few short as a mile or as many as 60 miles. High reproductively has the potential to over populate a range. Predators, hunting and severe weather, deep crusted snow which can lead to malnutrition, can also lead to death of hundreds of moose and the calves for that year. Predators of Moose are black bears, brown bears, and wolves. Bears kill calves the entire season they are out of their dens. Wolves will kill throughout the year. This helps keep the moose population in check.
Today, Alaskans and nonresidents kill about 6-8 thousand moose yearly, about 3.5 million pounds of meat. Moose are important to the Alaska from tourism photo ops, to meals for residents.
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