Moose cow and calf, Two Medicine, Glacier National Park, MT

Alces alces “Moose” Cervidae, cow and calf

October 8, 2015
Two Medicine, Glacier National Park, MT
Robert Niese

The Moose (also called an Elk if you’re British) is the largest extant species of deer in the world. They have a circumboreal distribution and tend to be found most often around lakes and rivers in coniferous and mixed deciduous forests. The southernmost extent of the Moose’s global range occurs here in the northwestern United States. Southern Idaho is home to the largest herds of these southern residents, but small populations can also be found as far south as Utah and Colorado. In the fall, when bulls enter the rut and cows are protecting their calves, Moose are considered the most dangerous species to encounter here in Glacier National Park. In fact, in North America Moose kill more people annually than deer, bears, and mountain lions combined (including vehicle collisions).

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Cervus elaphus “Wapiti” Cervidae, male

National Bison Range, MT
September 21, 2013
Robert Niese

The name “wapiti” comes from the Shawnee and it means “light-colored rump.” Elk found here in the PNW are arguably the same species as “red deer” found in Europe. They have been split and regrouped countless times by taxonomists.

Cervus elaphus “Wapiti” Cervidae, male

National Bison Range, MT
October 5, 2014
Robert Niese

Fall is the best time of year to see active male elk at the National Bison Range. We followed this big guy around for over an hour, watching him bugle all the while.