Hunters: Don’t shoot a moose by mistake

These are moose -- not elk! PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

Spotting scopes, binoculars can help hunters recognize the distinctive differences between the two species.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As Colorado‘s big game hunting season begins, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is asking hunters to learn the difference between moose and elk in order to avoid accidentally shooting moose.

Almost every year moose are accidentally killed, according to the state wildlife agency. The most common error is mistaking a cow moose for a cow elk.

Moose are the largest members of the deer family and have adapted to a variety of habitats. They favor willows along streams and ponds. But be aware, some moose also inhabit lodgepole pine, oak brush, aspen, spruce, fir and even sagebrush – in other words, the same areas where elk live. Moose can be found in almost all the high-country areas of Colorado.

Elk hunters need to be sure to know the difference between these two ungulates. If a hunter without the proper license shoots a moose, the fine can be more than $1,000. Continue reading

Grand Mesa to celebrate ‘Moose Day”

Colorado's largest mammal is establishing a self-sustaining population on the Grand Mesa. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE.

Large ungulates thriving in various parts of Colorado; see some video clips of moose in Summit County at the Summit Voice YouTube channel

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With the Grand Mesa moose herd at 150 animals and growing, The Colorado Division of Wildlife and residents of the area have teamed up celebrate the big critters with a day of their own.

Saturday, July 31, is Grand Mesa Moose Day, with moose viewing information, presentations about moose biology and moose history, presentations on how biologists transplant and track moose, and even a puppet show, all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the U.S. Forest Service visitor center atop Grand Mesa on Highway 65.

“Moose sightings are always fun for people and they’re becoming more common on the Grand Mesa as the population grows,” said Trina Romero, Colorado Division of Wildlife Watchable Wildlife Coordinator. “This event will teach people safe ways to see the moose and some great facts about moose in Colorado.” Continue reading

VIDEO: A moose among us

This afternoon I and some of my neighbors were treated to the sight of a moose grazing in the willows in the wetlands along Barton Road on Peak 7, Breckenridge.

I was returning from today’s hike and I had my video camera in my pack, so here’s a short clip. Check out the Summit Voice YouTube channel here.

Mountain News: 100 years of yodeling

Researchers are investigating the cause of a dwindling moose population in the Jackson Hole area. PHOTO COURTESY THE COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE.

147 avalanche deaths in the Alps

We’re starting this week’s mountain news roundup in the Alps, where PlanetSki reports that 147 people died in avalanches this past winter. It may sound like a high number compared to the totals in Colorado and the U.S. but it’s fairly close to average for a European winter. The biggest number of avalanche deaths for the season, 37, well above the average annual death toll of 26. In Switzerland, 28 people died in avalanches. One trend that bears watching is the increased number of avalanche deaths among ski professionals. An unusual number of guides and rescue workers were caught in slides in the Alps this winter, according to PlanetSki. Get more details here.

100 years of yodeling
On a happier Alpine note, PlanetSki is also reporting that the Swiss yodeling Association is celebrating its centennial this year. There will be yodeling festivals and competitions, no doubt, and while the very thought of yodeling is annoying to some people, to others, it’s an indispensable part of Alpine folklore. And if the traditional version of yodeling doesn’t do it for you, the Swiss band Sonalp incorporates an updated brand of the ululating vocalization in its World Music repertoire. Check out the PlanetSki story here and watch this YouTube video for some Swiss folk-punk, which includes Alphorns being played like didgeridoos.

Retreating glaciers
The latest reports are in and they show that 91 percent of Austria’s glaciers retreated  last year, with some of them receding as much as 150 feet. Some of the biggest shrinkages occurred in the Tyrolean mountains, where glaciers are an iconic part of the cultural landscape. Austrians have taken climate change very seriously for quite a while, knowing that some their essential cultural fabric is based on a connection with the mountains. Rising summer temperatures are cited as the main cause for the glacier retreat. Read more …

Much more, including news about skiing in Bulgaria and dwindling moose populations in Jackson Hole, after the break … Continue reading

VIDEO: Colorado’s moose population expanding

VIDEO: Click on the image to see a video clip of moose in the Peak 7 area. Colorado's moose population is growing and expanding, thanks to some help from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The state agency recently added new animals to a fledgling moose population in the Flat Tops area. PHOTO BY JENNEY COBERLY.

Sightings growing more common in Summit County; biologists still debating whether they are native to the state

Story by Bob Berwyn

Video by Jenney Coberly
SUMMIT COUNTY — More frequent moose sightings in places like Silverthorne and Breckenridge are a clear sign that Colorado’s moose population is growing and expanding its range in the Summit County area, said Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton.

Just in the past few months, state biologists transplanted 20 moose by helicopter from Jackson County to the Flat Tops area, east of Meeker, joining another 24 moose that were brought in from Utah previously.

Most of the moose in the Summit County area likely are part of a growing herd that was introduced in North Park in 1978. Since then, the herd has spread down into Middle Park, around Kremmling, and then down through the Gore Range, which is full of ideal willow-wetland and lodgepole habitat. Residents of the Willowbrook area often report seeing moose, as well people living on the flanks of the Tenmile Range in the Upper Blue. Continue reading

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