Moose in Teton National Park

moosewinter

Moose are by far one of my favorite animals.I didn’t discover this love for the huge mammal until I moved to Idaho and started venturing to Jackson and the Tetons for day trips to view wildlife. I remember as a kid asking my cousin who lived in Alaska what her favorite animal was and being baffled when she said moose. My little world at that point didn’t expand much past horses, cats, and dogs being people’s favorite animals, and now that my understanding of the animal world has much expanded, I understand her love for them! They are awkward and majestic all at once. There is something elegant about the big bulls with their monster antlers, and you can’t help but fall in love with the calves with their long legs and knobby knees.

The Tetons is one of the best spots for finding moose. But you won’t find them as easily during the height of summer and tourist season due to the heat and the amount of people around. We love to make the drive up to the Tetons in the fall and winter. We get up before sunrise and make the drive so we can watch the sun come up and light up the Tetons. And early morning is the best time to find wildlife.

Here are a few pictures we have taken over the years in and around Teton National Park.

moosestatue
My favorite moose! This guy stands outside the Teton National Park visitors center. I don’t recommend trying to pet a moose in the wild, but this guy is ok!
mooseteton
On this particular cold morning (It was around -20 before the wind chill if I remember correctly!) we saw over 20 moose grazing in the fields, including groups of bulls grazing together and occasionally sparing with their big antlers. Mating season is over, so their sparing is more playful then aggressive.
moosejackson
The moose will even come into the town of Jackson. We saw this guy and his mother right on the edge of town outside the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, right at the edge of the Elk Refuge. Luckily the Jackson law enforcement is used to handling cases like this and do a good job keeping the moose and the public safe. Unlike most hoofed animals, moose will not run away when threatened, their fight instinct takes over instead and they can be very dangerous if they feel they or their young are threatened.
christmas moose
Moose are usually solitary, but you can find them sharing feeding grounds where outside the rut cows and bulls mostly ignore each other. This winter morning was surprising to see these three running together like a little family. This picture was taken around Christmas time, I felt like Santa should’ve been waving at us from the trees.
moose
Only male moose, called bulls, have antlers. Those antlers fall off every winter and start regrowing every spring. They can grow an inch a day! Bulls use them for sparing for females in the fall during the rut.
babymoose
This handsome little one was grazing in a river with his mother. One main source of food for moose in the warmer months is aquatic plants.
mamamoose
This beautiful cow moose was grazing right by the side of the road with her very young calf. We sadly didn’t get any good pictures of her calf, we stayed in the car so we didn’t disturb her too much and she was not bothered by us there.
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