Alaskan Moose (alces alces gigas)

What do moose eat?
Moose can eat over 100 pounds of plants a day.  They like to eat the plants near lakes and swamps as well.  Moose like water lilies as treats, to them it is like candy. They will wade far out into a pond to munch on water lilies. In the winter months, they forage on the branches and bark of trees.

How big are moose really?
Bull moose (males) can weigh as much as 1,600 pounds, while even small adult cow moose (females) weigh at least 800 pounds or more. Moose can be almost 6 feet tall at the back

Do moose have antlers or horns?
Moose have antlers, which they shed every year and regrow. Horns are found on sheep, goats and other species and do not shed.  Moose are often easily recognized by their antlers, carried only by the males. These bony protrusions form within the first year, and are produced every summer after that. Trophy class bulls are found throughout Alaska, but the largest come from the western portion of the state. The largest sized antlers are usually produced when bulls are 10 – 12 years old, but bulls can reach trophy size as young as 6 years of age. In the wild, moose rarely live more than 16 years. Antlers are the fastest growing tissue in any mammal– adding a pound of bone and an inch a day! 

Can moose swim well?
Moose are extremely good swimmers, even young calves will learn to swim in their first summer. They can cross swift, deep rivers, large lakes, and mucky ponds alike.

When are moose calves born?
Moose mate during the “rut” in fall, September to October, and the calves are born in the spring during May and June. A healthy cow moose will frequently give birth to twins and triplets are possible too. The calves stay with Mama Moose for the first full year.

When are moose most often seen?
Moose are most active at dusk and dawn. Watch alongside the highway if you’re travelling at these times and be cautious, they may run or walk into the roadway at any time. Moose can also be seen often around lakes, marshes, bogs, and in both urban and remote areas. 

Why is it hard to see moose at night?
Moose are very hard to see at night because their eyes do not reflect like deer eyes do, and their dark coats make them nearly invisible after sundown.

Enjoy a sampling of photos we’ve taken of moose in very natural habitat around Alaska…not professional photos, just our everyday contact with this magnificent creature!

Mama Moose & Calves in a field of Fireweed, August 2010


Cow moose crossing the Kenai River onto the Kenai Riverfront Resort shore

Cow Moose Tok Cutoff

Young bull moose

Small Bull Moose