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Thread: Moose racks:

  1. #1
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    Default Moose racks:

    This weekend I was up to my cabin in the Noatak National Park and it was as cold as I want it to be, a nasty 38 and you could feel it the entire cay down to your butt! Ok here is my question. I have shot a few moose and seen a bunch but what is the trigger that causes some moose to drop their horns in November and some keep them into the New Year? I was skiing with my kids Sunday and we came across an area where several moose had bedded down for the night. As we skied through I found 2 spruce trees about 12 feet tall that had been scraped bare by a bull trying to work his rack off of his head. Why so late for this guy when I have seen 4 or 5 this winter that have dropped theirs?

    Walt
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    I'd be interested in knowing also. Yesterday we saw 2 that still had their antlers. One was a small fork and the other had small paddles so maybe the big heavy ones go first from sheer weight?? Just my speculation though.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

  3. #3

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    Every year seems to be a little different. I pick up few antlers each year, last year the big ones came off late and this year big ones were off early(in one particular area). Hard to determine when and why.

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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    I've seen bulls with antlers in Feb, and I think once in March.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default Not sure

    Maybe it has to do with the new nubs coming in. Maybe they push the old horn out or trigger it to drop. Im not sure but I have seen them with a full rack in febuary. Maybe it's weather/temp?

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    Member gusuk1's Avatar
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    Default weather ?

    we have a dec hunt here and 20 yrs ago in the dec hunt it would be hard at times to know if you were looking at a bull or cow,the biggest give away was two pusie spots were the antlers once were,seems that they are keeping them longer now as just two weeks ago my wife got a nice tender three year old with all the trimings,(antlers)has been warm until then and have not seen any bone mass sticking out of the many moose that live with in the village here.as the temps have been below 0 for a while.

  7. #7

    Default Speaking of which

    Here are a couple bulls up by Cantwell Christmas Day 2004. Antlers still very much intact. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze2tJsR45Hc

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    According to Bilogists it is the daylight that triggers the antler loss. Usually older bulls lose them first and younger bulls second. It's pretty rare I think to see a 65" bull with antlers on later than this.

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    Awesome footage Alaska Lanche. But those are younger bulls so I could see why they are still packing bone. Won't be long and they will be gone. There is always the exception to the norm but I think the majority have dropped.

  10. #10

    Default Moose in Winter

    Yeah, I agree those are youngins'. With the biggest one being that far one at maybe 50" if he ate his wheaties. I figured I'd repost the video so you guys wouldn't have to listen to my bro and I commenting on the moose.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-4BvWHOnko

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    Member Frankie 2 Times's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the reason for the shedding of antlers is tied to a hormone changes or testosterone levels.

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    Default Testosterone

    Right Frankie, it is the testosterone level that determines when all species of deer shed. The main reason the dates differ from year to year is animals stress and available nutrition. In rough years or if the animals are stressed they will shed yearly. In areas with good forage and mild winters they may hold there antlers very late.
    "The wildlife and it's habitat cannot speak, so we must and we will." Theodore Roosevelt

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    Member klickman's Avatar
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    I was just thinking about shedding yesterday. I saw a smallish bull maybe 30-40 in that still had his horns, and I saw a much larger body bull that had no horns.
    Klickman

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben424 View Post
    Right Frankie, it is the testosterone level that determines when all species of deer shed. The main reason the dates differ from year to year is animals stress and available nutrition. In rough years or if the animals are stressed they will shed yearly. In areas with good forage and mild winters they may hold there antlers very late.
    I've heard the same thing over the years. Stress, testosterone and nutrition are the major reasons the antlers drop early and/or late. I believe that a bigger bull moose (60"+) will drop earlier due to the weight factor as well. I'm not saying that it not true, but I personally have never seen a bull much bigger than mid 50's past Christmas.

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    Default 55 incher

    On 28 Dec of 2000 I saw a 55" bull in the walmart parking lot on C-street. They must of needed some nuggets or something, was a very pretty bull. Somewhere I have a picture of it.

    Terry

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    Talking Testosterone?

    Testosterone?

    If its testosterone levels I will have to shed something soon! I better ask the wife to get involved here as my levels are too dam low! Haaaa


    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Backcountry Rentals
    Your best bet in Rafts and camp rentals
    www.northwestalaska.com
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    33 miles north of the Arctic Circle

  17. #17
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default sounds good

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben424 View Post
    Right Frankie, it is the testosterone level that determines when all species of deer shed. The main reason the dates differ from year to year is animals stress and available nutrition. In rough years or if the animals are stressed they will shed yearly. In areas with good forage and mild winters they may hold there antlers very late.
    Well if its stress, that would explain the bald moose I saw in Anchorage December 7. Right by the native hospital, ears back, hackles up, munching away at the landscaping, nothing but white patches over and back of the eyes. Looked like a 3-4 year old.

  18. #18
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Default

    Just FYI, I saw 3 bulls around Big Su/Deshka area today. All around 30-40"

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