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How Tall Is a Moose (and How to Avoid an Attack?)

Spotting a moose standing tall can be an adrenaline-inducing experience. When capturing their height, pictures don’t do these enormous animals justice.

They’re bigger than most people imagine in their heads. So, just how tall is a moose?

Today, we’ll answer this important question and provide tips for staying safe when you encounter one in the wild.

Let’s go!

Bull moose from Alaska. How tall is a moose, really?

About Moose

Some nature enthusiasts refer to moose as the “gentle giants” of the North. They’re the largest member of the deer family, and many know them for their incredible size and impressive antlers. 

However, their stature can be deceiving. You may not expect them to run up to 35 miles per hour. Do yourself a favor and watch for them when adventuring in areas known for having moose.

Moose live throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In the United States, you can spot them in Alaska, Maine, and Minnesota. If you venture north of the border into Canada, they have thriving populations throughout British Columbia, Alberta, and Newfoundland.

Because they’re herbivores, you’ll most likely find them in areas with dense vegetation. Greenery is a significant part of their diet and provides excellent cover from predators. They’ll typically snack on aquatic plants, shrubs, and tree leaves. Their massive size allows them to munch on vegetation that’s out of reach for many other herbivores.

How Tall Is a Moose, Exactly?

The height of a moose depends on several factors. In general, males are bigger than females. At birth, a calf stands approximately 3’6″ to 4’6″ at the shoulders. They grow quickly and reach between 5′ and 6’6” at maturity. When measuring from the top of their head to the ground, moose can be 6’6” to 7’6” tall.

Not only are they large vertically, but also horizontally. Just like height, males tend to be longer than females. Fully grown, they’re between 8′ to 10′ long. As we said, these creatures are much bigger than they appear in pictures or videos.

When it comes to weight, they’re born between 25 to 35 pounds. They put on mass quickly and grow to be 400 to 600 pounds before their first birthday. Adult males can weigh between 1,200 and 1,600 smackers. On the other hand, a female will top the scales between 800 to 1,200 big ones.

It’s not just moose: The Most Dangerous Creatures in the Rocky Mountains.

How Big Can A Moose’s Rack Get?

Male moose, also known as bulls, have antlers like many other members of the deer family. Much like their overall size, their racks can depend on diet and age. A healthy bull will have a symmetrical set of headgear. They can measure 79″ across and weigh 25 to 30 pounds. The record for the most colossal antlers is 83″ wide and a whopping 79 pounds.

The shedding process typically occurs each winter, and they regrow in the spring. It can take them between three and five months to develop completely. Antlers are full of nutrients and often get eaten by birds, rodents, and other wildlife after falling off.

When the bulls shed their antlers for the final time, their last set regrows in a couple of weeks. However, they’re usually very deformed. They’ll walk around with this rack for the rest of their lives.

Are Moose Friendly?

Despite their docile and peaceful appearance, moose can be incredibly dangerous. They’ll run when they feel threatened. When stressed, they’ll defend themselves and attack. Like humans, they’ll become more aggressive when hungry, tired, or protecting their young.

Human encounters and attacks generally increase significantly in September and October. This is prime mating season, and bulls can become very aggressive. Additionally, females have short tempers in the spring when calves are born. 

You better watch out if they feel you threaten them or their young. They’ll do everything in their abilities to keep their calves safe.

As mentioned earlier, these creatures can run upwards of 35 miles per hour. You should keep at least 25 yards between the two of you. You won’t outrun a charging moose, no matter how fast you think you are. Keeping your distance can give you a head start and allow you to find a safe hiding place.

How to Behave Around Moose, No Matter Their Height

To stay safe around moose, you have to know how to behave. Luckily, you can do a few things to evade a dangerous situation. Here are three tips to keep in mind when you’re exploring Moose Country. 

Avoid Them

The best way to stay safe is to avoid moose entirely. Just like you, they’re not looking for a close encounter. If they hear you, there’s a good chance they’ll naturally remove themselves from the area.

Make plenty of noise so you don’t catch them off guard. Clapping, singing, or wearing bells is all it takes to alert them of your presence. If you’re traveling in a group, conversations are probably enough to keep them away. Solo adventuring will require you to create noise intentionally. Otherwise, you could find yourself closer to the wildlife than you’d like.

While you may prefer to hike in silence or enjoy the sounds of nature, it’s essential to make yourself known. Don’t be obnoxious, but do whatever it takes to be safe.

Heed Their Warnings

No matter how careful you are, you could come face-to-face with a tall moose at some point. Thankfully, most of these magnificent creatures will give some warnings before they attack. You must be responsible enough to recognize them and respond accordingly.

They’ll usually pin back their ears first, and the hair on their hump, neck, and hips will raise. Clicking teeth, smacking lips, or thrashing like a horse are common. They may even urinate in some situations.

If you witness any of these, you must tread lightly because they’re preparing to attack. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on these warnings as some can be more aggressive. They might strike without warning.

Whatever you do, don’t turn away from them. Instead, face them and slowly back away from the scene. Many times, this is enough to neutralize the situation. Continue to retreat until they go on their way.

Run for Cover

If a moose does decide to charge, run for cover. Look for something solid to get behind and provide protection. Getting into a vehicle or behind a sturdy tree are both viable options. While they’re faster than you, they’re not likely to chase you very far.

They’ll use their hooves and body to knock you to the ground during an attack. Fighting back will increase the perception that you are a threat to them or their young. Curl up into a ball and do your best to protect your head and organs.

Once the attack ends, give the animal time to leave. Getting up too early can be a costly mistake. It could spark further aggression from the animal and cause it to come back for more.

Have some (safe) fun: Moose Master – A Hilarious Night in a Box!

Moose Stand Tall in the Wild

There’s nothing like spotting a magnificent moose standing tall in the wild. It’s a thing of beauty that can ignite a new level of appreciation for nature. 

But these massive creatures are wild and can be very dangerous. Do your part to protect yourself and them by keeping your distance. After all, you want to show off pictures from your trip, not battle scars!

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