An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Moose in Rut

The mating season for moose (Alces alces) is just starting, and it peaks around the end of September or the first week in October.  By this time bulls have shed the velvet that provided a blood supply to their antlers while they were growing during the summer.  Occasionally you see the remains of the velvet hanging from their antlers at this time of year (see photograph).  During mating season, bulls are rushing through the forest, seeking a receptive cow and engaging in mock battles with other bulls for the female’s attention.  A bull uses his antlers in these challenges, engaging in “antler-pushing” with other males.  He also uses his antlers as a tool for thrashing brush and for rooting plants from the bottom of ponds.

4 responses

  1. viola

    Looks as if you were right in front of this fellow and he was posing for you. I hope you had a long lens and were, in fact, a distance away. It’s amazing that you found a male with the velvet hanging. Just one more example of Mary Hollands remarkable photographs!

    September 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

  2. Micky

    Those antlers looks small. How come? I love the expression on his face which I interpret as serene.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    • He’s only a year and a half old!

      September 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

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