Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff
Thursday 10/21/2004 Where's the moose?
This week is moose biological check station week for me. I happen to be assigned to my office at the Region 3 site in Durham. Last year 28 moose were registered here and 20 something the year or two before. But this year it has been very slow. Only 8 moose checked there so far. While I wonder where the moose hunters with moose are, the moose hunters are calling here asking "Where are the moose in southeast NH?" Moose hunting in Wildlife Management Units L and M in this region of the state really is moose hunting. While up north the success rate for hunters is usually 70 to 80 percent, that is not the case down here. However, hunter success is typically 20 to 30 percent. The success rate for deer hunters is usually less than 10 percent. I'm usually in the 90 percent unsuccessful in NH. So even though the moose success rate isn't very high it's still two to three times higher than the deer hunters.
When a moose rolls into the parking lot it brings in with it a load of excitement. Moose are majestic beasts even in death, ugly, but majestic. Not only are the hunters excited but the staff here can't help but ogle such a huge animal. I remember working the moose check station in Pittsburg some years ago. The site was the local state highway shop. I happened to man the station later into the moose season when moose were brought in sporadically. The place would be deserted, save for the two Fish and Game staffers waiting for a moose, and the occasional highway worker. But when a moose arrived, it seemed like the whole town showed up to watch us process it. The empty parking lot filled with cars and human voices. I have had a half dozen folks at a time from the other UNH facilities around the office walk over when a moose arrived.
The Suncook River has empty-leaved gray-colored, maples standing as sentries to guard it through the fall and winter. They look more like a platoon of Confederate soldiers at guard of the river. However the oaks are just now really coming into their own with brilliant reds and yellows. Such a thing is made of "peak colors" that it really does a dis-service to the grand colors that hold sway on the land and hillsides for another month. Last evening as I drove west along route 4 the sun was setting and poking out at the horizon below a cloud layer. This always makes for a spectacular display of color for about 15 minutes. The earth seems to be ablaze along the tree line. Both sides of the road roared with blazing colors as I drove through Northwood past Harvey Lake.
I spent a while last evening on Rick Hamlett's deck on the edge of the Suncook River. I didn't get there until after dark so I missed the colors but the night was brilliant with a star filled sky and soon the half moon lighted the river as well. We had a warming fire in his copper fireplace. We each rotated as we talked with the very cool night air subtracting from too hot legs or butts on one side and the fire cooking body parts on the other. How a night fire can loosen a tongue and spark memories. We talked well into the night.
2004-10-16 Leaves are raining down into the Suncook River.
2004-10-24 I'm being watched again. Crows are watching me.
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