Thursday, 3 April 2008
Moose Spotting in New Hampshire
March 26, 2008
NEW HAMPSHIIRE'S MOOSE SPOT HUMANS
WHILE HUMANS SPOT THE MOOSE RIGHT BACK
GREAT NORTH WOODS LEAD THE MOOSE-ON-THE-LOOSE PARADE
By Stephen Weir
Toronto – A trained eye means everything. One New Hampshire moose, his velvet antlers skimming the surface of the water, didn’t even have to stop munching on water weeds and lift his massive head to spot the six humans standing on the opposite shore of the pristine lake. He tilted his head sideways and looked for the telltale reflection of dawn’s early light on the telephoto lens of a digital camera. “Gotcha” snorted the moose, “my first people spotting of the day.”
And while some of New Hampshire’s estimated 10,000 moose (no the plural isn’t meese) are avid people watchers, from May to October, the real sport is Moose Spotting and it is pursued by thousands and thousands of avid animal watchers wanting to get close to New Hampshire’s gentle giants.
Most of the moose live in the Great North Woods section of the state, near the Canadian border. It is in this region that people travel to see some of North America’s largest wild animals. So plentiful are the moose that some naturalists offering Moose Spotting Tours claim a 97% success rate in seeing an up-to 1,500 lb black/brown behemoth.
Outdoor Escapes, a Lakeport, New Hampshire outfitter offers a variety of Moose Spotting expeditions. Be it in a canoe, or on snowshoes, cross-country skis, mountain bikes or even in SUVs, the company’s naturalists help visitors hunt moose … with their cameras. The mountain tours (starting at $193) are 6-hours in length; if a moose isn’t spotted in that time frame the tours can be extended to 8-hours. www.outdoorescapesnewhampshire.com/moose_tours.htm
Other companies, like Mt. Madison Moose and Scenic Tours, www.mtmadisonmotel.com offer daytime bus trips into moose country, so that visitors can experience the wilds from inside an air-conditioned bug-free motor coach! Moose are crepuscular creatures, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. One bus-based moose spotting tour company, Pemi Valley Excursion, www.i93.com/pvsr/moose.htm specializes in affordable ($10 t0 $20 per person) evening expeditions from May until early October. Their buses make a 2 1/2 to 3 hour journey through the majestic White Mountains in search of the gentle giants.
The Appalachian Mountain Club www.outdoors.org offers a unique expert perspective on outdoor adventure in New Hampshire’s White Mountains to help take the guesswork out of encountering moose. The naturalist association provides free evening programs, including moose-spotting forays, stargazing, and nocturnal creatures walks offered daily at Highland Center at 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday nights at the Joe Dodge Lodge in the heart of the White Mountains.
Spring is the best time to take the moose tour as the critters are on the move, slogging through the woods and wetlands towards their summer dwellings. The animals are very active along country-roads and highways. You can see them at the roadside licking the remains of the road salt that has built up after a long winter. A motorist has a good chance of seeing moose at the roadside in the spring.
Best roadside bet? There is a stretch of Route 3 that runs from Pittsburg, New Hampshire, to the Canadian border that the locals call "Moose Alley". Tourists motoring through New England wanting to see moose find this scenic road the most reliable option.
Of course, moose on the loose can be spotted and photographed without having to join an organized tour group or by cruising up and down the back roads of New Hampshire. Experienced hikers and campers are almost guaranteed moose encounters when they visit some of New Hampshire’s 66 state parks. Despite its name, moose is the big attraction at Deer Mountain State Park. Located in Connecticut Lakes State Forest, Deer Mountain Campground is just five minutes south of the Canadian border and 13 miles from Lake Francis. It is adjacent to Moose Alley, which makes it a prime location for moose viewing.
In Mollidgewock State Park, the best way to spot moose is while canoeing or kayaking the Androscoggin River. The Androscoggin is a favourite of fishing enthusiasts and is popular for watching wading moose.
Visitors' Guides for wildlife areas from NH Natural Heritage Bureau
The N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau recently published four new guides as part of its ongoing Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity series. The guides can be downloaded for free from the Bureau's web site: http://nh.gov/dred/divisions/forestandlands/bureaus/naturalheritage/Guides.htm
To find out more about New Hampshire or to receive a free visitor’s guide, call 1-800-FUN-IN-NH (386-4664) or visit www.visitnh.gov. Canadian travel trade and media may call 1-888-423-3995, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ I wrote the above press-release for Toronto based Travel Marketing Experts. It was subsequently picked up by Canadian Press, edited and distributed across Canada - what follows is the CP version of my release].
Canadian Press: Moose-spotting season draws visitors to northern N.H., near Que. border
2 days ago
PITTSBURG, N.H. — There are about 10,000 moose in New Hampshire - most living in the Great North Woods section of the state near the Quebec border - and tour groups provide several options for close encounters with the big beasts.
Spring is prime moose-spotting season, when the animals can be seen on roadsides licking the remains of salt that has built up after a long winter, say state tourism officials.
Pemi Valley Excursions (www.i93.com/PVSR/moose.htm), a motorcoach tour company, makes a 2 1/2-to three-hour journey through the White Mountains in search of the gentle giants. The $20 evening expeditions run from May until early October.
The outfitter Outdoor Escapes (www.outdoorescapesnewhampshire.com) offers moose-spotting expeditions by, among other means, canoe, mountain bikes and SUVs. Six-hour tours start at $193.
The Appalachian Mountain Club (www.outdoors.org), a naturalists association, provides free moose-spotting forays in the White Mountains.
Best roadside bet to see a moose at the roadside in the spring? Try a stretch of Route 3 that runs from Pittsburg, N.H., to the Canada-U.S. border that the locals call Moose Alley. Pittsburg is about 85 kilometres southeast of Sherbrooke, Que.
Moose are also a big attraction at Deer Mountain State Park, five minutes south of the border. It's adjacent to Moose Alley, which makes it a prime location for moose viewing.
The N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau recently published four new guides as part of its Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity series. The guides can be downloaded at: http://nh.gov/dred/divisions/forestandlands/bureaus/naturalheritage/ Guides.htm.