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Some North Dakota Wildlife


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Wife and I were out pontooning on the Missouri river north of Bismarck this weekend and spotted this youngster be-bopping along the eastern shoreline wandering through folks backyards not worried about a thing.

Just for reference the very spot he is standing with the moon over his head was about 3-4 feet under water during the floods of 2011 and there were several houses that used to be in that void which a couple of washed into the river that summer, the rest were sold off and moved.

 

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Absolutely not, both are fairly common place, Moose range all across the state, we see Moose in our area a lot as they wander a lot and follow the Missouri river system, wife actually got pics of a moose just a few miles from our house earlier this year. Elk are only seen mainly out in the western 1/3 of the state. Both are a once in a lifetime tag to hunt for in state residents, most put in for many years and never get drawn for a hunting tag. I love moose meat but am not sold on the sweet taste of elk but it could grow on me, I have actually been waiting for the #'s to look better and put in for a moose tag, if one puts in for a cow tag your chances are a lot better, I know several people who put in the first time for moose and elk cows and get drawn the first time they apply but if one holds out for a bull one may never get one in a lifetime here. A coworker had his wife and daughter put in for cow elk tags one year and both got drawn the same year.

 

A friend of my brother in law had a trail cam out on my mother in laws farm a couple years ago and got a pic of a moose about the same age and size as the one I just posted, that was about 30 miles NE of Bismarck.

 

Up in the Grand Forks area I am surprised you didn't see any up there as that is Moose central for the state meaning there are more up there than anywhere else from the Dunseith Bottineau area of the turtle mountains to the east.

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The Grand Forks area is real close to where the moose seem to be disappearing. Even here in NE Minnesota the moose population is so low that ALL moose hunting has been cancelled for the last two years and no prediction when or if it will happen again. Biologists claim they can't figure out why they are dying, but it just seems too coincidental to me that the wolf population is large enough for them to be hunted. Even on Isle Royal the moose population is real low, but the wolf population is real high, yet the biologists claim there is no correlation?

On a side note, if you get some fresh moose meat it will be real tough unless you either pressure cook it or put it in a cooler and let it sit for a couple weeks. It forms kind of a "rind" on it. Cut that off and the rest will be so tender it is almost too tender to cut up right. Once cooked you can cut it with a fork.

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The state game and fish have lowered the number of moose tags the last couple of years here in ND as well due to declining numbers but we have no wolves in our area, they are studying the cause but have no solid leads yet in the north central part of the state.

 

I agree with the tenderness of the moose meat, friend of mine got a moose cow 2 years ago and gave us a couple pounds of "Tenderloin" steaks, I couldn't believe how tender they were and how good and non gamey they tasted wife even loved it.

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I still have a little bit of moose left in the freezer. You are right, that meat is real good when aged. One year it was in the 60s for temperatures and I didn't have a cooler then so we packaged it up and put it in the freezer. If you didn't pressure cook it you could not eat it. I have heard that if you ate nothing but moose meat you would starve to death because of the lack of fat in it. I don't know if that is true or not, but I like a baked potatoe with butter and pepper too much to see!

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Actually the meat we got was fresh from the butcher shop and was super tender. Funny you say that about starving because they ate up an entire Moose in a few months "Family of 8" and thats what they said, eat a full belly of moose meat and everybody would still be hungry a hour later.

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