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Before living in Fairbanks, I’ve only seen three moose. The first was through the trees while hiking in New Hampshire. The second was dead in that back of a DOT truck, also in New Hampshire. The third was far away in a field in Minnesota. Since moving here almost 10 years ago I occasionally say things like, “I don’t think I’ve seen a moose in a couple of weeks.” They’re all over Alaska. It’s estimated there are between 175,000 and 200,000 throughout the state. When living in a dry cabin, I would occasionally have to wait until the moose left the yard to go to the outhouse.
The moose here are enormous and powerful! The Alaska-Yukon subspecies are nicknamed giant moose and can weigh over 1400 lbs (635 kg). At the shoulder, a bull moose can stand nearly 6.9 ft (2.1 m) tall and have antlers over 60 inches (1.5 m) across!
This female wasn’t much smaller. She was close to 6 ft tall at the shoulder. I didn’t go measure, though. I spotted here along Chena Hot Springs Road while driving out to Angel Rocks to go hiking. After spending about 5 minutes watching her eat willows along the road another driver pulled up beside her and scared her away. For as big as these animals are, it’s spooky how quickly they disappear after ducking into the woods.