A moose was sighted in the Lyons area last week. He covered a lot of area in just a couple of days. He was downtown in Sandstone Park, as well as in the mountains east of Longs Peak, and also near Old St. Vrain Road off of Highway 7. We’re wondering if it is the same moose that was spotted in Pinewood Springs a week earlier. It is rare for a moose to be in either town.
The close up photo was taken by Kimberly Lohr as they were driving on Highway 7 across from the Old St. Vrain Road. The long-distance photo on the mountainside was taken by Kevin Mahoney.
“The photo was taken from Eagle Ridge Road.” said Kevin. “There are houses in the background on Longs Peak. The moose is in the low area between Longs Peak and Eagle Ridge Roads.” The Lyons Cemetery is on the west side of the mountain, and the moose was on the east side of Longs Peak, (north of Mountain View, west of Eagle Ridge).
“Not sure the path it took to get to where I saw it, but it kept moving North up Steamboat Valley. Then we lost sight of him,” said Kevin.
There are approximately 3,000 moose in Colorado, spread out throughout the state. They originally were native to the Rocky Mountains, but became nearly absent from Colorado until the late 1970s.
According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife, in 1978, Colorado wildlife managers arranged for the first transplant of 12 moose to Colorado’s North Park region near Walden. These initial moose came from Utah; and, in 1979, another dozen from Wyoming were released in the same region, in the Illinois River drainage. This early population reproduced quickly, and some began to move into the Laramie River Valley. In 1987 a transplant of 12 moose from Wyoming helped establish a strong population in that valley as well.
Moose can be found in sagebrush, and high in the mountains above timberline, as well as in riparian (areas located along rivers, streams, and lakes). Willows, are a primary food source. Their large head and long legs are probably their most distinct features. Their rumps are brown, not white or cream colored as found in deer, elk, or pronghorn.