By BILL ZIEGLER
For The Daily News
CRYSTAL FALLS - Viewing moose has become a popular activity among Upper Peninsula residents and visiting outdoor enthusiasts.
A moose is shown in a moose marsh, a large marsh on the east side of U.S. 141 south of the Iron-Baraga County border.
Although moose are observed, no one would want to take a long trip to the western U.P. with the sole purpose of seeing a moose.
Some 450 moose in the western U.P. is, of course, a relatively low density compared to other popular species wildlife watchers like to observe.
Moose are known to often be nocturnal.
My own attempts to photograph them leads me to conclude that in addition to their low density, their nocturnal behavior lowers one's chance to see them during the day compared to deer and other wildlife.
For years my family regularly found fresh moose tracks near our deer camp in northwest Iron County. We never saw the moose there until I started deploying a game camera.
Last year the camera was out all summer and recorded five separate moose visits. I recorded four moose, two different bulls, a cow and a calf. All but one of the photo captures was at night.
With these limitations in mind, one can increase their chances of seeing a U.P. moose by driving through the better moose range, during early morning and evening hours.
Prime moose viewing areas are very limited, although one of the best is located at a large marsh on the east side of U.S. 141 south of the Iron-Baraga County border about 1.4 miles.
Moose are typically sighted near roads or trails in the entire Tracy Creek area that encompasses that moose marsh.
Moose sign is also regularly found in the area around Michigamme, Republic, and the Peshekee River area northeast of Michigamme.
The Republic area also has considerable moose sign found by local outdoor enthusiasts.
Of course it is possible to see moose in other areas although the two listed above appear to be the core of the moose range.
If you make an attempt to observe a mainland Michigan moose, bring your camera, binoculars and lots of patience.