2017-2018 Estes Park Official Visitors Guide - Cover2

moose
WILDLIFE

DESPITE THEIR SIZE AND
BULLWINKLE REPUTATION,
these large ungulates often
surprise anglers with their
stealth movements. More
than one fisherman has told
a story of looking up from
tying a fly only to realize that
he is sharing the water with
the paddle-headed beast.
Until recently, moose were
not spotted very often in Estes
Park or on the national park's
east side. Today, however,
sightings are increasing as
moose migrate over the
Continental Divide. Their
long legs carry them through
deep snow and across plucky
rivers and streams without
a problem.
Males can weigh as much
as 1,500 pounds and can
grow as tall as seven feet tall.
Females weigh about threequarters as much and do not

z

grow antlers, but both sexes,
bulls and cows, have "bells,"
a ball of skin that hangs from
their necks-it's an ongoing
debate what purpose the bell
serves. Moose live as solitary
creatures except mothers
and calves and get together
only during the rut. Cows
choose a bull based on the
size of his antlers, which he
uses to repel other bulls
during the rut. After breeding,
he loses his antlers until the
next spring when they begin
growing again.
WHERE TO SEE: Because they
dine on willows, aspens and
aquatic plants, moose are most
often visible in riparian areas
near rivers and lakes, including
those in Hermit Park.
WHEN TO SEE: You can see
moose anytime throughout
the day.

DID YOU KNOW? The average mule deer weighs
about as much as an average man, about 212
pounds, and lives about 10 years in the wild.

mule deer
RELATED TO ELK, mule deer outnumber their
cousins in the state by about 200,000. Still, in
the Estes Park area, visitors are more likely
to see elk than deer. Does show themselves
more often than bucks, but when you spy
a mature male, its antlers can be quite
impressive. They shed their bony crowns
each February and almost immediately start
growing a new set. Deer are social and live
in multigenerational families of related females and offspring, but bucks older than a year will separate to live
alone or in groups with other young bucks. During the fall rut, the bucks expend a lot of energy in courtship
and breeding, so many do not survive the winter. Nevertheless, come spring, a new batch of spotted babies is
born to start the cycle again.
The skittish creatures are important to the region's food chain as they are the preferred prey of mountain
lions. Coyotes and bobcats also hunt deer. In winter when other prey is harder for predators to find, deer fend
off these predators by banding together with other deer families.
WHERE TO SEE: Look for mule deer in open areas dotted with bushes and shrubs, particularly at lower elevations,
but they also linger at forest edges.
WHEN TO SEE: Keep your eyes open at dusk and dawn, the time when mule deer are most often nibbling shrubs,
trees, grasses and forbs. During the day, they bed down among the trees.
16 | WWW.VISITESTESPARK.COM

KEEP THE
"WILD" IN
WILDLIFE
BY TAKING A FEW
EXTRA PRECAUTIONS,
you can help keep
yourself and Estes Park's
wildlife population
safe, particularly black
bears. Their keen sense
of smell attracts them
to trash and anything
with a scent that may
provide an easy meal.
To avoid unwanted
bear and other wildlife
encounters, follow these
guidelines:
1 Keep at least 75 feet
(elk, bighorn sheep and
deer) to 120 feet (bear,
moose and mountain
lion) away from wild
animals.
2 Do not feed wildlife,
even the chipmunks.
3 Properly dispose of
all garbage and food
using designated trash
receptacles. Fruit cores
and seeds should be
thrown away, too, as
they can attract black
bears to human areas.
4 At lodging properties
and while camping,
store all food, including
pet food, and all scented
items out of reach and in
proper bear-proof containers. As a last resort,
you may put them in the
trunk of your car, ideally
in sealed containers to
reduce the odor.
5 Keep bear-accessible
windows and doors,
including garage doors
and car doors, closed
and locked at all times at
hotel rooms, cabins and
vacation homes.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2017-2018 Estes Park Official Visitors Guide

Contents
2017-2018 Estes Park Official Visitors Guide - Cover1
2017-2018 Estes Park Official Visitors Guide - Cover2
2017-2018 Estes Park Official Visitors Guide - Contents
2017-2018 Estes Park Official Visitors Guide - 2
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