Wandering moose continues central Minnesota trek to stardom

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Rut the moose photographed on public property Tuesday, Nov. 14, “just outside of Sauk Centre.” (Contributed / Danielle Magnuson)

SAUK CENTRE — The wandering moose who has appeared on more screens in west central Minnesota than any other moose since Bullwinkle of television cartoon fame continues his trek to stardom.

In the past week, the Central MN Moose on the Loose Facebook group dedicated to tracking the wandering moose has posted images and sightings of the young bull in the Sauk Centre and Melrose areas. Three days ago, he was spotted near the Sauk Centre airport, and the more recent sightings indicate he remains in the area.

He’s been given names ranging from Rut to Bullwinkle. Photographs indicate he is a young bull, quite likely a yearling.

The most recent Facebook postings indicate concern that he will need to cross Interstate 94 if he remains on his current, northerly trajectory.

“Rut” the moose walks southward along the east shore of Green Lake in rural Spicer on Wednesday morning, Oct. 31, 2023. (Screenshot from Cela Kava Dolan video)

The moose was sighted in Kandiyohi and Meeker counties in late October. A video captured him walking along the shores of Green Lake at month’s end.

Jeremy Gehrke, with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources office in New London, said the local office has not received any reports about the moose since it moved northward into Stearns County.

Gehrke reminded people that they should give the moose a wide berth and not pester him. Moose are large and powerful animals and should be avoided, he pointed out.

It’s not uncommon for moose to wander in areas south of their range. In some cases, moose can wander due to a brainworm that adversely affects their health.

But Gehrke said there are also cases in which a moose will wander on its own, with no obvious signs of health distress. He said the photos he has seen of this moose suggest it is a healthy male.

There is no way to predict where the moose may go, but it is possible that his northward trajectory indicates he is headed back to more suitable habitat in northern Minnesota.

Motorists should be extra cautious this time of year, not only because of this moose. Deer remain active due to the rutting season and are more nocturnal after the nine-day firearm season. That means there is a higher likelihood of deer and vehicle collisions, especially during low-light periods and at night, he advises.

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