Watching Another Moose Strip his Velvet Covered Antlers
In Monday’s post I showed you Washakie stripping the velvet from his antlers. Today, I have another moose stripping the velvet from his.
This is Custer. I have had several photos of him lately, he’s the one with the funny odd placed tine on top of his head. I knew he would be shedding his velvet soon, after Washakie did his the other day. Also on Monday, he had one tine that was showing through the velvet, so it was happening for sure. I didn’t name the moose, BTW, a local photographer friend of mine did and it makes it easier to know who is who. Check out Mike’s blog all about photography in the Jackson Hole area.
Custer chose a not so easy spot to get rid of his velvet on Tuesday. This was an incredibly thick and brushy place. Easy for him to get around, me, not so much. And photography was definitely more challenging. This photo was taken at 7:30am
This photo gives you a pretty good view of what he is trying to get rid of. His paddles, or antlers, have a lot more surface area than Washakie’s. On the bottom antler you can see how vascular this stuff is.
He had huge pieces of velvet hanging down, and waiting to come off.
Ok, this part is kinda gross. In Monday’s post I had a photo of Washakie chewing on a piece of his velvet. Custer was really chewing on this stuff, and as you can see here, trying really hard to get it in his mouth. He gnawed on it quite a bit, I can only guess that he was in fact eating it.
In this shot he had moved on to another bush, scraped and tussled with it, and ended up blind folded. Not according to plan, I’m sure. This photo was 8:08am.
Here he finally has everything off the antlers, but now it’s all hanging down beside his face. I would guess that the velvet dries pretty quickly once it’s all scraped off. Then it would just fall completely off. This photo was at 8:40am.
Time to cross the river.
Moose are pretty vocal, especially now that it’s getting close to the rut. Sometimes you can hear them, before you see them.
This was super interesting. He stopped a few times while crossing the river, and dipped his antlers in the water. Maybe he was trying to do what ever he could to get rid of the rest of the velvet. This was taken at 9:08am
And off he went, to the forest.
I’m glad I got to watch both of the big bulls shed their velvet this year. You never know if you’ll be able to see even one of them, who know’s where they could be when this happens.
Soon the rut will begin in earnest.