Determining Age Is an Essential Piece of the Puzzle in Moose Management

The fact that the age of shot moose is of interest shows the discussions that usually arise when the moose is lying on the ground. When you sometimes look at cross-confident statements, they do not always turn out to be true.

To be able to make age assessments, you must know what to look for and how to do it. In addition to being interesting for the individual hunter and his hunting team, age determination is essential for the administration.

One can not directly translate the age of the killed moose to what the average age looks like in the living tribe. For many reasons, we most likely kill more young animals than are left after hunting. On the one hand, there are more of them; on the other hand, younger females go without a calf, and probably younger animals behave more carelessly than those who have survived any hunting season.

Determining Age Is an Essential Piece of the Puzzle in Moose Management

Several Steps

Regardless of this, age determination is an essential piece of the puzzle in management and should be entered as biological data when reporting what has been felled on the ground. We can then see trends and get a more secure basis for calculations. You can do an age assessment in several steps.

Calf or foal? It is not apparent at the end of the season, but a foal always has six cheek teeth in each jaw half, while a calf has four (late in the season, possibly five).

Fool or older? Here you have to cut forward so you can clearly see all the cheek teeth on one side. Early in the season, the teeth of a fool can look very worn. This is when the baby teeth lie like a “lid” over the permanent teeth. These are usually easy to break loose. If the baby teeth have already been released, the three front teeth are much brighter than the three rear ones. A foal can thus be relatively easily distinguished from older adult animals.

Older than fools? Now it’s getting a little more complicated. If you cut out and remove the lower jaw, you can see on the wear whether it is a young or old animal. After seeing examples of this, most people can make a rough assessment and end up at the level of young, middle-aged, or really old moose.

Saw the Lower Jaw

Closer than that, it is difficult to get through a look at the tooth line. A Finnish model has tried to solve this, but the wear and tear of the teeth differ between areas depending on the type of bait that the moose in question has eaten during their lifetime. If you want to be safer and end up within a year or two from the truth, the lower jaw must be sawn and the dental incision examined with a magnifying glass.

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