I said – elk!

It was early morning of April. Frost bound the remaining snow, turning it into a monolithic coating, support the weight of a person. Following along the edge of the forest, I walked along the strip of “asphalt” as suddenly came upon a fresh elk trail easily break even this shell crust!

I said - elk!

AT Central Russia elk rut begins with mid-August, and at the height of his accounts September.

Cleduya along the edge of the forest, I was walking along this strip «asphalt»How suddenly came upon a fresh elk trail easily break even this shell crust! Elk was apparently on dawn, shortly before me. Measure the following, I slightly taken aback. It was the largest elk and found a trail of ever measured, and testifying largest animal! Frozen crust was pushed through a heavy beast seats in the a dozen centimeters. Surprisingly, in all the years this rare discovery took place only in April, the there in 2013. The total length of the track varied ranging from 26 to 28 centimeters, and It means a equal to the average of 27 cm! The width was 13 cm! The length of the front, the main hooves was 17 cm! Sure, the track owned by large, adult male. AT then However, this moose is not It was «MEGAPODE»As I might seem at first. ABOUT the imposing size of the elk told his step. Instead of the usual figures for adults 80–90 cm, pitch of the individual in averaged 100–104 cm. And it was just a normal step. Vadim Gudkov his atlas «Traces of animals and birds» resulting record-maximum values ​​moose track — 16h12,5 cm (16 — the length of the front hooves). As you can see, it should be only slightly inferior to that found me, but in general, the difference is small.

Similar elk have We, in Central band, the following may leave only grazing cattle. The more that way and elk livestock on pastures often intersect. On elk trail far behind the main hooves clearly visible imprints side, additional hooves (tracks 2 and 5th fingers), the so-called panogotki; Cow of prints often reserves (and from step it shorter). However, in number of cases the elk, they can not stamped. Imprints of hooves are always located behind should, in far away from the front hooves, and almost never higher than the overall width of the track. And on forelegs these panogotki larger.

Next elk are much larger boars butt­hooves of elk imprinted far behind, and do not stick to side. And from step Moose are not a sinuous and fussy, like wild boar; on the contrary, it is sweeping and less strayed on forest. TO Moreover, moving even deep snow, high on moose almost It leaves a furrow from his limbs. AT then while the boar with a trace of movement his short legs on Besides snow — it is one continuous groove.

In the wake of the various activities in the reserve moose or that time of year, you can distinguish the sex of the animals. The mean values ​​of the size of footprints adult male moose and elk from my observations — And 15h12 14–14,5h10–10.5 cm, respectively (given the basic parameters of hooves without panogotkov). Traces of males is well distinguishable from those of the elk. They are bigger and thicker front hoof steeper bent inward. In elk track like a little stretched, the outer edges of the main hooves more direct. Thus, it should not elk much inferior trail bulls length how many of width. In winter, if you are lucky enough to see the point in the urinary the course of the beast, you can also set the floor past a moose. Males and females urinate about the same, right on trail, so that urine stain is located between the footprints of the hind legs. Only females spray direction opposite its course, and males coincides with progress, and because the jet is directed forward. TO Moreover, it is believed that both sexes can be discerned in winter excrement. Adult males leave rounded «nuts», Y females are oblong, are stretched more length. But such extended «nuts» post and young males, and On the next oldest elk can be seen perfectly round. So the definition of sex for elk droppings very sturdy case.

I said - elk!

On the trail far behind the main moose hoof prints clearly visible side, other, hooves.

Curious and traces of this forest giant leaves them after feeding. In summer it is bitten vershinki meadowsweet, willow-herb (favorite summer food elk), various umbrella, leaves and young aspens birches. In the winter — ripped off tree bark and whole strips bitten and shoots and branches of deciduous softwood. Snow cover played a role in the evolution of many animals, including elk, thereby forcing them to go to nadsnezhny wood-twig food, no doubt, leaner, but none however, vital to winter conditions.

My favorite tree species should be recognized moose willow, aspen and mountain ash pine. With bark growing trees on elk cuts at the muzzle incisors of the lower jaw, and then, clutching his teeth, pulls, moving away from the tree, as long as she does not come off. Such elk strip on Trees can be direct and winding, and always They should be widely visible paired mandibular teeth. Moose can only bite one tree, tear it with sanded one side or on on the entire circumference any particular portion of the barrel. Introduced in young pine plantations herd of elk in general could have a significant impact on landscape. Where there is a massive winter eating of pines, mutilated or elk trees wither or grow what is called random and at random, and ship pine-giants here have nothing to wait for. Willow and rowan shoots moose snack and about level of the muzzle, which is a considerable height from the ground. AT Unlike birds, which cut its incisors wicker like sharpened knife, elk, with a more blunt teeth rather pluck the shoots. AT places seen longer break than cut.

I said - elk!

Fig. 2Sled hind leg male elk (about one year old), entered into the next leg front. Behind visible fingerprints small hooves of both the front and rear legs, which are located behind and do not exceed the overall width of the track. April 1992

To their places of rest moose Special requests can not and presents falls as it is necessary. Summer its maturation somewhere on old cutting in tall, — it’s a big round of land heavily trampled grass. Winter, Unlike other deer, elk, as well as summer can not unnecessary bother and comfort lies right in snow throughout its mass, and raking it. Place elk maturation has the shape of a curved oval something resembling the shape of a kidney. The length of a snow pit reaches one and a half meters, or a little more in depth at loose snow.

I said - elk!

Fig. 3Zimnie moose droppings. The upper, more rounded, owned by adult males. Lower oblong – losiham.Mart 1990

Once in mid-April I I stumbled on a pair of moose holding a the depth of the old swamp forests. Prichuyav me before, both animals immediately retreated. I meanwhile, went up to their camp. As it turned out, the couple was chosen place around a big aspen, dumped by a strong wind, and the barrel large branches which were white-teeth scraped moose. Frequented by elk felled aspen many times, and possibly grazed here for several days. The first green is not yet was here and they I had to settle for another bark and other wood-twig food. Wet litter around aspen was whipped elk hooves. But there were other unexpected traces of them. On I gnawed wood I found a lot of winter faded top coat, which confuse with others simply can not. Almost desyatisantimetrovyh it and the inside filled with air brittle. This aerial structure of the hair, it seems, has a minimum thermal conductivity and It provides good thermal protection in Moose winter time.

Finally a few words about the following activities elk and namely the bulls during the breeding period. AT Central Russia elk rut begins with mid-August, and at the height of his accounts September. AT this time males are particularly aggressive and lose all caution and therefore occur in this time frequency. Sometimes forest edges I have met small plots of litter, broken up moose ground. AT this time excited males became strong with their horns and break bend wood growth, tightening the thin trunks, stripping with their last leaves, blown front hooves the ground, scattering in side of the turf. The most interesting traces of mature bull caught in places where urinated elk, located in estrus. Finding such labels, heated male passion taken to dig — Cattle famous cooking pits. With the hoofs of the front legs, he knocks a hole depth of sometimes up two feet (in damp places such pits are filled with dirty slush), breaking a circle litter ground. Repeatedly urinates there himself; at eventually stagnant concentrate urine soaked elk hormones become so harsh that literally hurts your eyes. These marks indicate maximum peak of activity of both males and females. However, to meet these pits Cattle — and rare real success for any Ranger.

And it is quite lucky to find someone dumped elk horn dangling on branches or directly at the forest floor! Even pogryzenny mice or proteins, thus it is even more valuable. Lovely and It will be a memorable trophy! On my share of luck this is not yet It fell out. Perhaps all ahead!

Alex Subbotin15 October 2013 at 00:00

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