Tale of the Devil’s Antlers

I do have a tale of great interest, but first, some background information.

Where can you find moose?

  • In North America, nearly everywhere in Canada, except the arctic, and most of the northern United States, including Alaska and states touching the Rocky Mountains
  • In northern European countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Ukraine

What makes the Canadian moose different than other moose?

  • For one thing, we call them moose
  • For another, the moose in North America look a bit different because they are different subspecies than in Europe
  • Moose (elk?) antlers in Europe develop differently than in North America. I can’t begin to explain phrases like “posterior division,” “main forks,” “distinct flattening,” or “broad palmation,” but what they mean is in Europe moose look more like elk…probably

At any rate, it doesn’t matter because we’re concentrating on Canadian moose so let’s talk about them. We have three of the six subspecies here: Eastern Moose, Western Moose, and Alaska Moose, and all are herbivores. Although moose will eat any variety of plant or fruit, they prefer aquatic plants, which is why if you’re looking for a moose, you should look to the marsh’s.

Or, at the zoo, whatever.

As for the antlers, only males have these, and they drop them after the mating season. In the spring new antlers will grow and take a few months to fully develop. While the antlers are growing they are velvety, which shed once the growing is complete.

And here’s the hook, which sets the scene for the legendary Tale of the Devil’s Antlers (aka weird trivia): if a bull moose is castrated, he sheds his antlers and immediately grow a new set of deformed ones, which will never shed. These are known as “devil’s antlers.” Creepy.