Moose Seen in Burnett, Rusk and Taylor Counties - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Moose Seen in Burnett, Rusk and Taylor Counties

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Photos Courtesy Ladysmith News Photos Courtesy Ladysmith News

Cornell (WQOW) - An unfamiliar creature, at least to this part of Wisconsin, has people doing a double-take.

Over the past several days, the DNR received more than a dozen reports of moose wandering through western Wisconsin. We're used to seeing a lot of deer, maybe even a bear but a moose? The sight of a moose for some also brings a piece of the west to the area.

At least one moose is on the loose through western Wisconsin, something Ray Gavitt of Cornell didn't expect to see while he was deer hunting last week.

"Through the tree, I could see this big black thing walking out in the grass and doing the ol' swagger, side-to-side. My first thought was it's the biggest bear I've ever seen in my life," says Gavitt.

That's because hunters were also chasing bear at the time in Taylor County. But, Gavitt just had to take a second glance.

"I stand up and kind of peek around the tree, and all of a sudden, it's like, that's a moose. Of course, the brain tells you it can't be a moose, maybe an elk? Just as I pulled up, one of the bear hunters are coming by," says Gavitt.

He then asked the other hunter if he had gotten a bear to which the answer was yes. Then Gavitt asked if he had seen the moose and the answer to that question was also yes.

Surprisingly, moose are not an uncommon sight this time of year in the northern part of the Chippewa Valley. That's because young bull moose are eager to get away from their large groups in northern Minnesota and northern Michigan. And eager to do what some may call a little exploring into areas like western Wisconsin.

"This is the breeding season for the moose. The older moose are obviously going to be the dominant bulls, and these younger bulls are going to be forced to move out," says Kris Belling, the regional wildlife director for the DNR.

But the moose don't stay long, not because they don't like it here, but a deadly disease carried by whitetailed deer keeps them moving.

"If it gets into the moose, it can affect the moose. So, typically the cut-off is considered if you've got less than 10 deer per square mile, you could probably have moose surviving," says Belling.

According to Gavitt, seeing a moose means he can cross off one thing from his to-do list.

"I always wanted to go hunting out west, never made it. I've always wanted to go to Alaska, never made it. Here I am in a tree stand north of Gilman, and I have a bull moose that wanders 100 yards from me when I'm bow-hunting. Unbelievable," adds Gavitt.

Thanks to the Ladysmith News for pictures people have sent in of the moose they've seen recently.

The DNR has confirmed three moose wandering the woods in western Wisconsin. One spotted in Burnett County. Two others continue to roam parts of Rusk and Taylor counties. They're expected to move north within the next two months.

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