THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HOOVES IN MOOSE MANAGEMENT - A PRELIMINARY REPORT
The hoof wear of 80 male and 78 female moose of all social (maturation) classes was followed in three consecutive periods: late September-mid-October, second half of October, and November-mid-December. Seven different stages of wear, from heavily overgrown to heavily worn hooves were used as an index of mobility. Apparently none of the senior bulls had been highly mobile since the beginning of October. High mobility in prime bulls terminated by mid-October, however some were still very active in November. The team bowls exhibited highest mobility during second half of October and none of them had heavily worn hooves in November or December. sexually mature cows over 3 years old had not been highly mobile since the beginning of October while 2 year old cows just began their increased activity in this month. In the November-December period only a few yearling cows were found with heavily worn hooves. The authors anticipate that the pattern of hoof wear could reflect the different phases of the sexual cycle in both sexes. Thus hoof wear could indicate timing of the rut and be a useful management tool.
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