The last thing Lane Albrecht expected to find when he reviewed photos from a trail camera that he had placed about a mile from the dam at Lac qui Parle was a moose.

The last thing Lane Albrecht expected to find when he reviewed photos from a trail camera that he had placed about a mile from the dam at Lac qui Parle was a moose.

Three images of the bull moose were taken at 10:30 p.m. on October 29. “I was thinking I would maybe see a deer, but instead, here was a moose!” said Lane Albrecht of Montevideo. Albrecht had placed the camera to monitor a deer trail ahead of the deer opener this past weekend.

Understandably excited about the find, Albrecht contacted Ed Picht of the MN Department of Natural Resources. Picht told him that the DNR has been receiving reports about the moose for a couple of weeks. According to Picht, the moose was spotted near Glenwood, then was seen near Hwy. 40.

After the moose was caught on Albrecht’s trail camera, the moose was seen near Dawson. Moose are uncommon visitors to west central Minnesota. That being said, an occasional moose has been known to wander through the area.

Moose are Minnesota’s largest wild animals, and Minnesota is one of only a few states that have moose. They are the largest member of the deer family and can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds.

Moose normally are found in northeastern  Minnesota, most commonly in young forests that have been created by logging, forest fires, and windstorms. They can also be found living in northwestern Minnesota in woodlots and farm fields, although state moose numbers have been in decline.

Moose that end up wandering this far south often suffer from a brain parasite that is carried by deer. The deer are resistant to brainworms, but moose are not. In fact, the parasite is the leading cause of death for moose.

In 2006, the state’s moose population stood at 8,840, but by 2013, that number had dropped to a low of 2,760. in 2016, the population had rebounded slightly to 4,020.

Although  the moose spotted at Lac qui Parle has left the area, the DNR says it can be dangerous to approach a moose. Moose are by nature non-aggressive animals. However, a cow that feels her calf is in danger or a bull in rut can be unpredictable.

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