Here is a moose that was killed on Highway 28 just north of Leadore, late this winter. I stopped to take these pictures because I wondered whether the moose had actually been killed by a car, or had been murdered by some motorized nimrod. Moose are so big that they bring out the idiot – never far below the surface – in some of the male apes hereabouts. Moose don’t flee when a vehicle stops nearby. They don’t seem to realize that people are No Damn Good.

My suspicions were aroused because there were no skid marks on the pavement near the carcass. However, apparently this was yet another case of death by vehicle. You can see the moose’s broken hind leg. But that big hole in her head may indicate that someone shot the disabled animal “to put it out of its misery.”

I felt more than usually sorry about this because the same moose (or its twin) had spent some time ambling around our place; we found its tracks out in the old sheep corrals. And one day I looked out the upstairs windows and there she was, stepping over barbed wire fences in her ludicrously effortless way. I do wonder what killed her – tractor-trailer, diesel pickup? Probably not a hybrid, or we would have read about human casualties.

So a young, healthy moose, its best reproductive years still ahead of it, was killed not by the evil wolves [sarcasm alert], but by the only moving thing out there bigger than she was. When I look at the decomposing pile of hair and meat and bone, I think that $10 a gallon gasoline can’t come fast enough. And I wonder, does anyone know where to get some Buprestid (sp?) beetles? I covet that skull, hole or no hole.

41 Responses to “Moose”

  1. Phil Says:

    You continue to hear about people shooting animals left and right in the NRM region (as so it would seem). What are the regulations on carrying firearms? It would seem that this individual (if the assumptions are accurate) was driving along with a rifle in their car?

    • wolf moderate Says:

      It is sad that so many animals are killed by planes, trains, and automobiles, however I do not wish for $10 a gallon gasoline. If gas prices reach anywhere near that price, you can be assured that every piece of land in this country that has the capability of producing oil will be tapped. Look at the Gulf. It’s clear that people care more about cheap fuel than the environment.

      • Phil Says:

        That is true wolf moderate. As much as I do not agree with tapping every place in the U.S. for its oil, it may come down to it eventually. I pored gas yesterday, and, stupid me, I did not look at the gas price until after I pored gas, it was $4.15. It wouldn’t have mattered if I searched around, because all the gas stations from my work to home were above $4 a gallon.

    • Savebears Says:


      What do you mean, what are the regulations on carrying a firearm, like most places in the country, you can carry a rifle, or you can carry a pistol with you as long as your not a felon. I keep a .40 S&W in the car most of the time.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        I remember going to high school with my deer rifle in my pickup. A couple of times I accidentally left in in the gun rack which was in the rear window lol. None of the staff ever said anything about it and we never had any incidents. This is in 1999 in Bend, Oregon. Not a small town by any means, Just different cultural beliefs I guess. In SF while in the military that would have never happened.

      • WM Says:


        I figured you would lean toward a .45ACP, for sure.


        Let’s just say out West most folks take the right under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution (Bill of Rights), very literally and figuratively. I commend it to your reading, as we continue your education.

        If you are really interested in how far this can go, you could get on an NRA mailing list and get a real (and perhaps frightening) education about the limits on the right to bear arms (or not).

        As SB points out convicted felons cannot legally possess firearms (under most circumstances).

        Another limitation on possessing fireams, specifically regarding hand guns, is that in most states they cannot be carried “concealed” unless the person carrying has a special license allowing this – it requires that you are fingerprinted and pass a background check, and usually pay a fairly hefty permit application fee, which requires periodic renewal. Some states reportedly honor reciprocity for concealed carry permits. An open carry typically does not require a concealed weapons permit, although there are some specific locations -public buildings and campuses that have prohibitions.

        So you could, if you were stupid enough, strap on your loaded six gun outside your coat and walk into a bank to do your legitimate business. I understand there are also proposals on some college campuses to allow firearms – very scary stuff.

        I even had a high school classmate who is a campus cop at a better known 4 year college in WA, tell me they wouldn’t have the problems they do, if there was a carry reg. on campus. True comment, made about two years ago.

      • Savebears Says:


        In my experience over the years the .40 S&W is far more effective, easier to handle than the .45 ACP

      • Mike Says:

        New study:

        Guns in home cause greater risk than benefit:

  2. Immer Treue Says:


    Sad. Eloquently written in it’s truthfulness.

  3. Nancy Says:

    Too bad the national speed limit can’t go back to 55. I’ve been doing it for years (45 on country roads)

    Read “who profits” with excessive speed:

    • wolf moderate Says:

      I agree. When I drive 80 MPH on the freeway with my truck I get 18 MPG, but when I drive 65 I get 23! The truckers are passing me by, but I’m the one laughing all the way to the bank…

      • JEFF E Says:

        On a semi- diesel truck the engine normally runs about 1800 rpm regardless of the speed. the speed to a direct consequence of the transmission gearing. so the same amount of fuel is being delivered to each cylinder per engine revolution whether they are going 55 mph or 85 mph.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Not sure about that Jeff. I drove Semi’s from time-to-time while in the service, but never checked MPG. You could be right. Did you ever drive a semi?

        When I drove semi’s, I always expected girls to flash us, but it never happened. When me and my wife would travel, I would urge her to flash the truckers to make them happy. It gets boring out on the road. I feel that it could reduce traffic accidents by keeping truckers more aware of there surroundings…Though it could also work the other way too. Going to have to do a study on this.

      • Nancy Says:

        Just imagine what you would get a 55 Wolf Mod! The last time I actually had to pass another vehicle (short of a tractor) was because it had its flashers on 🙂 and was traveling at about 45 mph!

        Life (or the highway) isn’t a chore if you make a decision to slow down and enjoy it.

      • Jay Says:

        wind resistance Jeff…there is an efficiency sweet spot in vehicles, regardless of engine type (diesel or gasoline). Plowing through wind at 80 mph requires more fuel to maintain the RPM at 1800 than it does at 55.

      • WM Says:

        wolf mod,

        Just to follow up on Nancy’s inspiring comment, I would like to know what kind of truck (and engine) you are driving that will give you 23 mph @ 65, or maybe better at an even slower speed?

      • wolf moderate Says:


        I had a 2005 Dodge 2500 4×4 Diesel w/ a 6 speed and 3.73 gear ratio and a 2″ leveling kit (315 BF Goodrich tires). I also installed a “Banks 6 Gun system” which was why it got such good gas mileage. I kept it on the “4” level, which was optimum. Also, I had a K N air intake system and 5″ exhaust. Diesels are awesome! Usually kept it at 62-63 MPH going from the Bay Area up I-5 when heading to my Dad’s place in Rogue River, Oregon.

      • JEFF E Says:

        Short course:A fuel injection pump in a diesel semi is a mechanically driven device off of the engine. The amount of fuel delivered is determined by, usually, some sort of flyweights that expand out as engine speed increases and open the fuel delivery ports which meters the amount of fuel required by the engine cylinders. So if the engine is turning at 1800 RPM the engine requires and receives the same amount of fuel REGARDLESS of the vehicle speed. That is why these trucks have up to 18 speed transmissions so that variables in driving conditions are addressed by gear ratios instead of varying engine speed. Of course if a gear ratio is not adequate to meet an operating environment then engine speed can and is increased with a corresponding increase in fuel consumption, but once again the fuel consumption is not dependent on the speed the vehicle is traveling but rather the speed the engine is turning.
        Now back to our regularly scheduled program

      • Jay Says:

        Jeff, I understand the concept of gearing, but it flies in the face of physics that increasing speed does not affect fuel economy. If that were not the case, trucking websites would not be advocating driving the speed limit to increase fuel efficiency to counter high diesel prices.

      • JEFF E Says:

        Jay, maybe this will be more clear.
        A fuel pump on a semi truck is directly coupled to the engine by a drive shaft or gear train.( Detroit diesels do it a bit different, maybe some others but the end result is the same). The speed the fuel pump rotates is directly dependent, and is a ratio, of the speed the engine rotates. The fly weights on the fuel pump open a given distance in direct proportion to the speed the fuel pump is turning. In turn, the fuel delivery ports open a given amount in direct proportion to the distance the flyweights have opened. The fuel delivery ports meter a set amount of fuel to the engine FOR the speed the engine is rotating(there is some adjustment here for atmospheric weight and ambient temp as we are talking about a ratio of fuel/air ultimately), not the speed the vehicle is traveling. If a semi is turning 1800 rpm, or pick the RPM, it is using the same amount of fuel regardless of the vehicle speed.
        Now if we want to talk about a Gen Set then the amount of fuel needed to maintain a given RPM will vary depending on the load. Why?
        No transmission.

      • Jay Says:

        I get what your saying about fuel delivery being proportional to RPM…however, it seems you are implying that if a transmission could be built with unlimited gears, then concievably a semi truck could drive 1000 mph (ridiculous extreme to make a point) without a reduction in fuel efficiency due to drag?

      • JEFF E Says:

        If the engine rpm stayed constant, then the amount of fuel used is contant, and the varing load(drag) is handled by the transmission

      • Jay Says:

        If that were the case, then there wouldn’t be any need for drag-reducing structures, or things like this:

      • WM Says:

        Jeff E,

        Not to horn in on your conversation with Jay, but “drag” or air resistance is a significant force which increases at higher speeds exerting a force against a forward moving object. That is the flaw in your argument, and it is a big one. There are formulas for this which show that friction (drag) increases against the object that is being accelerated to a higher speed and continues to affect the amount of work (defined physics term) required to move the object at the higher velocity. Doesn’t make any difference how the object is propelled, it still requires more energy to do so.

        If your assertion is true (which it unfortunately is not) the same amount of force would be required to move an object at 35 mph as at 200 mph with a diesel engine (all other variables being equal) over the road where the vehicle pushes air aside as it moves forward. I will also submit the movement of gears, pistons, bearings in lubricating fluids are also affected by drag at ever higher speeds, also contributing to reduced fuel efficiencies. More energy expended means more fuel, therefore fewer miles per gallon at higher speeds.

        To understand the concept of drag you might find Wikipedia a decent source for a quick explanation (with all the obligatory source cautions for accuracy).

  4. WM Says:


    Indeed, a sad end to this moose. Just playing devil’s advocate here….

    ++And I wonder, does anyone know where to get some Buprestid (sp?) beetles? I covet that skull, hole or no hole.++

    Not that I oppose opportunist recycling in any form, but would that make you a “trophy” scavenger, of sorts? lol

    Also, for the nit picking technically inclined – it is “Dermestid beetle,” the beetles that will remove flesh from bones very efficiently.

    • louise wagenknecht Says:

      Thanks for the clarification — I remembered hearing the word but hadn’t seen it written out.

  5. Immer Treue Says:

    others are on eBay.

    In N MN got some carrion beetles that do nice job of stripping down a white footed mouse skull. Very fine detail.

  6. Paul White Says:

    Any large cricket operation probably can get ahold of dermestid beetles as they’re a pest associated with crickets. Maybe Flukers or one of their competitors?

  7. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Poor thing. And then there’s the guys in Genessee, ID who poached a bull moose recently for his head alone. : ((

  8. Nate Hobbs Says:

    Wow…This website is quickly falling out of grace as the once rational forward thinking wildlife policy news source that it once was.

    Publicly wishing for ten dollar gasoline?. Calling humans ‘No Damn Good”, Calling what could very well be a complete accident in the dark of night ‘murder’ a heinous crime complete with the lack of skid marks?

    Count me out on this type of extremist Rhetoric. I didn’t add this site to my daily list of visitation for this.

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      $10/gallon would be a problem. If it were to happen, it could be the result of such issues as sustained and increasing weakness in the dollar, or all out war in the middle east.

      Many budgets would have difficult time absorbing effects of $10/gallon gas. Talk about a COG nightmare……In the long-run that kind of shock could have a more detrimental effect on the environment through policy changes than if gas were to stay at $3.00/gallon.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        I don’t think the price of gas will go much higher, although Middle Eastern turmoil could prove this prediction wrong.

        I think the economy is growing weaker and there will be some/a lot of negative fallout from the battle that starts this week over raising the debt ceiling. A weakening economy means weak demand for gasoline.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Does anyone know the percent of the US population that is concidered “envioronmentalists/conservationists”? I would venture a guess at between 15%. That leaves 85% of the population that are more interested in material goods and cheap gasoline for there gas guzzlers. Now, if push comes to shove, the majority will get there way, which means drilling for natural resources in sensitive ecosystems and possibly even in National parks if fuel prices get over about $5 a gallon…IMO of course.

        Personally, I would like to see a push towards natural gas. Supposedly we are the “Saudi Arabia” of natural gas. Just do not see the US moving away from SUV’s and pickups, but who knows.

      • louise wagenknecht Says:

        I think Ralph is right: the price of gasoline/diesel won’t go much higher this time around; it may get up to around $4.50 by summer but at that point you will have demand destruction and it will crash back down. This will be a recurring pattern over the next decade or so.

      • JB Says:

        Wolf moderate:

        That depends upon what you mean by an “environmentalist.” Over the past decade, research indicates 60-70% of the population reports being actively involved or at least sympathetic to the environmental movement.

        However, if you look at ACTIVE environmentalism, roughly 15-20% of the population is involved.

        When you look at behaviors like recycling, you find that as much as 90% of the population is actually engaged in behaviors that are seen as environmentally beneficial; it’s just most of these folks don’t vote based on environmental issues.

      • wolf moderate Says:


        Thanks for the links and I agree w/ what you said, however when the 60-70% have to choose between the environment and higher utilities and gas prices I think they will quickly decide to side with industry. Until people are willing to lower their standard of living, there will be a need for cheap utilities and oil. I’m not ready to give up my truck, RV, vacations etc…yet. Most people aren’t ready to give up the suburban lifestyle for the more green verticle living either. Like building up instead of out. We all want the 2000 sqft house with our own little piece of landscaping, which of course takes valuable water resources.

        Oh well, we will have to change our ways sooner or later. Can’t continue this lifestyle forever, it’s unsustainable. Especially when you consider the rapid growth of the “middle class” in countries like India and China, which will also be competing for the same scarce resources. The next couple of decades are going to be interesting to say the least!

    • louise wagenknecht Says:

      The phrase “people are no damn good” is actually an Edward Abbey quote. On this website, I tend to write features and opinion pieces because — having less access to the internet — I am always beaten to the punch on news items. Also, I don’t know how to do that thing whereby when you point your cursor at a title and click, it magically transports you to the original article that you cribbed the story from. Next time I’m in the same room with Brian or Ralph I will get them in a headlock and make them show me how to do that.

  9. Mike Says:

    Accidents happen. I’ve had moose run out in front of my car on numerous occasions. They seem to hold little regard for the danger of vehicles. I was idling on a gravel track about eight feet wide in a remote section of the Gallatin NF last summer and a mother moose trotted about a foot from my front bumper. She came right out of the alders like it was nothing. Scared the hell out of me. I did not move forward until I could carefully check the alder. As I waited, her calf crossed just ahead of me. In Glacier National Park last summer I had a young bull dart in front of my car at 4:30 a.m. Good thing I follow the posted speed limit (15 mph ) because had I not been I would have hit it. Those signs are there for a reason.

    And good comment about $10 a gallon gas. Like a patient who needs his shoulder reset, we need to feel some pain to truly “heal”. The sooner we can get these gas guzzlers off the road, the better off we’ll be and the sooner these anti-wildlife people will be forced into society and away from the willdife they torment.

    • Savebears Says:

      Problem is Mike, you still think you can force people into your way of thinking, but you could not be farther from the truth..

      • Mike Says:

        Not “my way of thinking”, but the law. You and I both know that there are many, many people who torture and poach animals for the heck of it.

      • Savebears Says:


        I know there are criminals that poach, and I also know that $10 a gallon gas is not going to stop that, now if I am not mistaken, this thread is not about poaching, it is about a moose that was hit by a car, and perhaps put down by a person with a gun. Now of course this is not illegal in the state of Montana, Wyoming or Idaho..

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