For many people who are new to moose hunting and whose only impression of one is a big dumb animal in a national park or unit where they’ve rarely been hunted, I’ve got news for you - moose are better equipped to survive predation and hunting than you might imagine.
For starters, they have a huge nose that isn’t just for looks, they smell extremely well and know how to use the wind to their advantage.
Take their donkey ears, and then add several square feet of antler placed perfectly to capture and funnel sounds and you’ve got one of the best hearing members of the deer family. Don’t believe me? Try cupping your hands behind your ears and see what it does, then multiply that by 20 to imagine how those antlers affect a moose’s hearing.
Then you’ve got their sheer size and muscular ability. I’ve seen moose run through blow down and up hills that took me 10 times as long to traverse. With legs that long and powerful, they can cover ground quickly, and they make it look effortless. And I never cease to be amazed at how quietly such a huge animal can move through a forest. Watch their gait and you’ll notice they naturally pick their feet up in such a manner as to be as quiet as possible.
Add to their physical features the biological inclination towards solitude and you’ve got an animal that can be dang hard to find. They aren’t herd animals, they tend to keep to themselves most of the year. Their antisocial tendencies mean they are hyper aware of their environment, when they hear a stick break they don’t think it’s another moose, they think it’s an intruder on their solitude.
My experience with moose is that they are one of the hardest animals to stalk in the woods, still hunting for moose is extremely difficult, and more often than not you will walk by 10 times as many moose as you see. Don’t underestimate them.