Some Northwoods hunters have been shocked to see moose in the woods this year.
However, they're not as rare as you might think. Bruce Bacon, a DNR wildlife biologist based in Mercer, estimates there could be about 20 moose hanging around the upper parts of the state. Many of them are males that have come in from Michigan or Minnesota.
Bacon says the huge mammals were native to Wisconsin before the European settlers moved in and shot them for food. He says the population wasn't likely that dense anyway, and development probably ate up most of their habitat.
Before you blame man for the animal's departure though, you should know Whitetail Deer actually pose the biggest threat. They carry a brain worm that is fatal to the moose.
Weighing upwards of 1,500 pounds, and standing up to 7-feet at the shoulders, moose can certainly catch unsuspecting hunters off-guard. They are pretty shy creatures, but Bacon says they have wandered in to farm pastures before and eaten with the cows.
The DNR confirmed a moose sighting near Cornell, just northeast of Chippewa Falls.