Place: Adirondack Mountains, New York
Time: Early July
Dossier: Standing 5 to 6 ½ feet tall at the shoulder and weighing 600 to 1500 pounds, the Eastern Moose can be identified by its large, bulbous nose, heavy body, long spindly legs, and the enormously broad, flat antlers worn by the male of the species.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Join an elite team of Expeditionary Agents to track down this ungainly critter, isolate it, and shoot it. With a camera.
This will be no walk in the park. Despite its size, the Moose is not easily seen. Previous searches at Upper Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Bog River Falls, Simon Pond and Pitchoff Mountain have failed to produce moose. Where to next? The fate of the expedition lies in your hands.
Ah! The Owen Pond Trail in the Sentinel Range Wilderness Area. Mixed coniferous and hardwood forest with ponds and wetlands, abounding in the terrestrial and aquatic plants and tree shoots that the Moose loves to eat. This is PRIME Moose Habitat.
You have chosen wisely indeed.
Assistant Expeditionary Agent Robb and Chief Expeditionary Agent Don appear rooted in place, stumped by this strange apparition.
Somehow this tree has managed to grow on top of a large boulder.
As a seedling it must have found enough soil to sustain it, and as it grew its roots wrapped around the boulder down to the ground.
But not a Moose.
Have you forgotten your mission?
Perhaps Assistant Expeditionary Agent Robb will spy one from atop the boulder?
Still, not a Moose.
One can almost imagine a Moose swimmingly strongly across the pond, antlers held high and dripping.
It’s time for you to turn back. Back past the beaver pond, Owen Pond and the butterflies. Your team –
Wait! What is this?
And yet, it’s not a Moose. You have seen nary a one.
Your Expeditionary Team has failed in its mission to locate Alces alces americana. Failed, in PRIME Moose Habitat, no less.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Many have tried, few have succeeded.
After all – tomorrow is another day.