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Winter is here

Anthem, Arizona
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Winter is here

Just a note from a Jackson resident, winter is here. And wildlife is at the lower elevations. For some weeks the elk have been moving down (avoiding hunters) and slowly are gathering in the elk refuge. Sleigh rides should begin in a couple of weeks, access if the visitor center on No Cache (look for the building with the chia pet roof).

A few days ago we traveled up the back side of the refuge and saw dozens of big horn sheep, including a few little ones! They were grazin' on grasses peeking out of the snow.

We live 6 miles south of town, and have moose in our yard today!! And elk are wandering around this end of the "hole" also.

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Winter is here

Thank you for the update! My Mom and I are arriving in Jackson tomorrow for a few days to ski and enjoy the area - looks like you guys have had a ton of snow so far this season, can't wait to enjoy it.

Are most places decorated for Christmas as well?

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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2. Re: Winter is here

You bet. Come see the town square lights when you're in Jackson.

Moose, Wyoming
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3. Re: Winter is here

Just read in the local paper that there are now at least 4,000 elk on the National Elk Refuge, so bring your camera and binoculars. Hope you enjoy your stay.

alabama
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4. Re: Winter is here

can't wait until we get there. arriving on the 27th, leaving the 1st. we plan on skiing, snowmobiling, taking the sleigh ride in the refuge, & just enjoying our favorite vacation spot. this will be my 4th trip to jackson since may.

Sydney
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5. Re: Winter is here

Very interested to hear you have moose.....I haven't seen them referred to much when reading about yellowstone etc. it's usually bison, elk etc. Are there many of them?

We are coming in later January and would love to see a moose - they are quite unlike anything we've ever seen. Fingers crossed!

Moose, Wyoming
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6. Re: Winter is here

There are about 1,000 moose in the greater Yellowstone area, which includes the park, Jackson Hole and surrounding areas. Each year, one day is designated for a local moose count, and we Teton County residents are asked to look around for moose and then call a phone number and report moose sightings during the day. From that and other information, the biologists somehow estimate the total moose population.

Moose are shy and don't hang out in herds. If you see 3 adult moose together, that's a large group. Mostly, you see them alone or you see a mom with a calf. They like cold weather, so they don't migrate much in the winter; they just move down from higher, snowy elevations. They're often seen near water and like to eat - and hide in - willows.

A couple of years ago, late in the afternoon on a winter day, there was a mom and calf in our driveway, and I went out to take their picture. I guess I got too close to the calf to suit momma moose, because suddenly her ears went back and she charged, chasing me all the way to my front door. (I discovered that I can run pretty fast when an 700-pound moose is chasing me.) She and the calf later bedded down and spent the night a few feet from our front door.

Sydney
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7. Re: Winter is here

Hello again TBill

What a wonderful story and privilege for you (sleeping near your door, not being charged)....are they protected? I noted somewhere someone saying that the elk come down to the refuge to avoid hunters(smart elk ) - are moose hunted too? If there are only 1000 of them they must be endangered?

Moose, Wyoming
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8. Re: Winter is here

Moose may be hunted only during moose hunting season, which comes late in the fall. The number of moose that may be taken is strictly limited by the state of Wyoming, and a hunter must possess a "tag" (much like a permit) to kill a moose. The number of tags issued (and there are never very many) in each hunt area of the state is determined in consultation with moose biologists. Elk are hunted in the same fashion, although the number of tags is larger because there are a lot more elk than moose. (Wyoming has the largest elk herd in the world; there are about 15,000 elk in the Yellowstone-Jackson Hole area.) Elk migrate onto the Refuge because the Refuge (25,000 acres) and the surrounding area has been their traditional winter range for thousands of years, long before hunters were ever here. As man encroached into the valley and displaced the elk winter range, the federal government created the Refuge. About half the local herd migrates into the Refuge, where supplemental feed is provided in late winter. So the elk don't migrate because of hunting, although they will try to avoid hunters as the herd moves.

9. Re: Winter is here

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