Small moose sightings in mountains above Boise

Me and my dad saw a moose up by Robie Creek area. We’re excited! Has anybody else seen a moose around there?

We also have several questions. It was after dark and we just saw a dark figure, but we determined moose. However, my dad has had some experience around moose (in other states) and he says this one was really small for a moose. The size of an elk, maybe smaller.

But another group up there also saw the moose a couple days before, in daytime. They said it seemed small, but they hadn’t seen a moose before. They had taken a picture and showed it to us. It had antlers. Not huge, but unmistakably antlers.

This was back last fall. (I wasn’t able to get a picture so I didn’t report it to iNat.) I don’t know a lot about moose and their habits. I’ve heard about moose not growing as big in hotter temperatures, and it gets pretty hot here. Could that have something to do with it?

Do you think he’ll stick around? Is he full grown or a young one? What are the chances of us getting some baby “moosen” around? Out of curiosity, do you think he might cross the ridge and go into the Boise area sometimes?

1 Like

Based on the description of the moose you saw, it’s difficult to say whether or not it was mature. The subspecies present in Idaho is the Shiras Moose (Alces alces shirasi), which is indeed the smallest subspecies. Depending on where your father had previously seen moose, it is quite likely that this individual was smaller even if it was mature, though, from your description alone, it is hard to rule out an immature individual or another cervid species. There is a little overlap between mature elk and moose sizes, but most Shiras moose are still larger than elk.

The tendency of related animals to be larger in colder climates is described by Bergmann’s Rule, but this is highly generalized and has many exceptions.

I don’t know about the moose around Boise, but I’ve seen them wander fairly close to urban areas in Utah and Colorado. I hope you can find another one soon and upload it to iNat!


The moose from Idaho wander pretty far, sometimes all the way down to the Ruby Mountains in Nevada. It’s odd to see a photo of a moose walking through the sagebrush.

1 Like

The mountains above Boise seem well within moose range, so i don’t see why it wouldn’t be a moose. Here in Vermont also every few years a moose turns up in a very urban area like the University of Vermont campus or Main Street in the Montpelier downtown area. Usually young males looking to disperse. Our towns are smaller than Boise, but i dont see why moose wouldn’t roam around near the edges of Boise sometimes


I thought New World moose had been moved into Alces americanus.

1 Like

It looks like you’re right. I wasn’t up to date. I guess it’s more accurate to say the “Shiras Moose” in the western contiguous US formerly grouped under shirasi are, on average, the smallest.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.