The Moose Visitor Center is located 1 mile east of
Gould on Highway 14.
Wildlife exhibits give you an up close and personal looks at Moose, Mountain Lion, Fox, Raccoons, and others displayed in their natural habitat. Books, posters, and maps are for sale as well as free information. Recent Moose, bear and other wildlife sightings are posted at the entrance to the Visitor Center.
Visitor Marvel at the life sized barbed wire sculpture of a Moose,located at the entrance to the Visitor Center. The city of Walden commissioned the sculpture from a Poudre Canyon family team, Louis, Carl and Brian Gueswel.
The Gueswels are wire sculpture artists, who began as welders and barbed wire recyclers to create works of art for fun. Their first piece was a life-sized bear and is permanently on display outside their home in Poudre Park, close to Archer’s Poudre River Resort. These sculptures are so realistic they cause motorists and white-water enthusiasts along the canyon to do a double-take as they pass by.
The Gueswels designed the moose based on the measurements from a record moose
taken in Colorado several years ago. The Sculpture is life-like and stands
nearly seven feet tall. Nearly 700 hours were put into building this sculpture,
framing the shape out of quarter-inch round steel tubing and layering bits of
old barbed wire onto the frame. Working from the hooves upward, the men created
a rough, winter-like coat, and the wire was then treated with water to hasten
rusting. A rust converter then turned it into the dark-colored coat of a live
moose. The antlers were formed by twisting and welding the wire to form a solid
pattern. Standing next to the sculpture, it is easy to succumb to the urge to
touch the body and antlers to make sure that they are not real.
You can obtain Colorado State Forest Park passes here for all activities in the Park. North Park is ideal moose habitat, but they are not native there. They wandered into the area only occasionally before 1978. At that time, a dozen moose were relocated from Utah, and another 12a year later. In 1987, a dozen more moose from Wyoming made their home there. With few large predators and plenty of food, moose have thrived in Poudre Canyon North Park area. From the 36 initial moose, the herd is now maintained at approximately 600 by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. To ensure a healthy population of moose, only a limited number of permits are issued annually to hunters.
Moose are the largest members of the deer family. Their long legs enable them to plunge through deep snow and water. Colorado’s moose are the Shiras moose, smallest of the North American subspecies. Average live weights are 800 to 1,200 pounds for mature males. The “bell” of skin and hair hanging from their throat is called a “dewlap”.Moose feed on young twigs, buds, bark and the leaves of woody plants. Willows are their favorite food but they also eat aspen, fir and aquatic vegetation. An adult moose packs up to 24 pounds of roughage each day into it four stomachs. Moose can live up to 20 years and are excellent swimmers. They will dive up to 18 feet to feed on aquatic plants.
The Algonquian Indians gave the moose its name, which means eater of twigs. They believed that moose were good omens: “If you dream of moose often, then you will live long.” Moose hides provided the Algonquain people with clothing and shelter. From the bones and antlers, they fashioned tools and one moose could feed a native family through the long northern winter.
Early mornings and early evenings are the best times to spot moose, but it’s possible to see a moose any time of day. Look for moose among the willows and brush along streams and ponds. Laramie River Road and Long Draw Road is where we have had our most frequent sightings. Moose can blend with their surroundings surprisingly well. You may be looking at a moose without knowing it. Scan the willows for out-of-place shapes, colors and sounds. Or look for motion, like the flick of an ear, the bobbing of antlers or the rustling of the willow branches. You may see evidence of moose on the trails. Their large, two-toed hoof is about six inches long, and their scat is approximately one inch long (see the exhibit at the Moose Visitor Center). Some times they leave scrapings on aspen bark with their front teeth or antlers.
PLEASE admire and watch moose from a distance. Moose are peaceful animals, but may feel threatened if approached too closely. They can act aggressively and charge if they sense a need to defend themselves or their young. Moose can be especially dangerous during the rut (fall) and calving (spring) seasons.
If you are accompanied by a dog or other pet, please keep them on a leash to avoid any unwanted confrontations.