Belfield moose sightings continue
Residents in and around Belfield had an unexpected visitor Aug. 2, and to their surprise, those visitors are continuing to visit. Sy Kanski of Fairfield was heading into Belfield at about 10 a.m. on Monday when he spotted a moose. "I saw a young ...
Residents in and around Belfield had an unexpected visitor Aug. 2, and to their surprise, those visitors are continuing to visit.
Sy Kanski of Fairfield was heading into Belfield at about 10 a.m. on Monday when he spotted a moose.
"I saw a young calf," Kanski said. "It just walked across the road slowly, no bother you know, and then it walked into the trees ... was a homely lookin' thing."
Two young moose were spotted in a field on the north side of Scott and Patty Hutzenbiler's farm, about 12 miles south and one mile west of Belfield on Aug. 2.
Roger Johnson, big game biologist section leader for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said that last winter about 51 moose were spotted on the Missouri River, south of Williston, in a non-traditional moose area.
"We've had moose dispersing into areas we didn't think had moose before," Johnson said. "I guess time will tell."
Johnson said the water at the Missouri River bottom was extremely high this spring and may be the reason for the migration.
"I'm sure a good share of that habitat has been covered by water now," Johnson said. "That would be the most likely place for them to be dispersing from."
In August, Bruce Stillings, a NDGF big game biologist, also attributed the migration to the need for new habitat due to heavy rainfalls.
Johnson said the moose are probably looking for some decent habitat to live in since they most likely had to leave the Missouri River area.
Initially, moose numbers were highest in the Pembina Hills and Turtle Mountains, Johnson said.
Johnson said in the last five years, however, the biggest concentrations have been further west, with the highest numbers north of Minot, Kenmare and the Stanley area.
"There is no guarantee where they'll be from here on," Johnson said. "Typically, they like a moist, timbered habitat. Belfield doesn't really fit that criteria very often, but in the process of finding a new home, they are probably just moving around."