North Dakota Moose Marked With "X"

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is cautioning hunters this fall to be on the lookout for a bull moose with a large white "X" on each front shoulder. The moose was released at the Erie Dam Wildlife Management Area in Cass County on Oct. 14, after it was immobilized and removed from a south Fargo business area.

Hunters need to be aware of this and not shoot the moose, says Greg Link, Game and Fish assistant wildlife division chief, because the drugs used to immobilize the 1,000-pound animal will remain in its muscle tissue for several months. Moose hunting season in unit M6, which encompasses the Fargo area, opens Nov. 20 and runs through Dec. 13.

The moose was first reported at 5:43 a.m. north of Interstate 94, near the interchange with 45th Street in southwest Fargo. Fargo Police Department officers responded and along with other agencies and individuals, created a barrier to keep the moose from moving out into traffic or threatening people until a local veterinarian arrived to immobilize the animal.

That process went fairly smooth, Link said, and the moose was released at Brewer Lake, about 25 miles northwest of Fargo, later in the morning. "This was a good outcome," Link added, "but it doesn't always turn out that way. Immobilizing wildlife is risky for both the animal and people involved. In this instance, we are fortunate that everything worked out."

Game and Fish officials expect the paint on the moose to wear off over time, and by next fall hunters will not need to worry about residual drugs in the muscle tissue.