October 4, 2013 Updated: October 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm
Mr. Moose paid a rare visit to northern Colorado Springs Friday, wading in a pond and hanging out in the weeds.
People mostly left him alone and The Gazette won't be too specific concerning his whereabouts. Let's put it this way: Wherever home is, Mr. Moose was far away from it.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife department says that the best places to observe moose in Colorado are North Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, northwest of Creede, Grand Mesa, near Grand Junction, and the Laramie and Cache la Poudre river drainages. None of those places is close to Colorado Springs.
There probably were never a lot of moose in Colorado, but the ones that were here were hunted to extinction long before many white settlers arrived. In 1978, a dozen moose were reintroduced in northern Colorado and the population is now is estimated to be about 2,300.
Given the initial population 35 years ago, that's an impressive number, but it's small compared with elk - there are more than 289,000 elk in Colorado.
Elk gather in herds, but moose often travel alone - like Mr. Moose apparently did. Colorado's moose have turned up in northern New Mexico, too.
Demand for moose hunting licenses is high. This year Colorado has sold 228 of them. Hunters must win a drawing to get a license, and the license are the highest-priced for any big game animal in the state. R3esidents must pay $251 to hunt a bull moose; it's $1,951 for non-residents.