On a November morning, it’s snowy in the Big Hole Valley.
Bouncing along ranch roads in a Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks truck, biologist Nick DeCesare circles and crisscrosses the valley, listening for beeps.
Ten moose in the valley wear radio collars that emit signals and allow DeCesare to find them using a radio and an antenna.
Loud beeps mean a moose is near. DeCesare pulls over, climbs into the bed of the truck, and aims the antenna in all directions.
He points to a ravine, a dip in the evergreens, to the west of the truck. “Right in there somewhere,” he says sagely. He hardly needs the equipment. After tracking her for a year, DeCesare knows this moose, her haunts and habits.
Today he’s worried about the animal.
Nearby ranchers have reported seeing a blind collared moose. He’s guessed by the locations of the sightings which moose it is, and he now prepares to approach her, to see for himself. Continue reading