two huge bull moose lost their lives in Minnesota's St. Louis County when their 4-foot-wide antlers became locked together.
They were found buried under snow last weekend by Tim Bradach of Gilbert, Minn., who was hiking in the woods in search of shed deer antlers.
Bradach stumbled across the bull moose on public land near his hunting cabin near Brimson, about 30 miles north of Two Harbors.
"I saw the first horn and thought, 'Wow, that makes my day,' '' said Bradach, 51. "Then I saw two horns and thought maybe the same moose had dropped them in one spot. Then I saw four horns. I felt like I had won the lottery."
The moose weren't immediately visible under the snow, but Bradach cleared it away and found the moose facing each other, antlers entangled. The biggest moose's right antler was locked inside the smaller moose's left antler. Both sported large racks. The bigger moose had antlers that measured 54 inches wide; the other's antlers were 48 inches wide.
The bigger moose had a brow tine stuck in the other's chest; the smaller moose also had a broken tine. Bradach estimated the moose had been dead since October or November. Each fall, bull moose will spar to determine dominance and breeding rights to cows.
Minnesota has a declining population of about 7,600 moose. Though antler hunters do find shed moose antlers, it is rare to find two bulls locked together.
Bradach said animals had been feeding on the hind legs of the moose, but their bodies were still largely intact. He was surprised wolves had not completely eaten the moose. "There is no shortage of wolves up here," he said. Using a chain saw, Bradach cut the top half of the bulls' skulls to salvage the locked antlers. He had to use a hand winch to extract the largest antlers from the frozen ground. Still locked together, the antlers are stored inside a friend's heated garage. Bradach hasn't decided what he will do with them.
"It's really a once-in-a-lifetime find," he said. "They're pretty cool."
Anyway, quite the discovery! I'll be up by Ely looking for moose sheds the end of this month, maybe I should bring a saw with?
So you do you have to deal with the state to keep them?
Please, not even close. but they aren't out to GET everyone either.
I could post a picture of them if anyone knows how to turn old roll film into a digital photo.
It's good to know Northern MN is still that wild.
(Used to live there now I'm in the NW. Like the loons I enjoy the winters here more but come back when I can in the summer)