Just about every Newfoundlander has a Moose story. It comes with the territory (well, province, if we’re being picky). Not only are they common, but they’re pretty darn impressive even if you’ve seen them hundreds of times. Better yet, their surroundings are usually a picturesque setting combining serene wetland and thick forest (oftentimes with a touch of morning mist). As Newfoundland’s landscapes at large represent a convergence of Maritime and sub-Arctic character, Moose encounters on the “Rock” have a unique twist.
Moose are not native to Newfoundland but they sure have thrived here! It is believed that moose were originally introduced to Newfoundland in 1878, brought here from Nova Scotia and released near Gander Bay. Apparently, there was no romance between these two and the introduction was deemed unsuccessful.
Jump ahead a few years to 1904. Four moose, 2 bulls and 2 cows from New Brunswick, brought by train, were successfully released near our hometown, Howley, which led to the moose population of today. In 2004, a moose monument and park were established in Howley, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the introduction of moose to Newfoundland.
Newfoundland today has the highest density of Moose anywhere in North America. The annual Moose hunt is a rite of passage, and tales of encounters with the province’s largest mammal fill songs, stories and nostalgia-filled anecdotes shared around the campfire.