With moose sightings becoming more common in Connecticut, some of them well south of their usual habitat, the state Department of Environmental is warning drivers to be careful.
Most moose sightings in the state have been near the Massachusetts border, but moose can travel long distances and encounters are becoming more widespread. A moose was recently spotted just down the road in Bethel and the DEP reported sightings this Memorial Day weekend.
The DEP estimates that more than 100 moose now live in Connecticut, mostly in northern towns. A map in the DEP's 2009 Connecticut Deer Program Summary shows at least one moose sighting by deer hunters in Granby in 2009 and several in surrounding towns over the past several years, notably in Barkhamsted and Hartland.
In September 2010, a car hit a moose in West Hartland, destroying the car and killing the moose, according to The Hartford Courant.
The DEP offers these tips for driving in areas where moose have been seen:
- Stay alert, especially around dawn, dusk and after dark when moose are most active. Because moose are 6 feet tall at the shoulders, your headlights typically will not show any “eye shine” from a moose.
- Use caution during spring (May-July) and fall (September-November). During these months, moose are most active,
- Drive within the posted speed limit,
- Use high beams whenever possible to improve visibility, and,
- Wear your seat belt.