A Display of a Lifetime at the Fryeburg Fair
Most outdoors men and women know that when two bull moose decide to tangle with one another, it’s going to be a rough and noisy encounter.
Usually, in nature’s struggle over territory and mating rights, there’s a clear victor and a clear loser. However, when moose get “locked up” it sometimes proves fatal for both animals.
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife teams up with New Hampshire Fish and Game to display moose exhibits this weekend at the Freyburg Fair, which opens Sunday, September 29th.
This will represent the first time the two exhibits have been displayed together.
These are their stories, as provided to us from Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Information and Education Director, Doug Rafferty.
The Battling Bull Moose of Fowlertown began in 2003 when the remains of two Bull Moose were found by Ray Deragon as he was out scouting in the Gile State Forest in Springfield, New Hampshire. Mr. Deragon contacted New Hampshire Fish & Game and Captain John Wimsatt visited the site where Mr. Deragon had discovered the remains. It was determined that the two bull moose had become engaged in battle during a couple weeks earlier and had become locked at the antlers.
Unable to separate from one another, the bulls, exhausted, stressed, and unable to eat or drink, eventually succumbed to nature. Bulls fight during the rutting period to vie for breeding privileges with receptive cows in the area. It is a rare occasion that they become locked together permanently.
In 2004 New Hampshire began a fundraising campaign with a plan to raise funds to finance the creation of a life-size, full-body, museum-quality taxidermy display depicting both moose, as they likely appeared, engaged in their final battle that permanently locked their antlers and ultimately caused their untimely deaths. During the winter and spring of 2005 taxidermist Mark Dufresne worked tirelessly to create “Forever Locked.”
In the spring of 2006 Adella Johnson was walking on her property in New Sweden, Maine when she too came across the remains of two Bull Moose. Game Wardens from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife visited the site and determined that the two Bull Moose had died together in a swamp after they became locked together at the antlers during a battle the previous fall.