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Old 14 February 2007, 07:30 AM
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Mister Ed Work Moose



Lew and the rest of the gang- We had been trying to keep this under wraps as we knew this would happen once folks found out that with some effort you can train moose to harness. Once this picture got out, it's been E-mailed around like crazy but no one has bothered to fill in the rest of the story so before any rampant rumors get going, I better write down what I know. I folks want to extrapolate on that, then Lord only knows where this picture and story will end up.

The man in the picture is Jacques Leroux who lives up near Escourt Station and has always had work horses, first for actual work and thenfor show at Maine's' many summer fairs..

I think he had two matched pairs, one Clydesdales and the other Belgiums. He would turn them out to pasture each morning and then work them in the afternoon dragging the sled around the fields.

Three springs ago, he noticed a female moose coming to the pasture and helping herself of the hay and what grain the work horses didn't pick up off the ground. Jacques said he could get within 10 feet of the moose before it would turn and move off.

Two springs ago, the moose foaled(?)at the edge of the work horse pasture and upon getting to it's feet had not only the mother in attendance but the four horses. The young moose grew up around the horses and each afternoon when Mr. Leroux took the teams for their daily exercise the yearling moose would trail along the entire route next to the near horse.

At some point, the yearling got so accustomed to Mr. Leroux that, after he had brushed each horse after a workout, he started brushing down the moose. The moose tolerated this quite well so Mr. Leroux started draping harness parts over the yearling to see how he would tolerate these objects. The yearling was soon harness broken and now came the question of what could you do with a harness broke moose.

As you may or may not know, a great deal of Maine is being bought up by folks "from away" and some of them understand principles of forest management. Well the folks buying small parcels of land up in the area of the Allagash have it in their mind that they don't want big skidders and processors and forwarders on their small wood lots. Enter Mr. Leroux with his teams of horses.

Every morning, when Mr.. Leroux loaded the teams into the horse trailer to go off to the days job, the yearling moose got quite riled up and one day loaded himself right into the trailer with the horses. At the job site, Jacques unloaded the horses and as the moose stayed right with them, he would take the Clydesdales and his brother Gaston would take the Belgians and off into the woods they would go with the moose trailing behind. They would put the harness on the moose in case they encountered someone who they could kid with the explanation that the moose was a spare in case something happened to one of the horses. The work required them to skid cut, limbed and topped stems to the landing where the stems could be loaded onto a truck for the pulp mill.

All morning long the two brothers brought out twitch after twitch of stems with the moose following the Belgian team for the most part. At lunch break Jacques had the bright idea of putting trace chains and a whiffle tree on the moose's harness and all afternoon the moose went back and forth following the Belgians in and out of the woods dragging his whiffletree along the ground. As there were no stumps in the skid trail, the whiffle tree never hung up on anything and that first day in harness went great. So next day, they hitched on first a small stem and the moose brought it out just fine following the Belgians.

Mr. Leroux told me they were up to four small stems now and the moose was doing just great. He cautioned however that there were a few problems with using a bull moose. Come June, when the new antlers start, the new bone is "in velvet" and must itch like crazy as the moose stops every once in awhile and rubs his rack against just about anything to appease the itch. Once, before the brothers learned to tie him of by himself while they had lunch, moose was rubbing his antlers against the hame on the Clydesdale called Jack and got it wedged there for a bit. Jacques said he wished he had a camera as it looked like moose was trying to push Jack over.

The other problem is the rutting season. The brothers learned quickly to leave moose in the barn as he was constantly on red alert in the woods during this time. The brothers are also considering trying this with two females to make a matched pair which would become an instant hit at the Maine Fairs. The trouble with the bulls is their racks. They would be constantly rubbing and hitting each other and yes they would have to be gelded as I just couldn't imagine getting the two bulls anywhere near each other, let alone in harness.

So now that this picture is going all over the place, the surprise has been let out of the proverbial bag. The Leroux’s want to continue the work of trying to get a pair of females in harness but they may have to end up breeding moose to do this and that's where they will run into trouble with the State of Maine IF & W. I'm sure they don't like the idea of the brothers "keeping" wild animals.

Thought you should know the rest of the story. If any of you doubt this please contact Tom Whitworth in Ashland ,Maine. I think he said was a second cousin to the Lerouxs and has seen this anomaly many times.

Regards from your frozen Northeasterly most state, PL
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  #2  
Old 14 February 2007, 01:55 PM
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Now this one is photoshopped!

The fringing around the cut out moose is glaring.

quite shoddily done as well.
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  #3  
Old 14 February 2007, 02:19 PM
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Heck. I've never used Photoshop, but I've seen enough photography to notice the flaws. The lighting is all wrong, for one thing. Both piles of timber are the same image, just reversed. EVERYTHING is in focus...
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  #4  
Old 14 February 2007, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrometheusX303 View Post
EVERYTHING is in focus...

Take care with using focus as a guide.

see... Hyperfocal distance
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  #5  
Old 14 February 2007, 02:56 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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While this may be fake, moose are certainly trainable. Sweden once (17th century) had big plans for moose cavalry, and they were found to be superior to horses in most military situations (less likely to be scared by gunfire, heavier, sturdier, better stamina, taller, requires less food and easy to train). Initial trials were very successful.

When the king died, the project was cancelled. There were two main reasons for the cancellation, one being the king not believing in it, the other was that the officers did not want to ride "cows" (which probably influenced the information the king recieved and based his decision on).

We also have an air force mainly consisting of mosquitos which suck the blood out of every living creature, but the rumour about badger infantry are completely untrue (at least that's what we want you to believe...).
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  #6  
Old 14 February 2007, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
We also have an air force mainly consisting of mosquitos which suck the blood out of every living creature, but the rumour about badger infantry are completely untrue (at least that's what we want you to believe...).
What if we built this large wooden badger....
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  #7  
Old 14 February 2007, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
We also have an air force mainly consisting of mosquitos
So SAAB aren't quite as cutting edge as they like to make out then?

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  #8  
Old 14 February 2007, 03:59 PM
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Don't know if it is any help but the last word on the jacket appears to be "d'Abitibi".
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  #9  
Old 14 February 2007, 05:13 PM
Delta-V
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
So SAAB aren't quite as cutting edge as they like to make out then?

That's a de Havilland, not a SAAB...unless Swedish spies stole the designs.
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  #10  
Old 14 February 2007, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta-V View Post
That's a de Havilland, not a SAAB...unless Swedish spies stole the designs.
I know - but it's a mosquito, which is what Troberg alleges the Swedish Air Force are using.
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  #11  
Old 15 February 2007, 07:26 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Nope, I'm talking of these bloodthirsty killers, almost as large as helicopters:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito

The Swedish airforce has used other blood suckers as well, such as vampires:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Vampire

I even saw one this summer and have the photos to prove it:
http://rpglab.net/troberg/gallery/vi...gid=102&page=3
http://rpglab.net/troberg/gallery/vi...gid=102&page=4
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  #12  
Old 15 February 2007, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
The Swedish airforce has used other blood suckers as well, such as vampires:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Vampire

I even saw one this summer and have the photos to prove it:
http://rpglab.net/troberg/gallery/vi...gid=102&page=3
http://rpglab.net/troberg/gallery/vi...gid=102&page=4
A couple of summers ago, both a Vampire and a Sea Venom kept flying over my parents' garden. At least I thought it was a Sea Venom - looking for pictures made me wonder if it had actually been a Sea Vixen instead, as its wing shape was more of a delta than (what I thought was) the Vampire; the Sea Venom has fairly straight wings. But my memory isn't good enough unfortunately. They may even have been a Sea Venom and a Sea Vixen. I did think I'd identified them both at the time, but can't remember what I concluded...

Anyway, there were two different twin-boom jet fighters that kept flying over, one with fairly straight wings and the other with more swept wings... I didn't have a camera to hand and they'd probably have been too far off to get decent pictures with my camera anyway.
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Old 15 February 2007, 11:12 AM
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The OP photo looks shopped to me as well, but there is a precedent from 1942:http://www.mainememory.net/bin/Detail?ln=9595
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  #14  
Old 15 February 2007, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Anyway, there were two different twin-boom jet fighters that kept flying over, one with fairly straight wings and the other with more swept wings...
Could it be a Swedish J-21R?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAAB_J21
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_21 (prop version, but has better pics, the jet version has more swept wings)

It's a beautiful aircraft, sadly I missed the opportunity to see one in the air a few years ago. It's also one of very few successful prop to jet conversions made.
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  #15  
Old 15 February 2007, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Could it be a Swedish J-21R?
Hmm, I don't think so. As I said, I think I did successfully identify them at the time - I've just forgotten what they were!

My parents live fairly near a big naval base as well as various airfields, so it makes sense for them to be old British naval aircraft, and they were painted in naval grey and RAF roundels rather than the SAAB green. I think in retrospect that they were a Sea Venom and a Sea Vixen (although not the Red Bull one!) especially as one of the surviving Sea Vixens is based in Tangmere, one of the airfields near my parents.

One of the differences I still remember between the two is that the one with the more swept wings had the cross-piece on the tail (I don't know the technical term) at the top, like the Sea Vixen, and the other had it at the bottom, like the Sea Venom (and the Vampire). So I'm pretty sure of the Sea Vixen at least.

I must just have got confused about the Vampire at some point later.

(edit) Hmm, it doesn't seem as though the one in Tangmere was airworthy when that piece was written in 2005 - although it was being restored - so it's unlikely that it was the one I saw flying. Oh well.
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Old 15 February 2007, 03:38 PM
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And a few more of a moose in harness:

http://www.alaskahistorystore.org/p194.html
http://mainehuntingtoday.com/bbb/?p=1656 (talks about the currect picture, and shows an old one.)

All I could find on the current one was people saying that it was fake.

Morrigan
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  #17  
Old 17 February 2007, 10:58 PM
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The article mentions the moose was transported in a regular multi-horse trailer... I have serious doubts that those antlers would fit in a horse trailer.
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  #18  
Old 18 February 2007, 12:14 AM
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Now that you mentioned that, a moose (a full sized bull moose, which I think that that moose is) wouldn't fit in a normal horse trailer.

The average horse trailer is roughly 7 feet high, while a bull moose ranges from 6 1/2- 7 1/2 feet at the shoulders. The average width to a trailer is roughly 6 feet wide, while a moose's antlers are roughly 5 feet wide.

Not in a standard horse trailer.

But in the article, it says that he hauled draft horses, which are larger than regular horses. A warmblood trailer tops out at 7 1/2 feet high, and is 7 feet wide.

Good catch.

Morrigan

Last edited by Morrigan; 18 February 2007 at 12:18 AM. Reason: more dimensions
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  #19  
Old 18 February 2007, 12:52 AM
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Well, I do know there is precedence for having a Moose under saddle.

ETA - shoot, I don't know if it is working, or how to fix it
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  #20  
Old 18 February 2007, 01:43 AM
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Sorry for the double pose, but I just figured it out! Moose
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